NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–It’s only fiction.
That’s Dan Brown’s final line of defense when the author of runaway bestseller “The Da Vinci Code” is confronted about shoddy research or challenged about his Gnostic beliefs, according to the authors of a new book to set the record straight about Brown’s postmodern worldview.
“The Gospel According to the Da Vinci Code: The Truth Behind the Writings of Dan Brown” by Kenneth Boa and John Alan Turner will be released May 1.
The new book, from Broadman & Holman, refutes the worldview behind The Da Vinci Code, the best-selling hardcover adult novel of all time and soon to be major motion picture. Boa and Turner also look at Dan Brown’s other books, most notably “Angels and Demons,” to form a clearer picture of the spiritual relativism that guides his writing.
The Da Vinci Code, however, may do for orthodox Christianity what the movie “Inherit the Wind” did for the debate over religion and education -– replace fact with fantasy, Boa and Turner warn. Inherit the Wind was a fictional account of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial and inaccurately cast evolutionists as reasonable men and women of science, while creationists were depicted as bumbling simpletons. “Monkey Business: The True Story of the Scopes Trial,” released last year by Broadman & Holman, sets the record straight on that historic event.
“Dan Brown says that faith is a continuum and that he is a Christian -– in his own way,” Boa and Turner write. “But the views Dan Brown showcases through his characters’ discussions are irreconcilable with traditional, orthodox Christianity.
“We’re not terrified by Dan Brown or his ideas and we’re certainly not asking you to be either. However, ideas have consequences.”
According to the authors, Brown promotes a postmodern worldview akin to the age-old heresy of Gnosticism, which became the greatest doctrinal challenge to the church in the second century.
Gnosticism, while taking on many complex forms, is basically a philosophical approach to the Gospel that promotes secret “knowledge” (“gnosis” in the Greek), resulting in a denial of both the full deity and humanity of Christ, among other false teachings. Paul, John, Peter and Jude all addressed the germ of Gnosticism in their New Testament writings.
And therein lies the rub, Boa and Turner point out in their book. Dan Brown claims, on the first page of The Da Vinci Code, that “all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” In other words, he insists that he has built a work of fiction on solid church history. But in fact, his scholarship is slipshod and his sources have long been proven spurious, Boa and Turner note. Still, because the church today lacks doctrinal depth and often ignores its historical roots, many Christians have gullibly swallowed Brown’s alternative gospel.
For example, some of the “secrets” that the characters in The Da Vinci Code claim to know include:
— Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and they had a child whose descendants may still be alive.
— This made Peter jealous, so he covered it all up after Jesus died.
— The early church engaged in a massive cover-up to conceal Jesus’ marriage and His humanity in order to put men, rather than women, in control.
— Jesus was not considered divine until centuries after His death when the Emperor Constantine suppressed the ancient documents that tell the real story so that the Council of Nicaea could cobble together what we have today in the New Testament.
All of these “secrets” are in fact unbiblical falsehoods, Boa and Turner note.
“Saying that Dan Brown’s book is about Christianity is like saying ‘Finding Nemo’ is about marine biology,” the B&H authors write. “We have just as much evidence to suggest that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene as we have that clown fish talk.”
Broadman & Holman is the publishing arm of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. “The Gospel According to the Da Vinci Code: The Truth Behind the Writings of Dan Brown” by Kenneth Boa and John Alan Turner will be available at LifeWay Christian Stores or online at www.lifewaystores.com.