The DaVinci Code. One of the most popular books in recent history. It weaves a great story together of part-history and part-fiction. Many have read it! Have you read it?
The other day, my dad was in the auto shop getting new tires put on the car when The DaVinci Code became a lightning rod that attracted an interesting conversation. My dad was only 50 pages into it, but as he read, a man waiting with him began to ask him questions about the book. What does the Bible say about Jesus? About Mary Magdalene? This man was an admitted non-Christian who seemed to be searching for truth. He valued what science and history would have to say about the book's historical claims. His questions for my dad centered around who Jesus was and the validity of The Davinci Code's information about Christianity. I don't know about your conversations at the auto shop, but mine rarely center around any Christian topic.
But in walked Satan to disrupt the conversation. OK, maybe it wasn't Satan. But a disruptor overheard the conversation and tried to break up any hope for an evangelistic conversation. OK, that may be too strong also, but stay with the story. As my dad and this other gentleman talked about issues in the book, a woman piped up and said, "Why don't you just read the Bible to get your information on this subject!!!" If I were my dad in this conversation, my fundamentalist Christian radar would have gone off as I said, "Whoa! Settle down there missy. I happen to be in the middle of my Master of Divinity planning to preach one day. I happen to read the Bible too. Leave the evangelizing to me please." (My dad has a Masters and Doctorate in Bible, by the way) But, my dad kindly answered her question. Unfortunately because of her interjection, a conversation possibly heading towards redemptive places was halted and an opportunity for God to work possibly missed.
And this whole conversation got started through a book that many in the church call heretical. (Don't get me wrong there is heresy in the book that is dangerous.) If we were in a different era, there would be book burnings by the church. Who knows, there is still time for that to happen. But, I am calling for Christians not to burn the book or even refuse to buy it. I'm calling for every Christian to read this book. Christians are in a great position to have many more conversations like the one my dad had if we just read the book.
It's too easy to label the book heresy and not read it, but God is presenting us with an opportunity. The book has sold over 40 million copies and a movie is coming out soon that will spread its popularity and hype even more. In our Postmodern society, this can be the very thing that can foster Christian conversations. People are extremely interested in spiritual matters. That is part of the reason why so many copies have been sold.
So, I encourage you to read it for yourself. I'm currently reading it a second time and highlighting any heretical sections. Don't just read a response to The DaVinci Code and why it is wrong. Read The DaVinci Code itself so you can be a full participant in the conversation.
I plan to write more on this. There is dangerous fiction cast as fact in the book. I want to write more about these subjects. But, let's not be outside of this conversation. If we close our eyes and ears to this opportunity, then people will settle for the answers Dan Brown gives in his book. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Let's get to work!
P.S. What questions do you have about the book? What possibilities might this bring to our churches?