More than 40 million copies of The Da Vinci Code novel have sold worldwide, and  “The Da Vinci Code” movie, due to be released in just weeks, will reach an estimated 30 million viewers in the United States alone.  Dan Brown’s story has certainly captured a large audience. 

Part of the appeal of The Da Vinci Code is its claim that the story is based on historical facts.   As the author states, “The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction.  While the book’s characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist.” 

This leaves readers (and very soon movie audiences) with intriguing questions about The Da Vinci Code. “Could all of this be true?”  “Could Jesus really have lived a life different than the one the Bible tells us about?” 

Adding to the intrigue is the story’s allegation that the Church has been actively working to hide a two-thousand-year-old secret.  The idea, of course, is that a large religious institution has been withholding the “truth” from the rest of the world and now their cover has been blown.  Sony Pictures, recognizing the appeal of the conspiracy aspect of the narrative, has even gone so far as to market “The Da Vinci Code” movie with the theme “Seek the Truth.”

What Dan Brown’s story offers, however, is something very far from the Truth.  The Da Vinci Code directly challenges many essential Christian beliefs, claiming the Bible is unreliable; the resurrection of Jesus is mere mythology; Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and they had a child; descendants of Jesus are still alive today; and a secret society guards this “truth” about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and their descendants.

Claims of this magnitude certainly need solid evidence to support them, something not found in The Da Vinci Code.  As a matter of fact, historical evidence serves to refute these claims.  For example, Dr. Bart Ehrman at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill states, “Not a single one of our ancient sources indicates that Jesus was married, let alone married to Mary Magdalene.”

Despite the fact that The Da Vinci Code belongs squarely in the category of fiction, there is a very real danger that with millions of people either reading the book or viewing the movie, many will accept the story’s theories about Jesus as truth.  Skeptics are already using these conspiracy theories to support their arguments that the Christian faith is founded on mere myth.

The Da Vinci Code’s Impact On Faith
Considering The Da Vinci Code alleges that the Bible is unreliable, Jesus was married, and He never resurrected from the dead, even the suggestion that these claims have any historical basis is reason for alarm.  Driving much of the concern is the impact The Da Vinci Code and these claims are already having on the spiritual lives of many.  Here’s just some of what people are saying:

  • “Two close friends of mine in the church lost their faith over The Da Vinci Code.”
    - A Pastor from Phoenix, Arizona 
  • “I read The Da Vinci Code and I no longer know what I believe.”
    - Missionary in Eastern Europe
  • “I lost my son to The Da Vinci Code.”
    - Concerned Parent

 

Clearly, the Body of Christ needs to respond to refute the lies in Dan Brown’s story.  But this is only part of the response.  Even though the book and “The Da Vinci Code” movie present a distorted view, they also open up a tremendous opportunity to talk about Jesus while He is on the minds of millions.