Sunday, May 14, 2006

Addressing the DaVinci Code

Sir John has raised the issue of The Davinci Code, and is curious what Sir Paul's (and ye other fair knights, I'm sure) take on that story is. I have to admit, I'm clueless on this one, since I didn't have any interest in reading the novel, and I'll pass on the movie for the same reason, even though the combination of Howard and Hanks is hard to resist. My spirit is wounded easily enough by almost every movie made in Hollywood these days; so I see no reason why I would subject it to one that I know was intentionally aimed at injuring me.

But the web seems to be filled with the minions giving their opinions on the story, and its potential/perceived impact on our wonderfully naive society. In fact, Bill O'Reilly is pre-viewing the movie this Wednesday, as will be letting us know on Thursday whether, in his qualified opinion, the movie is heretical or not. I bet the Pope will be hanging on his every word.

Verily, I cannot deprive my brother knights of the opportunity to get this one off thy chest armor, so let's have it...

The DaVinci Code - worth all the hooey, or not?

25 comments:

  1. Sir Chuck, and fellow knights

    I share with you that modern movies seem designed to wound your spirit and to discourage Christians.

    I have done some very preliminary research on the Davinci Code. What little I have so far goes something like this:
    1. The book points out that there are manuscripts about Jesus available, other than the one that comprise the Gospels. The accusation is that manuscripts chosen were carefully selected to ignore Jesus' human qualities and the "fact" that he was married to Mary Magdalene. They were also deliberately chosen to repress women's rights, so says the Davinci Code.

    The story is passed off as a work of fiction so that when inaccuracies are pointed out, you are told that it is only fiction.

    2. Josh McDowell and other scholars refute this saying that the manuscript relied on for the Davinci Code were the writings of a cult group called the Gnostics, a group that denies the deity of Christ. These writings were not authored by anyone who actually knew Christ and were written sever hundred years later. It appears that the manuscripts themselves were similar to the Davinci code, full of lies and deception designed to fool the naïve and those wanting very badly to disprove the reality of Christ. It amazes some that the ancients were just as good at lies as the moderns.

    3. Josh McDowell feels that this could be a great opportunity for godly people to explain the truth about the real Christ and the real scriptures, since many will be interested.

    I make no claim to expertise in this matter and I have not seen the movie. The information I have in only what I gained from Josh McDowell's letter and from the internet. Here are some quotes from http://www.crisismagazine.com/september2003/feature1.htm

    Brown actually cites his principal sources within the text of his novel. One is a specimen of academic feminist scholarship: The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. The others are popular esoteric histories: The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince; Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln; The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine and The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail, both by Margaret Starbird. (Starbird, a self-identified Catholic, has her books published by Matthew Fox’s outfit, Bear & Co.) Another influence, at least at second remove, is The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker.

    From both Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Templar Revelation, Brown takes a negative view of the Bible and a grossly distorted image of Jesus. He’s neither the Messiah nor a humble carpenter but a wealthy, trained religious teacher bent on regaining the throne of David. His credentials are amplified by his relationship with the rich Magdalen who carries the royal blood of Benjamin: “Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false,” laments one of Brown’s characters.

    Astonishingly, Brown claims that Jews in Solomon’s Temple adored Yahweh and his feminine counterpart, the Shekinah, via the services of sacred prostitutes—possibly a twisted version of the Temple’s corruption after Solomon

    Brown’s treatment of Mary Magdalene is sheer delusion. In The Da Vinci Code, she’s no penitent whore but Christ’s royal consort and the intended head of His Church, supplanted by Peter and defamed by churchmen.

    So, fellow knights, I leave it to you to decide whether the Davinci Code shatters our believe about Christ or not. I do believe that Christians should be up on the facts so that when they are discussed we know how to answer.

    1Pe 3:15 ..but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always {being} ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

    Sir John, the Unable to Find a Catchy Phrase to Sign Off With.

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  2. Sir John, I wish I could share Josh McDowell's enthusiasm about using this twisted pack of blarney as an opportunity to witness to people about the Truth. But it seems to me, that people who want to believe this stuff will still believe it even if you try to straighten it out for them.

    I would assume that the folks who will see the Truth, once its clarified for them, already know it and just want reaffirmation.

    Sir Knights, what are your experiences on this field of battle? Ever had any luck pulling people out of the dark by breaking the DaVinci Code for them?

    Is this really worth the battle? Is it likely to get worse, or go away, if we just ignored it?

    Or are high-thrill novels the future of evangelism (and its opponents)?

    Sir Chuck the Dubious

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  3. Bye the bye, Sir John, thank ye for that synopsis of the DC. Now I won't have to read it, for sure!

    :-)

    Sir C

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  4. Sir Chuck,

    I am glad you liked my detailed analysis of a movie I have not seen.:)

    I agree with you that most of the people who buy into the DaVinci Code pack of lies really do want to believe it. After all, its one more reason to continue in sin.

