Guest / Limited Access /

Twenty years ago, Christian protesters compelled Paramount to abandon Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ. When Universal produced the movie a few years later, Bill Bright offered the studio $10 million to buy the movie and destroy it.

But today, many churches are taking a different approach to a controversial film. Leading up to The Da Vinci Code-Ron Howard's film adaptation of the Dan Brown bestseller-pastors and scholars are writing books, preparing sermon series, and creating websites devoted to "engaging" this pop-cultural phenomenon.

Michael Licona, director of apologetics and interfaith evangelism for the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board, created a 65-minute video lecture to foster discussion about some of the book's claims. He remembers telling people to avoid The Last Temptation.

"I think we made a mistake back then," he says. "I think we communicated that we're not interested in having critical discussions-that if you mention Jesus in a negative way, we're just going to pick up our ball and go home.

"If you look at Acts 17, Paul was familiar with the secular poets, because he quoted them. When he spoke to the philosophers at Athens, he never quoted the Scriptures; he quoted their own poets. And if we're going to relate to nonbelievers as Christians, we need to be familiar with what's coming out, movies and books."

In addition to the many Da Vinci Code-related books filling Christian bookstores, several resources have sprung up online. More than 40 commentators representing Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches have written critical essays for TheDaVinciDialogue.com, a website sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind The Da Vinci Code.

However, some observers ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Emerging Confusion
Jesus is the truth whether we experience him or not.
Current IssueWhy God Doesn’t Let Us In On Everything
Subscriber Access Only
Why God Doesn’t Let Us In On Everything
An excerpt from 'Humble Roots.'
Current IssueJimmy Carter: Pursuing an Arc of Reconciliation
Subscriber Access Only
Jimmy Carter: Pursuing an Arc of Reconciliation
The former president has a new hope for racial justice—starting with the church.
RecommendedEvangelicals' Favorite Heresies Revisited by Researchers
Evangelicals' Favorite Heresies Revisited by Researchers
Second study examines what Americans believe about 47 theological statements.
TrendingOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
Editor's PickWhy the Whole Church Needs Psalm 137, Violent Imagery and All
Why the Whole Church Needs Psalm 137, Violent Imagery and All
A protest song for Syrian refugees and suburban soccer moms.
Christianity Today
'Engaging' Heresy
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.