Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New sermon series coming

If I told you Jesus was secretly married to Mary Magdalene, would you believe me? If I told you Jesus also fathered children, what would you think?

Most of you, I’m sure, would claim I must be mad. Some of you would accuse me of heresy and call my Bishop. Some of you would wonder if it could really be true.

If I dressed up such claims in a wildly popular novel, and claimed that though the story was fictional all the historical claims in it were true, then you would want to see the movie. It opens next month.

I read Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code a couple of years ago. It is a very compellingly written story. I did not want to put it down.

It is also full of historical inaccuracies and claims that have no basis in reality. That should be okay since that is the nature of fiction.

Dan Brown’s bestseller has spiked attention to what are called the “Gnostic gospels;” a group of writings about Jesus that make claims that diverge widely from traditional history and Christianity. It seems even the History Channel is buying into Dan Brown’s version.

One of the traditional Christian responses to this movie would be to boycott it. We could raise a ruckus about how persecuted real Christians are these days. We could organize protests and picket theaters. All of which would achieve at best a yawn from the unchurched public and at worst guarantee an increased number of ticket sales.

What if, rather than whine or complain, rather than loudly condemn the whole lot of “them” to hell, rather than shake our heads with disgust at “the direction society is heading,” we engage the culture around us. What if we take up conversations with these millions of people who, for whatever reason, are interested in Jesus but not in the church?

For the next four weeks at the First United Methodist Church of McGregor, we will be dealing with how we as Christians ought to engage culture. Paul calls us to “make the most of every opportunity.” There are huge opportunities before us. Are you ready?


At 6:05 PM, Blogger Paul G. said...

I look forward to hearing how this goes.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Michael said...

The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction. While the book's characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters. While it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit, each individual reader must explore these characters' viewpoints and come to his or her own interpretations. My hope in writing this novel was that the story would serve as a catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics of faith, religion, and history.

Just FYI. This is pasted from www.danbrown.com/novels/davinci_code/faqs.html.

For what it's worth, I loved the book as well. I just think there are bigger things to worry about.

I hope your series works out for the glory of the Lord God Himself.

At 5:55 AM, Blogger Greg Hazelrig said...

Wonderfully put, and so true. That's exactly what we should do.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Steve Killam TMTL said...

Way to think outside the box. Be prepaired for some negative critisism. Remind folks that you are not saying this is what we believe, but anything that causes us to think excersises our faith, therefore making it stronger. I have taught sunday school classes over the past few summers using "The Simpsons" as a draw and a vehicle to bring God's word to our youth. They love it and learn more from it than any other class I teach. I have not been kicked out of Church yet.
P.S. Check out my blog at http://alumnibiblestudy.blogspot.com .

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Chris said...

The theology is bad. The history is worse. The use of ancient texts reveals that Brown is no biblical scholar nor expert on ancient documents.

Yet I find the story--as narrative fiction--compelling. I can hardly wait to see the movie, errors and all.


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