Apparently we've touched a nerve.
We've posted a few commentaries about The Da Vinci Code, which hits theaters on May 19. The first two articles generated some reader feedback, but nothing like this one from Barbara Nicolosi.
Nicolosi not only proposed an "othercott" of Da Vinci—by buying tickets to another movie instead—but also argued that joining the "cultural dialogue" about the book and film is akin to debating with the Devil himself. She also fears that DVC might lead some Christians astray, that "some of the sheep would be scandalized away from Jesus by this idiotic story."
Her remarks lit a fire under many readers. Many applauded her strong words, and many thought she came on too strong. Here's a sampling of responses.
Lisa Rutherford: Bravo!!!! This article was so on target, I practically want to frame it. I just hope the word gets out and enough people do it.
Annie Fitzsimmons:The Da Vinci Code is a FICTIONAL NOVEL. It is pure entertainment, and that's it! Why are Christians flipping out and figuring out how to "othercott" it or "evangelize" through it? Let's talk about the gospel in our churches and go see whatever movies we'd like to see.
David Christy: What an excellent commentary. Thank you so much for a clear voice with specific content, rather than the unending "Dialogue for Consensus" that is literally killing us all.
Dennis Payne: I believe Nicolosi is missing the point for many in the Christian community. We should prepare ourselves and learn our church history that "the church" has neglected to teach. I know our Scriptures very well, but I have been caught off guard with church history. Until now, it hasn't mattered, but to prepare for the movie, I'm reading the book, because we have zero credibility to talk about DVC unless we have read it. I challenge every Christian who wants to make a difference with the outcome of DVC to dive into our church history, read the books and don't be afraid to share with anyone who would ask.
Dan Portnoy: Getting bent out of shape isn't helping anybody. I think this movie is a great way to bring conversations about coworkers' spiritual thoughts out around the water cooler. What an opportunity.
Steve Dratz: Any opportunity that any contemporary topic provides me to share about my relationship with Jesus is one that I relish. I need to go to the movie to offer reasoned comments. Ancient facts about history cannot compare to my changed life in Jesus.
Jan Christian: Well said, Barbara. We do not need to defend our God.We know him from personal experience. It is about box office—going to another movie yes, ha, and even buying popcorn will get my vote.
Jim Price: What would Christ do? I think he would engage the culture, not run away from it.
John Connor: Nicolosi is right in that you don't argue with the Devil, but neither do you walk away. Jesus didn't walk away from those that were filled with evil spirits, nor did he refuse to answer their questions. I think you will find that in every case where the Devil or one of his minions asked Jesus a question, he answered them in truth and in love. That is the opportunity that Christians have with the release of this movie.
Rev. Fr. Gary DeSha: Barbara Nicolosi's article is the best one I have read about the movie, and I agree wholeheartedly!
Robert Ritchie: What a ridiculous article. To encourage people to go see another movie in the next room to where Jesus is being blasphemed, the room full of devils and sin, is wrong and completely ineffective, and the money goes back to Hollywood where all these anti-Jesus attacks come from.
Mike Fabian: If this is how Nicolosi conducts discussions on DVC, no wonder her audiences are belligerent. Maybe she's missing a chance to evangelize because people don't respond well to being described as "narcissistic sheep" of "mediocre understanding" who "bleat defiance and pride of their filth." Jesus never used such language to speak of those confused about matters of faith. He called them "lost sheep" who needed to be found. He reserved such condemnatory words for smug religious leaders who belittled anyone who questioned the sanctity of their doctrines. Hmm, sounds like Nicolosi might qualify.
Joyce K. Young: This is a novel, nothing but fiction. You people need to get a life.
Kim Pratt: Amen, Sister. DVC is pure trash and it does grieve the Holy Spirit. And does anyone remember that the elect CANNOT be deceived? Maybe this movie will separate the sheep and goats a bit.
Josh Johnson: Indeed this movie presents blasphemy and heresy, but as Christians, we have a duty to present the truth. Ignoring the problem does not make it go away. Loving the world and listening openly without condemning is the way to respond. I am appalled that you would back away from such a time as this, a time to love non-believers as Christ would. You seem to show no sign that you believe Christ's power is with you. You act as if his Spirit can't fight this battle. What a shame to see this lack of faith.
