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Questions and Answers From Our Experts

Bill Edgar - Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary

Jim Garlow - Senior Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California

Darrell Bock - Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary



1. The Da Vinci movie was not a blockbuster, but what did it accomplish? What is the impact of movies on our culture?

Bill Edgar: The movie did a lot better than many imagined. It was very popular around the world, including places like China. Among other things the effect has been to re-energize sales of the book. While impact is always hard to measure, I think it is one important piece among many others contributing to the general view that Jesus was only human, that the sacred feminine has been hijacked by the church, and that we don't need an atonement for sin, but only elite knowledge of mystery.

Jim Garlow: As everyone knows, the book was totally "on the radar." The movie was equally "on the radar" BEFORE it came out. Once it came out, it went "under the radar." "Under the radar" however is not synonymous with being "without impact."

Darrell Bock: Coming soon...


2. What's the long term impact of this kind of conversation for someone who was not raised on faith, can you rely upon anything to be true?

Bill Edgar: Because the Da Vinci Code places a huge wall between Jesus and the church of the ages, people who don't know the facts will be confirmed in the error that says there is a conspiracy to hide the pure truth of mystery and human fulfillment from ordinary people, and that the sooner we get rid of doctrinaire institutions we'll be better off. Ultimately, then, the story raises the huge question of authority: what in the world is true, and what may we trust anymore?

Jim Garlow: The movie and the book basically confuse those who have not had the opportunity to do serious study into the essence and the history of Christianity. The Da Vinci Code is too poorly founded to even have the title of pseudo history. Dan Brown simply "pulls things out of the air." A simple disclaimer at the front of the book ("I am not a historian…and nothing contained herein is actually historical") would have been beneficial to all readers. In contrast, the opening page claim of historical reality served to confuse millions.

Darrell Bock: Coming soon...


3. Was Jesus God?

Bill Edgar: The better question would be, is Jesus God? There are hundreds of reasons to answer in the affirmative. God is Triune, that is, wonderfully and mysteriously, he is One and Three at the same time. The Second Person of the Trinity became a man, and took the name of Jesus, in order to sacrifice himself and be raised for the salvation of God's people. Unless these things be true, we have no hope whatsoever.

Jim Garlow: Every historian relies on one thing: the reliability of his/her sources. Either the source is credible - or it is not. The Bible is a source - a rather extensive one. The historian - whether amateur or professional - must "check out" this source. Any thorough analysis of the biblical text reveals its profound authenticity. The Bible makes a clear case for the divinity of Christ. My advice: examine carefully the historical reliability of the Bible. Upon discovering it's complete reliability, one can assert that "Jesus was (is) God." The short answer is simply "yes!"

Darrell Bock: Coming soon...


4. What's this whole thing about Mary being married? The movie didn't settle this for me.

Bill Edgar: Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, though fully human, would not have married a mere human creature. Nor was it his mission to do so. And there is not a whiff of evidence for this anywhere in recorded history. He came to "marry" the church, which is metaphorically his bride.

Jim Garlow: Nowhere in the Bible - our most reliable historical account of the life of Jesus - does it claim that Jesus and Mary were married. Nowhere in the writings of the early leaders of Christianity is there any reference to any such "marriage." And amazingly, nowhere in the Gnostic writings - about which Dan Brown so endearingly speaks - is there an statement that Jesus and Mary were married. Christian historians do not object to the notion of Jesus and Mary being married on some theological basis - but rather on the basis of the clear historical record.

Bottom line: Jesus and Mary were not married.


Darrell Bock: Coming soon...


5. I hear that Dan Brown is writing another book, what else is out there that we should be aware of?

Bill Edgar: Probably books such as Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities (Oxford, 2003), and perhaps Elaine Pagels' materials such as Beyond Belief and The Gnostic Gospels. While neither endorses the Da Vinci Code (quite the contrary) both add tremendous confusion about what really happened. If anyone wants really good material on the early church and the formation of the canon, try reading F. F. Bruce, Bruce Metzger, Rodney Stark, and Michael Green.

Jim Garlow: Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code proved to be a "permission-giver" for a plethora of books - all bashing Jesus and the Bible - and all either a-historical or anti-historical. Michael Baigent's The Jesus Papers - a representative of these new New York Bestsellers - is almost laughable, if it were not for the fact that some people might actually take the book seriously and believe its driving thesis.

Anti-historical, a-historical or revisionistic "historical" works have become immensely popular. Dan Brown is the defacto leader of the pack in this genre of literature.


Darrell Bock: Coming soon...


6. What do you think the impact of the DVD will be, if any?

Bill Edgar: Hard to say. If they put good material on the menus this could be very helpful. But I rather think they won't, and that they will be pleased for the DVD to make its way into the homes of the unawares. Wouldn't it be wonderful if an honest debate could result from this latest installment? Short of that, let's have Christians mobilize to produce compelling, persuasive, artful materials that will convince the wider world at the market place of ideas!

Jim Garlow: Many will watch it. If...if...if the DVD included menus with honest historians demonstrating the irrefutable case for the historicity of the life of Jesus as per the New Testament, it might not be so harmful. In fact, it could be highly beneficial. However, I suspect it is quite likely that the offered menus will consist largely of carefully screened attackers of historic New Testament Christianity. We will have to wait and see.

Darrell Bock: Coming soon...

 

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Da Vinci Code Truth

  : This website is a response to Sony Pictures movie "The Da Vinci Code"
  based on Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code