As the movie version of The Da Vinci Code prepares to open, the controversy surrounding it has people talking. I’ve read articles on blogs and in magazines about why Christians should and should not read the book/see the movie. Until today, I was confident in my decision to skip the book (and probably the movie). I had read Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, which is similar in the riveting, page-turning action and the convoluted picture of Christianity portrayed. I could see why those not grounded in faith, doctrine, and church history could be easily confused. I didn’t see the need to read another Dan Brown novel.

However, today I had the opportunity to comment for the local newspaper on the book and its theology. And I couldn’t. I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t read the material and had nothing authoritative to say.

Of course there is a line to what we take into our mind (Do we watch porn so we can speak about it authoritatively? No.) . But I found myself reminded of one the best reasons we should encourage the higher education of Christians: If you want to fight on the front lines of the culture war (or even be in the battle), you have to know what you are fighting. We have to be ready to give an answer “in season or out of season.” Sometimes you can just share the Gospel, but often your conversations start on the world around you, a book, a movie, a play. If you haven’t read Nietsche, or Marx, or Darwin or Dan Brown, you can’t discuss them intelligently with a seeker. You never know when your chance may come.