Monday, May 29, 2006

opey's dei

Pam and I saw The DaVinci Code this evening. I had low expectations, based on reviews I had seen, and the movie surpassed those low expectations. I have to admit that I can't get much beyond seeing Ron Howard (Opey from Andy Griffith) and Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump) as key figures in the modern historical quest for Jesus. Setting all of that aside, some other thoughts: Pam and I agreed that the book was a bit more of a page-turner than the movie; I thought the Albino was the most fascinating character; and I'm glad I don't work in public relations for the Opus Dei organization. I did give a response to the novel over a year ago in a college setting, and I am going to go back and find my notes. I also plan to spend some time on the movie in light of this Sunday's Pentecost Gospel text that the "spirit will guide us into all truth" (John 16). For now, I invite those interested to check out the following links: Rodney Clapp, N.T. Wright, Ben Witherington, and Peter Boyer. Clapp places the movie in a cultural context, and draws analogies with the Left Behind series; Wright sees the movie as a neo-gnostic expression of a postmodernist fantasy; Witherington views the movie as a teaching opportunity in light of our biblical illiteracy, and Boyer reports on the probability that evangelicals have been coopted in the marketing of a film that needed some kind of boost or buzz in the culture.

I give the movie a B minus, but back when I was grading exams I had a reputation for being lenient. The B minus is based on my general goodwill toward Opey and Forrest. Do I think the foundations of western civilization are going to crumble? No. Do think the feminine has been suppressed in western Christianity? No doubt. Do I recommend that you spend your eight and a half bucks on The DaVinci Code, when you could eat a plate of chopped barbecue at Spoons, or buy the latest copies of the Sunday New York Times and No Depression, or go to see your favorite local minor league baseball team instead? Hey, if you were traveling below the North Carolina state line you could buy 12 Krystal Hamburgers for that same eight and a half bucks. Now that would be a quest...


Blogger MD said...

Interesting you think the feminine has been suppressed by western Christianity... People get all up in arms because they think Catholics 'worship' Mary (which, of course, they do not)... I guess it's a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation. And just now the pope visited Poland, greeted by thousands of people, and even spoke of Mary, marriage and love, and the unity of Christians... here's to more love for God and less love for ourselves. Cheers

8:46 PM  

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