The DaVinci Hustle
USA Today’s Cathy Lynn Grossman tracked me down for some comments on the DaVinci Hustle. She asked me if I thought Satan was behind the bookapalooza and its film:
“The movie will come and go. It’s the book, with its bizzaro Christianity, that’s more troubling,” says radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt, author of several books on conservative religion and politics.
“In an era of almost pre-literacy when it comes to theology, a lot of lousy ideas and bad history smuggle themselves in and then get repeated endlessly.
“It’s not the devil at work,” Hewitt says. “It’s capitalism’s way of enriching fraud.”
For folks interested in a comprehensive but accessible walk through the various absurdities of the DaVinci Code, see Mark Robert’s long series of posts –the DaVinci Opportunity.
The Roberts’ series is funny, illustrated, full of excellent scholarship and, crucially, free! (And Roberts’ background is perfectly suited to respond to the hustle.) If I were a youth pastor/college pastor thinking about a summer series, I’d spend this week and next on some introductory material from Roberts’ series, then a couple of weeks after the film opened, I’d take the students to see the movie as a group and then use the Roberts’ series as the spine of the summer sessions. Might be a good way to get some non-believers into the group as well.
You will also want to read Dr. Albert Mohler’s July, 2003 review of the novel. Both Mohler and Roberts recognized early on that the novel was trying to be more than a thriller and began answering its ridiculous claims almost three years ago.
I think that as the MSM goes in search of people to comment on next week’s movie opening, its representatives ought to pay particular attention to those Christian writers/thinkers who spotted the book’s future arc to cultural phenomenon status early on. Lots of folks want to comment on the book/movie these days, and some are actually part of the DaVinci Hustle. Mohler and Roberts are not. Honest critiques of the claims associated with the book/film will rely on the scholars who saw the wave coming.