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The Truth About Da Vinci Weblog

This blog is the outgrowth of the www.TheTruthAboutDaVinci.com Web site. Many people have asked questions or raised points of discussion on Dan Brown's book and its recent movie release. Therefore, this blog was created to take the discussion farther - to capture certain thoughts and answer some of the questions we've received at the site.

To post a comment to this blog, click on the Comments link below each post.

November 2006 Blog Summary

Thursday, November 30, 2006

People Believing Fiction

If you've perused this blog for long, you'll notice that we get some criticism for our continued criticism against The Da Vinci Code book and movie. By far, the most common complaint is that we are taking a work of fiction too seriously. Some recent comments have included "What most of the Christian objectors to the film/book fail to even grasp is; this is a piece of FICTION. If you object to what it portrays (as fiction) don't read it and ask your friends and family not to read it." Also, "First off...The Da Vinci Code is a book. It is a work of fiction and I don't understand why Christians or anyone for that matter are getting all in a huff about it unless they think they're going to be proven wrong somehow."

The fiction objection is one we see over and over. But, do these folks have a solid point?

Recently, the Los Angeles Times ran an interesting article in its Health section. Entitled "Prime Time to Learn", the piece reported that "Americans more than just believe the health information they get from fictional television shows. Spurred by what they see on shows like 'ER' or 'The Bold and the Beautiful,' surveys suggest, they take action. They go to the doctor."

Note that this article wasn't highlighted in the entertainment section of the paper, but the Health section. Basically, it says that not only do people pay attention to the facts that are presented in fictional entertainment, but they will believe them enough to take action – to get checked out by a doctor or to try and better understand a legal point.

The article states that "fans develop trusting relationships with the characters who come into their homes each week, and industry insiders can't betray that trust. 'I'm aware of the number of people who are paying attention to the facts around the fiction,' says Jan Nash, executive producer of Without a Trace." Now, why would anyone think that portraying false history would be any less believable by the public, especially when the preface to the book claims that it's all fact?

Sure, the article points out that soap operas still have patient rising out of a coma like they woke up out of a morning nap, but the claims I worry about are not ones such as whether there is a degree in Religious Symbology (there isn't) or what a cryptex is (another complete invention by Brown). It's claims like eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament when there are no where near eighty gospels even alluded to in ancient literature. For those who want to find out if the claims in the movie and book are true, that's why we're here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

... And they're off!

The Da Vinci Code was released on DVD last week, and it made the appropriate splash.  According to iMDB, the movie was the number 1 rental for its first week, bringing in $11.1 million dollars in five days.1  It was also the top seller at Amazon.com the same week.  Actually, there’s really no surprise here.  You had Hollywood's most successful directors and its brightest star recreating the one of the most popular fiction novels of all time.

Of course, the interesting thing about in-home entertainment is the audience changes.  Many people who read the lackluster reviews about the movie saved their popcorn money and instead waited for the movie to come to video before viewing.  Parents who wouldn't have brought their children with them to the theater don't think twice about having the kids in the room when the DVD is playing.  The movie is certainly going to be given as gifts during the Christmas season.

In all, the impact of a film will be far wider than just the audience who saw it in the theater.  Now that the 'controversy' has died down, people will simply rent the movie out of inquisitiveness ("I wonder what all the fuss is about?"), or novelty ("we've seen everything else") or simply for fun. And the positions and questionable facts that that film purports will be left unchallenged.

We gather a lot of ideas from our entertainment. Many times, we form opinions about things we've never thought about before by being exposed to new ideas.  Those ideas are often presented in a fictional format. Before The Da Vinci Code, how many of you really explored the historical development of the New Testament canon?  And if you have no other source what type of opinion will it be?  This Web site exists and has continued to update you so you can be informed.  We want you to hear the real facts behind historic Christianity.  We ask you to equip yourself and tell others, so they too may have a better informed view of what the Truth About Da Vinci really is.

