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| "What Do Christians Know?" | Carl E. Olson for Human Events Online »
... in decent screenwriting and
filmmaking. One word: pathetic. If I were Dan Brown I would sue Sony
and Ron Howard for doing what I thought was impossible: making a movie
that was worse than the novel, which is like Isaiah Thomas taking over
the Knicks and making that team even worse. Hey, it can be done, but it
takes a special sort of, um, genius to do so.Anyhow, sports comparisons aside, Steve Greydanus's review of The Da Vinci Code is excellent and
right on the money. The changes made to the movie do not, as he rightly
points out, "soften" the anti-Catholicism, but merely make it that much
more insidious. I nearly laughed aloud a couple of times when Langdon
and Teabing disagreed about this or that historical point -- and both
were wildly wrong. The not-so-funny aspect of such exchanges is that
some viewers will see this is as an example of serious debate between
two scholars, but will never bother to see if the "competing"
perspectives offered have any basis in real scholarship.
The movie is painfully long and dreadfully self-important. It is, in
fact, very much like the novel, which is a poorly written, overwrought,
pseudo-intellectual piece of anti-Catholic rot. In The Da Vinci Hoax, Sandra Miesel and I offered a description of the novel that fits the movie just as well: "The Da Vinci Code
is custom-made fiction for our time: pretentious, posturing,
self-serving, arrogant, self-congratulatory, condescending, glib,
illogical, superficial, and deviant." Thus, it's irritating to read
so many reviews (not Steve's, of course) insisting that the movie lacks
the magic, charm, wit, excitement, intensity, blah, blah, blah of the
novel. Poppycock. The movie simply reveals many of the serious artistic
flaws of the novel; it hardly could avoid doing so, unless the
screenplay had completely departed from the novel. It seems to me that
most people today make more demands of what they see in a theater than
they make of what they read on the page. Part of that, I'm sure, is
because many fans of TDVC don't read many books, or, to be more
precise, many good books.
The movie, like the novel, takes its message very, very seriously.
This is blatantly obvious in the final 15 minutes, when Langdon (Tom
Hanks) yammers endlessly about how the most important thing is what you
believe -- not whether or not it is true, good, or right. While
deviating in exact language from the novel, this is essentially Brown's
message (as he as expressed in interviews): we must be able to create
our own truth and not have truth shoved down our throats by nasty old
men who are selling us the lie called Christianity. This is a
misleading and false choice, of course, but one that plays very well in
Finally, I figured (as did nearly everyone else) that the opening
weekend would be huge for this movie. And it was. But I also thought
that its numbers would substantially decrease after the first weekend.
However, I wonder now if I was wrong in thinking so. Like the novel,
the movie will continue to attract attention. The only advantage held
by the novel, so to speak, was that it came out of the blue; the movie
has been met with a flood of criticism and response, which has, to some
extent, changed perceptions of the movie, if only to cause nearly every
review on the planet to condescendingly point out that it's "just a
movie" and "just entertainment." And why is it so entertaining to
millions of people? Well, it's not because of the writing, the
characters, or the plot. In large part it's because many people want to
be told that it's alright to reject and bash Catholicism, and feel as
though they are smart and sophisticated in doing so. However, if, as I
think is the case, people do take their movies more seriously then
their reading material, perhaps the movie will end up sinking quickly.I
plan to post a few more thoughts about the movie and reaction to it in
the next couple of days. Again, Steve's review is an excellent and
accurate assessment of the movie.
Posted by Carl E. Olson on Monday, May 22, 2006 at 12:03 AM | Permalink
The initial critics at Cannes panned the film, but Ebert / Roeper give it a mild thumbs up.
Very anti-Catholic, just like the book, I can't overlook that.
1.5 stars out of 100 for me.
