About the Da Vinci Code:
This, should give all of us, especially those charged with the ministry of catechesis and pastoral leadership, pause.
What is going on?
It’s not the particular points of history that bother me so much as the clear absence of any understanding of why Christianity teaches what it does about Christ, and what importance it has.
To put it most simply, people don’t believe that religion has anything to do with objective truth any more. They have decided that because God is so big, there is nothing certain we can know about him, and that leaves us free to believe anything – if it makes us feel divine, it’s God, and it’s true.
And to tell the truth, catechesis over the past few decades has done precious little to disabuse anyone of this notion. Consider, if you’re my age or younger what you learned about why Christianity is worth believing.
You probably learned that Christianity is good because practicing it and following Jesus can ake you a better person and make a better world. You might have learned that in Catholicism, you have a beautiful heritage that says many wonderful things about the human condition and aspirations. You probably heard that Christianity is one of the paths through which people get to know God.
But did you once, ever, learn that Christianity deserves serious attention because it’s true?
Did anyone ever take you through the Gospels, explain their value as credible historical documents, even, in large chunks, to secular scholars, then point you to the witness of the apostles who left everything to spend their lives talking about Jesus, and then say, “If Jesus wasn’t real, if Jesus didn’t say and do what they said, why were they doing this?” And then did anyone invite you to consider this very real Jesus in the context of your own life – and respond to Him?
I didn’t think so.
It’s not only a novel. It’s a book that’s filling the vacuum left by Christian teachers, from bishops to parents, who have left the building. This is the fruit, people. In de-emphasizing the role of truth in the Christian story, we’ve left folks with absolutely no means to evaluate alternative theories that come down the pike and no solid knowledge with which to counter the lies.
And the greatest tragedy is that in all the talk about Jesus and his wife and her sacred femininity, all the speculation about the “real story” – the Real Story is lost.
Jesus, crucified, died and risen, the One whose very real death and resurrection frees you from the power of your own very real sin and death.
I didn’t think so.