The book The Da Vinci Code is a huge hit, and will soon be out in movie form, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard.

The book has stirred some controversy, mostly among some Christians. As a Christian myself, I find this somewhat embarrassing. It’s a novel! What’s next? Citing the implausibilities in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?

I take a vested interest in trying to help remove the perception that Christian sphincters are slammed shut tighter than the security doors at Exxon headquarters, and then somebody comes along to take on the facts in a work of fiction.

Minister D. James Kennedy has written an entire column, pointing out factual errors in Brown’s fictional book.

We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. It is OK for a novelist to create a fictional story and even a fictional setting if he wishes. What you can’t do with impunity is create a fictional foreground and fictional background, the latter of which you claim is based on fact. That is precisely what Dan Brown has done. His novel, “The Da Vinci Code,” claims to be based on facts, but his “facts” are just as much fiction as his fiction.

It’s official. We’ve taken this way too far.

Author Dan Brown addresses this type of thing on his website:

No. This book is not anti-anything. It’s a novel. I wrote this story in an effort to explore certain aspects of Christian history that interest me. The vast majority of devout Christians understand this fact and consider The Da Vinci Code an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate. Even so, a small but vocal group of individuals has proclaimed the story dangerous, heretical, and anti-Christian. While I regret having offended those individuals, I should mention that priests, nuns, and clergy contact me all the time to thank me for writing the novel. Many church officials are celebrating The Da Vinci Code because it has sparked renewed interest in important topics of faith and Christian history. It is important to remember that a reader does not have to agree with every word in the novel to use the book as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith.

That’s not enough for televangelist Jack Van Impe. Boy, I sure can think of a long list of people who I’d wish hell upon before I’d run across a novelist.

I’ve always gotten a kick out of Jack Van Impe’s television show and his doomsday-oriented Revelations-fest. The end of the world is always near, but never so near as to not be optimistic enough to assume that we’ll still be around for next week’s broadcast, which is promoted with reckless abandon.

In the world we live in, there are bigger, and more worthy, fish to fry than The Da Vinci Code. Besides, it’s tough to convince a novel that it’s going to hell.


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