Dan Brown’s Inferno is burning up the best-seller lists. Here’s an article I wrote for the Wall Street Journal, back when The Da Vinci Code was a sensation.
The fundamental problem with “The Da Vinci Code” is that it subjects the traditional story of Jesus to unforgiving scrutiny, like an inquisitor who simply won’t accept what his tortured victim is screaming at him. Then it proposes an elaborate thesis based on wide-eyed speculation, claiming that a few scraps of ancient writing — e.g., the so-called Gospel of Philip, a Gnostic text written in the third century — assert things that they barely even hint at. If this represents an assault on two millennia of Christian thought, as some have claimed, then the faithful can rest easy. They’ve survived Galileo and Darwin; they’ll outlast Dan Brown.