May 12

Darrell L. Bock's picture

Today was spent at a news conference tied to the Debate Monday night (for info, see www.davincidebateny.com). Fox News, Reuters, Sky Europe, and Chrsitian Post were there. The media is interested in three issues on the book: (1) its accuracy or lack of it, (2) why people have taken to it and what that says about where our culture is, and (3) the relationship of the commerce around the code and the controversy that is surrounding it (do they intentionally fed each other? Yes, indeed, they do.). However, the other key issue is how many readers now see the claims are true or potentially true, so how does the church address that? There is a need to distinguish between what the author and movie companies are doing and what the impact of the book is on the average person who reads it (53% claim to have benefited spiritually from it, whatever that might mean). Estimates of those who beleive the claims of the book in polls run from 33% in one poll of Canadians to 20%. With a likely 100 million readers that is a large group of people (add New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston together and you have that number). Boycotts and other such reactions will not help those who are asking questions or have doubts. Only full and direct engagement will. In fact, I liken this to hurricane hunters flying into a hurricane to determine where the danger is and getting to know the storm well enough to know how to help people cope with it. The church needs to teach people about their spiritual roots as a way to help them not be taken in by a novel that tries to fill a black hole in most people's knowledge (i.e., most people know next to nothing about the first three hundred years of church history, a history all Chrsitian traditions share)

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