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The Forum > Article Comments > The church and the code > Comments

The church and the code : Comments

By Mark Christensen, published 18/5/2006

'The Da Vinci Code': ultimately what are facts when stacked against the absoluteness of a divine mystery?

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Get over it everyone it is a work of fiction and so is the Da Vinci Code.
Posted by Kenny, Thursday, 18 May 2006 10:03:52 AM
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I enjoyed Dan Brown's book (read it in just over 2 days!) and am looking forward to seeing the movie.

You wrote:
| "People arenít stupid. The idea the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity may
| have embellished events ... [is] entirely feasible. Short of having a time machine, the
| church canít really refute them anymore than Brown can prove them."

People aren't always stupid, but our ignorance of history allows us to be deceived.

There are documents written much earlier than the 4th c. Emperor Constantine that speak of the divinity of Jesus.
These documents (not the church) clearly refute Dan Brown's claim that Constantine elevated Jesus to the status of God
(eg. John's gospel of Jesus written somewhere between 60-90AD claims that Jesus is God)
This doesn't prove that John is right about Jesus - but it does refute Dan Brown's claims about Constantine.

Does it matter? John claims to reveal the divine mystery that Jesus is God, and that Jesus can give us life.
Other details might not be important - but I think that detail is.

Can we refute Dan Brown without a time machine? Yes.
Can the church prove Jesus is God? You decide for yourself.
But can I suggest giving more weight to 1st century Jewish texts (the New Testament) than to a 21st century American novelist?

The bible is not a time machine, but it is a pretty good time capsule.
Posted by The Historian, Thursday, 18 May 2006 10:30:37 AM
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Where did Mark get the idea that Christians need other people to believe in their version of the truth? Sure there are mysteries in the Christian faith, like trying to get your head around the Trinity - 3 people in 1 God. But, there are both historical facts and unprovable tenets of faith that Christians believe in and although they would like others to share that faith, there is no need for strength in numbers to justify it.

The reaction of Christians to the Da Vinci Code has been pretty tame in my opinion. Some have dismissed it as nonesense, which it is. Some have argued that it is insulting, which it is as well. There have been no riots, no violence, just believers a little sorry that their God has been sent-up in this way.

As to Mark's argument: "Trouble is, Dan Brown has offered a plausible alternative to the official line on Jesus", better go and do some homework, Mark. You have been reading far too much Dan Brown. First get back to the non-fiction section of the library if you want to write something plausible.

And the bit about the initial followers of Jesus being led by a woman is surprisingly true. The eleven apostles, after the death of Jesus, were all together for fear of the Jewish authorities. The only leadership they had, until the day of Pentecost, was actually Mary, the mother of Jesus. While there is no "sacred feminine" Mary is certainly a stand-out female figure in the Church. The only created being that didn't sin was a woman, and Mary is venerated as the Mother of God.
Posted by Whoohoo, Thursday, 18 May 2006 10:37:27 AM
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It is fascinating that debate about the Da Vinci Code is merely the church trying to argue its work of fiction against another.
Posted by Ponder, Thursday, 18 May 2006 10:45:40 AM
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What annoys me about the Da Vinci Code is that it is marketed as a work of fiction based on truth. "Seek the truth" is a part of the commerical. I agree with what the Historian wrote regarding its "truth".

A lot of the Da Vinci Code involved half truths distorted. E.g. Constantine's "conversion" was politically expedient- true. Constantine was the first to say that Jesus is God- false. Jesus showed a lot more honour and respect to women than a lot of other people of his day, and the Bible expresses the equality of men and women- true. The Church was originally a Matriarchy, embracing the "Divine Feminine"- false.

The Da Vinci Code makes claims which stand against a 2000 year old tradition. When the leaders of that tradition stand up to defend themselves, they're told to sit down, and be more tolerant- its just a novel after all. Yet people all over the world will probably buy into some of Dan's underlying claims without looking any further.

When the Passion of the Christ was released, did atheists have the right to stand against the claims of the movie? Yes. So too does the Church have the right to refute the claims of the Da Vinci Code.

Back to the article- you seem to imply there is no such thing as literal truth (and quote St. Thomas of Aquinas to back it up). I respect your right to hold that opinion, but I must ask, are you absolutely sure about that? If so, on what do you base your confidence that this is true?
Posted by YngNLuvnIt, Thursday, 18 May 2006 11:16:16 AM
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This incredibly stupid book/film is totally un-Biblical, totally un-Christian, totally garbage. Though the author did spell the name of Jesus correctly :-)
And Mark, poor Mark is a totally confused 'believer?' If he isn't a believer then he should mind his own business and write about those things he does know a little about.
Yet having said that this lying grossly inncorrect tome is no worse than the false lying garbage that comes out of the traditional,so-called, christian churches. None of this garbage either from this book or main-stream churches will have any effect on real Christianity at all. numbat
Posted by numbat, Thursday, 18 May 2006 11:32:30 AM
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