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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Da Vinci Code?

I got an email from an old friend today and he asked me what I thought about the Bestseller Novel the Da Vinci Code. Here's my short reply:

The Da Vinci Code has been making waves and lots of money. some
Christians are a little bit anxious with his claims. Personally, I haven't read the book and thus can't comment much (I'll probably wait for the movie Tom Hanks will act in). I'm surprised that some Christians feel "shaken" but I suppose a "faith" that's not challenged needs some "growing" to do, But I do recall reading similar ideas of Jesus marrying in some other book (I forget) ... if you don't mind me just giving links ...
The links I gave him were the following, and I'll quote my favorite parts:

N.T. Wright on Christmas & the Da Vinci Code

Now we see something similar with the Da Vinci twist. Once you've read one of these books you've read them all. Dan Brown, the best-selling Da Vinci author, is the best writer I've come across in the genre, but anyone who knows anything about first century history will see that his underlying material is laughable.

Truth, as often, is stranger than fiction, and makes its way not with a flourish of trumpets but with the slow, sure tread of actual evidence, accumulating like grains of sand rising into a mountain, while the conspiracy theories build houses of cards which get blown away in the first breeze.

The evidence for Jesus and the origins of Christianity is astonishingly good. We have literally a hundred times more early manuscripts for the gospels and letters in the New Testament than we have for the main classical authors like Cicero, Virgil and Tacitus. Historical research shows that they present a coherent and thoroughly credible picture of Jesus, with all sorts of incidental details that fit the time when he lived, and don't fit the world of later legend.

We are on solid ground when we talk of Jesus of Nazareth announcing God's sovereign rule, clashing with the authorities, and being executed by the most brutal method then available. Still more remarkable, we are on solid ground when we speak of him being raised from the dead three days later, with his dead body transformed into a new sort of physical life which couldn't be hurt or harmed any more.
I admit N.T. Wight tends to be more detail (some think longwinded) but NT Scholar blog friend Conrad Gempf adds more humor to this serious issue in Taking Da Vinci Code way too seriously :

I don't know about you, but I am SO tired of answering questions about Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Last week it was the Discovery Channel and since they wanted to devote a whole programme to it, I doubt they'd like my comments:

Dan Brown is a novelist and The Da Vinci Code is fiction. Asking a New Testament person to comment is like asking a Marine Biologist to comment on Finding Nemo. The expert is of course going to say that sting rays do not sing and clown fish do not talk.

Enjoy the thriller for what it is, but when the lights come on it's time to leave the cinema.
And for those who like sermons, read "The Bible Code: My thoughts on the da Vinci Code and more"

I'll probably wait for the movie ... it's cheaper than buying the book. :-)


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