The best-selling novel, The DaVinci Code, is coming to the big screen in May. And it has some big-name talent behind it. Ron Howard directs the film, and Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks plays the lead. Weaving together an unbelievably complex series of puzzles, the characters race against time to solve a mysterious murder that occurred in the historic Paris museum, the Louvre.
Dan Brown's novel is not your garden-variety mystery, however. The DaVinci Code puts forth some bold claims as if they're historical facts. The book has spawned an entire cottage publishing industry as scholars debate the veracity of its claims. The more blasphemous among them include these: 1) Jesus never claimed to be God; 2) the Bible is not the word of God; and 3) Christianity is the construction of fourth-century white males who sought to censor all dissent.
While it casts aspersion on the Christian faith, the story exalts pagan goddess worship, propelling it toward the center stage in mainstream culture.
Some Christians are asking, "Should we or should we not see the movie?" Each side of the question offers its reasons. On the one hand, Christians recognize the importance of knowing how our culture views Jesus and Christianity so we can respond intelligently. On the other hand, perhaps the best weapon Christians have to combat the movie's message is to let our money (or refusal to spend it) do the talking. Then the question arises, would our staying home make a big enough financial impact for Hollywood to notice.
What concerns me most is that Christians be adequately informed-not only of what The DaVinci Code claims but also of the facts to counter those claims. For those who choose to read the book but would prefer not to purchase it, copies are available at most public libraries. Already a number of critiques exist both in print and on DVD.
The following resources may be of assistance for further study:
- Jesus Under Fire, edited by J. P. Moreland and Michael Wilkins
- The Historical Jesus, by Gary Habbermas