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How is Da Vinci Code Changing People’s Religious Views?

May 15, 2006

Barna did research on the book, The Da Vinci Code.  I found several of the findings interesting:

  • Roughly 45 million Americans have read the book – 1 in every 5 which makes it the most widely read book with a spiritual theme other than the Bible
  • Only 5% said that the book changed any of their beliefs or religious perspectives

“Before reading The Da Vinci Code  people had a full complement of beliefs already in place, some firmly held and others loosely held,� explained George Barna, the author of numerous books about faith and culture. “Upon reading the book, many people encountered information that confirmed what they already believed. Many readers found information that served to connect some of their beliefs in new ways. But few people changed their pre-existing beliefs because of what they read in the novel. And even fewer people approached the book with a truly open mind regarding the controversial matters in question, and emerged with a new theological perspective. The book generates controversy and discussions, but it has not revolutionized the way that Americans think about Jesus, the Church or the Bible.�

But what I also found interesting was this quote:

“On the other hand,� the researcher continued, “any book that alters one or more theological views among two million people is not to be dismissed lightly. That’s more people than will change any of their beliefs as a result of exposure to the teaching offered at all of the nation’s Christian churches combined during a typical week.�

Ouch, that hurts.  But I believe it is probably pretty accurate.

I have heard Josh McDowell say that this story only feeds skepticism.  I am more concerned about how it affects Christians than those outside the faith.  I think Brown does a good job of mixing in fiction with fact and it is dealing with Church history which I believe most Christians are not well acquainted with. I also fear that it is more of a subconscious thing that Christians will have some doubts regarding how we got the Bible in its present form and things very subtle that will plant seeds of doubt and skepticism in their heart.

I am interested to see what is going to happen.  My prayer is that this movie will give us a chance to talk about Christ and expose the fiction in the story. I have been thinking about it a lot the past several months as I have worked on GodSquad.com.  There is a special section on responding to The Da Vinci Code that I put together and have been evolving to prepare for this week’s release of the movie.

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