I love Dan Brown novels. Dan Brown novels make me want to tear my hair out. I enjoy learning academic esoterica from Dan Brown’s novels. If Dan Brown gets any more blatant with the subtext in his novels, he may as well skip the story part and just keep trying to convince everyone to agree with him.
Such is my love/hate relationship with Dan Brown. The author of The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and a few others.
I’ve been reading Dan Brown’s novels since I was in high school. I own three of his books, actually. His earlier work had a fun way of interspersing interesting facts with the story, so I always felt like I walked away from the book having learned something (I also felt this way when I was on my Tom Clancy kick awhile back).
I finished his new book, The Lost Symbol, this weekend and I have to say…I’m disappointed. The story was a ton of fun, and I learned a lot about Washington D.C. and the Freemasons, but he should have stopped writing that book about 30 pages before he did.
The story wraps up, and then he goes on for another 30 pages with his personal religious views and how the established religious authorities have got it all wrong. He quotes the Bible numerous times, but only ridiculously out of context, and the whole thing ends up just being really obnoxious.
I know a lot of Christians rose up in outrage over the things Dan Brown wrote about in The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. To be honest, I was never one of them because I didn’t really know enough at the time to know whether or not I should be outraged. I just enjoyed the stories.
Either I know more now, or he’s getting increasingly ham-handed with his attempts to stir controversy, but the ending of The Lost Symbol just annoyed me. It’s fine if he doesn’t agree with Christianity, or want to be a Christian. I’m not about to brow-beat anyone for disagreeing with me.
But, he takes it too far when he quotes the Bible out of context so egregiously that I wonder if he even understands what he’s doing. For him to try to put Jesus on a par with Buddha or Mohammad is laughable because Jesus left no room for Himself to be anything other than the Son of God. He’s either the Messiah or He’s a lunatic, but there’s no way He was just some wise dude who left us a good example like so many other wise dudes.
Dan Brown is just so silly when he says the religious establishment has gotten the teachings of the Bible all wrong by asserting that their way is the only way to get to Heaven. When Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” He isn’t being coy. He’s laying it out on the table, and there’s really no way to misunderstand that.
So this may be the end of the line for me. If Dan Brown wants to write stories, I will read them. If he’s going to keep getting up on increasingly larger soap boxes in an attempt to convince me that we are all gods, well, no thank you very much. This mere human isn’t buying what he’s selling.