Well, boys and girls, the time has come. The film based on Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code hits theaters later this week, and with it comes a raging controversy over the book’s (and, presumably, the film’s) depiction of Jesus, early Christians, the modern church, and Mary Magdaline.
Institutional distrust isn’t new. In fact, its practically the dominant theme of our day. But an open expression of distrust in our institutions of faith – well, up until now, its been off limits.
Given the popularity of the book and the likely success of the film, perhaps its time for Christians to reexamine the message that we’re communicating and to ask ourselves whether it is faithful to the gospel of early Christian writers, like Mark, Luke, and Paul.
I have a theory: I think that people are innately suspicious that mainstream Christian voices aren’t telling them about the “real” Jesus. I think they believe that he’s been watered down to the point where his message only serves to reenforce a narrow, male-dominated theological and political agenda. People feel that they don’t know the truth about his human nature, about his relationship with women, or about his revolutionary teachings. They want to know the truth about him, but they no longer trust Christian leaders to tell it to them. DaVinci is appealing because it confirms that their suspicions are correct.
I hope to write more on this subject as the week progresses, but for now: what do you think? Do people feel like they’re not getting the whole picture? And if not, what is missing? And is Dan Brown getting it right? If you’re someone who comes from outside of the Christian faith, and you happen to have dropped by as a result of a Technorati or Google search, I’d especially like to hear from you.