Bible Answer

Is the book “The DaVinci Code” appropriate reading for a Christian?

I have heard that The DaVinci Code is entertaining fiction. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this. 

The DaVinci Code is a work of fiction, and although the novel’s characters react to the myths as if they were literal truth, any sensible Christian who studies his or her Bible should easily recognize and disregard the myths and false assertions the author weaved into the backdrop of his novel and should be capable of enjoying the book as a work of fiction without suffering harm to their faith.

Having said that, we should also point out that the book is written in a very clever style that could easily lead unbelievers to mistake the fictional storyline for fact. We're less concerned about the movie that followed since the inherent differences between books and movies mean audiences are less likely to confuse a Hollywood plotline for a documentary on history. Nevertheless, the movie has added to the hype surrounding the book, thereby increasing the public's interest in the author’s false claims about Christ’s life.

We should be careful, therefore, when recommending the book to unbelievers. At the very least, we should not recommend the book without also looking for some opportunity to engage the person in a meaningful conversation about the life and purpose of the true Jesus. In that way, the book could actually become an effective witnessing tool to help drive a conversation about the truth of our faith and the Gospel message.

In fact, the book or movie may offer us our only opportunity to conduct such a conversation with an unbeliever who might not otherwise entertain such a discussion. I've even toyed with the thought that the novel (in combination with the Bible, of course) could be made the focus of a useful Sunday School class in teaching young Christians how to defend the tenets of our faith and how to witness to those prone to believing the nonsense contained in the book.

As we ponder your question, two scripture verses come to mind. First, Romans 14:19 instructs us to, “pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” Paul is reminding Christians that every time we make a decision to act in our personal life, we should make a choice that offers the opportunity to encourage strong fellowship with other believers and which will build up others in their faith.

Secondly, Philippians 1:10 teaches, “approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” Much like the first verse, this verse reminds us to give our support and approval only to those things that are “excellent” – in other words, spiritually helpful and pleasing to God. As we consider these two verses, we find it harder to recommend The DaVinci Code as a casual read, so perhaps its only real value is as a tool for use in ministry (in the way described earlier).

As with all issues like this one, ultimately each believer should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in deciding what’s best for him and his walk with the Lord. If you seek His will, He will direct your steps.