I have heard this response from many people I know and I’d like to explain what’s wrong with it. Yes, it’s fiction. But Dan Brown himself has come out publicly and said that within the story, he intends to challenge the historical account of Christ as well as that of Scripture itself by asking, “How do we know any of the things said of Christ are true?” Hmm, that’s a big problem to me, and it’s coming from the author himself. And what a better way to do that in the form of fictional, conspiratorial entertainment that captivates the average American. He has found quite a platform to launch his real agenda.
The story itself is fiction, it never happened, yes. Any “in-your-face” unbeliever must admit that, if they know anything concerning Christianity. It’s really an intriguing story and from what I’ve heard a real page turner. But what Dan Brown does within the fictional story is raises the question, “How can we possibly know if Scripture is breathed out by God, and if that’s the case, how do we know if anything is historically correct about who Christ actually was? If there are 80 other gospels that were written back in the early church, but only 4 were accepted in the canon of Scripture, how can we know if those gospels are accurate in any manner?” One of the big problems is that Dan Brown knows more historical information concerning the early church than most people, and specifically more than most Christians (though he’s dead wrong on about half of it, and it can be proven). He then takes that information and twists it with absolute historical lies in an attempt to paint a picture of the early church that is dead wrong.
The danger of this book is not that people will believe the fictional story actually happened (those who do are missing his main point any way), but rather the danger is that Brown raises questions about the truthfulness of Christianity altogether, and he knows the average American Christian cannot answer the questions that unbelievers will now be raising (which sadly, in my personal estimation, is true). The positive aspect about these questions being raised is that I believe it will separate out those who are the faithful of Christ from those who are frauds. It will separate the sheep from the goats, basically, because much of modern day Christianity has been blurred with the ways of the world because of the passive, watered-down, culture-friendly preaching by pastors within much of the church. We must return to and know how to defend the 5-Solas of the Reformation: Salvation is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, infallibly revealed in Scripture Alone, all for the Glory of God Alone.
Persecution is good for the church, mainly because it purifies her and makes her holy, sets her apart from the world and it’s ways, and exposes those who do not truly believe within the church, that they may be shown for what they are. Could it shake the faith of some unestablished believer’s? Sure it could. But it will challenge them to know why they believe what they believe, and thus get them established in their faith, that they may know that the roots of their salvation are in God alone and His Son’s work on the cross to bring them back to life from spiritual death … And that they may know that God has revealed Himself through the Scriptures alone and that what has been canonized as Scripture has been breathed out by God Himself through the pens of His people.