As the world’s Most Important Doctrinal Warrior, it made perfect sense for Dan Brown and his publishers to send me an advance copy of his latest assault on the Amazonian rainforests (just be glad nobody’s figured out a way of printing books on polystyrene). After all, I’ve long been famous for my compassionate and understanding ministry to those stupid enough to believe the New Age movement’s nonsense: if it’s ok for Random House to squeeze millions out of the spiritually gullible there’s no reason Christian Leaders like myself, Steve Wood, and Nicky Gumbel can’t also milk them for a share.
Now I know The Da Vinci Code had less Biblical Christians than myself up in arms, and I won’t deny that in suggesting Christ’s penis wasn’t purely decorative it was indeed a work of filthy blasphemy. Yet let’s face it, the real bad guys of the story were foreigners and Roman Catholics - so it can’t be said Brown wasn’t accurate when it came to the essence of the Gospel. Nor was his understanding of church history worse than that of any ACNA “bishop”: by attempting to substantiate his story through making up facts Dan Brown stands firmly in the Conservative tradition personified by little Peter Jensen and his claim of lay presidency being authentically Anglican, or Bobby Duncan's earlier insistence that Pittsburgh is part of Argentina. So what’s really so outlandish about alleging Mary Magdalene signed Jesus’ name on her child-support papers? Bishop Quinine’s been signing David Virtue’s name on loan applications for years, and while that may have contributed to the mess that Lehman Brothers found themselves in it also proves it takes more just a little petty fraud to destroy Christianity.
Naturally I haven’t actually bothered to finish reading The Lost Symbol, although in my case it isn’t simply because the plane landed or that I was mugged in the Greyhound terminal. Nor did I trade it with the lifer in a cell across the walkway for cigarettes and a mug of prison hooch, or any of the other every-day circumstances in the average Dan Brown reader’s life. Rather I just lost interest in whatever it was Brown’s characters were looking for: the symbol may be a puzzle to them, but it sure isn’t a mystery to anyone responsible for this latest literary hype. In fact it’s a religious symbol Brown and his entourage have been familiar with for years – a capital ‘S’ with a vertical line running through it – and it’s one that only a fool thinks can ever pose a threat to the Cross.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.