Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | March 6, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

The success of The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s top-selling book has certainly stimulated new growth in the ‘religious conspiracy’ book industry. Particularly with the current legal action prodviding yet more profile for Mr Brown’s novel, there are a few other writers out there trying to make some money.

For example, an article in yesterday’s Sunday Times highlights a book called ‘The Jesus Dynasty’ and the Guardian recently described a flurry of books about the Mary-myth that forms part of Dan Brown’s fiction.

I find it fascinating the various reactions in the Christian world regarding these books, and in particular, the strong backlash in some quarters about ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Personally, I enjoyed reading the book for what it was – a fast-paced piece of fictional nonsense that draws on religious myths that have been around for years.

However, with the book’s profile being raised yet again with the forthcoming film, I do have a concern: will this become popular culture’s reference for supposed ‘facts’ about Jesus and the circumstances of his earthly ministry?

I believe the church’s role will not be to boycott or demonstrate against the movie – after all it is only fiction! Instead it should use the opportunity to speak out and communicate the Jesus of history that is presented in the Bible. The media doesn’t provide many strong vehicles to naturally discuss the real Christ – let’s not miss the moment and spend so much time refuting the lies that we fail to present the liberating truth to a hungry world.

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Responses

  1. I read this book a couple of weeks ago and posted a review myself on my blog.

    I personally wasn’t bothered by the controversial aspects of the book. I also enjoyed reading it. However I failed to see what made the book so popular. My conclusion was that it was a bog standard pot boiler.

    On the other hand I’ve just started reading his other Langdon book, Angels and Demons, and that is so far proving very promising indeed.

    I do agree that when Christians start demonstrating and boycotting books and movies all it does is cause more people to want to go. It presents an image that as Christians we are frightened by fiction and too afraid to have to deal with it so we try and prevent it ever being heard or seen. Worse still are Christians who condemn something without ever having seen or read the material they are talking about. There’s nothing wrong with choosing not to see something because you don’t like the sound of the content. It’s another matter when Christian actively campaign against something when they know nothing about it.

  2. That’s good hugh – it is important that we present and communicate what we stand for with passion, clarity and imagination – aswell as what we don’t agree with. Judgement is always about right and wrong. I think we have been guilty at times as ‘The Church’ of being too much about saying what is wrong, and forgetting to state what is right, life changing and powerful – namely, Jesus Christ – the name above all names


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