Ebert / Roeper review here
Monday, May 22, 2006 at 06:05 PM
This Is Bible itself not some theory
An aborted coup by Jesus: Jesus made his triumphant royal entry into Jerusalem at the head of an excited and enthusiastic crowd with high hopes of establishing the “Kingdom of God” any minute; riding a donkey to fulfill prophecy (Zechariah 9:9)
-Tell ye the daughter of Zion, behold, thy KING cometh…sitting upon an ass… and a great multitude spread their garments…and branches in the way…and the multitude cried, saying, “Hosanna to the SON OF DAVID…Hosanna in the highest…” (Matthew 21:5-9).
“… because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should IMMEDIATELY appear” (Luke 19:11).
“The Pharisees said…Behold, the world is gone (mad) after him (Jesus)” (John 12:19). “NOW is the judgment of this world; N-O-W shall the prince of this world be CAST OUT” (John 12:31). Jesus-The Prince of War: And Jesus declared “But those mine enemies, who would not that I should REIGN over them, bring them hither, and SLAY them before me” (Luke 19:27). Jesus physically overthrew the money-changer’s tables and drove them out with a “whip of cords” (John 2:15) The overthrow of the Temple Authority was a forerunner to the expulsion of the Romans, heralding the “Kingdom of God.”
“ I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish that it were ALREADY KINDLED”… “Do you supposed that I came to bring peace to the world? No, not peace BUT DIVISION.” (Luke 12:49,51)
“Think NOT that I am come to send PEACE on earth; I came NOT to send PEACE, but a SWORD.” (Matthew 10:34)
But alas his high hopes did not materialize. His nation was never ready for any sacrifice. “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?...” (John 6:66-67)
The Jewish leaders reasoned that this one man had almost brought the nation to destruction, therefore, “it is expedient for one man to die for the nation.” (John 11:50) But with all the mass hysteria surrounding him, it was also not expedient to apprehend Jesus in public. They bribed Judas, an elected disciple of Jesus, for the opportunity of clandestine arrest. Suspicious behavior of Judas revealed everything to Jesus. He did not need the Holy Ghost to interpret the misgivings in Judas’s mind. Jesus dismissed Judas with the words: “…What thou doest, do quickly.” And prepares for self-defence. Had he not already been hiding himself from their harmful intentions?
“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for HE WOULD NOT WALK in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” (John 7:1)
“Therefore they sought again to take him: but HE ESCAPED OUT of their hand.” (John 10:39) “then took they up stones to cast at him: but JESUS HID HIMSELF, …” (John 8:59)
“Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore WALKED NO MORE OPENLY among the Jews.” (John 11:53-54)
An Un-willing Victim: Jesus will not be a sitting duck for a clandestine arrest by the Jews. He prepares his disciples for the impending showdown.
“and he that hath no SWORD, let him sell his garment and buy one!” (Luke 22:36)
The disciples were already armed. They had not left Galilee with bare knuckles. They responded: “…Lord, behold, here are two SWORDS.” And he said unto them, “It is enough”. (Luke 22:38)
The missionary, so as to retain the impression of the ”meek and gentle Jesus”, “the Prince of Peace”, pleads that the SWORDS were spiritual! If the swords were spiritual then the “garments” must also be spiritual. If the disciples of Jesus were to sell their SPIRITUAL garments to buy SPIRITUAL swords, in that case they will all become SPIRITUALLY NAKED! Furthermore, one does not lop off peoples physical ears with spiritual swords- “And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his SWORD, and struck the servant of the high priest’s, and cut off his ear.” (Matthew 26:51)
Jesus on the Run: He leads his platoon IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to Gethsemane-a courtyard built of stonewall some 5 miles out of town. He places 8 of the 11 disciples (each vying with one another to go to prison for him; to die for him. “Likewise also said all the disciples” Matthew 26:35) at the entrance of the courtyard, commanding them: “…. Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.”
The question that would bug any thinker is: Why did they all go to Gethsemane? To pray? Could they not have prayed in the upper-room? Could they not have gone to the Temple of Solomon, a stone’s throw from where they were, if prayer is all that they wanted to do? No! They went to Garden so that they might be in better position to defend themselves!
