Da Vinci Code. Everyone has heard of it; without doubt
it causes a reaction. For many Christians there is a sense
of fear. Many refuse to read the book because it is heresy,
and, for the same reason, they won’t see the movie.
They know that the book undermines the Christian faith and
yet can’t engage with the issues it raises through ignorance
of its contents.
challenge lies in our response, the way in which we
view the whole issue, and consequently, the manner
in which we react."
Da Vinci Code presents a challenge. A work of fiction
presented in a subtle way as historical fact, a novel which
seriously attacks the foundations of the Christian faith.
The challenge lies in our response, the way in which we view
the whole issue, and consequently, the manner in which we
react. If we see it as a threat the tendency is to withdraw,
to avoid anything to do with it, and to refuse to engage with
the issues it raises. Maybe we don’t want to spend money
on either the book or the film, as doing so would merely make
Dan Brown richer and possibly be seen as condoning the whole
thing. Alternatively, we can embrace the unique opportunity
The Da Vinci Code presents, the possibility that
we as Christians can intentionally engage with our culture,
providing meaningful and accurate dialogue with those who
may blindly accept the “teachings” and propositions
of the book (and subsequently, the movie). But, to take up
this opportunity we need to be prepared.
Understand What the Da Vinci Code Suggests
Quite simply, we cannot expect to engage with people if we
have no understanding of the content of the book. Unless we
read the book, watch the movie, or both, we will fail to fully
appreciate what it is suggesting. Without this firsthand knowledge
our arguments against The Da Vinci Code are from
a position of uninformed ignorance.
As an example, I may wish to engage with the local ballet
sub-culture as an expression of my missional mindset. It would
not take long before people realised that my knowledge of
ballet is limited to say the least. Despite my best efforts,
my ignorance would clearly show. However, relating and engaging
with those involved in football (the Aussie Rules variety,
of course) would be a different matter. From years of involvement
and interest I can relate from a position of knowledge and
We must adopt this approach with The Da Vinci Code.
It is necessary to understand what it is all about if we are
to effectively argue against the untruths it presents. This
necessitates that we either read the book, watch the movie,
Know What You Believe and Why
onus is on us as believers to not only know what we
believe, but why we believe it."
It is easy to simply
argue that The Da Vinci Code is wrong because the
Bible says so. But this type of argument fails to truly grapple
with the issues involved. The onus is on us as believers to
not only know what we believe, but why we believe it. Otherwise,
our words seem empty and powerless, lacking conviction and
solid basis. Quite simply, if we are to engage with our culture,
a culture in which Christianity and its Bible-based belief
system is marginalized, then we must be able to provide logical,
reasoned arguments in defense of our faith. The apostle Paul
did this when he engaged with the philosophers on Mars Hill.
He was able to reason and debate with them, even if he did
not convince them outright.
How would you counter the following claims of The Da Vinci
Code? Can you give a reasoned answer, or would it be
necessary to resort to a standard response such as “Well,
I know the Bible says somewhere that...”? How would
you respond, for example, to Dan Brown’s assertion that
Jesus was first declared divine at the Council of Nicaea in
325 AD? I f you are stumped over this one check out Jim Reiher’s
article on Sight Magazine! What about his claim that
the Gospel of Philip provides evidence that Jesus
and Mary Magdalene were married? And, as a final example,
consider this quote: “Early Jews believed that the Holy
of Holies in Solomon’s Temple housed not only God but
also His powerful female equal, Shekinah” (page 309
of The Da Vinci Code). While this appears blatantly
ridiculous and unfounded, we need to be able to provide a
reasoned argument to counter Brown’s claim. The point
of this is not to cause embarrassment or to bring a sense
of condemnation, but rather as encouragement to know not only
what we believe, but also, why we believe it.
This may entail further study of God’s word. It may
necessitate purchasing some resources, or joining a theological
library, or forming a study group directed towards the deeper
study of God’s Word. Regardless, there is a need for
Christians to become more informed and better equipped in
order to effectively engage with our culture in the manner
Paul was able to do with his some 2000 years ago.
Consider an Apologetic Response
Our issue in this context is one of apologetics. Are we, as
believers, equipped, ready and willing to defend the faith
which we hold to, prepared to give an account for the hope
that is in us? To do so necessitates that we know our faith,
and why we believe. "The Bible said it, I believe it"
attitude isn’t enough. We need to be able to give a
reasoned defense of what we believe, one that is informed
Many, many books, articles, and video presentations are available
which outline the flaws in The Da Vinci Code. It
is not the purpose of this article to refute in detail the
incorrect assumptions and propositions of The Da Vinci
Code. Rather, the aim here is to encourage and motivate
believers to read, learn, and take up the challenge of defending
the faith against attack, whether from a book like The
Da Vinci Code, or the spectre of political correctness
hovering over the church.
Look for Opportunities
Da Vinci Code' provides a unique platform from
which we can share the Gospel with those who are searching
The Da Vinci
Code provides a unique platform from which we can share
the Gospel with those who are searching for answers. What
an opportunity! We don’t even have to hold a rally,
or advertise an outreach event but can simply have believers
who are firmly rooted in the foundations of the faith ready
and willing to interact with others and engage them in meaningful
conversations with logical, well reasoned answers.
How might this happen? Last Friday evening I was sitting in
a coffee shop near a local cinema waiting to pick up my kids
from a youth activity. My attention was grabbed when the coffee
shop was inundated with people who had just finished watching
The Da Vinci Code. It was relatively easy to enter
into conversation simply by asking “What did you think?”
By going one step further and watching the movie it would
be possible to engage with others over coffee. Consider going
to the movie with someone outside the Christian faith - what
an opportunity. The issue of Christianity is raised without
any need for an awkward, out-of-place question.
Whilst this may not result in an instant conversion, the opportunity
exists to proclaim the true Gospel, in contrast to the version
according to Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code, like Mel
Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, places
the Christian faith firmly on the agenda of our culture. Who
knows, God might just be able to use you through this, to
impact one of your friends, or a family member. Be bold, be
courageous, and step out into the world, ready to give an
answer to the hope that you have.