I read The Da Vinci Code when it first came out. I bought the book and sat down and read it cover to cover in a day while I was on vacation. Then I read it again. The second time I read the book I was near a computer so I took the time to look up the art and some of the concepts referenced in the book. (There's a newer version out now, with pictures of the referenced art work - I recommend the newer version if you can get your hands on it.)
It's a good book. I read it cover to cover in a day and I need a riveting plot to get that done. But the plot is the best part of this book. It's the plot that made it a best seller; the prose is ham-handed and he could have really used some help with line editing. But a good plot makes up for that - and should make for a good movie as you can breeze past the excessive use of adverbs and adjectives and just show what happened.
Controversy? Of course there's controversy. And that helps with selling books. I read Satanic Verses because of the fatwa imposed on Salman Rushdie (excellent book, by the way). I read banned books. Controversy is the best way to get read.
Here's what I think:
- The book is a work of fiction. do not use this book for spiritual guidance, that's not its purpose, it is made for entertainment.
- The controversy is not new - it's as old as the nicene creed.
- The church will survive the exposure.
- This book gets people thinking and talking (and unfortunately, some people talking without thinking).
- If this book makes you think and even question your faith, that's good. Unthinking and unquestioned faith is one of the sources of our current problems in the world (and yes, I mean Christians too).
- Use your brain. Try to avoid knee-jerk reactions.