Saturday, December 2, 2006

Why Is Da Vinci Code Popular?

Scott McKnight posted these questions on Da Vinci Code:

What I want to know is this: Why did so many people want to believe this story? Why did so many wonder if maybe the Church has duped the entire Church for 2000 years? Why did so many wonder if maybe the Church buried other versions of Jesus? Why did so many wonder if the Church suppressed the truth all along? Why did so many want to believe that the Church was an ideological power that was threatened by alternative stories?

This is really only one question — why did so many seem to think this version of the Christian faith was believable? — and it is for me the central and only genuinely abiding question that this book provokes.

In fact, some of these questions came up in both Da Vinci Code forums which we organised earlier. In the SIB Living Room, Ian made the point to ask us what are the 'good stuffs' that we can learn from DVC to 'broaden' the discussion a bit.. So we're seeing another example of 'convergence' here, which is cause for celebration. But I also note that these questions are usually asked by Christians who already know that the 'facts' are really fiction...

And they wanna know "Why on earth wud intelligent folks buy into these conspiracy theories?" The fence-sitters wud still ask abt "Is it true? Really true?" Chris asked the good question, "What makes Da Vinci Code so amazingly attractive to so many people?" and got mistaken for a Malaysian Gnostic heheheh...

Here are some 2 yens... Even as we speak, there are strong undercurrents and energy behind these movements in the US of A.


Neo-gnosticism of Harvard scholars (elaine pagels/karen king) which try to sell us the idea tat early church has so much 'multiplicity of views' that orthodoxy is meaningless to them. So gnosticism is a valid option before it's suppressed by party-spoilers like Constantine. It's VERY attractive bcos of its boundary-lessness, we can remake Christianity the way we now see fit.

Jesus Seminar

Of course, there are Jesus Seminar folks who emphasize a merely 'earthly Jesus' bcos of the 'assured results' of modern historiography vs 'religious dogma'. Again, it's attractive bcos when scientific history is set against dogmatic doctrine, guess who wins?


This is the part where there is more than a strand of truth. Yes, the church has not always been faithful to biblical teachings to affirm the worth and role of women in the church. More than one reader have told me that they felt DVC 'honors women'.

Yet Dan Brown's divinization of the feminine (which is as idolatrous as the divinization of the masculine) is wrong-headed solution. If you wanna find an alternative christianity that affirms women, you'd never find it in Gnosticism which has a low view of women, sex and the physical world.

Suspicion of Authority

It feeds on the modernistic mood that feeds on Suspicion of Authority and disillusionment w 'hypocrisy' and 'exclusivity' with the religious establishment. (smells like Enlightenment!)

Choose what you like spirituality..

If u can't find, make it up as you go.
Very New-Agey.

I was reading the gospel of thomas and found tat u cud substitute Jesus for Buddha, and you'd get basically the same thing as Buddhism. "Look inside yourself, what you bring out will save you". Pagels mentioned a theory that this strand of gnosticism may have influence from India. (Thomas was reputed to be an apostle to India rite?)

A Sexier Religion
There is more than a hint of a revived, neo-pagan 'spirituality' that revels in sexual orgy. And don't we all know that sex sells?

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