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Summary: I recall reading that Billy Graham wanted to stay relevant in his evangelism ministry as he held crusades all over America and the world for so many years. He held the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand. He stayed anchored to the rock a

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INTRODUCTION

Opening Statement: I recall reading that Billy Graham wanted to stay relevant in his evangelism ministry as he held crusades all over America and the world for so many years. He held the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand. He stayed anchored to the rock and yet he was geared to the times. I believe that this is also our calling. We live in a culture that loves story. If you can produce a great story, and embed your views and theology into that story, whether you are right or wrong, you stand to influence a lot of people toward your view point. This is what is happening today. All the questions sharply debated at the beginning of Christianity in the first century are now being reopened. Is Jesus God? Is the Bible reliable? Is the church credible?

Quotation: The Da Vinci Code will confuse lots of people, but Jesus will become the centerpiece of many conversations. For those who are prepared to explain that Christianity rests on solid foundations, the opportunity will be tremendous (Erwin Lutzer).

Explanation: Perhaps, you have heard about a book that was written in 2003 by author Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code with over 7 million copies in print. As mystery, this book is enthralling. It is a 450-plus pages page-turner. I read my copy in 3 or 4 days. I was hooked. As a mystery, it is exciting. Brown is a great novelist. His story is going to come out as a movie in a few weeks. I am not endorsing the movie because I don¡¯t know what is contained within it. But if the movie is similar to the book, it will be engaging. However, whether in book or movie form, as theology and history, The Da Vinci Code is appalling. Behind The Da Vinci Code there is another code or agenda at work that is designed to demolish God¡¯s redemption story. Here¡¯s why. Just let me tell you now, I¡¯m going to spoil this book for you.

1. It questions the deity of Jesus using other gospels not included in our Bible. The church chose only those gospels that would strengthen the deity of Jesus, thus excluding other gospels that show him as a mere man. One of Browns leading characters, Teabing, states on page 234: ¡°Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ¡¯s human straits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned.¡±

2. It undermines the reliability and authority of the Scriptures by overlooking the canonization process (canon: officially accepted list of books). Brown believes that other Gnostic gospels reveal more about the Jesus story than we know and that they should be listened to.

3. It challenges the integrity of the church that existed from the first century to the fourth century. ¡°History is told by the winners,¡± Brown would assert. Brown suggests that the church has lied to us. The church has stolen Jesus from his original followers ¡°hijacking His human message, shrouding it in an impenetrable cloak of divinity, and using it to expand their power (233).¡±


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