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going public :: May 04, 2004: 11:08 AM

Yesterday I actually had a day off...Monday is supposedly my day off but things have been a little crazy recently. Anyway, I read and sewed and relaxed and I decided I needed to go live with this especially as I might just stop someone spending money on a dreadful little book ("Cracking the Da Vinci Code") I made myself read....

The best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code is causing something of a stir. If I can prevent one person spending money on the dreadful "Cracking the Da Vinci Code" by James L. Garlow and Peter Jones I will be happy! My Discover magazine arrived Friday with an article (also titled "Cracking the Da Vinci Code")on the science/ mathematics Dan Brown puts in the book. Discover is a great magazine and the article was interesting. The book, byline: "You've read the fiction, now read the facts" (yuk) is another matter. I had to force myself to read it. That fact that the frontispiece quotation is from Tim LaHaye (co-author of the equally nauseating Left Behind series) did not bode well. This book, like that series, is just so badly written. I am sorry that graduates from decent seminaries like Drew and Princeton, not to mention a fellow Brit, could author this stuff.

Far from cracking any Da Vinci code the book attacks Dan Brown and then proceeds to rehash all the usual "truths" which conservatives use to hide behind when they decide not to really engage in discussion about some of the things we trot out often unthinkingly as Christians. And of course, they attack the Jesus Seminar, a frequent object of their scorn. And an easy target. I presume the aim is to make sure that whenever anyone engages in honest inquiry the idea is to lump that person with the Jesus Seminar who are one extreme, just as these authors represent the opposite extreme.

What really bothers these men is that people, and it includes believing Christians, are asking questions. What Dan Brown says is not new. In fact had they actually got into the Da Vinci connection, readers would see that many of the questions being asked have been asked for many centuries. As a person of faith myself (and a Christian Pastor) I do not feel threatened by The Da Vinci Code - and it is good adventure story, not the greatest writing/ style at points but then it did not need to be. And Dan Brown has put his research online for all to see.

Obviously he has selected the parts of the myth/ simplifications about Da Vinci or the mathematics that work for his story-line and, not knowing all this material for myself, probably exaggerated some parts and made up others (it is a novel, after all, not a PhD thesis.)

I am glad that people are discussing all this. The Mary Magdalene section of this blog is reserved for literature about this intriguing figure and I will be summarizing some of the books I have about her --traditional view and more recent-- in coming weeks.

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