Summary: Part one of a four-part series discussing claims of the book. The focus is not on slamming the author, but rather on answering the claims in a reasoned and reasonable manner.
Can We Trust the Gospels?
(The Da Vinci Code – Part 1)
May 14, 2006
Well, today we begin what I anticipate will be a four week series on the best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code.
I’ve been looking forward to this for awhile. And the main reason is that I always love opportunities to show that the truth of Scripture will always outlast attempts to try and discredit it.
But I want to make one thing perfectly clear: the purpose of these messages is not to crucify Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code. He’s getting enough of that in other places, and I don’t think it serves any purpose.
Rather, I think our hearts should be broken for him, and we should be praying that God would draw him to Jesus – the Jesus of the Bible.
One of the things the book has done is to cause people to ask questions, and that’s a good thing, in my opinion.
But as I’ve mentioned in previous messages, questions need to stem from an honest desire to find the answers rather than a cynical desire to find excuses to chuck the whole thing.
God promises answers to those who come to him with the right motives. He doesn’t always give us the answer we want or expected, or even give us the answer in our lifetime, but God’s not afraid of questions.
And folks, you have to understand that God is not threatened by this book, and we shouldn’t feel threatened, either.
So my goal through these messages isn’t to give you ammunition to “beat up” people who have read the book or see the movie and believe what they read or saw.
I’ve got two main goals for these messages:
My first goal is to give you some information and tools to use in reasoned discussions with people who care to talk with you about it.
The second goal is to help strengthen your own grips and encourage your faith in the Word of God, which is the primary goal of today’s message.
Upcoming Schedule of Messages, unless I decide otherwise:
5/21 – Who Was Jesus?
5/28 – Who Was Mary Magdelene?
6/4 – The Place of Popular Literature.
Before we get much further, I want to say that I have read the book, and found it quite interesting, in terms of a murder thriller.
I don’t believe any of its claims regarding Jesus and the Scriptures, but I have to admit the book was hard to put down. I’ll probably see the movie as well, for the sake of being able to discuss the way it portrays things as well.
Why bother with this series? After all, it’s a novel, not a theology book.
The main reason is because Dan Brown makes claims about the Bible and Jesus that he says are fact. And readers are eating it up.
Listen to this quote by British Justice Peter Smith, that I found on Foxnews.com:
"Merely because an author describes matters as being factually correct does not mean that they are factually correct. It is a way of blending fact and fiction together to create that well known model ’faction.’ The lure of apparent genuineness makes the books and the film more receptive to the readers/audiences. The danger of course is that the faction is all that large parts of the audience read, and they accept it as truth." (Foxnews.com - Impending ’Da Vinci Code’ Movie Release Spurs Religious Debate, May 1, 06.
Do you see why this is so important?
Note – the following paragraphs adapted from an article entitled, New Study Shows What Public Believes About “The Da Vinci Code,” by Ed Stetzer, posted at Pastors.com
A recent poll by Zogby International made a couple of findings of interest.
The first finding was that the more a person knew of the book, the more likely he or she was to consider the claims of The Da Vinci Code to be true, or to consider neither the book nor the Bible as “closer to the truth.” And since more and more people are about to be increasingly familiar with the book, this should be a cause for concern.
A second finding was that the more familiar a person was the content, the more likely they were to believe that Christianity is “suppressing the truth (about Jesus, Mary Magdelene’s marriage to Jesus, her role in the church, etc.)”
But the poll also found some good news. Here’s a question from the survey: The movie uses the tag line, “seek the truth.” Which book would you consider to be closer to the truth, The Da Vinci Code or The Bible?
The survey showed that 72% felt that the Bible was closer to the truth than the book.