Okay, to wrap up the week of “Da Vinci Code” reviews, here’s Steven D. Greydanus:
Some Christians have optimistically hoped that The Da Vinci Code might provide a potential opportunity for dialogue and discussion about Jesus with people who might not otherwise be open to such discussions. Yet if anything the film seems calibrated precisely to inoculate viewers against any such discussion — to leave viewers with a skeptical agnosticism about efforts to set the record straight is all part of the conspiracy, “what they want you to think” (or “we can’t be sure”).
The Da Vinci Code throws so much mud around that at least some of it is likely to stick in viewers’ minds. Was Constantine really a lifelong pagan who invented the doctrine of the deity of Christ and compiled the Bible as we know it? Did the Church really declare Mary Magdalene to be a prostitute in 591? Was Sir Isaac Newton really persecuted over his theories of gravitation, the way we all “know” Galileo was for his heliocentrism (or not)?
How many viewers will have any idea about all these questions? There are so many specifics, so much information, surely some of it has to be true, or is likely be true, or could be true. Or at least, “we can’t be sure.”
Is it possible to put all this aside and just enjoy the story as a thriller, an enjoyable yarn? I honestly have no idea how people can take that approach.
Catholic writer Mark Shea tells an anecdote about a college bull session among students at Central Washington University over The Da Vinci Code. “Even if it’s just fiction,” a student opined, “it’s still interesting to think about.”
To which another student replied: “Your mother’s a whore.” And then, to the first student’s stunned incredulity, he added, “And even if that’s just fiction, it’s still interesting to think about.”
I love it when one of my favorite writers quotes another of my favorite writers.
And now, on to much, much better things.