Strictly speaking, questioning is one thing and denying is quite another. But, to be fair, the person who uttered those words is not a Christian apologist, although he claims to be a "committed Christian". And since some news reports are saying he is a committed Christian — well, he must be:
[Dan] Brown, a committed Christian, has said there are critical differences between his fictional work and ``The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,'' most prominently in that Baigent and Leigh suggests that Jesus may not have died on the cross.
"Suggesting a married Jesus is one thing, but questioning the resurrection undermines the very heart of Christian belief,'' Brown said before the case began.
This echoes what Brown said two years ago when making a rare public appearance at a writer's club in his home state of New Hampshire:
Dressed in a blazer and black turtleneck, Brown spoke to the audience as if they were all old friends, talking about his writing habits and his views on everything from faith to travel. But much of the focus was on the controversial assertions in his wildly popular novel. To that end, he defended the premise of "The Da Vinci Code," mentioning the extensive research on which he based his fiction and saying he left out the most controversial part. Brown said he considered including material in his book that alleges Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion.
"For me, that was just three or four steps too far," he said.
"I did not write this book to stir up a hornet's nest," said Brown, adding that the theories his book tackles are not new. "The history that becomes our truth depends on the books we read and who our teachers are. My critics and I have read different books and we've all had different teachers."
Of importance here is the matter of where Dan Brown "suggests" that Jesus is married: in a novel, The Da Vinci Code. On one hand, this is a "Duh!" point — and yet many people continue to use to the lame "It's just fiction!" line (go here for a complete response to that misleading and unconvincing cliché). And who in the novel makes the claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married? Both the "hero" Robert Langdon (Harvard "symbologist") and the eccentric (and murderous) English historian Leigh Teabing:
"As I said earlier, the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is part of the historical record." He began pawing through his book collection. "Moreover, Jesus as a married man makes infinitely more sense than our standard biblical view of Jesus as a bachelor."
"Why?" Sophie asked.
"Because Jesus was a Jew," Langdon said. (The Da Vinci Code, p. 245)
"Behold," Teabing proclaimed, "the greatest cover-up in human history. Not only was Jesus Christ married, but He was a father. My dear, Mary Magdalene was the Holy Vessel." (p. 249)
So Brown states that suggesting, via his characters, that Jesus was married "is one thing," but that he wouldn't dare "undermine" the "very heart of Christian belief." And yet two of his main male characters (the third, the albino Opus Dei "monk" Silas, is too busy killing people to bother with theological conversations) also emphatically deny that Jesus was God or divine in any way:
"My dear," Teabing declared, "until that moment in history [A.D. 325 and the Council of Nicaea], Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet ... a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal."
"Not the Son of God?"
"Right," Teabing said. "Jesus' establishment as 'the Son of God' was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea."
"Hold on. You're saying Jesus' divinity was the result of a vote?"
"A relatively close vote at that," Teabing added. "Nonetheless, establishing Christ's divinity was critical to the further unification of the Roman empire and to the new Vatican power base. By officially endorsing Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity who existed beyond the scope of the human world, an entity whose power was unchallengeable. This not only precluded further pagan challenges to Christianity, but now the followers of Christ were able to redeem themselves only via the established sacred channel — the Roman Catholic Church."
Sophie glanced at Langdon, and he gave her a soft nod of concurrence. (p. 233)
Nothing in this fictional conversation is true or even close to the truth (see pages 73-177 in The Da Vinci Hoax). Putting that to side for the time being, I think that based on the mentioned news stories and Brown's novel we can fairly reach the following conclusions:
1). Brown believes that he is a committed Christian.
2). Being a committed Christian (although not a "traditional" Christian, he admits) Brown says he does not wish to undermine or attack Christian belief.
3). This is why, Brown has stated, he refused to have his novel repeat the theory (found in The Passover Plot and Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and several other conspiracy-heavy books) that Jesus escaped the crucifixion and was not resurrected.
4). However, Brown, via his novel and two of his main characters, insists that Jesus was a mere mortal prophet who was not divine in any way and whose divinity was the fourth-century creation of a pagan Roman emperor.
5). Thus, Brown is a committed Christian who denies that Jesus was divine, or that Jesus was/is God.
6). Therefore, Brown is a committed Christian who denies that Jesus was the Christ.
Granted, there are many people running around today (John Spong, anyone?) saying they are Christian and also denying that Jesus was/is God. But Brown's torturous explanations and abuse of simple logic is notable (not to mention his apparent desire to eat the proverbial cake), especially since it clearly shaped and informed one of the best-selling novels of all time — a novel that continues to fascinate, bewitch, and bewilder an incredible number of readers. Just one more reminder that one of the many mysteries of the Code Craziness are the motives and beliefs of the man (and woman) who created it.