The Challenge of the Da Vinci Code by Pastor John Samson
"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." - 1 Peter 3:15 (NASB)
This past Sunday, our congregation, Faith Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona, had the privilege of having Dr. James White with us to address the Da Vinci Code book by Dan Brown. I believe it was extremely important for our congregation to hear this material and believe that all Christians need to be familiar with the central issues as May 19, 2006 fast approaches with the release of the movie. As I've noted before, James has written a series of articles on the Da Vinci Code at his web site, www.aomin.org, where many of the quotes from the book, and from the annals of church history are recorded. I would very much encourage you to take the time to review the series and arm yourselves for the onslaught on the faith ahead. The release of the movie could actually become a great opportunity for us, if we are prepared for it.
Today, Dr. White brought his series to a close by writing the following:
This past Lord's Day I once again had the opportunity of speaking to a congregation about The Da Vinci Code. At the end I made a point I want to make here at the end of this series of blog articles. We have two ways in which we can view the advent of Brown's novel, its deeply anti-Christian rhetoric and falsehoods, and the upcoming film. We can either wring our hands and mourn over the decline of our society, or, we can recognize that this is the context in which we have been called to witness and instead view this as an opportunity--a wide open door, in fact--to give testimony to our faith and the truthfulness of the Scriptures as the Word of God. Many will be talking about the film and accepting its unfounded, thoroughly false attacks upon the Christian faith and Scriptures: will we be ready to "step up to the plate" and give a meaningful response, using this as a platform from which to present the gospel? Or will we just close ourselves ever more off into our own enclave? This is the choice left to us.
Books like The Da Vinci Code thrive because we have become a society dependent upon external sources of information. We no longer learn things directly: we learn how to find out the data we need. Part of this is necessary: the body of human knowledge is now so much larger than it was in the past that there can no longer be a true "Renaissance man" who masters all fields of knowledge. While that is true, we have likewise become a people disconnected from history; we no longer are disciplined to learn, to memorize, to remember. And as we have ceased valuing honesty, integrity, accuracy, indeed, all aspects of truth, it is easy to understand how other values, like simple entertainment, have rushed in to fill the void. The result is not only sloppy thinking that cannot see two steps down a logical pathway (and hence identify errors in argumentation), but ignorance of history as well. The combination allows men like Dan Brown to amass millions of dollars on the basis of a pack of lies so inane, so silly, no person could possibly make a meaningful case for them in the face of cross-examination and rebuttal. Which is why, of course, he refuses to put himself in a position of being cross-examined by the very people who would expose his falsehoods without hesitation.
So to the believer who has read this series, I say, take this information, use it as a foundation, and be prepared to do battle in the context of a society ever more willing to believe any lie that is offered to them, as long as it gives them an excuse to avoid God's truth and denigrate God's Word. Pray to be used to glorify His truth in giving an answer and challenging those who so lightly and blithely promote this kind of falsehood.
And if you have read this material as one wanting to see if the Christian faith has an answer for the kind of conspiracy theories promoted by Dan Brown and others, I trust you will take this challenge and look more closely at the message of Christ and His Word. God has preserved His Word, and it speaks directly to you. Christ was not merely a mortal man: true man He was, but He was the God-man, fully God, fully man, and as your Creator, you will stand before Him someday. He commands men and women everywhere to repent and turn to Him as the sole source of salvation. I pray He will grant you sight to see His glory.