“And he took with him Peter and two sons of Zebedee…Then said he unto them…tarry ye here and watch with me.” Matthew 26:37-38
Where is he taking Peter (the Rock), john and James (the sons of thunder) now? To pray? No! To make an inner line of defence--he had put eight at the Gate, and, now these zealous Zealots (the fighting Irishmen of their day),armed with SWORDS, to “wait and watch”—TO KEEP GUARD! A-n-d HE (alone) prayed!
Jesus Prays For Rescue: "…and began to be VERY SORROWFULL and VERY DEPRESSED. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…” "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, (Exactly as the Muslim does in Salaat) and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (This is the quality of a good Muslim who submits his will to the will of Allah) Matthew 26:37-39
“And BEING IN AN AGONY, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44
Jesus had no intention of dying. Jesus was praying strongly (Matthew mentions that Jesus repeated these prayer three time) to have this death removed from him. Had Jesus Christ been sent to be crucified he would not have hesitated to be killed at all. Priests tell us that this hesitation comes from the flesh side of him (in other words he was tempted), and that his soul, which is godly, does not have this hesitation at all. But Jesus is contradicting this idea by saying, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." (Matthew 26:38). He himself says that it really his soul that is hesitating and not his body. These are Jesus' own words.
Hot-gospeller and the Bible-thumper says that Jesus was destined to die for the sins of mankind. That he was “being prepared for this vicarious sacrifice before the foundation of this world”. That even before the material universe came into being, there was a contract between “Father and son,” and that in the year 4000 A.A. (After Adam), God himself in the form of Jesus, as the second person from the enigmatic Trinity, was to get himself hanged to redeem mankind from the Original Sin and their actual sins.
Jesus Unaware of Heavenly Contract: From the “call to arms” in the upper room, midnight escape to and deployment of forces at Gethsemane, and the blood-sweating prayer to the God of Mercy for help, it appears that Jesus knew nothing about the contract for his crucifixion. It reminds one of the Biblical Abraham, leading his son to the slaughter with the bluff that the Lord will provide an ‘escape-goat.’ If this was God’s plan for a vicarious atonement to redeem mankind, then obviously He had chosen a wrong substitute. This candidate was most reluctant to die. Arming! Wailing! Sweating! Crying! Complaining! Contrast these responses with those of Lord Nelson, a war hero, who gave up the ghost with these undying words: THANK GOD, I HAVE DONE MY DUTY!” There are millions today, who would happily immolate themselves for king and country, with smiles on their faces, with shouts of “God save the Queen!” Jesus was an unwilling victim. If this was God’s scheme of salvation, then it was a heartless plot. It was murder in the first degree, and not redeeming self-sacrifice.
Disciples Caught Napping: After every outpouring of prayer Jesus Christ found his disciples lulled to sleep at their post. Again and again he bewailed: “What could ye not watch with me for one hour?”--- Matthew 26:40. “And again he (Jesus) went away, and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when he returned, he found them sleep again…” Mark 14:39-40. Poor St. Mark bemoans that the disciples could give no excuse for their lassitude, their somnambulism. He records: “neither knew they what to answer him”,---(Mark 14:40) Unusual Reasoning: “The beloved physician” St. Luke hazards a guess for this anomaly of somnambulism. He says: “And when he (Jesus) rose from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for SORROW.” As a physician, his theory of men “SLEEPING FOR SORROW” is unique. Cries and wailings, sobs and sorrows were in abundance from Jerusalem to Gethsemane on the lips of Jesus which would shock and alert any un-ebriated person.
The disciples were caught, as the Englishman would say with their “pants down”. The enemy trod over them rough-shod. Only one of the soldiers of Christ had the presence of mind to ask: “…Master, shall we smite them with the sword?” (Luke 22:49) But before Jesus could attempt a reply, the impetuous Peter struck out with his sword and cut of the right ear of one of the enemy.
Miscalculations And Change of strategy: Jesus Miscalculated the enthusiasm demonstrated by the disciples in that upper-room. Believing that he would only have to contend with Jews in a clandestine arrest. He miscalculated Jews who were more wily than he thought. They brought with them Roman soldiers.
