Friday, May 26, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Series: “Seek the REAL Truth”

Want to know a secret?

People have an obsession with secrets.

From the time we’re kids we all want to know secrets. People are so obsessed with secrets that marketers consider the words “secret” or “secrets” power words. They use them to grab your attention.

Instead of calling a book “Diet Tips” they’ll call it “Diet Secrets”. See how this gets your attention more?

I’ve seen this word use in a lot of ways just this past week…

ABC news used this power word in the name of a special they did last week called “The Secret Lives Of Teens”.

Food Network even uses this power word! They have a show called “The Secret Life Of…” Yesterday they focused on “The Secret Life Of Appetizers”! See? You can even make appetizers sound mysterious! :)

One of the things that Dan Brown did when he wrote “The Da Vinci Code” was lock into our obsessions with secrets.

Look, its right in the title. The word “Code” hints that there’s a secret. Dan Brown’s character the Historian Leigh Teabing talks about “the greatest cover up in human history”. They’re all secrets!

Well, over the next 4 Sundays we’re going to look be doing a series I’m calling “The Da Vinci Code Uncovered”. We’ll uncover the real historical secrets about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and The Bible.

I call them secrets, because most people, including Christians, don’t know church history and these facts are so unknown to them that they’ve basically become “secrets”. (I also know, like we just talked about, that the word “secrets” will get your attention more than just calling them historical facts!) :)

Some people might think… “Why bother proving a fictional book isn’t true? Isn’t that obvious? It’s fiction” Well, first of all for any of you that don’t know…

I really liked the book. I thought it was a good work of fiction. A small group of us saw the movie last night and, even though a lot of critics slammed it, I thought it was pretty good!

But, I have a problem with the story...

My problem is that Dan Brown tries to blur the line between truth and fiction when he begins the book stating, "FACTS: All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secrets in this novel are accurate." He’s basically saying, “Wink, wink. The stories made up but it based on facts!”

Atheists Agree

Just so you realize, this isn’t just something that Christians are trippin' about, ATHEISTS see a problem with it too...

Austin Cline who runs the atheist section at said this...

"...the inaccuracies in Brown's book are relevant because he portrays the background history as if they were facts… Moreover, he seems to believe all of the conspiracy theories himself."

I've heard of people reading the book and believing Dan Brown found some REAL "secrets". I’ve heard of people deciding to stop believing in Jesus after reading the book. I’ve heard of people saying, “See that’s why I don’t believe the Bible.”

If you’re going to not believe in the Bible
I want you to have a better reason than because of some pretend “facts” that Dan Brown put in a book that was made into a movie!

What we’re going to look at over the 4 Sunday are the “facts” that Dan Brown gives in the book and compare them with historical evidence and see what’s real and what’s fantasy.

Over this series we’ll look at 3 main things: the truth about the Bible (is it trustworthy), the truth about Jesus (was he married, did he have kids, did he claim to be divine or was that made up later), and the truth about Mary Magdalene (who was she, the Holy Grail, etc.).

And along that journey we’ll look at some other things like what’s the truth about the Priory of Scion, The Knights Templar, Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper Painting and more.

One of the taglines for the movie is “Seek The Truth”. That’s why today’s message is “Seek The Real Truth”.

At the beginning of the movie they talk about the “search of the original truth”. That’s what we’re going to do today. We’re all on a search for truth our whole lives.

One of the things my oldest son Jack, who’s 5 asks me all the time is “Dad, is that true?” Because he can't tell when something on TV is real or not. It’s been what every human has been wanting to know since the beginning of history!

Jesus cared a lot about the truth too. In John 8:23, Jesus says this about the truth...

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." When you don’t know what’s true you’re trapped. You’re in the dark. But, when you know the truth it’s like being in the light and you are free! Today we’ll start on a journey to seek the real truth.

Like I said, I’m going to compare what’s said in the book with what the historical evidence is. But you have to know something first about a technique used in the book…

Dan Brown
uses an “Appeal to authority” technique in his book and in the movie. Instead of just writing a non-fiction book and saying, “Here’s what I discovered…” Instead, he creates a fictional book and a fictional historian to say everything he wants to say. That way his words have more authority and are more easily accepted.

An author and successful online marketer name Mark Joyner said this about the “appeal to authority” technique...

We tend to accept the words out of an alleged authority figure's mouth without question even absurd statements like "you are broke because you haven't given me enough money."

People who read the book and see the upcoming Da Vinci Code movie need to remember that the facts stated by Dan Brown's fictional historian, Leigh Teabing, are not coming from an ACTUAL expert.

They are coming from the research of Dan Brown and his wife Blythe. The words of Teabing are in reality the words of a former English teacher and an art history buff (art history is her hobby).

I'm not an expert myself, but even I was able, through simple research, to discover how inaccurate their "facts" are. Anyone of you out there can do the same thing.

I’ve read a lot of different articles online and different books about these topics, but there are three that I got most of the information I’m giving you today from. If you want to know more you should grab a copy of each…

  • ”Breaking The Da Vinci Code” by Darrell L. Bock
  • The Gospel Code by Ben Witherington III
  • ”The Da Vinci Code A Quest For Answers” by Josh McDowell– fictional book about friends at a coffee shop talking about the book. It’s not that great of fiction, but it will give you the facts in the easiest way to understand them.
  • “The Da Vinci Codebreaker” by James L. Garlow. A book of 500 facts & terms

Alright, let’s look at some of the “facts” about the Bible that Dan Brown gives us in the Da Vinci Code…

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