Monday, March 20, 2006

Some bloggers off target on the Code

By now virtually every GodBlogger has written about or linked to some debunking of the <i>Da Vinci Code</i> book. It's a hot topic since best-selling fiction author Dan Brown is on trial in the UK for plagiarizing a purported work of non-fiction on the topic of Gnostic gospels.

I think it's great that we are given a chance to reinforce the historicity of our faith in the face of such malarkey, but we really need to drive home the point if we're going to do this. There's no reason to let Dan Brown off the hook for being a fiction author. He very clearly states, on a lone page at the beginning of his work, that all references to history are fact.

The original appeal of his fictional book was that it raised issues of authenticity of the Scripture. It was not at all similar to the appeal of a fiction author like Michael Crichton, who does exhaustive research, but makes it very clear when he is reporting and when he is dealing in the theoretical to make a broader point. It is very clear that Brown intended to injure the Bible's reputation under the guise of ficton, and he has done so to the greatest degree

I have personally failed in addressing his horrendous accounting of history with a friend. She's a bi-sexual who was very much on the fence with Christianity. She found this book and gave it to me last year because, "It raises some interesting issues."

Try as I might, I confessed to her I had to put it down 50 pages in because the writing was surprisingly bad. It wasn't even fluid storytelling in simple language, like John Grisham's work. I'm no Steinbeck or Hemingway, but as a professional writer, I still have standards for what I read. It was exhausting to work my way through Brown's fractured prose, never once recognizing an author's appeal to suspend my disbelief.

Lacking discernment, it never dawned on me she wanted to engage me on the real purpose of the book, which was to present a fictional history as reality. It's not a mark on my record I look forward to explaining when I stand before the eternal Judger of men.

It is the greatest of irony that Brown is now being accused of stealing his "facts" from a work of non-fiction, <i>Holy Blood, Holy Grail</i>. If Brown had done a single bit of research, even a quick search on Google, he would have discovered that book had been roundly discredited as bogus and a hoax, almost entirely based on certifiably false claims of French royalty by a mentally disturbed man.

Or perhaps that was the whole idea behind writing the same material under a fictional title. He gets the benefits of presenting "facts" while defending them as nothing more than entertainment. It's like <i>implying</i> a false truth about someone, then defending yourself against charges of slander and gossip by noting you never actually uttered an affirmative word.

Sounds clever. Like a well-known serpent.

It's important to speak plainly on this, and to not fall into the lair Brown sets. He clearly believes he has established a fool-proof out no matter how you might attack his "work." There should be no argumentation wiggle room for man who so distinctly defames God's Word, whether he is a liar or a fool.

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