As if The DaVinci Code and the industry it has spawned weren’t enough, now there is this Lost Tomb of Jesus documentary. I’m the first to say I’m not religious but I must admit, I don’t understand why people are taking such an interest in attacking Christianity at the moment. Is it because people think Bush is dangerous, so anything that undermines him and his faith is good?
Because they must know that people believe because they want to believe; something like this documentary or The DaVinci Code will never change anyone’s mind, because faith resides at a different level – it’s something you feel and doesn’t need to be justified. Personally I have no problem with what anyone believes, as long as it’s not forced on me; this new brand of atheism, with its dedication to science and disdain of religion, seems more righteous and dogmatic than any religion to me.
It’s a pity the controversy has overshadowed Lost Tomb because it sounds interesting from an intellectual point of view. I don’t necessarily agree with the premise – there’s a lot of conjecture and it seems to treat supposition as fact – but it sounds like it offers an interesting glimpse at our past. Whether it was Christ’s tomb or not, it was someone’s tomb, after all.
That’s why I find some of the criticism troubling. The documentary hasn’t even aired yet; can’t we give the filmmakers a chance to state their case before ripping them apart? And if we do criticise it, can’t we criticise it on academic merit rather than theology? Because that’s the only criticism that will hold up on close inspection. If it is just a publicity exercise, engaging on an emotional level will only fuel the controversy.
What I think people are missing is that this isn’t truly a faith issue. Whether the analysis has been selective or not, the documentary takes more of an historical viewpoint – Christ the historical figure, not the biblical. Its claims then are more to be disputed by historians than religious leaders. The kneejerk reaction that the documentary is purely meant to attack Christianity doesn’t discredit it, it just adds to the controversy.
My point is that any clear-thinking person should see it for themselves and make up their own minds; if someone’s faith can’t withstand a different view, it’s not the documentary that’s the problem. Right now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, either for or against, and we’re not getting a meaningful discussion. I thought we were more mature than that and could look at these issues objectively. I guess I was wrong.