Front page news in today’s Olean Times Herald is an article about how a particular church in the Olean, New York area will be having classes for interested persons to explain what is true and what is false in the wildy popular movie and book, “The Da Vinci Code”. The article brought a smile to my face and a bit of cynicism. What’s the fuss about the movie and book? In one of my recent posts, I included an interview with Brian McClaren that appeared on SojoMail. I liked what McClaren wrote because he seemed to think that the reason there was so much attraction to The Da Vinci Code was because status quo Christianity is so stale and so unlike the Gospel of Jesus.
The Da Vinci Code challenges conventional interpretations of scripture. My son saw the movie this week and he enjoyed it. He said he found some of the ideas plausible. I want to see the movie. Maybe I’ll read the book. What I’d really like to know is how come all these apologists for status quo Christianity are so upset about this book. How come these folks don’t challenge books like Left Behind Series which treats the rapture as if it were the truth? John Wilson Darby was one of the first evangelists to speak at length of the rapture. The concept of the rapture was not talked about much until the post-reformational Christian church. I’ve seen and heard some well meaning Christians scare folks with their rapture stories.
My post last week highlighting the theology of John Duns Scotus runs counter to those who attempt to frighten us with their Christian fundamentalist eschatolgies. People that attempt to use God to frighten and control other people are spiritually sick in my estimation. It seems to me that many are more concerned with dogma and doctrine than they are with the message of Jesus. You may disagree with what I’m writing here. It is your freedom to believe what you will. St. Paul sums up the essence of Christianity in the 13th Chapter of Corinthians.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially,but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Peace.