Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
The DaVinci Code XVI
12/28/2005 - James WhiteIt has taken quite some time to get to the center of Brown's theory (a theory, of course, propounded by others long before he came along), but finally we have arrived. On page 249 we read,
"Behold," Teabing proclaimed, "the greatest cover-up in human history. Not only was Jesus Christ married, but He was a father. My dear, Mary Magdalene was the Holy Vessel. She was the chalice that bore the royal bloodline of Jesus Christ. She was the womb that bore the lineage, and the vine from which the sacred fruit sprang forth!"Of course, this kind of assertion hangs in mid-air, for we have seen that everything that came before this is refuted by history and logic, so we are dealing here with pure fantasy, no matter how matter-of-factly or passionately it may be expressed. No cover-up exists, and Brown has only fabricated the illusion he now propounds. He continues a few pages later,
The royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians. (253)This assertion is followed by a listing of books proclaiming similar theories, but again, while Brown makes the assertion that "historians" have "chronicled" these things, the fact is these are not books by serious historians at all. Once again, this "fiction based on fact" theme recurs in Brown's work. When he mentions Michael Baigent's Holy Blood, Holy Grail,, he then introduces this dialogue:
"What was the Church's reaction to the book?"...
"Outrage, of course. But that was to be expected. After all, this was a secret the Vatican had tried to bury in the fourth century. That's part of what the Crusades were about. Gathering and destroying information. The threat Mary Magdalene posed to the men of the early Church was potentially ruinous. Not only was she the woman to whom Jesus had assigned the task of founding the Church, but she also had physical proof that the Church's newly proclaimed deity had spawned a mortal bloodline. The Church, in order to defend itself against the Magdalene's power, perpetuated her image as a whore and buried evidence of Christ's marriage to her, thereby defusing any potential claims that Christ had a surviving bloodline and was a mortal prophet." Sophie glanced at Langdon, who nodded. "Sophie, the historical evidence supporting this is substantial." (254)
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The Da Vinci Code XV
12/16/2005 - James WhiteAs Brown develops his fanciful theory that Jesus was married (calling it a historical fact---but we have already learned that Brown calls "fact" what history calls "fiction" with shocking regularity) he throws out what is actually a plausible argument: singleness for Jewish males would be unusual at best, and, if Jesus had been single, "at least one of the Bible's gospels would have mentioned it and offered some explanation for His unnatural state of bachelorhood" (245). Of course, one immediately has to chuckle just a little bit: the only thing that makes this statement plausible is that the biblical gospels reflect something akin to the original context of Jesus' life and times---but isn't that the very thing Brown has claimed the Gospels do not do? I mean, the canonical gospels are nothing but made up stories from the fourth century, specifically crafted by Constantine for political purposes, right? A thousand other gospels gathered up and burned, right? So why, oh why, would Constantine forget a little detail like this? If the whole idea is that Jesus was married, but Constantine and now the evil Roman Church wants to bury that fact and make up a fake divine Jesus, why not provide this simple cover story in one of these made-up gospels being foisted upon the people? Brown's entire theory here crashes on the rocks of self-consistency. ...
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The Da Vinci Code XIV
12/09/2005 - James WhiteChristianity and paganism have always been mortal enemies, mainly because paganism has no interest in truth while Christianity is, by definition, wedded to Him who was and is the very embodiment of it. The use of lies in the service of paganism is nothing new, and The Da Vinci Code is just another example of paganism using falsehoods to promote its own ends. Over the past few decades it has been proven that a revival of ancient pagan goddess worship will tap into portions of the feminist movement and will normally make the author a nice return on his or her investment. Brown has taken this to a new level of course, which is why he has been sued as often as he has for borrowing his basic ideas from others (they all want a piece of the pie).
Building upon the foundation of pure fiction already laid out as fact, Brown now begins to move into the heart of the "grail story" he wishes to promote. First must come some introduction to the "divine feminine" concept along with some blame to be put upon "the Church" regarding its suppression. Brown writes,
Woman became an offshoot of man. And a sinful one at that. Genesis was the beginning of the end for the goddess. (238)As if Genesis was made up some time later! Of course, this is yet another fallacious assertion regarding this time the teaching and intention of Scripture. Man and woman are created in the image of God. She is no more "sinful" than he is. But it is the very fact of sin and its universality (and hence the need for redemption) that has always been at issue with paganism in the first place, so it is hardly surprising to see the Scriptures being misrepresented here in this context.