    However, there may actually be some that are really searching for the truth. Remember Gary Harding? It was Jesus Christ Superstar that made him begin to become truly interested in the person of Jesus. We need to be prepared for the sake of people like him. Also, new Christians and young people can be really confused about things like this if we do not have an answer for them.

    Sir John the Early Riser.

    PS Are all the other knights off the to Crusades? Have they been slain in battle? It would be nice to hear that they are at least warm and breathing.

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  5. Sir John, this is good example of where the concept of Christian apologetics has always baffled me. Gary comes to the Lord because a movie tweaks his interest in the nature of Christ...perhaps a Christian was able to facilitate his salvation process by addressing issues in the movie (good or bad??? Never saw that one either.)

    It has always seemed to me that Gary would have come to his revelation of Our Lord with or without the apologetic explanation of that movie. Would you agree that people have to receive The Word, either from God directly, through the Bible, or from a good witness (started to say spirit-filled witness, don't want to go there this month :-) to be saved?

    You might respond that the apologetic opportunity set the stage for Gary's conversion, therefore supporting our need to be armed with an apologetic defense against the DaCode. I would say that his salvation was in process, and the movie, whether filled with truth, half-truths, or lies, awakened Gary's spirit to seek more of Christ. From then on, and possibly before then, (uh-oh, I see Sir Don reaching for his cudgel) Gary was bound for servanthood to Our Lord.

    Long way to say, I'm not convinced that logic ever saved anyone. For if man's logic could change a heart, another man's logic could change it back.

    Sir Chuck the illogical

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  6. Sir Chuck,

    Good point. I agree that Gary probably would have come to the Lord anyway, but could not that be said of any outreach?

    The point still remains that Davinci is going to come up in conversation and it is a great opportunity to share our faith.

    2Cr 10:5 {We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

    Sir John

    PS I love the way RT stimilates the thinking.

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  7. Good news...O'Reilly reported today that the movie is too long, too grim, too boring with details; that Tom Hanks sleep-walked through the entire movie, etc. "..nothing disrespectful to Christians" in the movie... except that the plot is an insult to our entire faith. Also predicted that it will have a huge furst weekend, then drop off quickly after that.

    Sounds like the movie will be a bomb to the general public. In fact, sounds like the only ones who will find the movie interesting is Christians who like to be offended.

    And the money guys will rack it in, again....

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  8. I watched a fascinating program last night called "Breaking the DV Code" by Grizzly Adams entertainment. It points out the many lies and deceptions by the Da Vinci Code. Here are a few:

    DC claims that there is a picture of Mary Magdalene in the painting of the Last Supper. Da Vinci himself labels the beardless one as John. He was simply thought to be to young at the time to have a beard.

    The Gnostic Gospels are the creation of an early cult group and they were written long after Christ died. None of their authors really knew Christ personally.

    I am happy about the fact that so many scholarly Christians have risen up to point out the real fact to anyone who is interested in the truth. What amazes me is that the lies are so blatant and easily disproved. Yet the claim is that, "almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false."

    Sir John, the Amazed

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  9. I heard Sir John's "breaking the DaVinci code" while off in the corner gathering electronic riches and influence on my Patrician III game and it was certainly good; Sir John made a good choice.

    As for logic, I don't think it can be dismissed altogether. Faith is not a contradiction to reason for both are means of finding truth: if they seem to contradict one's perception of either or both must be faulty

    "2Cr 10:5 {We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ",
    note the key words "raised up against the knowledge of God". It does not say reason should be dismissed and indeed we would have a hard time justifying the use of the internet for the Round Table if we did so as constructing it requires reasoning power.
    As for whether any one has actually been saved by useing reason, that question can be interpreted several ways. If it means "by reason alone", no. But no one has ever been saved by an inspiring sermon alone. That doesn't render it worthless. For that matter has anyone been saved by faith alone? Certainly not, for the value of faith depends on the value of the thing one has faith in. Communiests had a lot of faith.
    Also the word "reason" is really a variation of "discernment", or "knowledge" which is certainly respected by scripture.
    If by "logic" one simply means "trained and disciplined debate" well certainly logic is not knowledge-anymore then a teakettle is tea. It is a means of aquireing knowledge. David slew Goliath with a sling, and the fish were drawn out of the water by the disciples with a net. In ones effort to avoid venerateing the tool one must not dispise it. Most of the things we do are done with ordinary tools, and faith can inspire logic, just as it inspired David's sling or the disciple's net.

