Summary: Part four of a series examining The Da Vinci Code; exposing the errors of Dan Brown’s claims and the truth of history and the Bible.
Decoding The Da Vinci Code – part 4
“Is The N.T. a Reliable Witness of Jesus?”
In times like this, people want things to be secure in their lives. They especially want some security in relation to their core beliefs. I mean, what if the Muslims are right and Christians are wrong about their faith? How can we know that what is recorded in the Bible is trustworthy, more trustworthy, than what is found in any other religious book? What if Dan Brown and others are right and there was a massive cover up and conspiracy in the fourth century to change the Bible – to hide the true identity of Jesus?
Dan Brown tries to undermine our trust in the N.T., suggesting that it has been altered to meet an agenda of a powerful church.
p. 231 – “The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.”
p. 233 – “Many scholars claim that the early Church literally stole Jesus from His original followers, hijacking His human message, shrouding it in an impenetrable cloak of divinity.”
p. 234 – “Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned.”
p. 248 – When referring to later written Gnostic gospels, “According to these unaltered gospels, it is not Peter to whom Christ gave directions with which to establish the Christian Church. It was Mary Magdalene.”
p. 256 – When referring to never seen documents he believes exists, “In those trunks are reputed to be the Purist Documents – thousands of pages of unaltered, pre-Constantine documents, written by the early followers of Jesus, revering Him as a wholly human teacher and prophet.
Well, we have already seen that his claims have no historical basis at all. We have also shown that his claims that there are earlier, more pure and accurate gospel accounts is without any historical merit. But what about the N.T. we do have? Can we trust it as a reliable witness of the life of Jesus?
Does it even matter? The culture has shifted in the past few decades to suggest that it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere about it and as long as you are tolerant of the views of others, not suggesting that your belief is somehow exclusively true. In other words, what is most important is the sincerity of your faith.
Read excerpts from article on Oprah Winfrey -
But that is not true. The truth is that sincerity is important but it is not what makes one’s faith valid or true. What makes one’s faith valid or invalid is the object of that faith. For Christians, the object of our faith is Jesus Christ. Our faith is worthless if Christ is not the Son of God who came to earth, died on the cross and rose from the grave. If the object of our faith is not worthy of trust, then our sincere faith in that object is not well placed.
If I place my faith in something untrue, it will not do me any long term good. Take a walk on a Saturday afternoon down Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. You will see people who place their faith in many strange objects. They will testify that their faith has changed their lives. You cannot argue with that, but you can argue whether or not the object of their faith can actually save them – provide eternal life for them. Take a look at the religious section of Barnes and Nobles or Borders. You will see people claim that they find salvation in many places. But is it true?
Two glasses of liquid – one water and one bleach. Choose one to drink. Pinch your nose and take a long drink. Come choose. If you get the wrong one, your sincerity will not be of much help (drink one). It matters critically what the object of your faith is at that moment.
A Christian is not saved because of the amount of his or her faith, but because the object of their faith, because Christ is who He claimed to be. The value or worth of our faith is not in the one believing but in the one in whom we believe.
Ephesians, 2:8 – “God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”
We are saved by God’s special favor, His grace in Jesus Christ, not by our faith. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith is a necessary arm that reaches to receive the work that Christ did for us on the cross, but it is Christ who saves, not our faith.