Summary: · WHAT DAN BROWN GOT RIGHT · WHAT BROWN GOT WRONG · WHO CARES? Web resources and congregational outline at the end
WELCOME, ATTENDANCE PAD
You may want to refer to today’s outline that I’ve provided to follow some quotes from the book I’m discussing, as well as some other quotes and Bible readings.
THE DA VINCI CODE (Dan Brown): WHAT’S THE STORY ABOUT?
First of all I want to address why I am doing a sermon of this nature.
Some of you when you read about this asked—Why preach about something like this? Well many books about spirituality are being published out there and people are hungry for them. I think as followers of Christ you need to be prepared to enter in discussions with people who are seeking after spiritual matters and you must be prepared to answer their questions. You must be able to say this is what I believe as a person who is trying to follow Christ.
And then some people said to me I’m glad you are speaking on this topic. I have read the book and I wondered what is accurate and what is questionable in the way things are presented in this book.
So fasten your seatbelts—I invite you to ride along on this journey today.
The Da Vinci code focuses on a subject that many of us know little about: the Holy Grail. Most of my knowledge comes from two movies-- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail.
8.30 am – video clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy discovers the Grail.
Watching these moves qualifies me to speak as an expert on this topic. At least as much of an expert as author Dan Brown who wrote The Da Vinci Code.
In the book Brown’s characters believe that Jesus married and had a child by Mary Magdalene, who, after Jesus’ death, moved to France to raise their child. His characters further assert that the Catholic Church knew these facts and successfully suppressed them through the centuries, going so far as to kill people to keep these facts from surfacing.
These ideas appeal to the same instinct in us that gives birth to countless conspiracy theories – a certain paranoia and distrust of authority coupled with just enough fact to make them seem plausible, until we dig a bit deeper into their ideas.
With the exception of the misrepresentation of historical facts, I enjoyed reading the book – it is an enjoyable to the extent that you remember that it is fiction. Dan Brown is an excellent story teller.
The story begins in France where Robert Langdon the noted symbologist from Harvard University has been visiting as a guest lecturer. Now if you thinking “I’ve never met a symbologist before,” that’s because there has never been one before Robert Langdon. Such a topic is not even offered at Harvard as far as my research could determine.
Langdon is disturbed at his hotel room by the French Police who take him to the Louvre to assist in a murder investigation. It would appear that one of the curators of the museum, Jacques Sauniere has been brutally murdered. However before dying Sauniere is able to leave a variety of clues scattered around the gallery he has locked himself in as an unsuccessful bid to escape his killer.
Unbeknownst to our hero he is actually a suspect in the murder and only escapes with the help of the beautiful police cryptographer Sophie Neveu. Langdon discovers that the murdered curator of the museum not only is Sophie’s estranged Grandfather but he is also the Grand Master of Priory of Sion, a secret society entrusted with a secret which if revealed would destroy the Christian church as we know it. Still with me?
Their quest for clues to break the Da Vinci Code leads them to Leigh Teabing, a former British Royal Historian, who is one of the foremost authorities on the Holy Grail. Their ensuing journey takes them through France, across the English Channel on an illicit flight.
All the while staying one step ahead of the police, are an albino monk killer and the “teacher,” a mystery man who appears to be orchestrating the entire story. It’s during the trip that Langdon and Teabing are able to lecture Sophie about the fallacies of Christianity and the Bible as well as the evils of the church.
So Brown begins by saying “Trust me, I’ve done my homework.” But the question is has he?
I want to unpack this novel in this manner today:
· WHAT DAN BROWN GOT RIGHT
· WHAT BROWN GOT WRONG
· WHO CARES?
So first of all,
A. WHAT BROWN GOT RIGHT
I’ll try to begin on a positive note about the story.