Some people get mad when their beliefs are challenged. Others get even.
The Rev. Bill Harrell, coming up on 26 years as pastor at Abilene Baptist Church, has been down the road plenty of times, seeing his faith attacked and demeaned by popular culture. In his guest column today, he calls on fellow Christians to not spend their money on the anti-Christian Da Vinci Code or the upcoming, sure-to-be-a-blockbuster movie from which it is made.
Use your own judgment in that regard, but I like Dr. Stephen Powell's approach.
The Evans orthodontist bought copies of Josh McDowell's The Da Vinci Code: A Quest for Answers, and made them available, for free, to his patients.
The book isn't a heavyweight; its reading level is probably about right for most of Powell's braces-wearing patients. And I found its style a little annoying: It uses a fictitious coffee-shop conversation between three college students to lay out the rebuttal to The Da Vinci Code.
But for anyone suffering from the mistaken view that Dan Brown's novel is anything but a work of fiction, McDowell's book should put the matter to rest.
If Dr. Powell's office has any left, I'm sure they wouldn't mind giving away a copy to anyone who would like to have succinct historical evidence to refute Brown's serial blasphemies. If not, the book also is available at www.josh.davinciquest.org.
Incidentally, for those who are familiar with neither the book nor the movie - and if you are one of these people, you really ought to get out more - the central premise is that the fabled Holy Grail isn't a wine cup, but instead is a code word for the heirs of Jesus born from the union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
Notwithstanding such obvious falsehood, I'm struck less by the amount of fiction in the novel - and there's a lot of it - than I am by the amount of scholarly effort by everyone else put into proving that it is fiction.
By the way: For anyone likewise getting worked up, pro or con, over what they see as a woman in Leonardo Da Vinci's painting The Last Supper, keep in mind that Da Vinci wasn't there when Jesus last dined with his 12 male disciples. Da Vinci's painting, an artistic interpretation, was painted more than 1,000 years later.
In other words, it ain't a photo, folks. And The Da Vinci Code isn't a documentary - it's a work of fiction. Feel free to be entertained, but don't expect to be educated.
Show goes on
I was sorry to hear of the death this past Thursday of Martina Allen Clark, the woman who founded Martina's Flowers and Gifts, one of the area's oldest and largest florists.
It says something about Mrs. Clark's success that, with her untimely death coming just before Mother's Day, the family was slightly delayed in making arrangements for her funeral (which was held Tuesday). After all, she would have understood that there were other moms out there waiting on flowers.
I'm especially sorry to hear that her daughters, who started the business with Mrs. Clark, lost their mom before Mother's Day.
It was almost like a death in the family this past week when machines moved in and unceremoniously knocked down the old Rountree's store in Evans.
Long an after-school (or during school, for the sneaky) spot for Evans High students, Rountree's closed years ago. Just as the school across the street soon will be demolished for commercial construction, so is Rountree's being razed to make way for a new Lowe's.
Other than in memories, Rountree's survives in a painting by local artist Lynell Widener. The original hangs on the wall of the Georgia Bank and Trust on Columbia Road.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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