John Fischer has some great things to say about The DaVinci Code, facts, fiction, and truth seeking in his Purpose Driven Life article today:
The last time I mentioned The Da Vinci Code, I was on page
234. Well I have finished the book now, and as an author of three
novels, I think I understand what is happening here. Let me explain.
I set my first novel, Saint Ben, in the late 1950s in Pasadena, Calif. For fun, I looked up events in the local newspaper, The Pasadena Star-News,
and wrote them into the final week of my story. I found some very
interesting connections that helped me create the story’s conclusion
and tie it to actual events from the front page of the paper. I also
staged a real event, the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year’s Day,
only I had the mayor of Pasadena riding in a 1958 Edsel in the 1959
parade. This was a clear break with tradition (and with fact), but it
served my story well.
Now if you read Saint Ben, you won’t know for sure what piece
of the story is fact and what is fiction unless you go to the Pasadena
Library, like I did, and search through the microfilm versions of the
front pages of the Star-News, and check the Tournament of Roses
archives for what car the mayor drove in 1959. You probably won’t
bother doing that because you really don’t care, and hopefully, you are
just enjoying the story for what it is: a piece of fiction.
Dan Brown, the writer of The Da Vinci Code, has done the same
thing with his story, only with much more significant events and with
potentially damaging results if people don’t take the time and effort
to find out what is fact and what is fiction. What car the mayor drove
in a rose parade is one thing; the origin of how we know who Jesus
Christ is and what he did on earth is quite another, yet Mr. Brown has
treated his story much the same way. He has concerned himself more with
building an entertaining story than with the truth, and he has done
that by creating his own unique blend of fact, legend, and his
imagination, bending them all to serve the story he created. That his
story pretends to be a legitimate conspiracy is more of a brilliant
marketing scheme than a significant attack on history. You have to
remind people where they found this book: in the fiction section.
It’s a good lesson for all of us about telling the truth all the
time because if you blend any part of the truth with a story, it all
becomes fiction, and no one knows how to separate the truth from the
Ironically, the tag line for the upcoming movie is exactly right:
“Seek the truth.” Anyone who seeks the truth in regard to this story
will find out pretty quick that this isn’t it.
To which I say, Amen!
Although I have included the bulk of the article above simply because I wanted you to read it, there is more on the Purpose Driven Life web site, including links for resources PLUS an opportunity to participate in a conference call with Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg on Wednesday, May 10. Just scroll to the bottom of the article and you will find the information.