The Da Vinci Code Adventure
On the Trail of Fact, Legend, Faith, & Film
Mike Gunn
With Greg and Jenn Wright

This page was created on May 3, 2006
This page was last updated on October 29, 2006

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THE BOOK

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Are you ready for one heckuva ride?

Those who have read The Da Vinci Code know that Dan Brown has led his readers on a wild, improbable, and thrilling adventure. He wants you to question what you've been told all these years. And sure—that's half the fun!

Here's the other half.

The Da Vinci Code Adventure doesn't merely talk about The Da Vinci Code and its themes. It directly tackles Dan Brown's text, taking both fans and casual readers well into the next leg of Brown's compelling and fascinating theological exploration—and this is what Brown is really after. He wants us to question the text of his own novel, too.

Let author and pastor Mike Gunn be your guide through both The Da Vinci Code itself and the dizzying maze of Scripture, contemporary scholarship, philosophy, historical documents, Church tradition, and faith-oriented films that tell the rest of this intriguing story.

Mike and his team of investigators, HollywoodJesus.com editors Greg and Jenn Wright, analyze Dan Brown's text a handful of chapters at a time, closely examining his portrayal of Opus Dei, the Priory of Sion, the Knights Templar, the Masons, Hieros Gamos, the sacred feminine, and the Council of Nicaea, among other topics. The structure of these investigations is inspired directly by the text of The Da Vinci Code, closely following the outline of Brown's narrative. Fact and legend are weighed side by side. Truth hangs in the balance.

Along the way, your guides present a broad perspective on how films have portrayed Jesus, the mysteries of the Christian faith, and the quest for the Holy Grail—everything from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to Mel Gibson's Passion, from The Last Temptation of Christ to The Omega Code, and much much more.

BOOK BUZZ

The Da Vinci Code Adventure is easily the most innovative, positive, constructive response to The Da Vinci Code on the market. If you enjoyed Dan Brown's novel, this book will be a delight!

Steve Kellmeyer, author of Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code  

Mike's book is one of the more unique and interesting voices discussing the DVC phenomenon—with so many Christian books and websites focused on debunking the book, he takes a notably different approach to the issues. Even (or especially) if you're weary of all the DVC-related talk these days, tune in to hear a different take on the subject.

Andy Rau, ThinkChristian.net  

The book's strength is easily its approach to the novel and controversy. Gunn and company have moved beyond saying "Here's where the novel is laughable," to "Here's where the novel can still surprise you." That's not to say the authors let Brown off the hook and never offer criticism. Consider Greg Wright's comment: "To be brutally honest, the trail of clues in The Da Vinci Code is really no more sophisticated than that of [Indiana Jones and] The Last Crusade—and it's not meant to be." While I'm unsure I agree with that statement, it does illustrate the fairness with which Gunn and the Wrights handle Brown and his novel.

Cliff Vaughn, Ethics Daily  

Lead author Mike Gunn will provoke you and sometimes ruffle your feathers if you don't share his point of view, but you can't deny that he scores points. Co-author Greg Wright adds wit and insight gained from drawing many connections throughout popular culture (you'll appreciate his analysis of Indiana Jones, the Masons, and the Knights Templar). And co-author Jenn Wright brings in the beautifully articulated perspective of a personal, nonjudgemental, deeply humanistic Christianity.

Brian Overland, review at Amazon.com  

On the whole the book offers a remarkably positive criticism The Da Vinci Code by inviting people to do what Dan Brown wants them to do: follow his adventure, and see where it leads; and see how it compares to other novels/films which delve into the mysteries of the Christian faith. That's a healthy approach, and opposite to that of insecure Christian leaders who prefer boycotts.

Loren Rosson, III, The Busybody  

Featured Resource in "The Da Vinci Dilemma," Part Five, Word News.

Recommended Resource, Colleen O'Connor, Denver Post.

Recommended Resource, The Da Vinci Dialogue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
mike.jpg - 5120 BytesMike Gunn, cofounder of Seattle's Mars Hill Church and pastor at Harambee Church in Renton, received his Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies from Talbot University and is preparing to defend his Master of Theology in Missiology at Regent College.

Coauthors Greg and Jenn Wright are were contributing editors at Hollywood Jesus through May of 2006, and now host Past the Popcorn. Greg is also Writer in Residence at Puget Sound Christian College.

EXCERPT

Both Dan Brown and his nominal alter ego Robert Langdon are deconstructionists. Deconstruction is a postmodern interpretive tool used to determine the meaning of the text, its goal being the revelation of implicit and hidden underlying assumptions that shaped the author and subsequently the text itself. The basic idea is that language is a collection of symbols formed by a writer's historic sociological context—one usually subjugated by the dominant power structures or "host" culture. The goal of the exegete is to see beyond the words to the supposedly real meaning behind the text.

Langdon himself says that such "connections may be invisible... but they are always there, buried just beneath the surface." The connections Langdon speaks of are life's coincidences and the "web of profoundly intertwined histories and events." According to Langdon, life and its complexities are a series of symbols and events that are connected to one another through archetypes and mythologies that tell a rational story about life here on earth.

A hermeneutic of suspicion guides Langdon, and he reaches for symbols and stories that help him critically deconstruct the dominant narratives of our culture. Langdon's approach is deconstructionist in that it presupposes suspicion, since the victor always writes the history; and it is Hegelian in that it always pits opposites or contradictions against one another in order to yield a third option. Langdon only believes in the sacred feminine to the extent that it opposes the dominant power in need of deconstruction. The opposition of the two can then lead to a Hegelian Other. I even doubt that Langdon is ultimately a believer in any mythology outside of his preconceived notion that mythology and religion is mankind's "quest to understand the Divine."

This is interesting because it appears that Dan Brown has purposefully placed many opposing clues and contradictory symbols throughout his book, to help guide us to a new synthesis of truth. For instance: why does a male writer who seems to be championing women author a book with a woman named Sophie (wisdom in the Greek) who is so obviously lacking in that area? Why is she so reliant on men like Langdon and Teabing to discover the truth? There's not even a hint of opposition from the apparently naive subordinate. She drinks it in like a two-year-old looking up to her daddy. Over the space of five pages, "Sophie nodded, her eyes riveted on [Langdon]. ... Sophie looked uncertain. ... Sophie glanced up with a surprised look of recognition. ... Sophie already looked troubled. ... Sophie looked confused. ... Sophie looked uneasy. ... Sophie looked skeptical." Sophie is not wise at all. She is the tabula rasa from The Sound of Music, an open book just waiting to be written upon. As Langdon himself observes, "Replication. Repeating a symbol is the simplest way to strengthen its meaning." Dan Brown wants to ensure that we know Sophie is a simp.

From Chapter Two, "Newly Emerging Power"

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Ask for The Da Vinci Code Adventure at your local bookstore. Now available through major book retailers, at a suggested retail price of $14.95. Check Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, Christian Family Stores and other mainstream outlets.

The Da Vinci Code Adventure: ISBN 0-975-9577-9-1
Publisher: Hollywood Jesus Books
Distributor: Ingram

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