May 17, 2006

Fact in Da Vinci Code

One of the main reasons the Christian community says that Dan Brown is so dangerous to Jesus and the church is because he believes that elements of his story are FACT. The problem is that most Christians didn't read the book, they just heard this from a pastor or radio talk fundi. The other problem is that those who do actually read the book take a bias that Dan Brown presents this stuff as FACT. The FACT is, this stance is false. Dan Brown, nowhere states that what he is presenting in his story is FACT.

Actually, here's some excerpts from an interview on his website;

The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction. While the book's characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters. While it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit, each individual reader must explore these characters' viewpoints and come to his or her own interpretations. My hope in writing this novel was that the story would serve as a catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics of faith, religion, and history.

If you read the "FACT" page, you will see it clearly states that the documents, rituals, organization, artwork, and architecture in the novel all exist. The "FACT" page makes no statement whatsoever about any of the ancient theories discussed by fictional characters. Interpreting those ideas is left to the reader.

These are his words, not mine. He knows that it's fiction and even has good intentions for writing this book.

Here's what happened I think. On the first page he writes that the book contains FACTS in it, but he really leaves it a bit ambigious so that the reader will question what is FACT and fiction as he/she reads. It's simply a brilliant way to sell books if you ask me, not a plot to destroy Christianity or defame Jesus. A careful reader will interpret responsibly what he says and conclude that he is talking about what is real is FACT.

The first page reads,
All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.
This is his way of letting the reader know that when he/she comes across a reference to a church, an art musuem, or an artwork, that D. Brown has done his homework. So in reading the novel one has not only been entertained, but somewhat educated.


Richie said...

I do not agree with those that protest the movie. Like other movies that have challenged orthodox Christianity, I believe the movie will bring some of the 'church' to a new awareness of history and the accuracy of what we have today as the Bible. The book challenged me to question. I did and came to the same conclusions as our forefathers. I have not however read the Gospel of Judas which interestingly was coincidentally published at the time of this movie, a great marketing strategy.

I have compassion for those that are upset about the movie. I agree that they might not understand what the book is about or the meaning behind what Dan Brown says up front. Dan Brown is a big boy adult writer who should have anticipated what the book could do (maybe he did). The wording is not clear in what he means in that preface, especially to one who is upset.

I tend to want to have compassion on those that are hurt about the movie.

JoeBum said...

Like I said, I think Brown wrote that way on purpose. For two reasons, one is to make some contraversy to make some money...i mean this is his profession. Secondly, as I've been reading along, he intertwines fact and fiction in such a way that one has to constantly question the reality of what is being read. I think the word is genius, he did a good job i believe. When i picked up the book and read the preface, i understand what he meant, i think, so i knew the story was fiction with some good history in it.

Dan Brown's book has done no more to the christian community than the left behind series.

Who are the forefathers? I think the tradition has many different views of scripture, canon, and christian history besides your own.

also it's hard for me to have compassion b/c of the reaction we had to left behind, all embracing. also, i just haven't liked or agreed with many of the reactions to the movie, closed, biased, and just plain unchristian.

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