Last night my wife and I went to see “The DaVinci Code” at the Carmike 20 Theaters in Oakdale, MN. We were actually hoping to catch Ice Age 2, but it wasn’t showing, as we arrived late following a graduation party for my friend Bert Foster. So after a few moments discussion we decided it was time to catch the movie, and see what people were talking about. Neither of us have read the book, so it was good that we got to see the movie.

Generally, I thought the movie was entertaining. There were certainly parts that drug on a bit, but from a theatrical viewpoint it was pretty solid. From a factual standpoint it was anything but. I knew some generalities about what the controversy was over with this movie, but having now seen it, I see why some find it very offensive. Dan Brown has framed a fictional work around a few real names, dates and locations and has quite intentionally done his best to undermine Truth and to supplant it with his own fictional truth. Having a seminary education, an undergraduate in History, and a general interest in Church History, many things immediately jumped out to me as enormous distortions and falsehoods. I found myself wondering how many others in the theater were as perceptive. It’s a sad commentary on the state of the church when such blantant falsehoods can challenge people’s faith. I could make up anything I could imagine and include 4-5 historical people’s names, 4-5 true locations and come up with an equally “true” story. The items Dan Brown wants the viewer/reader to believe as fact are indeed fiction. To put it bluntly, Dan Brown is so full of it his last name is quite apt.

My wife didn’t like it as much as I did from a pure theatrical viewpoint. She found the end to be frustrating in that it seems to come to an end 3 times before it really finishes, and its actual finish is pretty lame. It did build good suspense, and there were a few times my wife averted her eyes from the screen. She jumped pretty good a few times as well. I could (as could my wife) see how this movie might be particularly offensive to catholics.

This morning we attended church at Eagle Brook Church in Lino Lakes, MN. Bob Merritt had the week off, and Teaching Pastor Jason Anderson filled in quite nicely. This was the first week of a 4 week series the church is doing on the DaVinci Code. Their series is called “The DaVinci Dillema” and it is intended to equip the attenders of Eagle Brook to have fruitful conversations with their friends, families and co-workers who are reading this book and viewing this movie. Jason did a great job breaking down how it is clear that Mary Magdalene was NOT Jesus’ wife, nor was she the “holy grail”.

The worship was excellent as always at Eagle Brook. As an offeratory song the worship team played “Where the streets have no name” by U2 and did a very good job of it. There was one song they played that nobody in the sanctuary seemed to know, and it plodded a bit, but other than that it was great music. The weather was beautiful, and the drive to the church and home was quite enjoyable. They still really need to work on reducing traffic congestion in their parking lot. It frequently takes as long to get out of the parking lot as it does to complete the 15 mile journey home, and that is without bad weather. Today we also went to the last service of the day, which means less traffic because nobody else is coming into the lot for the next service. I’d be curious as to how other large churches handle this. I’ve attended Woodland Hills Church (Greg Boyd’s church) on numerous occassions and haven’t noticed it being quite this bad. Granted, that church isn’t as large, but it is in the city as opposed to out in the farthest reaches of the suburbs where traffic is always light. Bethlehem Baptist (John Piper’s church) in downtown Minneapolis has some problems when the Vikings are playing or when there is an early Twins game. Wooddale (Leith Anderson’s Church) in Eden Prairie has very good traffic flow (and is again a smaller church than Eagle Brook, but is also more in the city). I’ve been to a number of other very large churches and not seemed to experience this level of traffic issues. It’ll be something to watch, and I hope they get it figured out.
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