Brown moves into the story of the search for the holy grail (without nearly the comedic content that certain British comedy troupes managed to attach to the topic), writing,
Knights who claimed to be “searching for the chalice” were speaking in code as a way to protect themselves from a Church that had subjugated women, banished the Goddess, burned nonbelievers, and forbidden the pagan reverence for the sacred feminine. (239)At this point Brown aims solely at Rome, and at this point Rome has little defense to offer when it comes to her history of burning heretics in the Inquisition and having a horrific record in violating biblical standards with her view of women. Any knowledgable believer, however, should be prepared to demonstrate that Rome's errors in these areas no more represent Christianity than Brown represents serious historical scholarship. Women are not "suppressed" in the Christian faith---women are honored as fellow image bearers and are viewed as equals before the cross of Christ as heirs of eternal life. What feminism does not like is the fact that the Scriptures lay out roles for men and women as ordered by creation itself: that is God's freedom in action, and since the essence of sin is to rebel against God's authority, twisting His creation and all godly relationships He has established, they call the recognition of the creative roles of men and women "suppression." It is nothing of the sort.
The Da Vinci Code XIII
12/03/2005 - James WhiteLike a true post-modernist, Brown then inserts a discussion about how modern Vatican is made up of "pious men who truly believe these contrary documents (i.e., Nad Hammadi, DSS, noted in the preceding section) could only be false testimony." But it is Teabing's response that reveals Brown's true feelings:
"As you can see, our professor has a far softer heart for Rome than I do. Nonetheless, he is correct about the modern clergy believing these opposing documents are false testimony. That's understandable. Constantine's Bible has been their truth for ages. Nobody is more indoctrinated than the indoctrinator."Do not miss the point: almost everything "our fathers" taught us about Christ is not "debatable" or anything else. It is false. And based upon what? The Dead Sea Scrolls (which do not contain gospels anyway), the Nag Hammadi Library gnostic gospels, and enough utter historical rubbish to dizzy the mind.
"What he means," Langdon said, "is that we worship the gods of our fathers."
"What I mean," Teabing countered, "is that almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false. As are the stories about the Holy Grail." (235)
I note in passing that I saw a blurb on the net a few days ago that puts this kind of rhetoric in perspective: between June of 2004 and June of 2005 Dan Brown made $76,500,000.00 off of this book. Seventy six and a half million dollars. Lies sell.
From this point the narrative moves away from the Bible and the history of the Christian faith for a period of discussion of Da Vinci and his paintings. After introducing the Grail concept, Brown via Langdon begins to promote his "divine feminine" theology:
The Grail is literally the ancient symbol for womanhood, and the Holy Grail represents the sacred feminine and the goddess, which of course has now been lost, virtually eliminated by the Church. The power of the female and her ability to produce life was once very sacred, but it posed a threat to the rise of the predominately male Church, and so the sacred feminine was demonized and called unclean. It was man, not God, who created the concept of 'original sin,' whereby Eve tasted of the apple and caused the downfall of the human race. Woman, once the sacred giver of life, was now the enemy. (238)Brown misrepresents even the doctrines he attacks, as here. He confuses the simple fact of the fall with the doctrine of original sin and its transmission to Adam's offspring; further, he thinks this somehow makes the woman "the enemy." Now surely, if Brown's sole target is Roman Catholicism and medieval theology, there is plenty to complain about therein, to be sure. Medieval theologians speculated, outside the realm of Scripture, on all sorts of things, and were indeed laboring under a grossly sub-biblical view of sexuality, marriage, etc. (a grossly sub-biblical view still represented today in the Roman view of a celibate priesthood). But "men" did not "make up" the doctrine of original sin, no matter how tortured Brown's understanding of it. The universal sinfulness of man is central to the entire Bible's view of sin, atonement, God's wrath, the existence of death, etc. Brown's thesis is nothing more than a complete rejection of biblical teaching in favor of simple ancient paganism, nothing more. But to attempt to resuscitate ancient goddess worship on the back of a pile of lies about Constantine and the Bible (while making seventy six million in the process) is simply reprehensible.