Summary: Decontructing Brown’s conjecture to equip believer’s to share the truth.
The DaVinci Code – Fact or Fiction
Thrilled by a Thriller – 1 Pt. 2:1-3
Insert: Unlocking the DaVinci Code Intro Video Clip
Intro: Treachery, religious fanaticism, murder, an ancient conspiracy, secret societies, erotic spirituality and feminism are just a few of the plot lines in the 2003 bestselling novel the DVC. Dan Brown’s masterful piece of fiction has become one of the most intriguing, yet disturbing books to ever hit bestseller list. This former English teacher has sold over 40 million copies of his religious thriller and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 148 weeks. And now, opening on May 19th this bestseller will become a blockbuster movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks. And most of our family and friends are likely to see the film. So you might ask, “So what’s the big deal, it’s just a movie? Yes, but it is a movie that calls into question the claims of our faith and has already caused millions of people to raise numerous thought provoking questions targeted at the claims of Christianity.
Note: You might be thinking, “That’s silly – it’s just a novel!” Yes, but it is unlike any other novel. First, b/c Dan Brown is a great writer – one of the better fictional writers I’ve ever read. Second, b/c he has an uncanny ability to weave just enough truth w/ conjecture to raise questions about what is true. And he is convincing, especially to those who don’t know the doctrines and history of Christianity.
Trans: Needless to say, this book soon to turn movie has created quite a stir. But I think it is a good stir as it challenges all of us to seek the truth to determine fact from fiction. In fact, I think Hollywood has set a ball on a tee and asked Christians to take their best swing. If you’ve seen the trailer – they’ve challenged audiences to “seek the truth.” This is where we step in. People will be seeking for truth and Brown’s fiction can’t deliver the goods, but we can. We have the facts to debunk the fiction. But don’t be fooled. This work of fiction has the ability to undermine your faith and the faith of others. It already has!
Why: Even though it’s a work of fiction, not everyone thinks that it is fiction. I was talking w/ a church member who read the book and told me that they got so mad at the heresy that they slammed the book shut only to see the word “novel” on the front cover. They said, “Oh yeah, it’s just fiction.” Sadly, some people missed that truth.
Insert: Barna – 52% of readers said the DVC provided helpful insights to their faith.
Outreach Magazine says that 32% of Canadians believe the book is accurate.
Quote: I think Dan Brown makes a lot of sense, especially the part about Jesus just being a mortal. I’d always kind of thought that way, but the facts in the book back it up. 21 year old female from San Diego – she is one of many who think this way.
Insert: In fact, nearly every reviewer has parroted this line. USA Today, for instance, referred to the novel as “historic fact w/ a contemporary storyline.”
Quote: Counterculture called the book “a good yarn w/in a richly factual context.”
Quote: Charles Taylor of salon.com described the novel as “a fast-paced romp through 2000 years of Christianity’s darker secrets… of which the most amazing thing about this novel is that it’s based on fact.” But there actually is very little fact.
Insert: Recently named one of the world’s most influential people by Time, Brown was quoted in the Washington Post – “I was skeptical, but after a year and a half of research, I became a believer.” He’s been quoted on several occasions saying the info in his book is factual. In fact, on the very first page he writes, “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”
Note: Now to be fair, to spread one’s views via fiction is a freedom guaranteed to all. And most critics would acknowledge that Brown has the right to say whatever he wants. The problem is the way he, his publisher, and the media have been presenting the book as a fact-based expose wherein the characters reveal truths long hidden from or ignored by the general public. To use the author’s words, “When you finish the book – like it or not – you’ve learned a ton.”
Note: And Brown keeps stoking the fire. In a recent interview he made comments that paint his work as far more factual than fictional: One of the many qualities that makes the DVC unique is the factual nature of the story. All the history, artwork, ancient documents, and secret rituals in the novel are accurate – as are the hidden codes revealed in some of DaVinci’s most famous paintings.