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5/05/2006

BAD TIMING, BUDDY

My good friend Randy just had to go and post this while we've been talking about this and this here at SHLOG.COM.

Don't boycott his blog if you disagree with him though (thhat means you Cachinnator); just go to another blog instead. Or you could do something very strange and revolutionary: Go to his blog every day and contribute to the conversation there.

15 Comments:

Blogger Amy said...

I joined in the conversation over there.

5/05/2006  
Blogger The Cachinnator said...

Oh boy, did you screw up this time! Now that the 'cotts are out of the bag, there's no stopping it! Not only will I boycott, my wife will girlcott! If Randy othercotts with a Hedgecott, then I may just alsocott by seeing Da Vinci aaaaaaand Over the Hedge! That'll show 'em! I'll Hollycott those nutty showbizzers! I just hope there's no backlash in the form of a Cachcott by declaring a Scottcott... This is getting sticky.

Actually, Randy's suggestion is the most interesting one I've seen yet about the 'dilemma' over what to do with the Da Vinci Code. I can't recommend Christians go see it, but I certainly wouldn't ever tell anyone not to see it either. I plan to see it for sure.

And I'll definitely be happy to play nice over at Randy's blog. (I may even clean up my filthy mouth.) I still have a little problem here though... it's the whole 'sending a message to Hollywood' thing that doesn't sit quite right with me. Why in the world do we expect non-Christians to act like Christians? Why are we surprised when they crank out crap? And why would we ever want to see more 'Chrisitian' offerings from Hollywood? They're capitalist pigs to the core, (relaaaax, I'm not bashing capitalism... here...), who would only exploit a mandate for 'religious' films and make shlocky, sentimental, manipulative putrescence that would, no doubt, be right on par with most of the rest of the junk we get. I don't want Hollywood to get a taste for the 'Christian' market!

This actually plays directly into something you were saying earlier about Christian movies. No, they're not effective witnessing devices because a witness is a person, not a thing. There is no good witnessing device, only a life surrendered to Christ.

5/05/2006  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Just to clarify, Randy's not the one who came up with this idea. See the links to Barbara Nicolosi at the bottom of Randy's post. She first proposed this on March 16th.

5/05/2006  
Blogger The Cachinnator said...

My bad. Still, an interesting idea. I don't have much in common with Barbara; I just don't see eye-to-eye with her mission or approach. It sounds good on the surface, but it amounts to an elaborate Trojan Horse approach to Hollywood and filmmaking. But the 'othercott' idea is at least a much more palatable alternative than what happened at "Last Temptation."

5/05/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Fully aware. And not against the idea. Just bad timing considering all the talk here about leaders not needing to tell us what to think or do about "culture."

5/06/2006  
Blogger bdg.theTRu said...

i'm starting to wonder if all this attention and villainizing of the Da Vinci Code hasn't actually given it more credibility than it would have if we had just ignored it or here's a thought, treated it as a book...

peace... love... bdg...

5/07/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I've wondered the same thing. Here's one reason why...

I've read a bit lately about how to drive traffic to a blog. Some marketers out there get paid big money to consult companies on how to do just that. Two of the more consistent ways to increase one's traffic are to make a friend or pick a fight.

Making a friend with a blog would look like this: Pick a niche (Christian Music, Texas cuisine, kittens, iPods) and write about that, linking to and doting on everyone else who writes about that niche. You make friends based on a common love and traffic arrives.

Picking a fight is a little trickier but the consultants say it drives MORE traffic than friendship. What you do is find someone in your niche whom you disagree with and call them on it...publicly. Make a big fuss. Quote their blog or book or film or whatever and dog it for all to read. Their buddies show up to tell you off. You're buddies show up to tell their buddies off. And, BAM!, traffic.

This is exactly what any negative press does. My wife read Da Vinci Code only because our pastor announced he was going to preach on some of the questions that have been raised about Christianity in it. She woulnd't have cared otherwise. In her words, she wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

She read it in three days so she'd be informed for the first of his sermons. Her take? "Again, what is all the fuss about? It's fiction."

But here we are talking about it. And driving more people to the store to read it - and probably more people to the theatre to watch it. Picking a fight MIGHT just be drawing a crowd for this film.

MIGHT.

We'll see soon.

SG

5/07/2006  
Blogger Amy said...

maybe so. but i think it became enormously popular on it's own first, and that's why Christians bothered to pay attention. I also read it to see what the fuss was about. I didn't know anything about it and figured it probably wasn't a big deal bc everyone makes a big fuss over harry potter and I quite love those books and don't really get it. (the fuss) I found the Da Vinci Code to be more problematic.
By the way, Dan Brown believes his story is fiction but not necessarily his ideas. If the author doesn't really believe the ideas are fiction, and many of the readers think it's true, than the whole..."it's just ficition" argument sort of doesn't do anything for me. I mean, I certainly believe it's fiction, but to dismiss it like that to people who believe it's true is sort of like talking to a Muslim and saying the Koran is just fiction.

5/07/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Good points Amy. The fiction argument, you're right, won't work well...but I wonder if that's mostly because we so mingle fact and fiction these days that it's hard to tell one from the other. We're not critical thinkers are we?

Dan Brown is deft at using fact and fiction in tandem so that the reader isn't sure where one ends and the other begins.

Good point.

