I read the Dan Brown novel, The DaVinci Code, a couple of years ago. Entertaining suspense fiction, to be sure. But the reader must remember to place heavy emphasis on the word fiction. Heavy emphasis. The novel is made up, created out of the author’s mind.
Years ago, I read a couple of novels written on the premise of "what if the South had won the Civil War?" It explored what happened to a defeated Abraham Lincoln who, of course, no one bothered to assassinate, what happened to Robert E. Lee who was a major victor but who also never wanted to see the nation divided, etc. These two books were also entertaining reads and obviously fabricated.
The odd — even frightening — thing about Dan Brown’s roaringly popular novel (something like 30 million copies sold) is that so many people are accepting the concepts of the novel as fact. For those who have studied the reliability of the Scripture translations and so much of the history of the Christian faith, it’s disturbing.
George Barna of the Barna Group (aka research, pollsters, etc.) has an excellent article about this movie and the church’s response to it. Here’s a clip from the piece:
Many followers of Christ fear that the movie, which will be even more
accessible to the public at-large than the book, will distort people’s
theological perceptions. This fear is well-founded. Americans already possess an
unorthodox profile of religious beliefs, indiscriminately blending biblical and
cultural views. Among adults who are aligned with a Christian church, 59% do not
believe that Satan exists, 42% contend that Jesus Christ committed sins during
His earthly tenure, and just 11% believe that the Bible is the source of
absolute moral truth. In fact, millions of Americans are confused about the
Bible. On the one hand, six out of ten (61%) believe that “every word in the
Bible is true and can be trusted.” On the other hand, only half as many affirm
that the Bible is “totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches.”
Americans admit that they are more likely to seek theological clarity from
friends, family, experiences and even media input than from diving into biblical
So it is in the midst of this environment of confusion that this blockbuster
movie will offer attractive heretical propositions. Entering theaters
essentially as biblical illiterates, millions of adults are vulnerable to the
seductive religious arguments it will propose.
Take a moment and read the entire article. We need to be prepared to speak calmly, truthfully, and with grace to those who will wonder about the fictional parts of this movie, taking them as facts.
I do so hate revisionist history.