Barna on the Da Vinci Code
Stephen McGarveyStephen McGarvey is the Executive Editor of Crosswalk.com and Christianity.com for the Salem Web Network. He is a World Journalism Institute fellow and has previously worked for BreakPoint with Chuck Colson, and the Home School Legal Defense Association. His articles have appeared in several publications including WORLD, The Washington Times, byFaith, BreakPoint WorldView, and the Union Leader (Manchester, NH).
- 2006 May 16
The widely respected Barna Group released the results of a new study this week. It indicates that the book The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is not likely to change one's religious views, as much as it is likely to reinforce one's preexisting beliefs.
Among the 45 million who have read The Da Vinci Code , only 5%, which represents about two million adults, said that they changed any of the beliefs or religious perspectives because of the book's content.
"Before reading The Da Vinci Code people had a full complement of beliefs already in place, some firmly held and others loosely held," explained George Barna... "Upon reading the book, many people encountered information that confirmed what they already believed. Many readers found information that served to connect some of their beliefs in new ways. But few people changed their pre-existing beliefs because of what they read in the novel. And even fewer people approached the book with a truly open mind regarding the controversial matters in question, and emerged with a new theological perspective. The book generates controversy and discussions, but it has not revolutionized the way that Americans think about Jesus, the Church or the Bible."
"On the other hand," the researcher continued, "any book that alters one or more theological views among two million people is not to be dismissed lightly. That’s more people than will change any of their beliefs as a result of exposure to the teaching offered at all of the nation’s Christian churches combined during a typical week."
The study produced some other fascinating statistics on the impact of The Da Vinci Code:
- The book has been read (cover to cover) by 45 million people, that means one out of every adults in the country.
- Catholics are more likely to read the book than Protestants.
- Twenty-four percent of those who read the book deemed it at least somewhat helpful to "personal spiritual growth or understanding."
- Thirty percent of those polled said they were like to see The Da Vinci Code film in the theater.
Read the complete report: Da Vinci Code Confirms Rather Than Changes People's Religious Views