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Christian Analysis of Da Vinci Code: What Dan Brown Did Not Tell You – Three Major Errors Plus a Few More
The following special Planet Envoy is the first part of a critique and examination of the best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code. In this opening edition, we examine the success of The Da Vinci Code, the apparent agenda of its author, Dan Brown, the major flaws of the novel, and the Gnostic background and neo-Gnostic beliefs the book relies upon so heavily. Future editions of this critique will discuss Mary Magdalene, Constantine and the Council of Nicaea, Brown’s Christology, the search for the Grail, the Knights of Templar, the Priory of Sion, witchcraft and the Middle Ages, and Leonardo da Vinci and his artwork.
This second part of Envoy magazine’s special Planet Envoy critique of the best-selling novel examines Brown’s depictions of early Christianity, especially his claims about Jesus Christ, the Emperor Constantine, the supposed reliance of early Christianity on pagan beliefs and rituals, and the Council of Nicaea. As we will see, Brown not only plays fast and loose with the facts, he consistently makes statements that are inaccurate, baseless, and even completely contrary to historical fact.
G. K. Chesterton is reported, somewhat inaccurately, to have remarked that those who cease to believe in God don’t necessarily believe in nothing; instead, they are prone to believe in anything. In his recently published, Truth: A Guide, Simon Blackburn quotes this quip in support of his contention that our culture currently suffers from a crisis of truth. A soft, democratic form of relativism has given our contemporaries a “green light to believe what they like with as much conviction and force as they like.” An influential British philosopher with distaste for religion, Blackburn laments the current forms of dogmatism: “Astrology, prophecy, homeopathy, Feng shui, conspiracy theories, flying saucers, voodoo, crystal balls, miracle-working, angel visits, alien abductions, management nostrums and a thousand other cults dominate people’s minds.” Can we add, and perhaps move to the front of the queue, the cult of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code?
[T]he human characters take a back seat to the grand conspiracy that gives the book its plot, and in that conspiracy is the heresy. “The Da Vinci Code”‘s driving claim is nothing less than that Christianity is based upon a Big Lie (the deity of Christ) used by patriarchal oppressors to deny the true worship of the Divine Feminine. Still hanging in there? If you thought “The Last Temptation of Christ” was explosive, “The Da Vinci Code” is thermonuclear. The book claims that Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene, that a child was born of this marriage, and that Mary and her child fled after the crucifixion to Gaul, where they established the Merovingian line of European royalty. […] Brown has crossed the line between a suspense novel and a book promoting a barely hidden agenda, to attack the Christian church and the Gospel.
So error-laden is The Da Vinci Code that the educated reader actually applauds those rare occasions where Brown stumbles (despite himself) into the truth. […] In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess. So, why bother with such a close reading of a worthless novel? The answer is simple: The Da Vinci Code takes esoterica mainstream. It may well do for Gnosticism what The Mists of Avalon did for paganism—gain it popular acceptance. After all, how many lay readers will see the blazing inaccuracies put forward as buried truths?
In the face of spurious claims from a man who poses himself as a historian even as he writes a novel (“All descriptions of … documents … in this novel are accurate”), some of you turned to the apostles and church fathers, to see what they and their Bible really had to say about the divinity of Jesus Christ. Anything that leads people back to those dynamic early centuries of the church can only help the Christian cause.
Well, the short answer is being fictional doesn’t matter. It will still have influence on the way people think about issues. We have numerous examples of this, from the sales jump of Resees Pieces after E.T. came out to the effects of works such as The Green Mile and Cider House Rules on the death penalty and abortion.