Introduction to this Issue

The Reformed Review is pleased to present this issue on current popular views of Christ and the Christian faith. Not only is this topic much in the news and in popular culture today, but underneath it is a historical and theological background that needs examination. This issue seeks to open up that examination.

In the opening piece, Jeffrey Tyler of the Hope College history department offers a careful, insightful critique of the Da Vinci Code phenomenon. After a review of the book’s contents and astonishing appeal, Tyler carefully critiques the view of the Christian faith found there. He urges his readers to engage the Da Vinci Code responsibly, and models a way to do just that.

In the second piece, Arland Hultgren, a professor of New Testament at Luther Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, examines how current Christology relates to ancient forms of Gnosticism. Although he touches on the Da Vinci Code, most of his thought-provoking essay goes beyond it, showing that the church’s struggle to understand and proclaim Jesus correctly is perennial.

In the final piece, Kama Jongerius-Zuidema, associate pastor of Third Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan, deals with another form of popular Christianity, this one relating to the current cultural preoccupation with body weight. This lively essay shows how varied popular Christology can be, and how faith relates not just to more “abstract” doctrinal concepts, but to our embodied lives as well.