I read the book when it came out because so many people told me how amazing it is/was. True, there are inaccuracies, but there are also little gems where concepts that we all wonder about are explained in a way that makes them easier to understand.
As a Christian educator, I suggest that pastors make this book (or the movie, when it becomes available to the general public) an adult or teen Bible study. I strongly recommend it be a teen Bible study. Why? Because, we need to challenge them. We need to allow them to ask questions. We should not say, "Don't read it." We say instead, "Read it with a critical eye." Read it with them and challenge them to find the inaccuracies. We NEED to teach them to do that on their own so that when they come across these things throughout their lives, their red flags pop up where they should. Ask them:
- Where are the Biblical inaccuracies?
- Where are the doctrinal untruths?
- What strikes you as being wrong here?
- What about this particular part of the book is biblically right or wrong?
- Is there anything here that seems wrong, but you're not sure why?
- How can we take what's good from this and throw the chaff to the wind?
As Lutherans we have a tendency to tell people not to see it or not to read it instead of teaching them to do so with a filter. We don't give them or strengthen their filter. That's one of our biggest problems, telling people "It's wrong. Don't bother reading/watching it." I say, do it. Read it. Watch it. Do it together. Teach them to take what's good and throw away the chaff. It's important that they learn to think and see false teachings on their own.