You’re all familiar, I’m sure, with Dan Brown’s recent novel The Da Vinci Code. The (well deserved) hype surrounding both the novel and movie virtually guarantee this. I, for one, am quite eager for the latter’s debut!
But is the Church? Well, anyone with a taste for intrigue is ready, in the sense of eager, for it. But what about intellectually, that is, historically and doctrinally? Are Christians prepared intellectually? Let me explain what I’m getting at. Consider first what I’m not referring to: I don’t mean have our preachers put together a great sermon series, jumping to inform the churches concerning Brown’s story. I don’t mean have we all leapt to schedule the Darrell Bock’s, the Blomberg’s, and so forth (that is, the ‘experts’) to guest speak to our congregations. I don’t mean have we put copies of Breaking the Da Vinci Code on sale in our welcoming centers. By no means is this my inquiry. And for Pete’s sake, I don’t mean are we encouraging our flock’s to boycott the film!
Now, please don’t misunderstand: I have tremendous respect for Darrell Bock et al. Moreover, I am pleased and thankful for their willingness to travel from church to church speaking (in this instance) on The Da Vinci Code. Goodness knows every church around Dallas (and I’m sure elsewhere) is scrambling (really, falling all over themselves) to schedule such speakers. But what I’m asking is this: Why? Why is this happening? Why do our ministers need to skip even a beat on behalf of this story? Why aren’t our flocks reading such stories and laughing (not because they think, for example, that the prospect of Jesus and Mary being married is funny, but rather because they already know that such notions are absurd—because they are intellectually prepared)?
Is this instance any indication of the Church’s state of preparedness against such cultural phenomena? I don’t know; I don’t consider myself qualified to answer such questions. What I do know is this: there should be no need for last minute preparations for our churches concerning such things. I fully appreciate the vital role apologists, philosophers, historians, and theologians play in the Church. But is that role only to be called upon at the last minute? Of course not, yet it seems that is what has happened. Please, let’s take steps to correct this “scandal of (our) evangelical mind.”