Well, today the Da Vinci Code Movie comes out. I'm busy tonight, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it. Over the past few weeks the blogs have been astir about the upcoming movie and novel by Dan Brown. Shlog, Ethos, Stonecypher, and Brian McLaren have all weighed in, facilitating discussions. Overall these discussions have been helpful. No matter what one's position is, it is healthy to discuss and question, thereby growing.
First and foremost, DVC is a fiction book - at least that's the section of Barnes & Noble I got found it in. It was not in the Religion/Theology section. The back cover labels it 'fiction,' as well. It's a great book with a riveting story line that will make you sit on th edge of your seat (as you're reading it!).
Many Christians have been in an uproar about this book since its publication in 2003. The idea that Jesus was married to Mary Magdeline is blasphemous according to many Christians. Therefore, they contend that the proper solution, if one cannot ban DVC from the theaters (yes, I've heard this argument actually made), is to boycott the movie and hold seminars in Church's exposing the blasphemous nature the novel. American Family Radio (AFR) has been broadcasting that one not even need to read the book or see the movie to understand its defamitory nature and speak out against it.
But I have a fundamental question that I must raise. Why is it blasphemous for Jesus to have been married? In what way does this defame Jesus? Does it erase his divinity? I don't think so; I think it would only strengthen his humanity. Theologians use the terms High Christology and Low Christology to describe where Jesus's divinity and his humanity are shown, respectively. Several places in the NT give us a very Low Christology, meaning they give us good evidence for Jesus's humanity. I'm not saying he was married. I'm just saying that is is neither incoceivable nor blasphemous to entertain the idea that he was.
The second issue: the rep as a whore. Some contend that what makes this whole scenario blasphemous is that suggesting that Jesus married Mary of Magdala was saying that he married a whore, therefore it's blasphemous. I have a problem with this for two reasons. Mary Magdeline was label a whore by the Church, when female influences where being suppressed. Because of the place of her story in the Biblical text, it has been assumed that she was a whore. But in reality there is no textual basis for this conclusion about Mary. My second problem with this position is: so what if she was a whore. Jesus's best friends were drunks and theives. When they met him, they became new people. So what is so demonizing about suggesting that Jesus had intimate friendships, or romantic relationships, with ex-"sinners"?
I think DVC is an opportunity for Christians to educate themselves about what the Bible says, or in many cases does not say. The vast majority of Jesus's life is NOT covered in the four gospels. The Bible DOES NOT tell us everything about Jesus. I think seminars in churches are a good think, but not to bash a book no one has read, but to open up dialogue that builds UP faith, and does not tear it down. When FAITH is the most important thing in your relationship with God, issues like this don't scare you, they encourage you.
Christians should be open to dialogue about the theological implications of book, albeit a fiction one - because whether we like it or not, there will be some. Standing in front of a theater with a picket sign will not endear many movie-goers to ask the questions that may be raised by this movie or novel. Christians should expel truth, but not about of hate or fear, but out of love. I've read the book: it's entertaining and good. I will watch the movie hoping for the same. And I think all Christians should, because it should not be Jesus's marital status that defines their relationship with him.