Ron, Tom, and Jesus
Three of my favorites, not in order of precedence
by Everett Wilson
June 3, 2006
I saw The Da Vinci Code last night, and my suspicions were confirmed. On this one, the critics are not to be trusted. I read several reviews before attending , and came to the conclusion that whether the reviews were good, bad, or mixed, they seemed to be based primarily on the lowest common denominator of all criticism: "I know what I like." My companions and I enjoyed it, which was no great surprise; it was directed by Ron Howard and starred Tom Hanks, who individually and together tend to make good movies.
When I first learned a couple of years ago that Ron and Tom were going to make the movie version of The DaVinci Code, I was unhappy for three reasons. First, I didn't think the novel deserved their talents; second, they would make a good movie out of the material anyway, and enhance its stature; and third, their participation might give a specious credibility to the story's premise. (If you want the details behind the third reason, check out one of the websites: the one I recommend, of course, is Jonathan Wilson's Cracking The Davinci Code
A Christian whose faith is threatened by a premise as thin as this one already has more problems than this movie can create. Christians should feel free to watch it if they want to, and enjoy it if they can. Think of it as you would Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was also a lot of fun but never intended as an article of faith.
I think Dan Brown was aspiring to be Umberto Eco, but instead fell short of Tom Clancy. The category is action-adventure, and on that level it was a pretty good read just as, on the same level, the movie is pretty good fun. Neither offers enlightenment about either history or faith.
A seeker who wants to believe there is no salvation from sin will end up believing some alternative theory; it doesn't have to be as convoluted as the one in this story. Indeed, the movie might fortify unbelief in someone who doesn't want to believe, but then Jesus said that such a person wouldn't believe anyway, even if someone were to rise from the dead (which he went on to demonstrate by rising from the dead and not being believed).
Believers who have accepted the faith of the New Testament as their own, and are growing in it, are more powerful in their own feeble testimony than a dozen movies or books like this one. Their experience confirms the gospel as offered in the Bible.
So I will especially challenge one line in the movie, where the hero says to the heroine, "It is what you believe that matters." Well, no. That is postmodern superficiality. In the real world truth always trumps belief. If you believe the truth, you become part of it, but it is true whether you believe it or not.
About the Author:
Everett Wilson is a Christian.
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