Well I have a real challenge on my hands! Last week’s blog provoked such a response and I wanted to include comments I got from readers. However as you all know, I am trying to be disciplined about restricting length of the blog.
Last week I made comments about the da Vinci Code by Dan Browne and the Gospel of Judas. In short I said that I believed Christians should not buy the da Vinci Code or go to the movie, as this so-called fictional story is a heretical and I believe blasphemous treatise disguised as “fiction.” I find it interesting that Dan’s wife needed to do “research” for what is supposedly a fictional story. Don’t get me started.
As far as the Gospel of Judas is concerned, I said that a) it was not by Judas buyt by a group of Gnostics – a religious sect that was already condemned as being heretical in the New Testament itself, and secondly it is not a ‘gospel’ – i.e. it is not good news. It certainly is not a threat to Christianity though I do concede that it could threaten the faith of many a weak or unsure believer and could be a stumbling block to a seeker who might otherwise find Jesus Christ.
Well what of the comments?
Note: Nicky Gumble is the main presenter of the Alpha Course – a course in basic Christian doctrine without getting into contentious debate over peripheral matters such as mode of baptism or amillenialism/premill etc. Nick Gumble was a QC (lawyer) and it is this legal expertise that he uses to dismantle DVC in a book “response to the da Vinci code.”
Cheryl from California wrote: I read the fictitious da Vinci Code over a year ago and am glad I did just so I could have my own opinion of such a piece of literature, just as I also read the Last Temptation of Christ many many years ago. Both are interesting pictures of literature, but it would be an easily led and poorly versed Christian that would consider either of them to be truthful. That said, even if the "earth shaking facts in either book were truthful" per se, Christ had a child or harbored a secret longing for Mary Magdalene, neither of the books really refute his true dinivity and purpose. As I said, I believe it would be a shallow person of faith that would read either of these books and allow them to cause them to lose their faith.
Cheryl wrote more, but space does not let me include it. I did not entirely agree with Cheryl, as I explained in an answer to her personally but did agree that if a person is established in their faith, da Vinci codes and Judas gospels will not shake it. However, alluding to the whole debate in 1 Cor. About meat sacrificed to idols, I pointed out that for the sake of weaker Christians, stronger Christians may need to abstain.
Charles from Jo’burg wrote: I really have been thinking about all these things and I saw these 2 works as a strategy from the pit of hell. You see, the Passion of the Christ really did it to the devil’s kingdom he wanted to come up with something to counter it and hence this da vinci rubbish and the gospel of judas. Gnosticism was heavily criticized by Paul because it was a huge problem in their time so there is nothing new about it! The devil wants to try and sell it as a new thing yet he has used it centuries ago to try and pour water on the gospel!
Need I add anything to this?
Graham from Hilton sent me a devotional he got that deals with the subject of the da Vinci Code and what the writer believes would be an appropriate response to DVC. He sums up by saying: Though the story is clearly fiction, it will raise questions in people’s minds about the validity of the sources through which the story of Christ and his disciples has come down to us. In other words: We have homework to do. I suggest we turn this cultural event into an opportunity for dialogue, not a call to battle. Here are some things I think would be appropriate.
1) Let’s not try and be experts about something we haven’t read or seen. If we’re going to have an opinion, make sure it’s an informed one.
2) Bone up on the origin of our information about the Scriptures and why we can trust them as reliable historical documents and as God’s Word.
3) Use this information to bolster our own faith, not fight a battle of wits with unbelievers we are eager to disprove.
4) Use the information gained to address the doubts of those who are genuinely seeking the truth.
5) Above all, let’s use this interest in the historicity of religion as an opportunity to get people thinking about the possibility of a real relationship with Christ – something we have found to be our own personal validation of the truth
(Source: Fischer, J Da Vinci decoded PurposeDrivenLife.com daily devotional – 27 April 2006).
This is sound advice indeed and I feel sums up the matter well.
Back to a more devotional theme next week.
Have a great week, a drop me a line if you have time.