Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Da Vinci Hoax
A Tour de Distortion

Hat Tip to Chuck Colson

Charles Colson went to prison for his part in the shenanigans of the Nixon White House. While there, he found the Lord and has devoted his life to prison ministry. Colson also publishes an e-letter called "BreakPoint," to which I have subscribed for some time. Well, if the truth will set you free, an honest search for the truth will lead one to the True Church. I throw that in because I have been impressed with Colson's constant defense of false attacks on the Catholic Church. He is also apt to quote from Catholic saints with some regularity. In this latest edition, he covers the errors of the DaVinci Code, which is exerpted below:

G. K. Chesterton famously said something to this effect: When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing—they believe in anything. A good example of this is Umberto Eco's novel Foucault's Pendulum, in which a group of friends program a computer to "write" a book about secret hidden knowledge. Titled The Plan, the book is the result of random links between things like Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, the Knights Templar, and other crackpot ideas. While The Plan was intended as a prank, other people take it seriously, with tragic results.

Well, Foucault's Pendulum shows us how gullible unbelieving people are. And this is particularly so in our postmodern age when truth doesn't matter. This phenomenon partly explains the remarkable success of The Da Vinci Code.

Author Dan Brown gives us a Jesus who neither died on the cross nor rose from the dead. Instead, He married Mary Magdalene and had children by her. This "sacred blood line" is the treasure safeguarded by groups like the Knights Templar and the Masons. And the Catholic Church, in a desperate attempt to cover up this secret, murders those who threaten to expose it.
With the upcoming film, interest in The Da Vinci Code will explode. Christians need to seize this teaching opportunity, preparing ourselves to answer questions readers are asking.

The first is: Are the historical events portrayed in Brown's story true? Brown claims to have done extensive historical research and gives his readers no reason to doubt the novel's accuracy. Since the average person knows almost nothing about Christian history, they're vulnerable. For example, when Brown says that Knights Templar were put to death by the Catholic Church because they knew the "true story" about Jesus, people have no basis to question it, never having heard of the Knights Templar. Or when Brown says that at the Council of Nicea, the Vatican consolidated its power, most people are unaware that the Vatican didn't even exist in A.D. 325.

It is our job to expose the falsehoods. We can learn to answer Brown's lies with the truth by reading books like Darrell Bock's Breaking the Da Vinci Code and Erwin Lutzer's The Da Vinci Deception.

Next time: Another commentary on the DaVinci Code from Father Ike.

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