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FIRST-PERSON: Making evangelism good news again

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–You’re talking with a nonbeliever who brings up a few of the claims in “The Da Vinci Code” and you haven’t a clue how to answer him.

Ding! “Want to get away?” It doesn’t have to be that way. The Da Vinci Code movie will be released Friday, May 19, and Christians should seize it as an opportunity by equipping themselves to discuss it. Why?

First, you should equip yourself to discuss The Da Vinci Code with others because you will appreciate the foundations of your faith. Most Christians haven’t a clue regarding the wealth of manuscripts we have for the New Testament which allows us to have confidence that we have a pure text. Neither are Christians familiar with how the books and letters of the New Testament were selected and why others were excluded. One does not have to be a scholar to understand these topics. Most Christians can have a sufficient understanding of these topics in less than two hours.

Second, you should equip yourself to discuss The Da Vinci Code with others because you will communicate that truth matters. In 1988 many Christians called for a boycott of the movie “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Moreover, these Christians promised a three-year boycott of Universal Pictures and every theater that showed the movie. I know because I was one of the many calling for the boycott. I think that was a huge mistake. The louder message that we communicated was that Christians are not interested in critical discussions about our faith. After all, we already have all the answers to everything, thank you! This attitude has cost us dearly in being taken seriously by non-Christians.

Third, you should equip yourself to discuss The Da Vinci Code with others because you will discover new opportunities to share Christ. Nonbelievers will be coming to you seeking your thoughts on the movie and noting very carefully how you reply. Unfortunately, many will have their suspicions confirmed that Christians are 99 percent conviction and 1 percent brain. But imagine the impact you can have if you spend just a little time preparing to address the claims of The Da Vinci Code and as a result are able to enter into stimulating and challenging discussions with them. The ability to do this is not out of your reach.

So, what should you do now? Two things: (1) Get the information you need by watching the free 65-minute online seminar “Exploring The Da Vinci Code,” available at www.4truth.net (search for “Da Vinci”). (2) Have a church strategy to use the exciting new resource by Lee Strobel and Garry Poole: “Discussing The Da Vinci Code” (Zondervan). This resource is designed for small groups and includes a small workbook, a resource book and a DVD.

Bottom Line: There’s a lot of fun and fruit for the Kingdom with the coming Da Vinci Code movie. Seize the opportunity and the above benefits will be yours!
Licona is director of apologetics and interfaith evangelism at the North American Mission Board. “Exploring The Da Vinci Code” is available online at http://www.4truth.net/site/c.hiKXLbPNLrF/b.749325/apps/s/content.asp?ct=932151. “Discussing The Da Vinci Code” is available at LifeWay Christian Stores and online at www.LifeWayStores.com.

    About the Author

  • Mike Licona