Why The Da Vinci Code is popular (my opinion)


#1

Let me start by saying that I understand that the book is historically inaccurate (to put it mildly) and makes absurd claims. Let me also make the disclaimer that I have not read it.

However, the book is popular, and it is popular among some Christians. Why?

The Da Vinci Code portrays Jesus as a human being. I think any portrayal of Jesus humanity has the potential to be popular. Jesus was, of course, a human being. He was also God. I think Jesus divine nature is over-emphasized today, especially in Catholicism, but also among Protestants. The Da Vinci Code is feeding a yearning people have to know the whole picture of Jesus. Unfortunately they are filling that need with fiction.

To illustrate the point that Jesus’s divine nature might be over-emphasized, I will ask a question:

Have you ever pictured Jesus being friends with the Apostles, or with anyone for that matter? If the very idea seems strange, I think maybe you over-emphasize Jesus’ divinity.

“The Passion of the Christ” carried on the tradition of over-emphasizing Jesus divine nature. Every act of Jesus was accompanied by dramatic music and slow motion hollywood effects.

Even the one scene “The Passion” that had the potential to give us a peek at Jesus humanity over-emphasized Jesus divinity. Jesus was doing his job as a carpenter, also accompanied by dramatic music, slow motion effects, and serious looks between the actors that played Jesus and Mary. Jesus even innovated a modern table and chair. I found that scene absurd.

All-in-all, Mel Gibson used every trick in the Hollywood playbook to manipulate the emotions of the audience into feelings of awe. Because I was interested in a glimpse of how Jesus really lived, I was dissapointed.


#2

that might very well have something to do with the popularity of
the book… but, there was a movie a few years ago, “The Last
Temptation of Christ”, which made similar ‘allegations’ about,
and depected the, so called, personal side of Christ’s life, and
it was a bomb…

i think that one of the reasons the book is so popular is, it’s an
easy, fast paced read…

people who try and portray it as truth, are people who are
anti-religion or at the very least anti-christian… and people who
know they have shortcommings in their lives, and can point to
this and say, “well, even Christ had his shortcommings”…

basically, anything that trashes the church is popular these
days to lots of people…

so, there are 3 groups who are gonna like the book… lol

i realize this was your “opinion piece” and like i said, you might
be right… but, this was my opinion on it…

:slight_smile:


#3

I think you missed the point of The Passion of the Christ. It wasn’t made to illustrate Jesus’ humanity, it was made to demonstrate the agony and suffering he endured lovingly for the salvation of mankind. It would have been silly to see that movie and expect something else. Furthermore, he didn’t “invent” a modern table and chair, he custom made a tall table for a tall customer. I think it ended up being used to hold the scourges that he was beaten with, ironically. Incidentally, the gentle teasing he did of Mary in the carpentry scene was very demonstrative of His humanity.
To say that the Da Vinci Code is popular because it shows Jesus as human is ridiculous. It’s sensationalism and appeals to our baser desires, such as the desire to “know” secret things oppositional to what the greater populace believes. It also gives people a nice cynical excuse to continue living their lives any way they want.
It is also ridiculous to say that people can “over-emphasize” Jesus’ divinity. The whole point of Jesus was that he was God who so loved his creations that he endured their scorn, physical torture, and an agonizing death at their hands to obtain their salvation. How does one over-emphasize that? There are a few instances of Jesus just “chillin’” with people in the Gospels that one can meditate on which might make Jesus seem more accessible. I like to picture myself sometimes as Mary sitting at his feet listening while Martha bustles about. But even so, it is still hard to picture him just being friends with the apostles. I think that’s as it should be. If we were supposed to place that much emphasis on Jesus’ humanity, there would be more examples for us to use. As it is God has given us Mary and the saints who are fully human to relate to.


#4

I think people are overanalyzing its popularity. I read it. It’s popular because it’s a fast paced decent mystery novel, period. Unfortunately it’s heretical, anit-catholic and totally inaccurate, but when has that ever stopped the general public. I also read Angels and Demons, while silly at parts wasn’t as nearly anti-catholic and pagan.


#5

Sorry, I think the OP is way off. I did read the book plus many reader reviews on Amazon.The DaVinci Code was popular for the opposite reason the OP thinks: it’s because people *would rather not deal * with the fact that Jesus is much more than a man, and all that implies–like the fact that he has moral authority over their very souls.

That, and the fact the book is a form of gossip–some people like the feeling that they might know “the real truth” about something important–not like all those unenlightened robots who haven’t read and embraced the book.


#6

[quote=dafalax]I think you missed the point of The Passion of the Christ. It wasn’t made to illustrate Jesus’ humanity, it was made to demonstrate the agony and suffering he endured lovingly for the salvation of mankind.
[/quote]

Yes, that was the point of the movie. It just left me wanting to see the movie that does illustrate Jesus’ humanity.

[quote=dafalax]It is also ridiculous to say that people can “over-emphasize” Jesus’ divinity. The whole point of Jesus was that he was God who so loved his creations that he endured their scorn, physical torture, and an agonizing death at their hands to obtain their salvation. How does one over-emphasize that?
[/quote]

Because I don’t happen to think that was the whole point. What you are describing is Jesus’ last hours on earth. It is very important, absolutely, but did the first 32 years of his life have *no point *whatsoever? Why send Jesus as a baby, why send Jesus as a human at all, if the whole point was for God to die an agonizing death?

