The Da Vinci Code
Hollywood is at it again. First came the movie The Da Vinci Code, based on Dan Brown's novel. This film claims that for centuries the church has knowingly perpetuated a massive hoax on the world. Jesus Christ was not the Son of God and he did not die on the Cross or rise from the dead and the church knows it but has deliberately covered it up. Anti-Christian films have been turned out by Hollywood for decades. As Michael Medved pointed out in Hollywood vs. America, these films usually failed at the box office. But The Da Vinci Code is an exception -- it was a blockbuster hit. Its Anti-Christian message was embedded in an exciting, interesting format. The Da Vinci Code has all the thrills and intrigue of a James Bond movie and the exotic setting and background of an Indiana Jones film as well as the conspiratorial appeal of the X-Files TV show. Now Hollywood is making another Dan Brown novel Angels and Demons into a movie as well. As Christians we cannot let these attacks go unanswered. These books and films are a direct attack on the Person and Work of Christ as well as the authority and inspiration of the Bible.
Sadly, in the past Christians have tried to ignore these attacks, believing that they belong in the realm of academia. However, these Dan Brown films and their scholarly trappings bring these attacks into the mainstream of society. Christians may try to ignore these attacks but through the film media many will be misled by these false charges. This can undermine our fellowship and witness. Sadly, to a lot of people perception is reality. If they see false information in a movie, they believe it. Their discretion is put aside because they believe they are being entertained, not propagandized. For example, the Birdman of Alcatraz presented Robert Stroud as a sympathetic person, while people who really knew Stroud said he was not at all like Burt Lancaster's heroic portrayal. But because of this film, people began to argue for Stroud's release. We cannot ignore the possible negative influence the Dan Brown films can have on our witness if people believe Jesus is a fraud and the Bible is a hoax.
Too often Christians not only try to ignore these attacks but they refuse to refute them. But our silence only gives credence to the attacks. For centuries the church has accepted the clergy-laity division. The congregation believes that witnessing and ministry are solely the duty of the paid professional clergy. As a result, the congregation is unwilling and unprepared "to contend for the faith delivered once for all to the saints" (Jude 3). Thankfully, we have resources available to refute the attacks leveled at the Gospel made by The Da Vinci Code.
One excellent book is The Da Vinci Myth Versus the Gospel Truth by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. In this book, the authors go to the Bible and history to answer the false accusations made by Dan Brown. This book is available on line.
Another great rebuttal is The Da Vinci Deception by Erwin W. Lutzer. Not only is Lutzer's book a very good read but it also comes in a multimedia format (http://tyndale.com or (800) 323-9400) as well to edify the church and inform the general public. This multimedia format can be presented in evening church services as both informational and evangelical.
These books should be added to every church library in the country. I would also urge churches to buy copies of the Kennedy and Lutzer books for school and public libraries. The Da Vinci Code is both a challenge and an opportunity for Christians to inform themselves and witness to others about the truth of Christ's Person and Work.
This is an urgent concern because Hollywood is ready to release yet another anti-Christian film based on a Dan Brown novel -- Angels and Demons, We need to take advantage of this event to witness about the Lord Jesus and His saving Work to a lost and dying world. As Simon Peter said, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" (I Peter 3:15).
Ironically, atheists and the Secular Left agree with Moslems -- they deny Christ's Deity, atoning death on the cross, and Resurrection, and claim the Bible is corrupt. Atheists tend to see all religions as equally bad. They prefer to attack Christianity because I suspect they know Christians are not likely to kill them. The Secular Left tend to see all religions as the same, but kowtow to Moslems I suspect more out of fear than respect. In his book, Unholy Alliance, Dan Horowitz says the Left ally themselves with America's enemies because they believe that once they redistribute the wealth violent radicalism will disappear. The Secular Left does not understand or want to understand that Islam is not just a religion but a total belief system, fueled by ruthless zeal, not poverty and more tyrannical than Nazism or Communism. The Da Vinci Code popularizes the denials by atheists, liberals, and Moslems of the basics of the Christian faith. Refuting these denials will give Christians an opportunity to witness on a broad front. I hope the following books and websites help
I Deity of Christ 1.The Lord from Heaven by Sir Robert Anderson
2. More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell
II Resurrection of Christ 1. Resurrection Factor by Josh McDowell
2. Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morrison
III Salvation 1. Atonement by Leon Morris
2. The Cross in the New Testament by Leon Morris
3. Salvation by Lewis Sperry Chafer
IV Islam 1. Islam Unveiled by Robert Spenser
2. Unveiling Islam by Ergun and Emir Caner
V Biblical Reliability 1. Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible by R. Laird Harris
2. New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F. F. Bruce
VI Apologetics 1. I'm Glad You Asked by Kenneth Boa
2. Know Why You Believe by Paul Little
I Islam 1. www.Jihadwatch.org
II Witnessing to Moslems 1. www.AnsweringIslam.org
III Apologetics 1. www.ChristianAnswers.net
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