Well, Hollywood is at it again. The evil entertainment empire is loading its guns and taking aim at us Christians, determined to undermine our faith and bring us down.

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

They're making a movie of The Da Vinci Code, which we all know is full of lies. All lies! I mean, Jesus and Mary Magdalene getting married and having kids?? Give me a break!

To top it all off, they're doing it with a couple of Good Guys we've come to know and trust—Tom Hanks and Ron Howard. Hanks, who brought us the heroes in Saving Private Ryan and Apollo 13, and our favorite  CGI toy cowboy, Woody! And Howard, the guy behind Cinderella Man, Apollo 13, and Cocoon. Plus, he was Opie AND Richie Cunningham. How can you not love these guys!

I'm feeling betrayed—by Hanks, Howard, and Hollywood. The three lethal H's. They're a threat to me and my faith—and to anybody who claims to be a Christian.

So I have a brilliant idea. When the movie hits theaters on May 19, let's organize a mass boycott and picket lines in front of the theaters. That'll teach 'em. I can't think of a better way to …

Hang on a sec. I just got an urgent e-mail …

Um, that was from Josh McDowell, the famous Christian author and apologist. He says I should actually read the book instead of just dissing it. And consider going to see the movie. What??

McDowell says he's even written a book urging us to engage all things Da Vinci. His e-mail says, "The main purpose of my book is to reinforce Christians' belief and placate their skepticism. If you look carefully, truth will always stand. I look at the book and the movie as a platform for evangelism. A little controversy can be a marvelous tool."

Man, is he naï ve! Everybody knows that if it comes out of Hollywood, it's more powerful than anything we Christians can possibly counter with. We don't stand a chance! But we've got to fight anyway!

So, as I was saying, we should make a big stink about Da Vinci. Remember how effective we were back in '88, when they released The Last Temptation of Christ? We screamed and yelled and wielded our signs: "Blasphemy!" The studio says they got a lot of free publicity when we did that; they claim that our protests actually gave them a boost at the box office. But you know these Hollywood studios. They're always lying!

So, when it comes to Da Vinci, I say we should …

Just a moment. The phone's ringing …

Um, that was Robert K. Johnston, Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Seminary. He's telling me, "Belligerence seldom works. It is more for the speaker than the listener."

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Yeah, what does he know? Just because he wrote a couple of books (Finding God in the Movies and Reel Spirituality), he thinks he's some kind of "expert" on engaging pop culture. The nerve!

Anyway, back to my point: Remember how we boycotted Disney all those years? Boy, we really showed them! And now they're really trying to kiss and make up. I mean, what other reason could they possibly have for doing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe?

See how effective boycotts are? We get the movies we want! Belligerence does work! Therefore, I propose that we …

Excuse me, I'm getting an IM here …

Sorry for the interruption. That was George Barna, the Christian pollster. He's rambling on about some "thoughtful and strategic reaction" to Da Vinci. He says maybe we can "use the movie as a springboard for conversation and exploration regarding the roots of the Christian faith." He writes that "66 percent of adults"—George always resorts to statistics to try to "prove" his point!—"say that in a typical week they dialogue with friends and work associates about the content of movies and TV shows they have recently seen. The reach and slant of The Da Vinci Code will raise countless opportunities for open discussion of such matters. Christians who recognize and engage those moments of opportunity can do much to advance the cause of truth."

Sheesh, he's got to be kidding! Nothing is more effective than a picket line for "advancing the cause of truth." I've just finished painting my favorite sign for our picket down at the megaplex: "Dan Brown is a Big Fat Liar!" And on the back side: "So is Ron Howard!" Isn't that great! When people come up to me and ask about it, then I'll really stick it to 'em with the TRUTH of the gospel!

Barna, Shmarna. Forget those pop culture conversations around the water cooler, which just involve a few folks. But a picket will get the attention of lots of people. We might even be on TV!

For all these reasons, when it comes to The Da Vinci Code, I urge my fellow believers …

Rats! Another interruption! My cell phone is ringing …

That was Darrell L. Bock, another one of those head-in-the-sand seminary profs. He teaches at Dallas Theological Seminary. But he did write a book called Breaking the Da Vinci Code; now there's a title I like! I figured at least he would be tracking with me.

But NO-O-O-O! Bock actually says we shouldn't view the movie as a threat. He says it's only a threat "if its facts are right, or it could simply persuade by making its claims."

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OK, fine. So I told him that everybody doesn't have to picket. They can just pretend it doesn't even exist.

"Neither can you ignore it," Bock said. "The novel has sold 30 million copies, and 100 million people have probably read it or at least know its plot. It is a cultural phenomenon already. This topic will be on the cultural radar screen for a key portion of 2006."

He's right about that, because we Christians will make sure of it. We'll make so much noise with our boycotts and pickets that everybody will know about it. We'll run Sony Pictures out of business! We'll make sure Ron Howard AND Tom Hanks never work again! We'll …

AARRGGHH! Another interruption! But it's not the phone or my PC. It's a still, small voice inside …

"I'm not afraid of The Da Vinci Code," the voice says. "Sure, it's full of lies, but I've had worse things said and written about me, and I've come out just fine. And besides, I love Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, and everyone associated with this movie. You've seen the tagline on their trailer and poster: Seek the truth. They're all just seeking the truth, and I am that truth. They're looking for me. I can still be found."

I started to say something, but decided to shut up for a change.

"Besides," the voice continued, "if lies about me were such a threat, why would I have allowed so many of them to make it into your Bible? All those nasty things people said about me. And the things they did to me—mocked, scorned, beaten, bloodied, crucified. But I bounced back pretty well, don't you think?"

Good point.

"Do you really think the lies of a book and a movie will bring me down? I don't like it when people lie about me, but I can take it. The question is, what will you do about it? Please don't attack them—and certainly not in my name. Talk to them; talk to anybody who believes those lies. But first, you'll have to study up and know why they're lies. You'll have to know what you're talking about.

"My man Peter got it right when he wrote, 'Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.' Good words, those. Remember them.

"Ron and Tom aren't bad people; neither is Dan Brown, and neither are the millions who buy into his book or this movie. They're just looking for the truth. So help them find it … with gentleness and respect. Can't you do that? For me?"

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Thankfully, that was the last interruption of the day. But it was a good one.

I'm calling off the boycott. And the picket.

Editor's note: We are not suggesting that Christians necessarily should watch The Da Vinci Code when it comes to theaters; skipping it is certainly a viable option. We are only suggesting that the Christian community be willing to take part in the overall cultural discussion about the film and the book, rather than take a reactionary approach with noisy protests and organized boycotts—just as we would hope secular culture would take part in the discussion of "our" movies, like Narnia and The Passion of The Christ.

Quotes from McDowell and Johnston were gleaned from this article. Quotes from Barna and Bock were gleaned from this website.