Dan Brown, author of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Angels & Demons’, has another best-seller in his latest offering.  Like his other books, Brown tells a superb story that interweaves faith, science and intrigue. 

 ‘The Lost Symbol’ engages the reader from the beginning with an enigmatic symbol that sets the story in motion.  His signature character, Dr. Robert Langdon, is back and drives the plot to the expected conclusion.  I liked ‘The Lost Symbol’; however, it is not his best.  The dialogue was predictable and his agenda clearly drives his conclusions.

I enjoy Brown’s novels because he understands the culture to which he is writing. My purpose in blogging about this book is to examine the worldview behind this book.  Brown writes in fiction, however, it is apparent in his wording and the conclusions of the protagonist, that Brown considers this truth wrapped in fiction.  Truth that has been hidden by centuries of secrecy and conspiracy.

The introduction begins with his signature, FACT statement.  In this FACT statement, he states that since 1991, the director of the CIA has a document locked in his safe that refers to an ancient portal that is in an unknown underground location.  He also makes the claim that all organizations, science, artwork and monuments in the novel are real.  I get the sense that he is telling us, “This is fiction…but, not really.  I am using story to deliver truth.” 

What is that truth?  What the ancients taught, and we have lost is that God is the symbol of our human potential. (509)  One of the main characters (Peter Solomon, note the Solomon/wisdom allusion) explains that all of the sacred texts (the Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, etc.) all taught the same thing: We are gods.

In reading this, I was struck by the accuracy of Brown’s exegesis of our culture.  The reason Brown’s books and movies sell is because he understands what our culture believes.  Culture believes that we are gods.  Just think about morality.  Everyone believes in morality.  The rub people have with morality is when it is an alien morality.  In other words, when I determine what is moral and immoral, I am ok with it.  But, no one else, even God, has the right to impose his morality on me.  Further, all of our religious texts, especially the Bible, has been misread.  The Bible is not the revelation of an infinitely perfect God who is separate from sinful and rebellious humanity.  This understanding of the Bible is a tool that the Church has used to control men and women for centuries.  All of the sacred texts begin and end with us.  So the Bible is not about God nor Jesus…it is about me!  No wonder his books and movies make millions.  They affirm what we as a culture hold dear.

Brown’s conclusion in ‘The Lost Symbol’, that we are all gods, lets us off the hook.  If we are all gods and we have limitless potential, then we would be unwise to subject ourselves to the oppression of a God who is infinitely separate from us.

“Great is our LORD and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.  The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.” (Psalm 147:5-6) 

Lord, please humble my heart when I want to exalt myself and live by my own standards.