Summary: In the light of The Da Vinci Code’s accusation that what we read in the Bible is fiction, this message looks at four of the main accusations against the accuracy of the Bible and explains why the Bible can be trusted.
- Why are we going to talking about The Da Vinci Code over the next few weeks? Well, there’s a couple of reasons:
1. Dan Brown’s book makes some serious claims about Jesus that strike at the heart of what we believe. Because of the enormous popularity of this book and the likely blockbuster status of the movie, it’s essential that we address whether those claims are true. (While the characters are obviously fictitious, Brown claims the information to be true. At the beginning of his book, it reads: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”)
2. As this movie comes out, it provides an open door to talk about spiritual things. People who normally wouldn’t want to talk about Jesus will have the questions of the movie on their mind. People who aren’t normally interested in discussing the Bible will likely want to talk about what the movie claimed. This is an opportunity that we need to seize. Therefore, this sermon series is not just to help you to understand the issues yourself, but it’s to equip you to be able to share the truth with the people you come in contact with. 1 Peter 3:15 says that we should always be ready with an answer as to why we believe in Jesus. I hope to prepare you to give those answers as they relate to The Da Vinci Code.
Our Starting Point:
“Can the Bible be trusted?”
- Why is this the question to start with in this series?
- The answer is that the Bible makes claims about who Jesus is and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code basically asserts that those claims are fiction. Brown asserts that there are these secret orders that have the real truth and therefore that the Bible is not an accurate portrayal of who Jesus really was.
- This is obviously of huge importance. If the Bible is God’s Word, then it is something we need to pay close attention to. If the Bible is merely a collection of partially-made-up stories, then we need to file it under “Fiction” and quit giving it the attention that we as Christians usually do.
- Do we need to take everything we read in the Bible with a grain of salt or can we fully trust that it is in fact the inspired Word of God?
- In order to answer those questions, I want to answer four key accusations against the Bible.
- Even before The Da Vinci Code, many people have made comments about “Aren’t there mistakes in the Bible?”, “What about the factual errors in the Bible?”, or “The contradictions in the Bible keep me from believing it.” Do people who make such comments have a point or are they simply repeating statements that have little to back them up?
- With each of these four accusations, I hope to make it clearer that the preponderance of the evidence is on the side of the Bible’s accuracy.
1. “The Bible has some nice stories, but it’s not like all those events really happened.”
- This line of thinking raises doubts about the Bible by questioning the its historical accuracy. “Sure, some of the stories have a nice moral point - just like most works of fiction. But that doesn’t mean those events actually occurred.”
- This is an important question: are the details in the Bible actually facts? When the Bible says that this person did this thing at this place, is that literally true or was it written as a product of someone’s imagination?
- The best way to answer this concern is simple: dig in.
- As archeologists dig into the ground around the places where the Bible says things happened, do they find that what the Bible says is true or do they find evidence that disproves the Bible? The answer, in fact, is that the more they dig, the more they prove the Bible’s accuracy.
- The Bible’s events are not flights of fancy, but are actual events that involved real people. In literally hundreds and hundreds of situations, archeologists have discovered evidence that points to the accuracy of the stories in the Bible.
- Let me give you three examples to prove my point:
a. In Judges 6, we read one of the more “unbelievable” stories in the Bible. It claims that Israel marched around Jericho and then with a shout God knocked the walls down. Many would say, “C’mon, you expect me to believe that? How stupid do I look?” And, granted, that is an unusual story. Yet: “During the excavations of Jericho (1930-1936) Garstang found something so startling that a statement of what was found was prepared and signed by himself and two other members of the team. In reference to these findings Garstang says: ‘As to the main fact, then, there remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely that the attackers would be able to clamber up and over their ruins into the city.’ Why so unusual? Because the walls of cities do not fall outwards, they fall inwards. And yet in Joshua 6:20 we read ‘. . . The wall fell flat, so that the people went up into the city every man straight ahead, and they took the city.’ The walls were made to fall outward.” (Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict (Vol. 1), p. 69)