I just finished reading Dan Brown’s new novel ‘The Lost Symbol’. Yes, I do feel like it’s several hours of my life I’ll never get back. No, I didn’t like it much. But I started reading it to see what he had to say about religion, spirituality and Christianity. I thought about packing it in, but pressed on in a combination of curiosity and pig-headedness.
Instead of posting my own review, it makes much more sense for me to point to an expert. So below is Greg Clarke’s excellent review (courtesy of CPX). He pretty much says everything I’d want to say – and he uses video to do it…
But since I spent all that time reading the book, I will make two comments.
1) There are sections of the book where Brown interacts with the Bible and Christian belief (especially near the end of the book). When I came across these sections, I was constantly disappointed. Not just because I disagreed with his take on things, but because his views were so obviously based on half-baked misunderstandings and a dramatically skewed perspective on Christianity. Very frustrating. If you’re going to critique Christianity (especially in published form), at least take the time to understand the thing you’re critiquing.
2) As I read the book, I was constantly struck by the emptiness of the spiritual search being undertaken. Brown presents a messy hodge-podge of spiritual ideas, which I guess have the appearance of enlightenment, but which left me absolutely cold. So the more I thought about this, the more I reached two conclusions:
– I need to make sure I’m not a snob about this. A lot of people are genuinely searching
for ‘the truth’. Instead of sneering at them because they’re not looking in the right place, I (and all Christians) need to thank God that he has shown us the ultimately satisfying truth of Jesus, and gently and lovingly point other people to him.
– Jesus is REALLY good.
Now, over to Greg…