Before I commence, here's a little info:
In order that I should not spoil, for anyone that has not read it, the "twist" in The Da Vinci Code, I shall, henceforth, refer to it simply as "The Theory."
Anyone who has read The Da Vinci Code knows what The Theory is, and exactly why it's caused the Vatican to get its knickers in a twist, not to mention getting Christian apologists everywhere foaming at the mouth.
In response to The Da Vinci Code, several of these apologists have published books claiming to refute it. Titles like The Da Vinci Deception, The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code, The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing The Errors In The Da Vinci Code and Cracking Da Vinci's Code stand in bookstores, often sharing displays with the book which was their inspiration.
Firstly, let's examine the dichotomy here. Christian apologists are falling over themselves to remind us over and over that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction. Now, why are these people spending so much time and effort in refuting a work of fiction, and a self-admitted work of fiction at that? Why are they searching its pages for even the tiniest of errors so that they may trumpet its fictional status from the rooftops?
Okay, I always remind myself to look for the lowest common denominator. Some of these authors, at least, are likely to be simply jumping on the bandwagon, using the hype surrounding the upcoming movie release in order to make money or increase their literary standing amongst the Christian bookbuying public.
But at least some must be doing it because they genuinely believe that The Da Vinci Code represents a genuine threat to the Roman Catholic church - and to Christianity in general - and desperately want to refute it.
But that's not what prompted this entry, per se.
I was in Waldenbooks today, where I picked up a copy of Deception Point by Dan Brown and The Massianic Legacy by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
Both of these books were on a display with various books related to The Da Vinci Code including the Christian apologist books named above.
What startled me is that most of the books that seek to refute The Theory contain, on their back-cover blurb, the same error. Most describe The Theory as being "Dan Brown's wild theory", or some variation thereof.
But it's not Dan Brown's theory, wild or otherwise.
The Theory was first advanced in the pages of Holy Blood, Holy Grail which, remember, was first published in 1982.
Dan Brown even mentions Holy Blood, Holy Grail in The Da Vinci Code as being the first place that The Theory was brought to the attention of the public.
But it's easier to undermine The Theory if it's the work of one novelist than if it's the product of three highly respected historians' years of painstaking research.
And if these apologist authors cannot even get the basic facts straight for the back-cover blurb, what makes them believe we'll trust them with what's inside the book?