Is The Da Vinci Code the hidden truth or the best-selling lie, Dr. D. James Kennedy poses in his new television documentary airing this weekend.
Curiosity over the truth of Christianity has peaked with the translation of Dan Brown's controversial novel to the big screen next week. The book has already sold more than 40 million copies in 44 languages and with the film scheduled for global release May 19, The Da Vinci Code "will no doubt get its message across to millions more people who have never read the book," said Kennedy, president of Coral Ridge Ministries, on "The Da Vinci Delusion."
Recent reports show a largely offended Christian population hopeful to ban the controversial movie from getting its message out in their homelands. Catholics in the Philippines are calling the government to ban the "blasphemous" film and those in India have announced a "fast unto death" unless the government takes action against the motion picture release.
As best-selling author and journalist Lee Strobel stated in the documentary, what the novel and movie may bring about among populations worldwide is "serious stuff."
"I think anything ... that points people away from Jesus Christ – the only way to get to heaven – contributes to individuals who may someday find themselves eternally separated from God. This is serious stuff," he said.
The protests and seriousness of the matter have caused many to tell Christians and religious scholars to "chill out," as one professor stated.
"One of the big objections I get every time I discuss The Da Vinci Code is 'Chill out Maier. It's fiction, isn't it?'" said Dr. Paul Maier, professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University.
But Maier responds, "Every novel that you've read has fictional foreground characters but in the background there's a credible setting isn't there?
"The reader expects the background to be credible and accurate. They just assume that."
Although Christians say the heated controversies presented in the novel attacks the core of Christianity, many of them are also telling fellow believers not to fear "the Da Vinci tsunami."
Susy Flory, co-author of Fear Not Da Vinci: Using the Best-selling Novel to Share your Faith, encourages Christians not to boycott the book and movie.
"So far, the Christian response to The Da Vinci Code has ranged from ignorance and apathy to a passionate defense of the faith carried out in debunking books, blogs, TV specials, Bible studies, and water cooler discussions ... and on the sides of minivans," said Flory. "But is all of this defending of the faith effective?"
"People want to know who Jesus is and if the Bible can be trusted," she said in a released statement. "Instead of boycotting the book and the movie, let's be ready with answers."
Flory acknowledged the cultural reality of millions who love the book and millions more who will watch the film. And she is telling Christians to "join them," and meet them on common ground to share their faith.
"The Da Vinci Code is a bridge to the culture ... go ahead and cross it, to God's glory."
The upcoming television documentary, a broadcast of Coral Ridge Ministries, is being broadcasted nationwide May 13 and 14, days ahead of the movie opening to give answers and correct the misinformation propagated in Brown's novel.