How to Share Your Faith Using The Da Vinci Code
Murder, deception, intrigue, conspiracy... The Da Vinci Code has it all, with plenty of plot twists to keep the suspense swirling. This movie will also keep the contentious claims of author Dan Brown regarding the history of the Christian faith swirling in the culture. Although the book and movie are fiction, the author has claimed repeatedly that several of his divisive 'theories' are historically accurate. But with every controversy comes opportunity-opportunity for Christians to explore their own understanding of the basis of their faith and to engage their friends in spiritual dialogue. What a great time to lovingly be "salt and light" to people who are expressing an interest in spiritual things - whether their theories are misguided or not!
As Christians we will rarely be effective trying to debate or argue non-believers into the kingdom of God, so it's important to approach any conversational opportunities involving The Da Vinci Code with love, prayer, and sensitivity. Sharing who Jesus is and how he has changed your life will likely go further toward stirring others to search for the Truth than debating about ancient facts from church history. But if you encounter friends whose faith in Jesus is rocked by the contentious claims of this blockbuster book and movie, or if you have friends who seriously question the validity of historic Christianity as a result of it, anticipate the kinds of discussion likely to arise and be prepared.
What are the key contentious issues raised by The Da Vinci Code ? Numerous books have been written on the subject, but for a brief summary, here's a list of the essential issues with key questions to help you launch into spiritual conversations, with links provided if you choose to delve deeper:
- Jesus. Was he a mere mortal or was he the divine Son of God? The Da Vinci Code contends that Jesus never claimed to be God and that his deity was an invention of the politically motivated Emperor Constantine in the 4 th Century.In contrast, Jesus' life and words point to his divinity. In fact it was his claim to be God that outraged his enemies and resulted in them plotting his death. John 10:33 describes one of these instances when Jesus faced his adversaries: "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "But for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." After his death and resurrection, Jesus' early followers also paid with their very lives because of their belief that Jesus was God in the flesh.
- The New Testament. Is it a reliable account of Jesus' life? The Da Vinci Code claims the Bible is the product of men, filled with countless additions and revisions, its writings chosen for reasons of power, politics and patriarchal dominance. But historical and archeological evidence attest to the amazing accuracy of the Bible throughout the hundreds of years the Biblical manuscripts were copied and passed down. To understand more regarding the reliability of the Bible and which writings were included in the New Testament and why, visit Jesus and Da Vinci
- The Priory of Sion. Does an ancient secret society known as the Priory of Sion really exist? The Da Vinci Code contends that the Priory of Sion is an ancient organization whose purpose is to protect the alleged descendants of a marriage between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. The real story (documented by several books and a BBC documentary) regarding the Priory of Sion is that it was actually founded in the 1950s by Pierre Plantard who generated numerous bogus documents to "prove" the Jesus-Mary Magdalene marriage. Under oath, a French judge asked Plantard about the documents and he admitted he had fabricated the whole thing.
- Mary Magdalene. Was Mary Magdalene Jesus' wife? At the very center of The Da Vinci Code 's storyline is the contention that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Yet the New Testament contains not a single mention of Jesus being married. Even the Gnostic Gospel of Philip (written 100-200 years after the New Testament Gospels) which Dan Brown uses as his supporting evidence for this marriage theory does not say that Jesus was married.
- Leonardo Da Vinci. Did Da Vinci really plant secret 'un-Christian' messages (or codes) in his artwork? Da Vinci biographer Marco Rosci reports in his book Leonardo , "We know that Leonardo increasingly advocated an 'un-Christian philosophy' concerning man and nature and indulged in symbolic imagery." This is one historical element of The Da Vinci Code that might not be too far off the mark. Yet even Leonardo Da Vinci, a few weeks before his death in 1519, arranged in his will to have masses said and received the Sacraments of the Church before his death.
This movie will have plenty of buzz, so don't let apathy leave you shaking your head and wondering why you weren't prepared to step up and move a casual Da Vinci conversation in a direction that points people toward the authentic, historical, personal, relational Jesus.