The good folks at Sony who will bring you the Da Vinci Code movie have decided to deal with their critics by offering them an 'online pulpit':
Should the studio try to mollify the critics who say the "Code" is blasphemy, with its plot describing a church conspiracy to cover up the truth that Jesus married and never rose from the dead? Or should it ignore the complainers, sit back and watch the controversy boost ticket sales?
Instead, Sony has decided to hand a big bullhorn to the detractors of "The Da Vinci Code."
The company is putting up a Web site today — well ahead of the movie's release on May 19 — that will give a platform to some of the fiercest critics of "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown, the book that is the movie's source.
The site, thedavincichallenge.com [not yet active, nac], will post essays by about 45 Christian writers, scholars and leaders of evangelical organizations who will pick apart the book's theological and historical claims about Christianity.
Among the writers are Gordon Robertson, the son of the television evangelist Pat Robertson and co-host of their television show, "The 700 Club," who is writing about how early Christianity survived; and Richard J. Mouw, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary, a leading evangelical school in Pasadena, Calif.
Dr. Mouw, who contributed an essay on, "Why Christians Ought to See the Movie," said: "It's going to be water cooler conversation, so Christians need to take a deep breath, buy the book and shell out the money for the movie. Then we need to educate Christians about what all this means. We need to help them answer someone who says, 'So how do you know Jesus didn't get married?' "
Well, one must question Sony's reason for doing this. It must be to try to manage and blunt the criticism for the movie. And I, for one, will be unimpressed by reading what Gordon Robertson, or rather his ghostwriter, has to say.
Dr. Mouw is half right, at least. We do need to know how to answer the questions that Brown raises. Always remember that anyone can assert anything, and that it is often difficult to prove a negative. Brown asserts that Jesus married, but the burden of proof ultimately lies with him. As there is zero evidence to support the claim, we need not be defensive about it.
Now on the part about shelling out money to buy the book and see the movie, I'm not so sure. I have read the book, but I found my copy at a thrift store. I'll likely see the movie, but I will probably wait to rent it. I want as few dollars as possible to go directly into the coffers of Sony and Dan Brown on this one.