Sony Pictures is set to release its cinematic adaptation of The DaVinci Code. The book is complete fiction, but has managed to be taken as true, or true enough, by many whose opinions of Christianity have been adversely affected by it. Errors in the book have been discussed on this site here and here.
It is hard to imagine how the movie could be any less anti-Catholic and anti-Christian than the book. In what may be an attempt to insulate itself from a reaction to the anti-Christian elements of the movie, Sony Pictures has sponsored a website -- The DaVinci Dialogue -- where religious scholars can comment on the story and the history of Christianity and Catholicism. Some well-known scholars are participating, including Darrell L. Bock, Tony Campolo, Chuck Colson, Hugh Hewitt, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, and Ben Witherington. So far the scholars seem unimpressed. For example, Catholic scholar Thomas P. Rausch states:
Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code is clearly anti-Catholic. It portrays the Catholic Church as the enemy of truth, hijacking Jesus’ message, hiding evidence, engaging in a deliberate campaign of disinformation, and supporting Opus Dei as a sinister international Catholic organization not above using violence and assassination to accomplish its goals. All of which is clearly false. But Brown’s real target is the historic Christian faith which the Catholic Church formulated in its councils and handed down to future generations of Christians. Thus he challenges the antiquity of the Christian canon of Scripture as well as the Church’s belief in the divinity of Jesus, its Trinitarian faith, and its doctrine of salvation.....
I am skeptical that this website will provide the kind of cover Sony apparently hopes it will. It is almost cliche to say it, but anti-Christian prejudice is one of the few acceptable bigotries in Hollywood. Nevertheless, the site seems worth checking out although so far only a few of the listed scholars have contributed.
(HT to Hugh Hewitt).