[quote=dafalax]But even so, it is still hard to picture him just being friends with the apostles. I think that’s as it should be.
[/quote]

I did not say “just being” friends. Why could Jesus not be their teacher, their savior, and their friend.

[quote=dafalax]If we were supposed to place that much emphasis on Jesus’ humanity, there would be more examples for us to use. As it is God has given us Mary and the saints who are fully human to relate to.
[/quote]

I don’t think we should put undue emphasis on Jesus’ humanity, I just don’t think we should forget about it altogether either. Keep some perspective. As far as “examples”, if you were writing about Jesus 30 years after he died, what would you write about? You would probably write about his divine qualities. Everyone is familiar with human qualities.Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Simon, and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” and they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:54-58

How old was Jesus at this time, 30? The people in his hometown didn’t know he was special? How could this be?

For most of his life Jesus lived the ordinary life of the son of a carpenter. The people who knew him best (ouside of Joseph & Mary) did not suspect a thing. Do you still think there was no point to Jesus living the life of a human, walking in our shoes, with friends and chores and choices, and responsiblilites?


#7

IMHO (and probably recorded on numerous previous Da Vinci Code threads), it is popular because it panders:
[list]
*]It has this tittlating, tabu subject matter.
*]It divides some 450 pages among 100+ chapters – Short, instantaneous chapters that don’t require the reader to become engaged.
*]Then there are the “codes” – puzzling little anagrams and riddles, leading to the great secret. With the possible exception of the first, which set the stage, I found none of them too challenging. Now, I love puzzles, so perhaps I am atypical, but as I “solved” each one long before the answer was unfolded in the story, I could certainly have taken the attitude “Well, I’m more clever by half than these protagonists – What a bright, intelligent boy I must be”.
*]For a work about ‘recovering the sacred feminine’ the heroine is about the most gullible naif I could imagine. It’s a good thing she has two men to open her eyes. :eek: Throughout the book, her continuing enlightenment looks like this:
**He: **“I’m telling you an amazing secret ‘fact’ that runs counter to everything you’ve ever learned.”
**She: **“No, that can’t be.”
**He: **“It’s true I tell you.”
**She: **“Gosh! I believe you now!”
[repeat] :whacky:
How she ever rose to the position of top secret police code-breaker I’ll never know. :stuck_out_tongue: (Is this typical of “feministic” literature!?)
[/list]

Favorite Dan Brown quote (Angels & Demons, p.40 paperback edition):

“Conspiracy buffs,” Langdon replied. He had always been annoyed by the plethora of conspiracy theories that circulated in modern pop culture. The media craved apocalyptic headlines, and self-proclaimed “cult specialists” were still cashing in on millennium hype with fabricated stories that the illuminati were alive and well and organizing their New World Order. Recently the New York Times had reported the eerie Masonic ties of countless famous men – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Duke of Kent, Peter Sellers, Irving Berlin, Prince Philip, Louis Armstrong, as well as a pantheon of well-known modern-day industrialists and banking magnates.

…Pretty much sums up my opinion of Dan Brown…

(Oh, if only Peter Sellers or Louis Armstrong had seized world-dominating power when he had the chance…)

:twocents:
(which is more than I put into Dan Brown’s pocket, by being clever and patient and borrowing the book from the library)
tee


#8

I think it’s so popular do to the “itchy Ear Syndrome”

From the Epistle of II Timothy

"3 For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound

doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to

themselves teachers, having itching ears: 4 And will indeed turn

away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."


#9

[quote=dljl]I think people are overanalyzing its popularity. I read it. It’s popular because it’s a fast paced decent mystery novel, period. Unfortunately it’s heretical, anit-catholic and totally inaccurate, but when has that ever stopped the general public. I also read Angels and Demons, while silly at parts wasn’t as nearly anti-catholic and pagan.
[/quote]

I just hope that people dont really think you can bail out atairship 10,000 feet and land safely using a tarp as a parachute! Like you said the silly parts in Angels and demons were not , for the most part, directed at the Church/

I read The Davinci Code when it first came out as i am a fan of Brown.I was somewhat suprised when the controversy over it broke out as in my mind the thesis was clearly abusrd. Absurd but a real page turner nonetheless.


#10

[quote=dljl]I also read Angels and Demons, while silly at parts wasn’t as nearly anti-catholic and pagan.
[/quote]

Silly? You mean things like the big deal made out of the **secret ***passeto *between the Vatican and Castel San Angelo? The broadside of a barn big aqueduct-looking thing that runs between them, and that’s explained in any tour book you pick up, and if it isn’t you should demand your money back from the salesperson who never should have made the move from McDonald’s to Barnes & Noble? The one that can even be seen from outer space? :rotfl:

But you’re right – The Church (or, as Brown would put it: “the Vatican”) was at worst morally neutral in *Angels & Demons. *Sure, it destroyed all the pagan statuary in the Pantheon, but it does preserve plenty of the same in its museums, which seems to make it worth preserving…

:twocents:
tee


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.