    As for the DaVinci code from all I have heard of it,the things it says would, if taken literally, be clearly heretical by any reasonable standard. Moreover it implies things about the Catholics that are certainly not true and bearing false witness is held high in the roll of sinfulness. Moreover it is meant as an insult to all Christians and not just to Catholics. Even if it was not we should hardly approve. However we were told to expect such things "blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake". It happend before and it will happen in the future. In point of fact though, it is primarily made(as such things are) to confirm the prejudices of those who have already made their decision, and isn't really a threat to the Church. But it can trouble individuals. Even if no one who might have been saved is lost, the trouble it causes would be-troublesome.
    Moreover the fact that a considerable number of people are foolish enough to belief such blarney is also troublesome in itself. If people cannot be pious it would be well that they should at least be sensible. Perhaps, though the two go together. As C.S. Lewis' favorite writer, G. K. Chesterton said, "When people stop believing in God, they will believe in anything."

    Sir Jason the Long-winded
    But again such things will always be here and when the Code is gone, something else will take it's place.

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  10. 1. The book points out that there are manuscripts about Jesus available, other than the one that comprise the Gospels. The accusation is that manuscripts chosen were carefully selected to ignore Jesus' human qualities and the "fact" that he was married to Mary Magdalene. They were also deliberately chosen to repress women's rights, so says the Davinci Code.
    ___________________________________
    By the by, Catholics regarded Mary Magdelene as "equal to the apostles" and she had a priory dedicated to her. They hardly "suppressed" her.
    Moreover the Catholic record on womans rights was for better or worse quite lenient for it's time and Moslems who visited Western Europe were often scandalized at the fact that women did such "licentious" things as attending feasts and appearing in the Great Hall as near equals. Some things never change.
    The treatment of women during medieval times would hardly be approved of today. But it is hardly a fair comparison-especially as our ancestors were the ones that gathered the resources and knowledge that allowed any of us to think of such things as improveing the treatment of women(or any less fortunate segment of society).
    It is more fair to compare them with their own times and they were far better then most of the people of the world.

    Sir Jason the Long-winded

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  11. For a readable comment on REAl Catholic teaching see:
    _______________________________________
    Tell Me Why: A Young Woman Questions Her Father About God (Paperback)
    by Michael Novak, Jana Novak

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    * ISBN: 0745944280
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    ________________________________
    It is well written and entertaining and does not, as far as I know contain any hidden messages.

    Sir Jason the Long-winded

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  12. Oh and by the way I have not had any experience debating with someone who really believes in Da Vinci Code. Debate is for people who are willing to play by the rules. I think most of the people who believe such things are emotion bound.
    That does not claim that reason is invalid, it simply claims that it has limits, and one of them is debating with those who think with their emotion. It is like convincing our cat to stay out of the garage.

    Sir Jason the Long-winded but prudent.

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  13. "However we were told to expect such things "blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake".

    Good point, Sir Jason

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  14. Thanks for the excellent points, Sirs J & J. Coincidentally, my pastor addressed many of these same points in church yesterday morning and in a follow-up last night. Many interesting trails to follow with this web of lies; perhaps we can all thank Dan Brown for making the life of Christ a matter of current discussion again in the secular (and Christian!) world.

    I understand there are many great sites out there to counter the DaCode. I like this one...

    http://www.cbn.com/special/DaVinciCode/

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  15. Just heard Lee Strobel on the Haven Today radio show say that the enormous amount of money Dan Brown has made on the movie has triggered a flurry of copycat novels in process. The result is that these novels will likely be an issue for the church to deal with for the next several years.

    Can anyone out there say yuck?

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  16. Just heard Lee Strobel on the Haven Today radio show say that the enormous amount of money Dan Brown has made on the movie has triggered a flurry of copycat novels in process. The result is that these novels will likely be an issue for the church to deal with for the next several years.

    Can anyone out there say yuck?

    10:23 PM
    ____________________________
    Yuck!
    It is not all bad. we know something like this will come, and this way it will where itself out in tedium.
    "Yawn. Another fifteen hundred year cover-up by the church."
    Sooner or later someone will write a satire of the whole thing and deflate it. Keep looking forward to it.

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  17. Sir Chuck,



    http://www.cbn.com/special/DaVinciCode/



    Thanks for the lead to this great web site. I am thinking of printing out parts of it and handing it our in church.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You're welcome, Sir John.

    I was traveling across the state today, and got to hear the conservative talk show hosts pontificating on the DaCode movie. It's interesting to me that these guys who even admit to not being "religious" seem to be outraged by the movie. Several have complained about the fact that the press would zealously protect us from the "outrage" of the Mohammed cartoons, don't seem to have a problem with a movie that calls Jesus a fraud, or an U of Oregon student paper running filthy cartoon portrayals of Christ (this is "free speech", of course.)

    I like the point made, by my pastor I think, that we who truly are in Christ can't really be outraged by these attacks...after all, Our Lord warned us they would always occur, and he himself endured far worse without complaint.

