Gnostic Nonsense by Carl E. Olson

Gnostic Nonsense

Carl E. Olson on the Cure for the Common Code

Readers with advanced degrees in comparative religion, European history, symbology, art, and cryptology will have a grand old time” reading The Da Vinci Code, gushed the Louisville Voice Tribune. Never mind that symbology is a fictitious academic discipline and no advanced degrees are currently available. The Chicago Tribune earnestly remarked that the book “transmits several doctorates’ worth of fascinating history and learned speculation.” ABC television featured the novel in a primetime special, National Geographic also plumbed its depths on the tube, and a sea of ink has been spilled examining, critiquing, and mulling over the fiction of a reclusive novelist from New Hampshire.

Why? What is the appeal? Some of it seems obvious. The novel has an intellectual appeal: Fans come away believing they now know things of value. It benefits from the historical illiteracy of many readers, an illiteracy often combined with a measure of gullibility and literary deafness. Unsuspecting readers are exposed for the first time to an attractively revisionist take on church history, a crude but effective feminism, and bracing anti-Catholic lectures. It entertains, surprises, and shocks, to the tune of 18 million copies sold worldwide.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Carl E. Olson is the author of Will Catholics Be ?Left Behind?? (Ignatius), and co-author, with Sandra Miesel, of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius).

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

33.3—May/June 2020

See That You Are Not Alarmed?

On Flight & Fight in the Present Tribulation by Douglas Farrow

5.3—Summer 1992

The Bible Tells Me So

Everything You Need to Know About Morality & the Bible by David Mills

14.1—January/February 2001

The Christian Heart of Fatherhood

The Place of Marriage, Authority & Service in the Recovery of Fatherhood by John M. Haas

00