Daniel Henninger finally got to the bottom of Dan Brown’s motives behind the  Da Vinci Code and it’s even more clever and insidious that the most ardent  apologist imagined! (A clue to his premise: Brown=P.T. Barnum in print.) I look forward to Henninger’s upcoming book. :)

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. Glorious. I laughed outloud.


  2. My thoughts exactly. It gets even funnier if you start thinking about the nature of gnosticism.

    Gnostics think worship sex, unlike the dreadfully anti-materialist Church.

    The Gnostics believed that Jesus was fully human, unlike the Church, who denied that Jesus REALLY had a body.

    And Gnostics secrets are revealed in a popular novel, in such a way as to be easily accessible to all. Because, unlike the Church, the Gnostics want everybody to have access to truth.

    I bust out laughing everytime I hear somebody say that the DVC was poorly researched.

    I’m sorry, but you don’t get THAT wrong from bad research. It’s just WAY too clever a joke. Dan Brown doesn’t miss the truth, he turns it inside-out… and with great precision, too. Something like the DVC phenomenon can only be the result of a lot of good research and a really sick sense of humour.


  3. I think you underestimate the drive of an ambitious genre writer with an irresistable hook.

    Jesus Christ marries a prostitute? The bloodline exists today? The Church is the cover-up!? The world’s best known artist is sending us coded messages to reveal the truth? … It’s about the highest the “everything you know is wrong” genre can reach.

    Research be damned. Dan Brown needed nothing more than a cursory flip through a couple high school textbooks and a bit of caution to the wind trailing of whatever thoughts excited him.


  4. Oh, I don’t know how MUCH research was involved… but I’m pretty sure it had to have been plenty enough to appreciate the delicious irony of a low-middlebrow mass-media phenomenon centered around a physicalist gnosticism.

    In the absense of research and intention, getting history THAT wrong seems very nearly as odd a coincidence as getting things spot on would be. It could be coincidence… but I doubt it.

    In any case, I think it’s hysterical.

    It’s all very serious and important, so I’d feel guilty for laughing about it… except that the whole thing dissolves with a little bit of laughter.

    The whole thing is playing on everyone’s desire to be “in the know.” But of course, the joke’s on them.

    And it really is a pretty funny joke… if you’re “in the know.”


  5. Andrew McKnight Selby May 31, 2006 at 8:21 am

    I have to point this self-referential incoherence in Brown’s writing that is starting to make me think Elena is right: the Teabing character is bad because he wants to share the Catholic church’s secrets with the whole world. Sophie and Langdon are the heroes for thwarting this vicious scheme. Yet Brown, above and behind the tumult of his tumbling plot, happily voices the “secrets” at the top of his lungs to millions world wide. Does that strike anyone else as fishy or silly or funny?

    Credit where credit is due: I’m shamelessly regurgitating the insights of Ravenwood.


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