One thing that continues to flummox me is the popularity of The Da Vinci Code. It's not particularly well written, the ideas are interesting for about two weeks and it does less to question "traditional Christianty" than about any other current controversy (such as intelligent design v. evolution) or long-standing flaw (e.g. how can a loving God inflict pain on his children). So, while I don't get it, I can still be appalled by some things. Like the publication of The Guide to Dan Brown's The Solomon Key. Some authors would hold off until the work they are supposedly explicating is, oh, published. But not Greg Taylor, he knows that he's gotta cash in now or else he'll miss out on Dan Browns next "bestseller" (also isn't it odd to refer to a book that isn't even at the publishing house as a bestseller?).
It gets even wackier, though, when we move to the Jello Belt. The following is a press release from Cedar Fort about its recent publication The Dynasty of the Holy Grail: Mormonism's Sacred Bloodline:
SPRINGVILLE—Amazing new book coming soon on Mormonism’s relationship to the Grail phenomenon.
Rather than being just a "quickie" book on a hot topic, Dr. Vern G. Swanson has produced a thoughtful book on the topic of the Holy Grail and the bloodline of Jesus. After reading nearly 400 books on the Holy Grail, his perspective has grown through the 28 years he has researched and written on the question.
Going far beyond the mortally flawed best-sellers, `Holy Blood, Holy Grail' and `The Da Vinci Code' his epic book should be applicable to both Mormon and non-Mormon audiences. It is certainly the most significant scholarly tome on the Holy Grail and the bloodline yet written.
Ok, so the last line there is laughable, and what do they mean by "mortally flawed"? Morally flawed, perhaps? But wait! it gets better when you read the Des News story about the work. In summary, what we have as a thesis is that Joseph Smith, Jr. descended from Mary Magdalene through his mother and directly from Jesus through his father. Thus, Joseph Smith was uniquely born to restore the Gospel and could bring an end to the Ephraim (Mary) and Judah (Jesus) contention. All this reminds me of the guy who claimed in my historical linguistics class that Indo-European in general and English in particular were the best vehicles for restoring the Gospel. In essence, a possible and perhaps vaguely interesting assertion but really without much merit.
In that Des News article the author is quoted as claiming:
If Jesus had children they would be "robust," but would lack the power over death that LDS people believe Christ had. It would take about three generations for the godly attributes of Christ to be absorbed into the gene pool with the exception of the Y chromosome that came from Christ and the mitochondrial DNA, which came through Mary Magdelene.
Where does this 3 generation idea come from? Has Bro. Swanson had the chance to explore what divine DNA looks like? Has he run experiments? If not, his belief is not only groundless but borderline crazy. If this is based on some more generalized theory (like it takes three generations to dillute such and so...), this also fails because it assumes that godly chromosomes act just like the rest of the nucleic acids.
I just don't get these people. Or the obsession with the Holy Grail. It seems like warnings against gospel hobbies would have stopped the work on this book, but I guess the theory was more important to this brother than following the advice of prophets (I guess this depends how strongly you believe BKP and BRM are prophets). Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to reading my lastest Mormocentric purchase: Life Everlasting, a "scholarly" work about the afterlife in LDS theology based on near-death experiences. It's ok, you see, because I feel guilty about my hobbies.