Saturday, June 11, 2005

Da Vinci Code Resources

I went to see Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith today with my wife (who, to my surprise, enjoyed it thoroughly!) While there, I saw the poster out for the film version of the bestselling book, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. It's going to do very well, I'm sure, and mirror the book's success, and thus the whole thing becomes a big issue for Christians, and we need to know the details to defend our faith. The book is a ripping yarn, as they say, exciting and full of twists and turns. But as a historical novel (as it purports to be), it is severely lacking - actually, it's pretty much hogwash. Sadly, while easy refutation can be made of many of the books errors, and its fundamental thesis, most Christians know they believe its not true while not knowing how to explain why. To help overcome this, I thought I would create a list of resources for the few interested readers of this blog! First, for those unfamiliar with the book, here's a good summary of some of the major theses:

1. Early Christianity entailed "the cult of the Great Mother" and Mary Magdalene represented the feminine cult and the Holy Grail of traditional lore
2. She was also Jesus' wife and the mother of his children
3. Magdalene womb, carrying Jesus offspring, was the legendary Holy Grail (as seen in Da Vinci's encoded paining, The Last Supper)
4. Jesus was not seen as divine (God) by His followers until Emperor Constantine declared him so for his own purposes
5. The Nicean Council of the 3rd Century was the context for Constantine's power grab and the relationship of Magdalene as paramour of Christ was quashed there
6. "Mary Magdalene's remains and the secret documents that tell the real story were found on the Temple Mount when Jerusalem was conquered in the First Crusade.”
7. Brown sees a connection between the Nag Hammadi documents (a.k.a., Gnostic Gospels) discovered in 1945 and this storyline
8. The "truth" about Christ and Mary Magdalene has been kept alive by a secret society named the Priory of Sion that was lead by great minds like Da Vinci
(source: The Da Vinci Code: Of Magdalene, Gnostic, the Goddess and the Grail)

A quick perusal of these points will show the absurdity of the book to anyone with a decent understanding of early Christianity and the Biblical record. However, many resources are available to help to combat Brown's ridiculous and baseless assertions - in no particular order:

The Da Vinci Code - Seriously? by Jim Lapp. Lists 30 historical innacuracies in Brown's book.

Mary, Mary, Extraordinary by Ben Witherington III. Explains why the proposed idea of an intimate relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is in error.

The Good News of Da Vinci by Darrell Bock. Arguing the Book is actually a good opportunity for witness, and it's success shows a deep interest in its themes.

Review of the Da Vinci Code - part I, Part II by Carl E. Olsen. Extensive refutation of many of the main errors.

Dismantling the Da Vinci Code by Sandra Miesel. Good medium length article on Brown's errors.

The Da Vinci Code Corrected by Craig Keener. Refutes the idea of a suppression by Constantine of a large number of "lost gospels".

The Da Vinci Code Breaker. Has some fact sheets, and a large number of links to relevant material.

Breaking the Da Vinci Code by Collin Hansen. Deals with the fallacy that the Council of Nicea instituted the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and the infallibility of the Bible.

Deciphering the Da Vinci Code by Albert Mohler. The always reliable Dr. Mohler chips in.

The Bible vs. The Da Vinci Code by Chip Ingram. Covers succinctly many of the main issues.

Newsletter 1 and Newsletter 2 on the Davinci Code by Peter Jones. Argue the book can be an impediment to faith among unbelievers, but also an opportunity to witness for the informed Christian.

Decoding the Da Vinci Code by Michael Gleghorn.. ANother good medium length article dealing with the main issues.

Was Jesus Married? by Mark D. Roberts. A five part series covering the evidence well.

Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code by Doug Beaumont (NEW !!!). A good article summarising the main errors and brief responses.

Book Review of the Da Vinci Code by Craig Blomberg (NEW!!!)

Davinci Code Workshop by the faculty of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A 10 part audio series on the book.

For those who want to spend money, or prefer the feel of paper to a computer screen, a number of good books have been written. Four of the best are:

Breaking the Da Vinci Code by Derell Bock

The Gospel Code by Ben WItherington III

Cracking Da Vinci's Code by James Garlow and Peter Jones

The Da Vinci Deception by Erwin Lutzer

The Da Vinci Code is a ripping yarn, but a poor work of history, and easily refuted. With the film coming out soon, we need to be prepared, so get reading!


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