Main Entry: fic·tion Pronunciation: ‘fik-sh&nFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English ficcioun, from Middle French fiction, from Latin fiction-, fictio act of fashioning, fiction, from fingere to shape, fashion, feign — more at DOUGH1 a : something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically : an invented story b : fictitious literature (as novels or short stories) c : a work of fiction; especially : NOVEL
In spite of the fact it contains factual, historical information, it was never intended to be read as non-fiction or even creative non-fiction. Pure and simple, it’s a thriller with some intriguing and provocative thoughts and ideas…laced with truth, theories, speculation, engaging characters and plot.
For me, it was a page-turner I completed in two days, my family lost me for a bit. One reviewer said it was “unputabledownable”; I like that word and agree.
Christians love their witch hunts and they love their bandwagons. This is opportunity for both. But…BUT…I am hopeful it is opportunity for much more. I’ll get to that part…
I think in many instances people profess a faith that is not their own (I know I did for longer than I realized or care to admit). Gosh, too often in the South, we’re just “born Christian”. We grow up “in the church” and get our faith by osmosis. We hear the stories and stuff of faith externally without ever EXPERIENCING God. We’re coaxed and encouraged to say the “sinner’s prayer” or “ask Jesus into our hearts” from the time we can toddle, and if we go to Sunday school or Christian school, we hear all the stories and know all the “characters” by the time we’re a teen. We expouse a set of beliefs sometimes because they’re the “right” things to believe….right? Professing with our lips, sometimes for decades, but without transformation, with no accompanying change in the “inner man”. It is a powerless faith, contradictory to what God tells us about Himself in Scripture. And sadly to me, we settle for that all too often.
I’m sitting here thinking, mind in a thousand directions, I hate it when I can’t think progressively….for people who know me, you know I juggle half a dozen conversations at the same time and I’m afraid that’s what I wanna do now. Sorry! Those bunny trails are attractive.
Back to the Da Vinci point. Plain and simple, I think it’s stepping on toes because people don’t know what they believe. They profess with their lips rather than having experienced God in their heart–they just don’t know Him that well. Yeah, they can shout with the best of ’em why the book & upcoming movie will take you straight to hell, but are they (am I?) willing to share their own stories of love and forgiveness and redemption and acceptance and transformation and power? How can it be shared if we don’t know it?
If the controversy generated from reading the book or watching the movie causes a person to question his faith, I think that’s great! Questioning…doubting…debating…Kingdom things is NOT sinful. Thinking about, discussing, contemplating, praying through, earnestly seeking TRUTH always leads to FINDING truth! If the controversy leads readers or movie goers away from God’s revealed truth, the Parable of the sower comes to mind…the seed that fell on rocky places. Shallow roots, no depth. Easily swayed or confused when something else believeable comes along.
For me, the controversy drives me to want to spend more time with Jesus. To know HIM, not why I shouldn’t believe the “lies” perpetuated in The Da Vinci Code (or other books). I don’t get to know Him intimately by spending time reading books about Him or about “breaking the code” (although I believe there’s a place for those…); but by savoring and delighting in His Word, engaging Him in conversation through prayer, and fellowshipping with His Body, the Church. Pursuing Christ, because He first pursued me… Loving Him, because He first loved me… Loving others–not just in word or emotion, but in action, because that’s what He tells me to do. “This” is opportunity for that :).
Passing along some links that are much more imaginative than anything I could write (notice I put them at the end in the hopes that you’d read me first 😉 ).