DaVinci



The Da Vinci Code DVD: Release Date November 14th

Written by Darren Hewer

The Da Vinci Code movie is being released on DVD on November 14th. If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s your chance to finally see what everyone’s been talking about. The international best-selling novel has sold over 60 million copies in 44 languages, and now the movie has grossed hundreds of millions of dollars around the world. Why is this story so popular? What’s the big attraction?

The reason that The Da Vinci Code sold so many books, movie tickets, and soon DVDs isn’t Dan Brown’s writing ability. (It’s a fast paced, fun tale, but plenty of those are written every year.) No, it’s clearly the controversial content that has made it such a bestseller.

There has been substantial confusion among readers about whether the book is factual. While promoted as fiction, Dan Brown repeatedly claims the details of the story are historically accurate, and the “FACT” page of the book states “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”. However, nearly all scholars disagree. Many of the biggest claims of The Da Vinci Code story have been shown to be false.

So if you’re wondering which, if any, of the supposedly historical facts in the movie are accurate, you aren’t alone. Here is a sampling of some of the issues raised by the movie:

The reason the story captivates people is that there is something about the person of Jesus Christ that just intrigues. He enchants our minds and our hearts. When we consider what really know about Him, the real Jesus outside of The Da Vinci Code fiction, author Max Lucado asks “What do we do with such a person? We applaud men for doing good things. We enshrine God for doing great things. But when a man does God things? One thing is for sure, we can’t ignore him. Why would we want to?” (Max Lucado, Next Door Savior)

The real Jesus is much more incredible than the false one portrayed in Brown’s Code. If Brown’s book has piqued your curiosity, you can explore the life of Christ for yourself with an interactive online experience called Who is Jesus?, a free, guided, 5 part course.

The Ultimate Da Vinci Code Question: Who Is Jesus?

Written by Darren Hewer

Dan Brown claims to be Christian. This should mean that he tries to follow Jesus. But Dan Brown believes a lot of what The Da Vinci Code discusses. He stated in a TV interview (pick the first Good Morning America interview here to see it) that he would not change a thing if he were to write a non-fiction book on the same topics The Da Vinci Code discusses. He clearly believes in a very different Jesus than most Christians. So, the question is: Who is Jesus really? Is he “merely a man” as Brown suggests, or something much, much more?

The best sources we have are found in the Bible itself. The biblical texts are the earliest texts we have, written in the first century and recorded by eyewitnesses or those who directly consulted eyewitnesses. There is no evidence that the Bible “evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions” as Brown, through Teabing, suggests. The Bible is in fact the most reliable ancient document we possess, and exists in thousands of ancient copies with no major discrepancies. Here’s what these earliest sources have to say regarding Jesus, who is called “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1,14).
“Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Phil 2:5-7).
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col 2:9).
“Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”" (John 20:28)

Jesus also accepted worship, and for Jews this was seen as blasphemy because only God could be worshiped. The early church leaders agreed that Jesus was not merely a man: “God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life” – Ignatius (105AD)

It seems that since Dan Brown is contradicting the oldest and most reliable sources on who Jesus is, he is inventing his own Jesus to suit himself. That will never do for someone who “seeks the truth.” Jesus was clear regarding his claims about Himself and his work on earth. Many religious leaders have taught that we should love one another. But what made Jesus unique? Here’s what Billy Graham had to say:

Only Jesus died and then came back to life by the power of God, never to die again. … You can visit the tombs of philosophers and religious teachers of every kind across the world but you can’t visit Jesus’ tomb, because He rose from the dead and is now in heaven. Someday, He will return in glory to destroy all evil and rule in perfect justice. … Do you want to know God? Look at Jesus, for He was God in human flesh. And when you do, you also will discover that God loves you. He loves you so much that Christ was willing to die for you so you could be reconciled to God.

It’s time to answer Jesus’ question for yourself. It was first addressed to His twelve disciples but applicable to you and me today. Don’t jump to answer based on your preconceived notions or Dan Brown’s flawed history, but instead answer by examining the information available and asking God to help you answer Jesus’ question: “Who do you say I am?

The Missing Disclaimer

Written by Darren Hewer

truefalseToronto Sun columnist Michael Coren made the following comments in his article “Da Vinci Code a ‘disgrace’“, appearing in the May 20th 2006 issue of the newspaper:

“Surely a mild disclaimer at the beginning of the new movie might be nice. This is all that was asked of director Ron Howard, but the polite request was dismissed. Yet similar disclaimers have been inserted before movies many times in the past. For Asians before Year of the Dragon, blacks before Birth of a Nation, gays before Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jews before Merchant of Venice. No, don’t stop me. For Mormons before Big Love, Muslims before True Lies, Native Americans before Pocahontas II and the Nearsighted before Mr. Magoo. Oh, and for Wolves before White Fang. So Christians, it would appear, matter slightly less that our friends in the wolf community.”

Should The Da Vinci Code movie have included a disclaimer, considering that many of its purported historical claims (such as Jesus’ supposed marriage, the Priory of Sion, Jesus’ divinity, and many others) are extremely dubious at best?

Why did China ban The Da Vinci Code?

Written by Darren Hewer

The government of China has decided to put a halt to the runaway success of The DaVinci Code, pulling the high-grossing thriller from all of the country’s movie theaters, according to the film’s distributor, Sony Pictures.” (CNN, June 8 2006)

Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Fiction?Why would the Chinese government decide to ban The Da Vinci Code? Some news stories suggest it was due to pressure from Catholics and other Christian groups within China. But Christians comprise only a tiny portion of China’s population (3-4% according to the CIA Factbook), and China is officially an atheist country. Could the real reason China banned the movie is to try to prevent discussion of the movie like we do on this blog? Persecution.org reports that “Foreigners are not allowed to proselytize … Illegal materials (any unapproved foreign religious material) cannot be sold, distributed, copied, or shipped.”

