Josh Brage

DaVinci Code Debate
April 6, 2006, 5:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last night I attended a debate hosted by Douglas County Public Libraries This debate ended up being very interesting and thought-provoking to me. (Which was my hope.) I do not intend this as an accurate synopsis on this event, but rather as a note of my reaction to this event.

I was astounded by the antagonist (against the book) in this debate. His name was Dr. Craig Blomberg. He spoke all evening with thought, precision, a dry sense of humor and a thorough passion for the person of Christ. I was highly motivated by this man who’s pursuit of Jesus has led him on a journey of the mind. While on this journey he has managed to maintain an energy that is, to me, uncommon amoung the ‘learned.’ Onto the debate.

The most interesting thing about this entire event was the manner is which both speakers handled themselves and handled one another. Throughout the evening, there was very little (nonexistent) personal comments that had anything but a fun, light motive. This was an honest, open, respectful debate.

They talked through many different aspects of this book and the issues that it raises. Both agreed on many of the issues. They both agreed that this book calls into question some large issues that face the Church today, ie women’s rights, secrecy, the rule of power, etc. They both agreed that it might be very well productive for the Church to be forced to examine and explain its position on a lot of these issues.

On women’s issues, one of the more poignant moment was when a question from the audience asked very directly of Dr. Blomberg, what Jesus’ and the New Testament taught about women. Dr. Blomberg gave a very thorough and rousing explanation of the fact that Jesus set a new standard for how women were to be treated. Both through Jesus’ discussion with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4.) And his defense and affirmation of Mary Magadelene while Martha was fussing about the house (Luke 10.)

Overall the main thought that both sides eventually argued for was that this book, while obviously fraught with incongruencies and not to be taken seriously as an academic work is a positive thing in many ways. It is encouraging people to think and learn about religion in a way that has been lost in a lot of ways in our culture. This book is asking some very serious questions of a Church (Catholic, but we must be careful not to allow that to become distant as protestants, lest the same system take hold of our institutions and we are found blind) that has in a lot of ways maintained its power structure by not answering questions. It is forcing Christians to actively engage society in conversation, thought and debate. All of these are extremely valueable affects.

This debate was cordial, respectful and educated. To me it was an example of how Christians and atheists should be able to come together and reason and think actively, with passion and knowledge. All in all it further encouraged me on my pursuit of ministry, while not allowing myself to become another ‘punk pastor.’


PS> I will DEFINITELY be going to see this movie. May 19th!


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