Already churches are beginning to boycott, websites are being established, campaigns against the movie are being waged. I have a campaign of my own. It is much more modest and its goal is a little odd, but it is one I believe in. Here are three thoughts that I offer in the form of requests.
I ask that you look at the copyright page of this book. Notice how it is categorized: Fiction. It is not based upon truth. It is a clever and creative work of fiction that blurs the lines of reality and imagination. This is what good fiction does - blur what is real and what is illusion to the point they appear the same.
I could only hope that the uproar with James Frey's memoir A Million Little Pieces would be a prelude to a similar uproar about this book of viction. If you remember Frey wrote what he said was truth about his life, but in fact it was embellished to make him appear tougher and meaner than he is or was. People were outraged to realize that he had deceived us.
No such luck with Dan Brown. He has lied, but unlike Frey he has properly catalogued his book as fiction. Do not forget it is fiction for a reason.
My second request is that you not go see the movie. When any of us go to a movie we are casting our dollars as votes in favor of a movie. I would encourage you not to vote for this movie. This is not some form of a strong boycott, which just gives this more publicity. My hope is that the movie will do poorly. I do not think that will happen because Christians run around picketing or complaining or damning people to hell who go see this movie. That just makes people want to go.
Instead, I am asking you not to go see it. If you must see it, then go see it when it comes to a discount theater, check it out from your library when it is on DVD or rent it sometime later. There are many other movies you could see (maybe they are not worth voting for either). My campaign is to get people to spend their money on something other than this movie and their efforts and emotions in another direction. This brings me to my final request.
If you have read the book or eventually see the movie, then I ask you to read a book like Ben Witherington's book on the Da Vinci Code. Get some more information before you allow an artistic piece of fiction to be the basis for belief or disbelief.
Here is one brief example of the fiction of Da Vinci. Brown doubts the authenticity of the biblical texts and manuscripts. Because there are differences and there are no "original" or "signed" copies of biblical books, then they must be untrue. Lets do a quick comparison with some other ancient texts. Homer's Iliad was written in 800 BCE and the earliest manuscript we have is from 400 BCE and there are something over 600 copies of it. That is 400 years after it was written, which is a long time. Or maybe you've heard of Plato's works which were written in 400 BCE, but the oldest manuscript we have is from 900 A.C.E. That is thirteen-hundred year gap and there are about 7 manuscripts.
How do these manuscripts (we could use many, many others) compare with the evidence for the Bible? The gospel of John was written between 50-100 A.C.E. and our earliest copy is 130 A.C.E. and I have actually seen this fragment. That is a distance of 50 years to the original work! There are manuscripts of the entire New Testament that date from 325 A.C.E. which is about 225 years removed from the originals. IsnÂt it interesting that the manuscript evidence for the Bible is so strong. This is only one thing to consider, books about the Da Vinci Code can unpack many more.
So, here are my simple requests: remember the Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, wait to go see the movie and read a book about the code. At bare minimum, I hope this book and movie can be a coffee discussion between people of Christian faith and people of other faiths. Learning will take place for everyone and God will be made more real.