Summary: A look at a few of the issues behind Dan Brown’s book.

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The Da Vinci Code- definitive or deceptive document?

Sun 28th Aug 2005 wbc .1 Tim 1:3-7 & Col 2:6-10 from GNB

Readers please note: tapes of this are available from Carolyn Breakwell. The tape will make more sense to you than my script.

Why covering this?

- a tremendously successful book

- 25 million copies in the last year

o cracking good read

o gonna do even better- here we are doing publicity for Dan Browne

- challenging and disturbing many people’s faith

o confusing others

o (is actually a book with great power to misinform)

There is a genre of literature called historic fiction: where fictitious characters/events are placed within true history

- with such literature is it is obvious that some if fiction, some is history

The trouble with Dan Browne is he makes this statement at the beginning, p1

- "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate"

But it’s not quite true. He makes quantum leaps and assumptions about documents and artwork…. interprets them…. and makes some subtle historical changes that have HUGE ramifications historically and to the Christian faith

- and, of course, most people simply don’t have the time or knowledge to challenge these statements

o and so… perhaps without knowing it…. end up swallowing something…believing something that is not true

o end up poisoned…. Inoculated against what could change their lives forever

Why people should read a novel and take it as truth… but not do the same with the Bible- which IS historically sound document… is an interesting and key phenomenon, here. Something I shall be looking at in closing.

Anyway- if you can read it as a novel- go ahead! Enjoy it! If you are easily mislead or can’t handle a challenge- don’t!

I simply can’t cover all the issues in the book: there are simply too many and I’m just not qualified to comment without more research. So, I’ve narrowed it down to three key issues.

But first, a summary of the story

- from National Geographic’s 19th June prog

Harvard scholar Robert Langdon is drawn into an investigation of the murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. Langdon is a symbols expert, and together with Saunière’s code-breaking granddaughter Sophie Neveu sets out to decipher various clues Saunière has left to discover the identity of his killer. What the pair gradually realise is that Saunière was the Grand Master of an ancient secret society, the Priory of Sion. The Priory holds documents inherited from the Knights Templar which reveal an astonishing secret: that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and fathered a child by her, whose blood line led down through the early medieval rulers of France, the Merovingians. The Catholic church has consistently suppressed Jesus’ original teaching - that woman is sacred and that it was Mary Magdalene whom Jesus intended to take the Church forward. But the Priory has always sought to pass the secret on from generation to generation. One former Priory Grand Master was Leonardo da Vinci, who concealed coded messages in a number of his paintings - hence the title of the book. It was therefore the Vatican, or rather, the extreme Catholic movement Opus Dei, which killed Saunière and is now trying to silence Langdon and Sophie too.

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