Blair Wainman: Nicolosi is right. God doesn't any more need defending than this culture needs to be engaged. Engaging the secular culture is like embracing a piece of rotten meat: You can do it but you come away smelling bad yourself. Going to see a movie that blasphemes Christ is not the answer to reaching out to people in this secular culture.
Heather Tayloe: Nicolosi seems so angry—who stepped on her puppy? I don't understand to whom she is speaking when she says "what can we as Christians do in response … "Is she speaking to those she calls "teeming little narcissistic lambs"? Aren't we all sheep? A bit of a superiority complex if you ask me!
Shirley Holden: I enjoyed this book for what it was: Fiction. It's people who make a big deal of it that worry me.
Rachel Ward: FANTASTIC article!! Count me in for Over the Hedge on May 19th. I'll be taking six other paying people with me, and passing along your idea to everyone I know.
Tom McElroy: Poor Barbara. Scared little sheep. The Big Bad Wolf is on the loose, run away! Perhaps she has forgotten 1 John 4:4: "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." Or Matthew 16:18: "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The book/film is only dangerous to professing Christians who have no root. Westminster Theological Seminary has a thorough website debunking DVC and providing a solid scholarly resource for God's people to meet this challenge head on—and to talk to non-believers about it. That's Plan A. Plan B is to run, hide, and go see some great, spirit strengthening, apologetic stretching, sanctifying fluff like Over the Hedge. I'm goin' with Plan A.
Mike Shipman: Paul engaged the Greek philosophers at Mars Hill; he didn't condemn them. Being defensive and retiring behind our church walls is in my opinion a reactionary response to a great opportunity to engage with people who do not normally go to church.
Suzanne O'Connor: It's just a movie. It's just a story. Sometimes it's good to stretch your imagination and think of other possibilities, as different and off beat as they may be. I'm not so afraid to let this be "introduced into my heart and mind." How silly. Go see it and buy a lot of popcorn and Jujubees.
Steve Gertz: Nicolosi's warnings about debating the Devil is at the heart of the matter. How many Christians really are prepared to rebut the idea that the Bible is the result of political machinations and not truth as Christians hold it? What many Christians may not realize about this attack on the Council of Nicea is that opponents of Christian faith have for centuries been arguing that that council dreamed up Jesus' divinity. This argument was made in the Middle Ages by Muslims, and others have argued similarly. I find it instructive that long before Dan Brown and the Gnostic Gospel fad, those denying Jesus' divinity had Nicaea in their crosshairs.
Linda Closson: Finally, a biblically sound approach to the Da Vinci Code heresy! Kudos to Barbara Nicolosi.
John Bennett: Attending another movie, or any movie for that matter, is simply augmenting the coffers of the whole sorry movie industry.
Dan Stanley: Barbara Nicolosi seems to miss the whole point that hardened people are not open to evangelism in the first place, no matter what they're hardened by. DVC presents opportunities for those who begin to question, not for those who accept the DVC conspiracy hook, line and sinker. I believe there will be a whole lot more of the former rather than the latter. And besides, what's her alternative to challenging people who are convinced by DVC? Just allowing them to stay convinced without challenge, while we go and see another movie? Sounds all right for us, but not too good for them.
John Del Ricci: I was put off by Nicolosi's "writing off" of lost people seemingly as a whole. I too am disgusted by DVC, but I must remember when I was a heathen, steeped in the philosophy of the world and the devil. I'm sure my intellectual ideas were just as offensive to the Christians God sent my way. Praise God for the few who didn't judge and write me off; they were firm in the Truth, but they had a love for my eternal soul. I wish that heretical things would not even raise their ugly head, but when they do, I think it is more Christlike to at least be open to witness and yes, even dialogue with them. If we are willing to do that, I believe the Spirit of God will open up an avenue for the Truth—and someone may actually get saved.
Betsy Babcock: It astounds me that Nicolosi recommends that we avoid engagement in discussion pertaining to topics we disagree with, or that discredit our Lord. Those are exactly the topics we should be addressing—in an informed manner. If we give up before the battle even begins, then Satan has indeed won.
Nannette Serra: I totally agree. Why give it the time of day? This nonsense about DVC being an exceptional movie to use as an evangelistic tool can be applied to any movie. Is this not just another Trojan horse? We drag it into the church because it appears to be a "wonderful tool for evangelism," and inside lurk all kind of demonic heresies ready to lurch out and attack unsuspecting babes in Christ.
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