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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The DaVinci Code’s Audience

davincicodePolls have shown that one in five adults in the United States has read “The Da Vinci Code,” and many more are familiar with its themes. George Barna, a pollster in California, says 25 percent of those who had read the book said it helped them achieve personal growth or understanding. “Few people said that reading the book had actually changed any of their beliefs,” he said. “That was only 5 percent. Most people said that it essentially reinforced what they believed coming into the book.”

What they believe is what Mr. Barna calls “pick and choose theology.” It’s a trend that Christian conservatives find scary and maddening, but that liberals tend to embrace as “big tent” inclusiveness.

“Americans by and large consider themselves to be Christian, but when you try to drill down to figure out what they believe, you find that among those who call themselves Christian, 59 percent don’t believe in Satan, 42 percent believe Jesus sinned during his time on Earth, and only 11 percent believe the Bible is the source of absolute moral truth,” said Mr. Barna, a conservative evangelical who regards these as troubling indicators.

Da Vinci Christianity is not so disturbing to Gregory Robbins, an Episcopalian who directs the Anglican Studies program at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

“When I talk to groups, they say, tell us about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the discovery of the Gnostic gospels, what went on with Constantine, was there a massive book burning by the church in the fourth century” – all elements woven into the Da Vinci plot, Mr. Robbins said.

He said he emphasizes in his talks that in its first few centuries, Christianity was not monolithic. There were Palestinian Christians, Jewish Christians, Pauline Christians who appealed to gentiles, Gnostic Christians, and Ebionite Christians who saw Jesus as merely a prophet.

Among Christians today, he said: “I have found a willingness to entertain the idea that early Christianity was very diverse. Then they’re able to talk about the diversity that characterizes Christianity in the 20th century.”

Laurie Goodstein
The New York Times
(Partial transcript, edited for space).

Analysis:

The DaVinci Code, a novel which takes potshots at the Catholic church, and also makes outlandish claims about Jesus Christ, has been made into a movie. Many protests are being raised about the movie, as Catholics and Protestants alike take issue with the plot and characters in the movie.

What is interesting is that so much of this controversy revolves around whose lie is the truth! While The Davinci Code certainly attacks the Christian faith, it is mostly attacking a distortion of that faith, as it claims the Catholic church to be the “bad guy” in hiding what “really happened.”

And some people are being taken in by it all. The article above gives the main reason why this is so. People seem to think that you can pick and choose what part of the Christian faith you want to believe, and reject the rest! One man in the article asks, “All these people – the famous Luke, Mark and John – how did they know so much about Jesus’ life?”

Of course, “these people” are the inspired writers of the gospels of our Lord. As Peter said, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:16).

All scripture is given by God’s inspiration (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The attempts of some heretics 2,000 years after the fact nothwithstanding, the inspiration and veracity of the New Testament scriptures is beyond dispute.