Headlines from First Thoughts

Monday, May 22, 2006


I don’t have time for many movies. Kelly and I used to have a date night to the movies, but now we spend our date nights talking and catching up. If we have time, we just rent. So when WVLT called and pitched the idea of watching the DaVinci Code with a few other ministers in town, I jumped at the chance. We were to watch the movie this past Friday and dialogue together at the studio afterward. They wanted to record our religious banter.

When the ministers arrived, the Baptists outnumbered the Catholics 3-2. I’m not sure why the Methodists and everyone else were left out, but I’ll take those odds. We watched the flick together as if we were the youth group. Popcorn, cokes, clerical collars, coats, ties, shorts, and all. You could tell in the crowd who actually works on Fridays and who shows up for free films. One of the priests told me he had not seen a movie since the Passion of the Christ. When we walked in together, we received plenty of stares from patrons. It was like the God Squad had descended on West Hills Mall. I’m sure most people were looking for our picket signs, but instead we were just trying to find the restrooms. After 2 and a half hours, we returned to the studio.

After watching the film with Catholics, I could tell why there was such uproar over the film and the book. If someone misrepresented Baptist history that poorly, I think I would have walked out. The discussion at the studio centered on each of our various perspectives: what we expected, whether we would recommend the movie, what was right/wrong about the show.

The reporter asked us if there was any benefit from watching the movie. We looked at each other around the table and saw it before our eyes. Everyone agreed that none of us would be together on a Friday afternoon were it not for the movie, but all of us knew that we needed to find another excuse to meet. We had much more in common than any of us realized, and we did not need a movie to discover it. So thanks Dan Brown, Ron Howard, and WVLT for getting us together. Next time, though, we’ll just serve popcorn at my church.

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