Perhaps the Chinese government was worried that discussion of the movie would lead to opportunities to proselytize (share the gospel) and banned the movie for that reason? (Thanks to ChristianCADRE for the idea for this article)

Dan Brown: I am a Christian

Written by Leesa

I was reading the FAQs from Dan Brown’s Official Website and found that Brown considers himself a Christian.

ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?
Yes. Interestingly, if you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as absolute historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell. Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious–that is, that we are all trying to decipher life’s big mysteries, and we’re each following our own paths of enlightenment. I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress.

He lists three different answers for what people consider being a Christian is:

  1. being baptized
  2. accepting the Bible as absolute historical fact
  3. believing and accepting Christ as personal savior

Christianity is not a continuum as Brown suggests, rather it is a specific set of beliefs. Many Christians around the world hold to a set of common beliefs outlined in the Nicean Creed:

We believe in one God
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit
and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified
under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,
and the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in the one holy catholic

(universal Christian) and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

What about you? Do you hold to the Nicean Creed? Is there a part of it that you disagree with or do you disagree with it all? What beliefs do you hold?

Podcast: A Quest Fulfilled

Written by TruthMedia

A Quest for Answers by Josh McDowellThis podcast based on Josh McDowell’s book, A Quest for Answers is a great way to learn about some of the controversial “facts” presented in Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code. This episode, the final one, is titled A Quest Fulfilled.
Download the mp3 (Right Click / Save As) or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

If you don’t use iTunes, the podcast feed is available here.

Note: this podcast is #2 in iTunes so it may take a time to download. View iTunes page.

Podcast: What difference does it make?

Written by TruthMedia

A Quest for Answers by Josh McDowellThis podcast based on Josh McDowell’s book, A Quest for Answers is a great way to learn about some of the controversial “facts” presented in Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code. This episode is titled What difference does it make?

Download the mp3 (Right Click / Save As) or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

If you don’t use iTunes, the podcast feed is available here.

Note: this podcast is #2 in iTunes so it may take a time to download. View iTunes page.

Update: The last mp3, A Quest Fulfilled will be available at 4:00 PM EDT tomorrow.

Saint Mary Magdalene

Written by Darren Hewer

The Da Vinci Code paints a terrible picture of the church’s treatment of Mary Magdalene. According to Teabing, she was falsely called a prostitute as a result of a smear campaign launched by the early Church. The Church needed to defame Mary Magdalene in order to cover up her dangerous secret her role as the Holy Grail  (Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Chapter 58). Is it accurate to suggest a “smear campaign”? Brown goes even further, suggesting that the Church outlawed speaking of the shunned Mary Magdalene! (Chapter 61)

This supposed “smear campaign” never occurred. Pope Gregory I, in 591AD, apparently confused the story of a reformed prostitute given in the Gospel of Luke chapter 7 with Mary Magdalene, whose name is mentioned soon afterward in chapter 8. From study of the text, this interpretation is very unlikely. It’s unfortunate that this late tradition persisted for so long before being corrected, but it’s important to remember that historically Mary Magdalene was praised by the church!

Was Mary a sinner? Yes, but in the sense that we are all sinners, and the church never ‘shunned’ the ‘sinner’ Mary Magdalene. Mary is mentioned in positive terms many times throughout the Gospels. Consider that “she followed Jesus from Galilee, ministered to Him, beheld the crucifixion from afar, stood by the cross, located and watched the tomb, came early to the tomb with spices, was first to see the risen Lord, and reported the resurrection to the disciples” (Chuck Missler). She was also named as a saint by the church. That’s right, Saint Mary Magdalene. The early Christians named churches after her and prayed at her purported tombs (Amy Weber, De-Coding Da Vinci, 68). Christianity focuses more on repentance than sin, and as Weber points out, in the Medieval and early Renaissance period Mary was “held up as a model for all Christians, male and female.

In the first century, women in society had poor status. For example, a woman’s testimony was not considered valid in court, and teachers never accepted women as their students. But Jesus honored and taught people equally, both men and women, including Mary. Although no credible evidence exists that suggests Mary was Jesus’ wife, she was certainly not ‘shunned’ by early Christians.

Podcast: The Holy Grail

Written by TruthMedia

A Quest for Answers by Josh McDowellThis podcast based on Josh McDowell’s book, A Quest for Answers is a great way to learn about some of the controversial “facts” presented in Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code. This episode is titled The Holy Grail.

Download the mp3 (Right Click / Save As) or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

If you don’t use iTunes, the podcast feed is available here.

Note: this podcast is #2 in iTunes so it may take a time to download. View iTunes page.

Update: The next mp3, What difference does it make? will be available at 4:00 PM EDT tomorrow.

Podcast: The Marriage of Jesus

Written by TruthMedia

A Quest for Answers by Josh McDowellThis podcast based on Josh McDowell’s book, A Quest for Answers is a great way to learn about some of the controversial “facts” presented in Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code. This episode is titled The Marriage of Jesus.

Download the mp3 (Right Click / Save As) or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

If you don’t use iTunes, the podcast feed is available here.

Note: this podcast is #2 in iTunes so it may take a time to download. View iTunes page.

Update: The next mp3, The Holy Grail will be available at 4:00 PM EDT tomorrow.

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