Jesus had not anticipated Roman soldiers. Realizing that the tables were turned against his misconceived strategy, he advises his disciples: “…Put up again thy sword into its place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”(Matthew 26:52) Did Jesus not know the truth of this statement when he ordered his disciples to sell their garments and BUY SWORDS? He surly did! Then why the contradiction now? There is really no contradiction! Why do not the Christian controversialists give their “Lord and Master” credit for this simple common sense? The situation changes, so the strategy must also change. He had sense enough to realize that against trained and well-equipped Roman soldiers it would be suicidal for his sleepy warriors to offer even pretence of resistance.
Failure and Trial: The march on Jerusalem had fizzled out. The saber rattling in the Garden had proved abortive. The odds are heavy! Hence the trial, the tribulations, the turmoil and the sweat and blood. With heavy hands, the Roman soldiers dragged Jesus from Gethsemane to Annas, to Caiphas the High Priest and onto Sanhedrin for trial and execution.
Gone in his hour of need: Whilst Jesus was being manhandled and buffeted towards his doom, where were his heroes who were beating their breasts with the war-cry: “ Master, we are prepared to die for you, Master, we are prepared to go to prison for you!”? St. Mark, the first of Gospel writers, un-ashamedly and without any apology reveals:
“AND THEY ALL FORSOOK HIM AND FLED.” (mark 14:50)
In the history of the world, there is no parallel of such a contemptible betrayal. From the beginning to the end, Jesus received the most shabby response from his chosen ones. Professor Momerie sums up the “disciples” and their response to the Master:
“HIS IMMEDIATE DISCIPLES WERE ALWAYS MISUNDERSTANDING HIM AND HIS WORKS. WANTING HIM TO DECLARE HIMSELF KING OF THE JEWS, WANTING HIM TO CALL DOWN FIRE FROM HEAVEN, WANTING TO SIT ON HIS RIGHT HAND AND HIS LEFT HAND IN HIS KINGDOM; WANTING HIM TO SHOW THEM THE FATHER, TO MAKE GOD VISIBLE TO THEIR BODILY EYES: WANTING HIM TO DO, AND WANTING TO DO THEMSELVES, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT WAS INCOMPATIBLE WITH HIS GREAT PLAN. THIS WAS HOW THEY TREATED HIM UNTILL THE END.AND WHEN THAT CAME, THEY ALL FORSOOK HIM, AND FLED.”
Jesus Complains: All alone he protested against violence: “…why smitest thou me?” (John 18:23)
And cried to God (Allah, Allah): “Eloi, Eloi, Lama sabachthani?” (Mark 15:34) “Eli, Eli, Lama sabachthani?” (Matthews 27:46)
Which is being interpreted, (My God, My God, Why has thou forsaken me?)
God Answered the Prayers of Jesus Christ: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) When Jesus asked of God to "let this cup pass from him " (Matthew 26:39), God respond to his prayer and saved him from death or crucifixion. “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:34)
According to Hebrews 5:7 "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared." When Jesus was praying strongly to God, God would grant him his request. The words “heard in that he feared” (Hebrews 5:7) mean that God granted him what he requested.
AND THEY (JEWS) SAID (IN BOAST), “WE KILLED CHRIST, JESUS THE SON OF MARY, THE APOSTLE OF GOD” BUT THEY KILLED HIM NOT, NOR CRUCIFIED HIM,
BUT IT WAS MADE TO APPEAR TO THEM SO, AND THOSE WHO DIFFER THEREIN ARE FULL OF DOUBTS WITH NO (CERTAIN) KNOWLEDGE, BUT THEY FOLLOW ONLY CONJECTURE,
FOR OF A SURETY THEY KILLED HIM NOT. (Holy Quran 4:157)
M TASNEEM |
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 04:02 AM
"Jesus had no intention of dying."
On behalf of Carl Olson and Mark Brumley, we welcome the Muslim viewpoint to the Da Vinci Hoax blog. :-) But I have to ask: what does the Muslim viewpoint have to do with Dan Brown's novel? Even Dan Brown believes Jesus was crucified (but he did not die for our sins, nor was he resurrected from the dead, or ascended to heaven, according to Dan Brown's novel). Jesus was just a "mortal prophet" -- on that much at least Dan Brown and Muslims agree.
