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Summary: Dan Brown said Jesus was just a really good man who turned his church over to Mary Magdalene...God says differently.

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Several years ago Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau made their last movie together. It was the second of two movies which told the story of two elderly neighbors. They were best friends as children, but time and circumstances had turned them into cantankerous, grouchy and bitter rivals.

Although John and Max normally called each other sarcastic names unsuitable for sermon material, they had called a truce for the sake of Max’s son and John’s daughter, who were to be married. But a minor tiff between the engaged couple caused a setback to the wedding plans. Max blamed it on John’s daughter and told John the truce was over. As Max stormed off-screen, John gritted his teeth, narrowed his eyes and spat his words at Max’s disappearing form, Let the games begin! [1]

In much the same way Dan Brown did the same thing a few years ago when he released his book, The DaVinci Code. Dan Brown’s fiction work is billed as fact. He tells the world that the church has lied and the Bible is untrue. The world is awaiting our answer.

Paraphrasing the words of Jack Lemmon’s character, John Gustafson, The game is on!

Now, “the game” has contestants and a goal. On one side is the “testimony” (or word) of a man – in this case, Dan Brown. On the other stands the Word of God. The goal line is the hearts of men and women everywhere. The question that begins the game is Who is this Jesus…I mean, REALLY?

God has an answer about authority. Dan Brown has said that the Bible is not it; God says differently:

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; 1 John 5:9a (NRSVA)

Dan Brown contends that Jesus was a very good man who turned his church over to Mary Magdalene. God says differently:

• God says Jesus was fully God who became fully man:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.Philippians 2:5-7

• God says this God/man, Jesus, became our sacrifice:

And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8

• God says this God/man, Jesus became exalted:

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

• God says this God/man, Jesus will become our judge also:

11Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

Now, those are the components of the Gospel as we understand it from a traditional-historical approach. In a nutshell,

• We sinned

• God loved and God came to die in my place, and rose again

• God offers forgiveness and relationship with Him to any willing to repent of sin…and…

• God is coming back to balance all the scales one day.

A side observation at no additional charge – be on the right side of those scales!

I was going to give you several pages of proofs of why the things that Dan Brown proposes as fact are indeed fiction. For the sake of time and boredom I’m going to pare that down a bit and concentrate on who Jesus really is, and what the followers of this Lord of Glory ought to be doing.

Biblical Criticism

Most people like Dan Brown say you cannot trust the Holy Bible. The thinking is that we do not have a good “chain of evidence” from the first century to now of the factual events surrounding traditional Christianity. Listen to one preacher’s rebuttal of that:

…the Greek poet Homer…wrote among other things the Iliad. Homer wrote this book in about 900 BC. The earliest copy we have is? 400 B.C. That’s a 500 years gap! Do you hear people doubting the accuracy and authenticity of The Iliad? There are only 643 manuscripts still in existence from antiquity! Homer’s writing was the most well supported document in antiquity with 643 copies.

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