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A Comment on Dan Brown

I will not read Dan Brown’s new novel, The Lost Symbol. It’s not that I have reservations about Brown’s blasphemous content or something of that sort. Given some of the dreadful, morally suspect stuff I’ve willingly read in the past, I really can’t hold Brown up for special scorn.

No, I will not read this book simply because I have a finite number of pages that I’ll be able to wade through in my life and far too many higher claims than a cash-in sequel masquerading as something of merit. If you’re interested in an intriguing review of the book, consider this one at the Daily Beast.

One of the commenters for that review had this to say:

Brown’s novels, which are mental chewing gum, have done little more than reveal how insecure Christians are about their early history. They have every reason to be.

May I suggest that Christians have no reason to be insecure about our early history. On the other hand, our early history is not nearly as straight-forward as we’d like it to be. Many people I know would like to imagine that the early church was exactly like the Catholic/Orthodox/Baptist/Pentecostal/Lutheran/Mormon church they attend. My studies suggest that the Greek Orthodox probably have the best claim on ancient authenticity, but perhaps we miss the point.

When somebody comes along and writes about the marriage of Jesus, the Jesus Tomb, the last temptation, the Gospel of Judas–and just wait for next Easter for the next installment of this tedious procession–we needn’t feel insecure. We should see their error as an entry to conversation, a time to demonstrate the peace and joy that make the Christian life different.

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