It is easy to see why this book made all the "best seller" lists. It's an engaging, fast-paced thriller with an exotic mix of secret societies, mysterious assassins, intrigues involving famous historical figures and controversial institutions, all linked together with a delicious series of secret codes and riddles to figure out. And behind it all emerges the most astonishing "conspiracy theory" anyone could possibly imagine.
Entertaining fiction has captured our imagination ever since Homer's epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, so many centuries ago. In addition to challenging entertainment, a well-written historical novel is often an enjoyable sugarcoated way to experience a glimpse of history. However, that presumes that the thread of the fictional story is entwined within a tapestry of competent historical research.
Beyond simply twisting history to suit his purposes, Dan Brown's book raises many questions concerning the reliability of the Bible, the true nature of Jesus Christ, and the origin of Christian beliefs. These issues are not incidental to the novel: they are central to its theme and constitute an intentional attack on Jesus Christ personally and on His church.
The fundamental theme lying behind the entire chain of events is the infamous Merovingian Heresy: that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child that ultimately resulted in the bloodline of the Merovingian kings of medieval France and which still continues behind the intrigues throughout the Europe of today. Although numerous scholastic rebuttals easily shred the many twisted and contrived allusions that are fostered to support Brown's engaging tale, serious foundational issues remain to unsettle any thoughtful reader.
The book raises the questions: Who was Mary Magdalene? How do we know that Jesus wasn't married? Why do we rely on the four Gospels and reject others? How and why were they chosen? What were the Gnostic Gospels and why were they - and the "lost books of the Bible" - rejected? Was there an editorial conspiracy within the early church? Does the Priory of Sion really exist? What is its agenda? And is there a "Merovingian" agenda behind the "New Europe"?
On the positive side, the popularity of the novel The DaVinci Code has opened doors for meaningful and constructive discussions regarding the foundations of the Christian faith and the reality of just who Jesus Christ really is. But, as always, we need to be prepared. We need to be in the scriptures, daily studying God's Word. If you would like to learn more about the DaVinci Code and related topics such as the Gnostic gospels we encourage you to check out our in-depth briefing titled The DaVinci Deception.
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