And that especially a big problem for the Church in America since we don't know our church history as well as seminarians might. Id' suggest reading Mark Noll's book Turning Points. I don't like reading history - though I do it anyway - but this book, recommended to me by Brian, is easy to read and tells the high points of our history in story form. Not dumbed down but digestible. I learned a lot from it.

And it sets many of Brown's fact/fiction straight.

SG

5/07/2006  
Blogger GrovesFan said...

Thanks for the point to the book Shaun (and Brian). I'm looking to do more reading on church history. It isn't something that is taught to congregations today and hasn't for many, many years. Because of that, we don't know where we came from. Makes knowing where we're going rather difficult at times to say the least. We did a survey in church today about what kinds of classes we'd like to see taught this fall. I suggested church history. I hope I get my desire.

Beth

5/07/2006  
Blogger bdg.theTRu said...

i'm so picking a blog fight with you now that i know that :P...

i read The Da Vinci Code when it was still fairly new to the shelves and then found out later that it was a big deal to the church...

i was kind of put off by the dirty looks i received when people found out that i had read it, but even having read it, i didn't see the big deal...

yes it's blasphemous in spots, yes it's presented as if it were written from an authority on the subject matter, yes some lines are fuzzy and blurry, but the bottom line to me was that it was still quite obviously a work of fiction...

captivating at times, fast paced, interesting, even realistic in some spots, but still clearly a work of fiction...

the difference, Amy, between dismissing this as fiction versus dismissing the Koran as fiction is that the Koran claims to be God-inspired, claims to be an addendum to the Bible... far more of a "threat" to Christianity than Dan Brown's book...

however, i will concede that the DV Code has certainly adversely affected some Christians and spiritual leaders in that they have bought into the lies and either left their faith or have at the very least been distracted from their duties...

the positive aspects of all of this (which most people ignore)? As Shaun has shown in his previous entries and as sections of the Bible show, doubting your faith or suffering from a crisis of faith can lead to strengthened faith in the end as well as an added fervor to help others strengthen their faith... this book has surely exposed a weakness within the church (all the way up to leadership) in that we can be swayed or at the very least provoked (read "distracted") pretty easily...

so, to be fair, in some cases a response is necessary, but then again, it comes back to an issue of intent for me... are we retaliating because we know it's a hot issue and we're going to attract a crowd or look smart or gain the attention of people or prove that we're "hip" to the latest trend? or are we earnestly trying to help people find the truth, find God, find life?

just some thoughts that run around recklessly in my head... (now about that blog fight...)

peace... love... bdg...

5/07/2006  
Blogger Forky said...

I don't know why everybody's just now getting stirred up about this. Storylines about the Knights Templar and "San Grial" have been the bread-and-butter of PC adventure games for years and years!

5/08/2006  
Blogger Amy said...

Hi bdg

My point in comparing it with the Koran was that people believe both are true. One believes it's scripture, the other discounts Scripture. bottom line...people believe both are true. you can't simply talk to them and say, oh it's fiction, because I know and believe it's fiction. Not that the Da Vinci code as a book isn't viewed as fiction...it's the IDEAS that I'm talking about.
You're right..it's exposed a huge weakness in the church and hopefully we'll be better for it.

I don't know. I don't want to sound like a paranoid freak, but when I took a World Religions class in college (Christian college) we read a lot of original source material. Our professor wanted us to do it, but urged us to cover it in prayer. I think the same can be said about reading something like the Da Vinci code. We are in Christ and don't have to be afraid, but we should also be wise. Things like this are the devil's playground. I do believe we still need to be on guard against Satan, I do believe he's real. It doesn't mean we have to run terrified....just be smart about stuff.

5/08/2006  
Blogger Chaotic Hammer said...

Yes, for many years (really, as many years as the story of Christ has been told), there have been attacks against the Gospel and attacks against the Church. There have been plenty of conspiracy theories and rumors of dark secret societies forwarding a sinister agenda.

But right now, this stuff is front and center in the "national consciousness". It is making headlines, and it is creating a buzz. Even though the public attention span is short and spastic, for the present moment, this is where it seems to be focused.

Our home group is using it as a springboard to study some fundamental questions about our faith. We don't really care if the current trend comes and goes quickly -- the stuff we are studying will still be useful when the furor settles down. We want to be able to give an answer for the basics of our belief in Jesus. Why do we have the Bible that we do? (you know, beyond just "because that was what was on the shelf at LifeWay"). How can we be certain that Jesus really is the Son of God? What's wrong with other religions and philosophies? Is it possible Jesus was just a good man, who was elevated to godhood by zealots with an agenda? Etc, etc. The answers to these questions need not be reactionary, aimed at a specific book or movie.

To be honest, it has shown among our little group of believers that most of us are not nearly as well-versed in the basics of our faith as we should be. Jesus, church history, and the Bible hold up to the closest scrutiny very well -- so there's nothing to fear if believers choose to use this time to dig in to the essentials again. As for all the pop culture stuff, and the boycotts, and all the hub-bub, that will soon pass and most people will be horribly tired of hearing about the Da Vinci Code very quickly (assuming they're not tired of it already).

5/08/2006  
Anonymous shaun groves said...

chaotic hammer, I like what you're making of this movie - an opportunity to learn and wrestle with faith. Makes it less familiar and more certain I find. What kinds of resources are you - or anyone else reading this - using to answer the questions you posed?

SG

5/08/2006  

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