Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"Danned if you do. Danned if you don't."

Those who try to explain the dangers posed by the claims made in Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code, are bound to meet a very common and tired sequence of questions and comments, says Carl E. Olson. In his blog devoted to exposing the errors of Brown's TDVC, Olson takes up some of the responses given by those who are either "puzzled, amused, or annoyed that some Christians are (gasp!) responding to the historical and theological claims made in TDVC." A typical line of inquiry begins with the question, "Why are you so worried about a work of fiction?" But once an explanation has been given as to why TDVC is not "just fiction," says Olson, one is typically greeted, in turn, by the following sorts of questions:
  • "But isn't it a good thing that people are talking about religious beliefs?"
  • "What are Christians so afraid of? Obviously you are hiding something or else you wouldn't be defensive."
  • "Well, you have to admit that the Catholic Church has brought all of this negative attention on itself by being so mean and secretive."
  • "But isn't it true that we really can't know what happened in the first century? After all, we really don't have any reliable evidence about Jesus, do we?"
In a contribution to what has become a veritable industry since the Brown book's publication, Olson discusses these questions in detail more patient than I could begin to muster. ("Danned if you do. Danned if you don't" -- yes, that's spelled correctly!)

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