Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Barna poll on the Da Vinci Code

Barna has an interesting poll out recently

Perceived Value of the Content
Among the adults who have read the entire book, one out of every four (24%) said the book was either “extremely,” “very,” or “somewhat” helpful in relation to their “personal spiritual growth or understanding.” That translates to about 11 million adults who consider The Da Vinci Code to have been a helpful spiritual document.

Changing People’s Beliefs
The study also explored whether or not the book caused people to change some of their religious beliefs. Among the 45 million who have read The Da Vinci Code , only 5% - which represents about two million adults – said that they changed any of the beliefs or religious perspectives because of the book’s content. …

“On the other hand,” the researcher continued, “any book that alters one or more theological views among two million people is not to be dismissed lightly. That’s more people than will change any of their beliefs as a result of exposure to the teaching offered at all of the nation’s Christian churches combined during a typical week.”

While 5% is a relatively small percentage when you deal with 5% of 45 million it adds up and it becomes significant that the ideas in this book changed their beliefs or religious perspectives based upon very faulty information presented in the book. Probably the biggest problem is Dan Brown’s assertion in introduction of the book that the book is based upon facts apart from the mystery crime elements of the story.

Right after the Acknowledgement the book says:

The Priory of Sion-a European secret society founded in 1099-is a real organization. In 1975 Paris's Bibliothèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic sect that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brainwashing, coercion, and a dangerous practice known as "corporal mortification." Opus Dei has just completed construction of a $47 million World Headquarters at 243 Lexington Avenue in New York City.
All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.
It is also peculiar that 24% said the book was at least somewhat helpful in their spiritual growth or understanding. Mainly because the book offers no Christian perspective of spirituality. Dan Brown's pagan [site loads slowly] views are offered and a distorted Catholic view through the Opus Dei characters

To end on a good note the Book and movie seems to lead Catholics back to the Bible according to the latest Zogby poll

The survey of Catholics nationwide also found that the movie The Da Vinci Code will drive more Catholics than not to the scriptures. A plurality – 42% – said that after hearing about the book and movie, they intend to seek truth by studying the Bible more closely.

A couple of my articles on the Da Vinci code can be found at:
A Christian Aspect Review of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code -If it’s Tuesday this must be a conspiracy- humor

No comments: