Darrell Bock has beaten Ben Witherington to the punch by being the first to release a book deflating Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code (books debunking Brown are a good thing). The folks over at The Leadership Journal interview Bock about it:
The Da Vinci Code has been at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for weeks. Why is it so popular?And that's why Brown can't simply be dismissed. He's positioned himself as an expert on the "real" Biblical history while providing cover when he needs it by claiming simply to be a novelist. It's good to see folks fighting back. Piling on, in this case, is also a good thing.
It's well written and kind of romantic. It's set in Paris and Edinburgh. There's mystery; there's the invoking of secret Gospels, which suggest that the book is revealing knowledge that has been suppressed.
He is working with elements of scholarship that have popularized some of the ideas surrounding the secret Gospels. This is an attempt to de-center the role of the Bible by suggesting there are other texts that say different things.
It's a novel! Will readers take those ideas as fact?
Basically yes. The real problem is that he's writing about areas that people don't know much about. The author suggests that he's researched it carefully, and you tend to trust him.