Sony isn't stupid. As the worldwide bestseller and much discussed, debated and disliked (among Christians especially) The Da Vinci Code heads to theaters on May 19th, Sony has put together a truly brilliant marketing scheme. They have started a website called The Da Vinci Challenge for Christians. On the site Christian experts will deal with issues raised by The Da Vinci Code between now and the release date. Currently there are articles by Darrell Bock, George Barna and Richard Mouw, and links for discussion take you to the Hollywood Jesus website.
From The Da Vinci Challenge...
The primary focus of The Da Vinci Challenge is to help Christians prepare for the inevitable question that will arise with the release of the film, “What do you think of The Da Vinci Code?”
These are the facts - currently, there over 40 million hardback copies of The Da Vinci Code in print. There have been thousands of column inches already written about The Da Vinci Code, and there will surely be more. It is now possible to take tours across Europe to visit historic sites referenced in the novel. On May 19, 2006, the highly-anticipated film version of the book, starring Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks, will open in theaters. There are literally millions and millions of devoted fans of The Da Vinci Code spanning the globe.
But there are also numerous people worldwide who question the theories espoused in The Da Vinci Code. Books refuting the claims of the best-selling novel have collectively sold millions of copies. Churches have held sermons and seminars to address the controversy and dispute assertions that many believe run counter to the foundations of their faith. These, too, are the facts.
The Da Vinci Challenge offers a thoughtful and faithful response to the questions raised by The Da Vinci Code. In the weeks leading up to the release of the film, prominent scholars and experts from across the spectrum of Christianity have volunteered to tackle specific issues raised by The Da Vinci Code – cultural, historical, theological and practical. By tapping into the collective wisdom of these respected Christian men and women, The Da Vinci Challenge hopes to present a forum where people can wrestle with the complex topics raised by the book and the film.
While Sony Pictures Entertainment has provided the means for this discussion to take place, neither the studio, the filmmakers nor Dan Brown have any editorial control over the content of this site. None of the Christian experts have been paid for their commentary or insights. This is an open forum where discussion, debate and disagreement are welcome. The Da Vinci Challenge wholeheartedly invites you to join the conversation.