Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What Makes Dan Brown So Popular

Ross Douthat writes an interesting op-ed piece for the New York Times that explains why fiction writer Dan Brown is so popular:
In the Brownian worldview, all religions — even Roman Catholicism — have the potential to be wonderful, so long as we can get over the idea that any one of them might be particularly true. It’s a message perfectly tailored for 21st-century America, where the most important religious trend is neither swelling unbelief nor rising fundamentalism, but the emergence of a generalized “religiousness” detached from the claims of any specific faith tradition...
Jesus ministered in a time when plenty of options for religious worship existed--like Roman Emperor worship and gods like Zeus and Artemis. Jesus even visited one of the more popular sites of pagan worship--Caesarea Philippi, place of Panias worship. But it was there that Jesus commended Peter for his insight that Jesus was Messiah and then Jesus promised the "gates of hell" (read--other spiritual forces and alternatives) would not overcome the kingdom his represents.

Jesus never represented himself as "one more god." He made exclusive claims about himself that has consequences for our own lives. John 14:6 is where Jesus says it distinctly and clearly: "No one comes to the Father, but through me."

Douthat goes on to say though that Brown's portrayal of Jesus is historically false and unsustainable. I'm glad Douthat mentions that important piece of information.

The article is a good read to understand today's culture.

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