"Hot-gospeller and the Bible-thumper says that Jesus was destined to die for the sins of mankind."
This appears to be a copy/paste job from the infamous Muslim apologist Ahmed Deedat. Hot-gospeller and Bible-thumper is the language he uses. I have a couple of his little booklets given to me from Muslims I met at college.
I enjoy Deedat's talks and debates (I have several of them), but Catholics and Christians believe he is wrong.
Islam and the Crucifixion
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 07:16 AM
BTW, Dan Brown refers to the crucifixion on page 255 of the novel (hardcover edition):
Mary Magdalene was pregnant at the time of the crucifixion, and for the safety of Christ's unborn child, she had to flee the Holy Land and secretly traveled to France where she gave birth to a daughter, Sarah (DVC 255).
So even Dan Brown doesn't go as far as the early Gnostics, and later Muslims in denying the crucifixion.
Also: one big contradiction in the movie I hope Carl Olson covers. Like the novel, the movie denies Jesus' divinity (at least Teabing does), but Langdon (Tom Hanks) later seems to believe in Jesus' miracles, asking "why couldn't Jesus do all those miracles and be married too?"
Also in the movie, Sophie steps in the water (and makes reference to the miracle of water changing to wine) implying she might have some divine power herself because she is a direct "descendant" of Jesus.
Well which is it? Did Jesus do miracles? If He did, that's evidence He is divine. If He is not divine, where did he get the power to do miracles? According to the novel, Jesus was just a man, a mortal prophet, remember?
Maybe in the movie they take the Muslim viewpoint that Jesus did indeed perform actual miracles under the power of God, because he was a true prophet, peace be upon Him.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 07:58 AM
I have read TDVC and yes there are many unproven claims made. However it is also historically correct that the Catholic Church is responsible for trampling other faiths under its jackboots: Paganism in all its forms were demonised and its followers murdered; Mayan books destroyed wholesale; gospels carefully selected to convey a message at ease with the philosophies of powerful priests whilst other equally relevant writings were hidden and degraded - the list of crimes committed in the name of Jesus is long, shameful and historically correct.
We will never know the truth because it has been clouded in mystery and we are therefor left to ponder. There is certainly no proof that Jesus was of a virgin birth and ascended to heaven in sci-fi mode whilst His risen self talked to a selected few. What is compelling about TDVC and Blood and the Holy Grail is that they do formulate an alternative theory - a theory by the way which actually enhances a thinkers regard for the man or prophet Jesus by taking away the fairy tale element and putting real meaning into his life. I lost my faith in adulthood and thought little of Jesus. I now realise that Jesus could well have had devine promise and that his message has been lost to me by the almost satanic blind faith inculcated into me by a church who now criticise the lack of proof given in a work of theory.
Who hides behind blind faith? Why bigots and fascists do whilst, at the same time, pointing their scornful fingers at people genuinely seeking truth and understanding. It's time they looked within themselves for that's the only place they are liable to find truth but it's doubtful they have the spiritual wherewithall to do so for it died under the weight of thousands of years brainwashing.
John Kirkham |
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 11:02 AM
JohnKirk: "We will never know the truth because it has been clouded in mystery and we are therefore left to ponder. There is certainly no proof that Jesus was of a virgin birth and ascended to heaven in sci-fi mode whilst His risen self talked to a selected few."
There is no "proof" for miracles in the sense of mathematics or logical proof. But the miracles follow from the historicity of the Resurrection of Christ. So you have carefully read William Lane Craig and N.T. Wright on the resurrection?
You have read C.S. Lewis on miracles? You have read contemporary Christian and Catholic apologetics? You have looked into the best arguments from that side?
JohnKirk: "What is compelling about TDVC and Blood and the Holy Grail is that they do formulate an alternative theory - a theory by the way which actually enhances a thinkers regard for the man or prophet Jesus by taking away the fairy tale element and putting real meaning into his life."