    Would be hard to stay in the Spirit if we got upset every time Madonna

    http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0900entertainment/0050artsnews/tm_objectid=17116995&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=mock-crucifixion-for-madonna-gig-opener-name_page.html

    or some other lost person like that pulled a stupid stunt for publicity or money. Those 30 pieces of silver have muliplied many, many times by now.

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  19. Sir knights...

    Sorry for the blog host to have to ask this question, but have any of you guys figured out how to attach live links to your posts yet?

    Sir Chuck the technologically embarrassed

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  20. Sir knights...

    Sorry for the blog host to have to ask this question, but have any of you guys figured out how to attach live links to your posts yet?

    Sir Chuck the technologically embarrassed

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sir Chuck,

    I read the Madonna Link. What seems to be happening is that the world is stepping up its attack on anyone or anything that is righteous or decent. I even noticed the Sunday comics quoting scripture in a mocking way. We should not be surprised. In fact Jesus said to rejoice.

    Mat 5:11 "Blessed are you when {people} insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Mat 5:12 "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
    The more they sin, the more righteous people bother them, whether we say anything to them or not. We are the smell of death to them and it bothers them.

    2 Corinthians 2:15
    The reason is that to a sinner, we are the smell of death.
    For we are a sweet perfume of Christ to God in those who are getting salvation and in those who are going to destruction;
    16. To the one it is a perfume of death to death; to the other a perfume of life to life. And who is enough for such things?
    -Basic English Bible

    So, my brother, I expect more of the same. The good news is that we can also expect God to help us.

    …When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. Isa 59:19

    Sir John

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  22. I was traveling across the state today, and got to hear the conservative talk show hosts pontificating on the DaCode movie. It's interesting to me that these guys who even admit to not being "religious" seem to be outraged by the movie. Several have complained about the fact that the press would zealously protect us from the "outrage" of the Mohammed cartoons, don't seem to have a problem with a movie that calls Jesus a fraud, or an U of Oregon student paper running filthy cartoon portrayals of Christ (this is "free speech", of course.)
    _________________________
    Sir Chuck brought out an interesting point. The fact is that the word "religious" has become vaguely pejorative. It seems to roughly mean "phariseeical". For instance a lot of Evangelicals say,"I think Christianity is a relationship, not a religion". From what I gather what they mean by "not a religion" is that they believe their lack of taste for complex ritual and theological study is a virtue in itself. Degradation of words is an annoying phenomenon and this is an example.
    In the case of those conservatives who are annoyed, I think it comes from sympathy for an ally combined with a distaste for reflexive iconoclasm. They dislike Da Vinci Code for the same reason they dislike flagburners.

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  23. Oh yes

    signed

    Sir Jason the Longwinded Knight who needs to hire a new monk as his secretary.

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  24. Or are high-thrill novels the future of evangelism (and its opponents)?
    ____________________________
    Sir Chuck mentions another point, worth talking on. The fact is this method has been tried to little gain.
    I think having art that is expressly for the purpose of evangelism, tends to delute the quality of the art, and thus the quality of the evangelism. To often when an attempt to do this is made it produces very low quality work. While a master can put "a message" into art and still make good art, too often the art itself is sacrificed for the message. An artist has a responsibility to provide innocent pleasure to his customer as well as "a message"-just as any producer has a responsibility to provide for his customer. Selling a thriller that doesn't thrill is like selling a car that doesn't drive. And thrill is just the beginning for a bar brawl can provide "thrill". A work of art must provide something more. In fact one of the most important purposes of art is to encourage others to take pleasure in, "whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report". A piece of art that is essentially just a complicated tract, really isn't enough. Perhaps their is a place for such, but it is a small place. Christians should produce art, not just "Christian Art"-meaning "churchy art". At the very least the "churchy art" should be good. Think about the REAL Da Vinci's "churchy" paintings.
    We must remember that our job is not to cacoon ourselves like Amish*, but to be a city set on a hill that cannot be hid. We must work for Christ in all areas of life that are not themselves sinful. This does not mean of course that each and every Christian should do this. It does mean that the Church as a whole should.

    *admirable folk, but guilty of error in this instance

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  25. Come on, don't you know it's all true? Jesus had kids and their descendants still roam the Earth, there are codes written everywhere you look, and the church has managed to cover up all links to truth for hundreds of years!

    Just kidding.

    (The truth is I've heard some pretty wierd stuff on Christian radio as well.)

    However I did see the movie and it was pretty farfetched though very well made. However I believe this is a whirlpool of confusion of truth and fiction all thrown together (the stuff cults are made from) the enemy might use within this society's current search for truth. Possibly worse than certain movies people know are outright blasphemy, because this uses deception instead. That is why these things should be prayed through. I believe also God can use this as an opportunity to spread the Gospel, as conversation can come up in the workplace, theater, bookstores, etc. And the storm will be over soon enough.

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