The Da Vinci Code is an artistic masterpiece according to some. Not only is it a nation-wide phenomenon as a novel, but unlike most novels it also assumes authenticity of its content. In the very first page we get a glimpse of its major premise: “All description of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” This certainly intends to convey much more than a mere non-existing story, but a plot—indeed a plot to fool millions of naïve followers of the Christian faith.
Dan Brown is not only a masterful writer; he is also a remarkably talented apologist. Unfortunately, the apologetic involved in this novel is one that brings theological chills to those who wish to disagree with Mr. Brown. This is not a subtle attempt to undermine the Christian faith, but a striking and forceful attack on the Christian message. Indeed, Dan Brown knows the shallow thinking of church attendees and that they are open to just about any thing on the market that sounds reasonable. Perhaps this is the precise description of our American “Christian” culture. People are gullible to embrace anything and to be committed to nothing. Contemporary culture is replete with novels, but somehow this one seems to resonate a bit more with our culture (as the NYT testifies); but why? Because the fascination of the eager is also their demise. “Christian culture” if ever there is such a thing today in the US is fanatical about anything that sounds mystical and esoteric. Anything that will elevate their hopes for a new beginning or a new search will bring them to their philosophical knees. The culture at large, whether church –goers or blatant pagans have one thing in common, they are living for the moment. They desire something more than their well-built homes to satisfy them and something more than their Sunday Easter experiences with the local mega-church. Contemporary culture exists for phenomenon like The Da Vinci Code. It brings out what they have so longed for. It gives them a mystery to pursue, a story to follow in the hope that perhaps this one may work. And in case it doesn’t, well, there are many more to come. The contemporary culture lives seeking all, but grasping nothing; finding much, but feasting in nothing. As Jesus came into a culture prepared for and longing for a redeemer, so does Dan Brown’s fiction come into a culture prepared for and longing for a story; little do they know that Jesus is the story they have been wondering about from the day they were born.