Sunday, May 14, 2006

Storytellers

Tom asked:
What is it about The Da Vinci Code story that grabs people, causes people to rediscover reading, enjoy the story, reading late into the night, engrossed by the tale? How can we move away from merely evaluating The Da Vinci Code story, merely in terms of - Is it true or false?

Why do we love stories like these? Why have so many of us stayed up late to read that book.... I put off reading it for ages and then read it inside 24 hours, I couldn't put it down. Similarly why did I really enjoy the mindless drivel of M:I:III last week?

Surely part of it is that we have imagination. Our minds buzz with creative thoughts. We love to look beyond where we are, for better worlds and brighter views. Its the same spirit that leads us to write and create, to explore and investigate. We're deeply curious beings who know that we're made for more than the humdrum of life.
...for a better world and a brighter view, some would leave all else, trying to find heav'n on earth... (scared of aeroplanes)

And life is such humdrum. The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible paints a depressing view of daily life. Life in which the pursuit of pleasure, stuff and wisdom that proves ultimately futile and empty. A painting that describes our real experience of life. Life that makes us cry "there must be more than this"... or we settle for dullness and plod on subhumanly.

The humdrum of this life is not all there is. The experience of life has its futility, to deny that is to decieve ourselves. We long to escape from the futility of it all.

Whether its stories of hidden secrets or strange new worlds. Stories of conspiracy and adventure. Momentary escape from this life.... Some of our imagination leads us away from reality into fantasy... other imagination leads us closer to what life is supposed to be.

The question is what is it supposed to be? How can we tell the difference between fiction and fact in our search for the real story? What happens if the real story doesn't fit our expectations?

What if we could hear the story of God? What if we could hear from the mind of God? What if God chose to reveal his story to us? Couldn't he do it? Wouldn't it be what we were made for? What if that story surpassed all the stories in the world?

What if we gained a new start? What if we were invited into a whole new world, the world we were made for... a world stretching into the mind of God and into eternity? That would be a story worth knowing.

4 comments:

  1. "Question is how to you move people through the smoke-screen and illusion and nonsense of Dan Brown's story... and into the better story."

    I'm wondering if it's the stark seperation that you 'enchasm' (new word!) between the two, that is the problem.

    Yes, I know they are different stories, but that isn't the first thing that I would say.

    I'm slighly satisfied that people love the story so much because they are wondering about 'life beyond' than merely responding to the hype. I certainly can see this is some of what fascinated me about the book. But I think that there is a lot more.

    What about the love story?

    What about the conspiracy story?

    What about the use of intellectual puzzle?

    What about the style of writing?

    What about the length of chapters and the structure of the cliffhangers?

    What about Sophie? Who is she? What about her past? Will she recover? Will I recover?

    What about Jesus?

    What about intellectual architechture that fits onto my feelings based rebellion?

    What about sex and the church? Is it represssed?

    What about Langdon? Will his brilliance get him to bliss?


    One thing that I noticed, is that The story wasn't boring, ever, really. There was always the sense of pursuit or being hunted.

    There was also a simultaneity about the threads. It's not uncommon to read a book that weaves stories together at the same time, but Dan Brown seem to do it at a frantic pace. I noticed that, and it held my attention.

    I think it was also interesting. The descriptions of the art was interesting. It was interesting because I don't know much about art. And art is interesting.

    Those are just off the cuff, might think about some more later. I haven't heard any Christians talking about the film in this kind of way before. I want to.

    Tom

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  2. Agreed. Get talking.... that a whole series of bethinking articles for you to get published methinks.

    It is a compelling story - as a mystery, not so much as a puzzle (cos you can't really work it out). Its similiar to the Clive Cussler stuff I read in my teens, and load of other similar books. I suppose the short chapters keeps it compelling...

    Maybe it catches us because it has so many elements mixed together - hardly any of which is unique.

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  3. Check this out...

    'Da Vinci Code Confirms Rather Than Changes People’s Religious Views'

    http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrowPreview&BarnaUpdateID=238

    What I found interesting was the perception that a 5% shift in opinion about Jesus was not significant. I know from evangelism that if 5% of people changed their view then we would really have a revolution.

    Tom

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  4. Hey folks,

    Could I recommend 'Is it worth believing?', written by Greg Clarke, a book on the Da Vinci Code put out by the Good Book Company.

    It's the best thing I've read, and includes a chapter on why the Da Vinci Code strikes so many chords in contemporary society - e.g. it counters perceived hypocrisy and discrimination by the Church, it focuses on spirituality not doctrine, it makes religion exciting etc. I found it a really helpful social critique.

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