The first month of the endlessnaptime Christian book club. When I am yearning for inspiration in my faith, I love reading Christian literature. Nothing helps me see things from another point of view or apply my faith in my own life in the same way. Part of what I love about it the most is talking about these books and ideas with my family and friends. So please, if you have read the book or are looking for a new adventure, join this book club with me and comment as we go along.
The first book I chose is the Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. An older book, but with the new installment of Robert Langdon’s story out, it’s important to see where his story begins. Each of Dan Browns books are researched beautifully and you are learning so much while having everything you know about faith challenged. This series literally changed how I approach religion. More than anything else, it taught me that asking questions and learning about God is never something you should be ashamed of. Wanting to know more doesn’t make you a bad Christian.
If you have read the book already, please go onto the book club questions. If not, pick it up and don’t forget to come back to let me know what you thought of it.
1.) Angels and Demons introduces the question of whether or not faith and science can co-exist. Would you rather live in a world without faith or a world without science?
I would choose to have faith absolutely, but do believe that faith and science work hand in the hand. The reason I am choosing faith is because even without medicine and technology, the world would exist peacefully. When people were sick they could use holistic treatments (I am not saying these are always the answer) and there wouldn’t be such a focus on scientific advancement over taking care of the earth. But there is no replacement for faith. Faith gives true meaning to life and comfort throughout your life.
2.) What did you think of the novel taking place over the course of only one day?
I really enjoyed that aspect, I felt like it heightened the anticipation of the events and made it harder for me to predict what would come next.
3.) In an interview on his website (www.danbrown.com), Dan Brown said that Angels & Demons “opens some Vatican closets most people don’t even know exist.” Did you learn anything about the Vatican, its practices, and its history that surprised you?
I wasn’t aware of how much stake the Vatican had in science, most particularly their collection of works by people like Galileo. I wonder if they have these things for their importance to history or to hide them from the world in a way. Also, people that aren’t Catholic might not realize how political the church can be at its highest tiers.
4.) In the same interview Dan Brown goes on to say, “The final message of the novel, though, without a doubt, is a positive one.” What do you see as the ultimate message of the book?
I see the ultimate as being that faith has to be protected because it’s worth it. The politics of the priests didn’t really matter, who the pope was didn’t really matter, and whether or not miracles existed didn’t really matter. The point to me was, true faith brought the best out in many people and brings people together for in a way that is powerful. The healing effect of religion is worth protecting.
5.) Discuss the novel’s ending. Do you think the Vatican (and Robert and Vittoria) made the right decision to keep the events that took place secret from the public?
Absolutely. I see this the same way that I see the government keeping secrets from us during a war. What is the cost of knowledge in these cases? Do the secrets put other lives at risk? Will it hurt people more than help them? If it’s something that doesn’t affect the public in a big way, such as an oil leak would affect the communities that use the water, I would choose ignorance instead of more pain.