[1] "Top 50 United States DVD Rentals for the week ending November 19, 2006”. Accessed at http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/rentals

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Da Vinci, Doubt and Atheism

When The Da Vinci Code movie was released, my wife and I went to see it. I wanted to be able to know the differences between the book and the film and also speak about it in an informed manner. We arrived for a matinee about an hour and a half early, not knowing how long the lines may be.

 Once we bought our tickets we had some time to kill, so we strolled over to a Borders bookstore. There, I overheard a lady excitedly talking to a friend on her cell phone. She had just seen the picture and was very animated about it. I overheard her say "...and everything is presented so clearly, there's just no way you can deny it. This will finally expose the truth." She was obviously referring to the ideas presented that Christianity is a religion with a false past. She seemed confident that this film will finally prove historic Christianity as based on a lie.

One of the reasons that TheTruthAboutDaVinci.com exists is to examine and discuss these objections and to show that they don't measure up. We want you to be informed. As the DVD gets ready to be released in the U.S., we will undoubtedly see more people use it to bolster their own disbelief. It is just one of several tactics being used in the war against faith.

A new salvo in that war is highlighted in this month's Wired magazine. The article is entitled "The Church of the Non-Believer" and features three main proponents who are seeking to destroy religious belief. We felt the issue was important enough to write a rejoinder, which you may read here. When the DVD is released, it may foster more discussion. However, it may also just be absorbed by viewers who will unwittingly assume that at least some of its claims are true and then when an attack on faith comes along they are preconditioned to be more accepting of the argument. But, we believe that the truth is the only thing that matters. Equip yourself and your friends. Know the arguments and know the facts. Ask people what they thought of the claims in the movie. You may be providing the antidote of truth before someone even catches the disease.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Testing Faith and Teaching Tools

India is an interesting place.  It has a population of nearly 1.1 billion people; most of whom are profoundly religious, with Hinduism being the dominant faith.  In talking with an Indian friend, I asked him about Hindu beliefs and how they approach the belief systems of other faiths.  He told me that Hindus are taught to respect all religious beliefs and places of worship, since there may be some truth to them.

That outlook may be why the Indian censor board required an adults only rating for The Da Vinci Code when it was released in theaters.  The local Christian congregations in Mumbai protested the release with a hunger strike.  But the book and movie did well and Dan Brown's story was hugely popular there, proving that controversy helps sell wherever you are.

Now, according to CNN-IBN news reports, some Indian Christian churches have decided to take a different tact. With growing questions about Dan Brown's claims, especially from young Christians, a local church in Mumbai has created a special Da Vinci Code study to look at the topics the book and movie touch on and examine the evidence.  The article quotes one congregant saying "To some extent it does raise questions in my mind."

I've always believed the truth should never be afraid of the hard questions or of honest examination.  If something is true, then after being tested it will still stand. In fact, my beliefs are strengthened when they are put to the test and still hold up.

I bring this up because we're just two weeks away for the release of The Da Vinci Code DVD, and although it seems like no one on the planet hasn't read the book or seen the movie, the DVD will give new momentum to those questions that are raised as the Indian woman noted.   But, the release also gives people the opportunity to examine the points in the film and have answers for them.  Many materials are available for you right here on our Web site.  We've posted a new Question and Answer section to help you with the historic facts.  There's also a DVD companion guide that you may download and print out for free to give to others who are interested in the movie.  Check out our Resources section for even more materials you can use.

I think that many assume the movie can't have any more impact than it already has, and that's simply not true.  As we saw in India, people not only have questions, but are interested in the truth.  They have 300 kids coming out to their Da Vinci Code study every week, seeking answers to the film. I say, if people are seeking the truth, let's be sure to give it to them.


Historical Term
Nag Hammadi papyri, The - Collection of more than forty Gnostic documents, unearthed in the mid-1940s near Nag Hammadi in U...

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Da Vinci Code Truth

  : This website is a response to Sony Pictures movie "The Da Vinci Code"
  based on Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code