I’m currently reading a book which examines The Da Vinci Code not just by exposing its bogus errors (too many have done that already), but by engaging it in the wider context of Christian-faith mysteries depicted in novel and film. It’s called The Da Vinci Code Adventure: On the Trail of Fact, Legend, Faith and Film , written mostly by Mike Gunn, but with contributions from Greg and Jenn Wright from Hollywood Jesus. The book breathes an evangelical air, but lightly enough so that anyone can enjoy reading it.
At one point Gunn contrasts Da Vinci with my favorite Jesus film, Jesus of Montreal, both of which are unorthodox and aimed at guardians of Christian doctrine.
While Jesus of Montreal, like The Da Vinci Code, offers an alternate story, I never really got the feeling I was being duped. Jesus of Montreal made me think and contemplate the potential truths of the alternate story while maintaining the integrity of the original… I never found myself wanting to argue theology while I was watching Jesus of Montreal. I could actually even resonate with Arcand’s redemptive story, even though it is no doubt one that the institutional church would prefer to edit; but like good art, it allows for tension, begging you to think. Dan Brown’s characters, though, often appear as preachy as Jimmy Swaggart on the “Old Time Gospel Hour”, leaving as much to my imagination as a game of hide-and-seek with a three year old. (In case you haven’t done that lately, they pretty much hide right in front of you.) (p 13)
I couldn’t have said it better.
On the whole the book offers a remarkably positive criticism The Da Vinci Code by inviting people to do what Dan Brown wants them to do: follow his adventure, and see where it leads; and see how it compares to other novels/films which delve into the mysteries of the Christian faith. That’s a healthy approach, and opposite to that of insecure Christian leaders who prefer boycotts. All the same, I’m waiting until the DVD comes out to make fun of Howard’s film. The Da Vinci Code is an adventure I can put aside for a day when I have absolutely nothing better to do.