The movie Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, the author of the very popular Da Vinci Code, recently hit the theaters. In it Robert Langdon, a symbology expert from Harvard, races to save four Roman Catholic Cardinals from the Illuminati who have stolen some anti-matter and are going to use it to blow up Vatican City during the ceremony of choosing a new pope. The race is on and Langdon, with the help of the beautiful Vittoria Vetra who plays a physicist, do their magic as they save the day. The movie moves quickly enough, though I did get a little bored about mid-way through; and I hate to admit it, but I didn’t see the ending’s plot twist as early as I should have. In all, it was entertaining. By the way, the movie had nothing to do with angels and demons except in a few statues in churches.
The main issue Christians need to be aware of in the film is the view that science and religion can’t play nice together. Science is seen as the provider of truth and progress, while the Christian Church (the Roman Catholic one) is stuck in a belief system that needs to be updated. Interestingly enough, the movie opens with a Catholic Priest working in the CERN facility trying to capture anti-matter in a magnetic vial. It is an interesting opening symbolizing church and science working together. Anyway, the movie isn’t a frontal attack on Catholicism as the backward, anti-science religion that Hollywood regularly likes to display, but it does suggest that “The Church” needs to adapt and change to suit scientific truths. Yawn. Here we go again.
Unfortunately, movie makers have a woefully insufficient knowledge of the biblical view of science. The Bible and science don’t contradict. Consider the following biblical facts:
- The Round Shape of the Earth, (Isaiah 40:22).
- The Earth is suspended in nothing, (Job 26:7).
- The Stars are Innumerable, (Genesis 15:5).
- The Existence of Valleys in the Seas, (2 Samuel 22:16).
- The Existence of Springs and Fountains in the Deep, (Genesis 7:11; see also Gen. 8:2, Prov. 8:28).
- The Existence of Water Paths (Ocean Currents) in the Seas, (Psalm 8:1,3,6,8).
- The Hydrologic Cycle, (Job 26:8; 36:27-28; Eccl. 1:6-7).
- The Concept of Entropy, (Psalm 102:25-26).
- The Nature of Health, Sanitation, and Sickness, (Leviticus chapters 12 through 14).
Of course, the ubiquitous theory of evolution might be raised as Science’s Poster Child and used to club Christians into submission. But here comes the spoiler -- the evolutionary theory isn’t a scientific fact (it’s a theory), and it has its own set of problems (Punctuated Equilibrium, Cambrian Explosion, woefully incomplete fossile record, information formation problem, abiogensis, and the scientists' own prejudices, etc.). But, this isn’t an article on evolution.
Science works because God makes it work. God has created the universe with predictability, order, and regularity. It was early Christians who developed the scientific method because they sought to unlock God’s secrets in the universe. Christianity is not against science in spite of what the perfect-haired televangelists with pearly whites might proclaim. The universe and its intricacies are exactly what you'd expect from the creation that the biblical God would present. But, enough of the preaching.
Fortunately, the movie version of the book Angels and Demons isn't full of the half-truths and misrepresentations as was the Da Vinci Code, though it certainly wasn't accurate regarding anti-matter as an energy source since it takes more energy to produce than you get out of it. And, the Roman Catholic Church did not kill four illuminati scientists in the 1600's. I've not read the book, but it supposedly contains many more inaccuracies about Christainity and history.
Angels and Demons is simply another offering of Dan Brown, the anti-Christian, who makes a ton of money misrepresenting Christianity and attacking its validity. And I can't help but wonder -- could we make a movie about Dan Brown and fill it with half-truths, faulty history, and false accusations? Would that be okay?