19 days to go, count down begins
(pic of Caraf cheering)
The Da Vinci Code, Same Old Story
I know what you are thinking: "If I see one more thing on The Da Vinci Code…!"
Sorry. If I didn’t comment on it, you would wonder why.
So here it is. But don't expect a lot of in-depth analysis, because you don't really need a lot to understand what is going on here.
The movie, based upon Dan Brown's best seller, comes out this Friday, May 19, exactly when we will be in Rockford, Illinois for our second training conference. I find the timing to be extremely interesting.
The subtitle for The Da Vinci Code should be "Did God Really Say?" for that is the underlying theme of both book and movie. It first attempts to undercut your confidence in God's Word and then quickly points you to another gospel. The basic plot is that the whole of traditional Christianity is based upon a false textual base, handed down to us because of a deep patriarchal conspiracy—one that is keeping all of us from knowing the real truth about Jesus and God, good and evil, and pretty much everything else. From beginning to end, however, Brown has spun an elaborate cobweb of deceit that should sound vaguely familiar.
Do you remember? You've actually read this story before—in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3).
Let's think about what happened there.
Satan comes to Eve and does three things:
* First, he challenges the veracity of God's Word (did God really say?)
* Second, he puts forth his counter truth claim (you will not surely die)
* And finally, he informs Eve that there is a foul conspiracy afoot; that God is keeping her from "secret knowledge" which, if she would just listen and follow Satan's inside information, she would become like God, knowing this secret knowledge herself. And, of course, she would live happily ever after.
Sure, Dan Brown synthesized early works such as The Templar Revelation and Holy Blood, Holy Grail, but in reality, his plot is just an elaboration of the line of thought found in the Original Lie.
It must be part of our nature to love a conspiracy story because we are fascinated by them. Satan must have understood this when he approached Eve. Now Brown hands us the same old stuff:
* "Did God really say?" Brown offers a string of lies to make you think the Scriptures are not to be trusted and are simply the writings of man that have evolved over the years. (For example, we are told that Constantine, based upon a political and anti-feminine agenda, determined which Gospels, out of 80, would be included in the Bible. The reality is that both Iranaeus and Origen, writing well before Constantine, confirm the canonicity of the four Gospels and at no point were 80 "Gospels" considered for inclusion in the New Testament.)
* "You will not surely die." Brown presents his counter truth claims, in part, by dredging up the Gnostic Gospels (The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary, The Gospel of Philip, etc.) and making them appear to be the real deal in contrast to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He then proposes all sorts of heretical notions that, in reality, even the Gnostic Gospels themselves don't support.
* "God knows, that when you eat, your eyes will be opened." Brown finally crafts his elaborate conspiracy theory, butchering, along the way, virtually all historical evidence. Satan painted God as the conspirator, hiding the truth from Eve, and Brown paints the Church as the conspirator, hiding the truth about Jesus from the whole of Christianity. It turns out, says Brown, that Jesus was married, sired a line of half-divines still alive today, and wanted Mary, his wife, to be the head of the Church. All of us simpletons have evidently been duped by the Church for thousands of years. Satan painted himself as the one who knew the real story. Brown paints a long list of those who have known the real truth, but have been constantly hounded by the conspirators. Leonardo was one of those good guys, hiding clues to the truth in his works. Here is where we get the nonsensical notion that Da Vinci painted Mary in the place of John at the Last Supper.
* "When you eat, your eyes will be opened." This is the "secret knowledge" that Satan offered. His promise was a lie and so is Brown's. By the way, one of the key tenets of Gnosticism, which Brown is exalting, was its belief in salvation through "secret knowledge" rather than the blood of Christ.
Brown, I'm sure is laughing all the way to the bank. Forty million copies of his book have been sold, and that is before the movie royalties.
Oh, how we love conspiracy theories!
By the way, there is something else about a good conspiracy theory. When people buy it, the facts usually don't really matter. In fact, the more the "conspirator" denies the accusations, the more we are sure they are guilty. So don't be surprised if you find people looking at you with a suspicious eye when you try to point out all of the boldface lies and distortions in Brown's web of deceit. You, they conclude, must also be part of the conspiracy too.
Nothing really changes, does it?
P.S. If you are interested in some good books that walk you through the list of Da Vinci Code lies versus the truth, check out these authors: Josh McDowell; Erwin Lutzer; Richard Abanes; Olson and Miesel; Darrell Bock; and more
dis was a forward from Fr Anil (catlik priest)
Caraf, a catlik who is not a catlik no more says
u can see clips from the movie here
a dog named Vest, a post by Michele
Faith Stranger Than Dan Brown Fiction
Jug Suraiya (atheist)
In the storm of controversy surrounding the film version of Dan Brown's bestseller, The Da Vinci Code, the one remark that struck me as being most appropriate was made appositely enough by a spokesman for Opus Dei, the supposedly 'hush-hush' Catholic order which features in the thriller. The Opus Dei representative has been quoted as saying: "The truth of the Christian faith is more inte-resting, more mysterious and beautiful than this fiction". I consider myself to be an atheist, but I couldn't agree more. Except that I would have enlarged the remark to include not just the Christian but all faith, and not just Brown's fiction but all fiction. But first let's look at The Da Vinci Code vis-a-vis Christian belief. Brown, who 'borrowed' his central thesis from an earlier book called Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, claims that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, and that their progeny went on to found a royal line that survives till today. Sensational stuff. Many would say and are saying it's more than just sensational, that it is slanderous of Chris-tian faith. But compared to the central tenet of Christianity, Brown's potboiler is a damp squib. A nine-day wonder that doesn't stand a chance against the awesome might and mystery of a faith system whose reverberations resound 2,000 years after it was formulated. What is that tenet? That the Son of God could be born in the guise of a flesh-and-blood mortal, suffer crucifixion and undergo the miracle of resurrection to redeem humankind. It's not a bombshell of a plot; it's a thermonuclear explosion. No sensation-seeking thriller writer could have had the imagination or the nerve to dream it up. And even more profoundly mysterious and baffling than the Christian credo is the phenomenon of faith itself. Asked what was the greatest mystery in the world, Yudhish-thir replied: That, when he sees death all around, man can still live each day as though he were immortal. Yudhishthir's point is that this is a faux faith, a specious immortality born of ignorance. But true faith the faith of millions of Christians or Hindus or Buddhists or Muslims the world over is the path to true immortality in a cosmic order beyond the mortal shackles of the illusion of an individual self, or ego.