Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Davinci Code

One of my favorite movies of all time is Apollo 13. It combines some truth with some drama, was produced well (Ron Howard) and had great talent (Tom Hanks) on the screen. For years and years while the kids were little it seemed that Jackie and I would choose to see a Tom Hanks film on our annual date.

1993 - Sleepless in Seattle
1994 - Forrest Gump
1995 - Apollo 13

1998 - You've got mail / Saving Private Ryan
2000 - Cast Away
2002 - Catch Me If You Can

Well, it's been a few years since Tom has done a movie with Ron Howard and this year ( next month, in fact ) , they will be together for the The Davinci Code and I'm excited about the works of art, the mystery and suspence, the quality of the film and the way that it will undoubtedly make my mind race. A friend at work recommended that I read this book a long time ago but I was going through several books by Lee Strobel at the time and chose not to take his recommendation.

Now that I see the general theme, I am extremely intrigued. When you look at the investment that Mel Gibson made to produce his life work in "The Passion" and know that many people were shocked and drawn to the life of Christ and His church, you can't help but wonder how many people will benefit from this intersection of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks.

I'm also beginning to believe that the church in America is starting to behave as Christ would in regard to this movie. Jesus Christ spent his time with sinners, poor and sick. He also rebuked the religious people of the day and abhorred the profit of men in association with His Bride and His Father's Name. In the last 30 years, there have been many Christian American organizations that would attack a film like "The Davinci Code" because of the fact that it mixes fiction with truth, but I haven't seen them attack yet.

I've been watching to see if some of those organizations would use this film as an opportunity to garner political or financial support and I haven't seen it yet. I have a friend that has been involved with an organization that is doing what I believe is the most intelligent thing to do, "Spreading truth to those with questions because of this move and therefore seeking truth"

Check it out:

Is Ron Howard a Christian? I don't know, I hope so.
Is Tom Hanks a Christian? I don't know, I hope so.

No matter what their motivation is, I expect this film to be exceptional. I nominate both of them for a "Roaring Lambs" award for converting this great book into a great movie that wets the world's appetite for Jesus.

More about "Roaring Lambs":
The Book ( by Bob Briner )
The CD ( Various Artists, who support Keith Green, Bob Briner )


Magnanimity said...

I agree with the respect for the director and actor. Been a tough thing to distinguish opportunity from heresy on this one. Both are there.

We're doing a series on Sunday nights right now based on a Lee Strobel critique of the work. Tonight will be my first night to see it, second week of the study.

Kevin Eby said...

Seeing as how I have not read the book and have only seen the trailers for the movie, I'm going to assume that the movie is not heresy, but thought provoking.

That's pretty amazing that Lee Strobel's "Case for Christ" and "Case for Faith" were the books that prevented me from reading the book when it was popular and now he is breaking down the movie. Lee is a great writer.

I'm guessing Lee will just be documenting all the fiction.

From the trailer, it appears that there will be a lot of unbelievable things that will cause people to ask questions. I love to answer questions.

Travis said...

I wouldn't think that it would be a wise financial decision to support a movie that claims Jesus was not God, He had relations/children with Mary, and that the Glory of God is a woman and the Father has sex with that woman in the Holy of Holies. I'd say save your money and rent the Terminal

Kevin Eby said...

I didn't know any of those claims, but I can see why it is clearly fiction and agree that it is hard to "vote" for a movie like this with the hefty price of a ticket.

But.. I believe the evangelism opportunity from that ticket is much higher than what I received for the Terminal.

Still, you may have talked me out of this because I don't think I could keep my mind racing on the whole story if they get me hung up on a few things that would tear me up.

Is that a real part of the agenda of the movie and if so, why would someone not describe that in the trailer that advertises the movie?

Hmmm... sounds like a beautiful snake or wolf in sheep's clothing.

Kevin Eby said...

I've done some more thinking about the decision to go to this movie and I'm leaning back to going. I'm guessing there are probably 25 million American Christians that are candidates to go to this movie that I can use for Travis' business case.

1) I can attempt to convince 25 million people that they need to boycott the movie so that we don't encourage more movies like it. This will cost Ron and Tom about 100 million dollars if I am successful.

2) I can attempt to convince 25 million Christians that they should spend $10 at their church instead of $10 at the movies. This would cost Ron and Tom about $100M and raise an extra $250M for the church.

3) I can pray that the 25 million Christians that are going are changed in a way that deepens their relationship with Christ and impacts a world without Him. I can pray the same thing for the 50 million non-Christians that attend the movie.

Now the only question is this, "How could I better spend the $250M to spread the Gospel?".
I think it is funding of Missionaries, Pastors and Christian Ministries.

I'm pretty sure #1 or #2 are not attainable, because of the freedom that Christ gives us and my lack of influence. I'm going to take option #3.

If I end up going to the movie, I know I will have no fear of wolves or snakes because of He who is in me.

Magnanimity said...

Your getting this blog thing down.

1. I thought there was evangelical opportunity initially...I saw SO many people reading it in every airport terminal I was in. They were mostly people literate and willing/wanting to talk about books and they seemed to be seekers. So, I think there is opportunity any time interest is peaked.

2. Lee Strobel doesn't break down the book according to it's many attributes...he dismantles the misinformation presented about Christ-- as Travis laid out. He is pretty irate about the misinformation laid out as fact in a "fictional account".

3. After seeing Strobel's series, I wanted to know with so much misinformation, what made the book so appealing to people. I rationalizied that buying a paperbook version for a book already a nationwide bestseller was not going to advance either the book or the film industry too much. It must be entertaining at the least, and I'd be prepared to answer any questions honestly to those who asked me. You will be out the ten bucks...I'll be out the ten hours. I'm not sure which is "worse".

I started reading it to my husband on drive time to my Mother's Day dinner yesterday. Interesting characters in the first two chapters. A lot of suspece and drama. Ironically, he starts the "fictionalized" book with a disclaimer on the copywrite page that says all characters are fictional...that any resemblence to real persons, events, or locations is purely coincidental. A standard statement for fiction, I presume.

The first page of the book is called "FACTS". My husband said that Strobel pointed out that some of the information on that "FACT" page was not even entirely accurate.

Very hard to distinguish fact from fiction, but I assume it would have to be in the least entertaining and dramatic story telling for the book to sell as well as it has.