There is nothing compelling about an "alternative theory" that has no evidence to back it up, and that has been shown to be based on frauds and lies, and that requires one to make literally hundreds of errors (e.g. see The Da Vinci Hoax in response to TDVC).
Dan Brown does not take away the fairy tale element since he adds many of his own: polytheism (gods and goddesses), a "mortal man" married to a "goddess" and that we should care about that? Why? None of it makes sense.
That Jesus claimed to be God, and proved it by His Resurrection and miracles, and that we will live happily ever after in heaven is a much better theory. :-) The Virgin Birth and miracles and divine authority of the Scriptures and divine authority of the Catholic Church follows from the historicity of the Resurrection. Jesus claimed to be God, and proved it. Disprove that claim.
The atrocities committed in His name prove the truth of the Christian claim that we are sinners, sometimes gross ones. But Christian theology (Original Sin) accounts for that. Dan Brown's "theology" does not.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 04:31 PM
Sorry, I meant to say Dan Brown's "theology" does not account for the problem of evil. He can't place the blame for all evil on the Catholic Church (as much as he tries), since evil existed BEFORE the Catholic Church. And among all his "gods" and "goddesses" which one is the true God? Just Who created Who anyway?
We trace back evil to Original Sin and the beginning of the human race, and the one true God is the Creator of all that is good. Evil is a privation or a lack in the good, which makes more sense.
Thank you, fire away! And please read some William Lane Craig, N.T. Wright, C.S. Lewis, and a little Peter Kreeft for good measure.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 05:00 PM
The nice thing about looking within yourself for truth is that you don't have to give up on your prejudices. The real world has a pesky way of deflating them.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 05:27 PM
how scared are you lot? what da vinci hoax? why is it so hard to comprehend that what you were taught is wrong? do you still think the earth is flat? I read the book and it was great. I saw the film yesterday and it was very good, if a little rushed. I belive jesus was just a man like any other because I have educated my self and left my third century glasses off. I feel sad that people belive in the bible, it shows how insecure they still are. giving more money to the church so it can be used to start wars and let old men who abuse children a cushy life somewhere. very sad.
jesus WHO |
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 11:29 AM
who: "I read the book and it was great."
What about the hundreds of errors in the book? What about the lies in the book? You won't read The Da Vinci Hoax because there is no answer to it. Are you afraid? If not, read it. Hee hee.
who: "I saw the film yesterday and it was very good, if a little rushed."
Some may think a 2 1/2 hour discussion about the supposed lies in Christianity and Catholicism is good entertainment. What about the errors in the movie?
I'm not scared, but how about a little truth from Dan Brown and Ron Howard?
The Catholic scandals have been dealt with, they aren't pretty but we're dealing with them.
My online article on The Da Vinci Code fraud:
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 11:57 AM
If you are a christian then one basic belief is that you have a soul within you. To listen to that soul it is essential that you look within yourself as well as outwards. If you find a need to constantly refer to the views of others then you are beginning to doubt the evidence of your own beliefs - your soul. I could suggest many hundreds of works for you to read none of which would prove conclusive and many of which contain claims of divinity; in your life you couldn't read them all.
If a person has a prejudice then it lays set in concrete within his soul and only a study of yourself can uncover it. I've been there, been force fed the catechism and the fear of death whilst in mortal sin and have defeated these demons of inculcated nonsense. It is possible (another theory) that the reason Jesus is deified as God is because the Romans needed to worship a devine entity and so created one. which of the gospels was written by a Roman?
I truly hope you do "Live happily ever after in Heaven" like Cinderella. If there is a life after death, which cannot be proved or disproved, then I personally hope it's a little more open to a little more diversity than that preached by the happy, happy, clappy, clappy brigade. For to live in perpetual bliss would be Hell for a soul freed from the human chains - oblivion a better option.
If there is a God, goddess or other being then we can only pray it has an open mind. If not then it will only welcome those with closed minds and what good would that be to an entity of intelligence or to its prisoners.
The Gospels are no more rock solid proof of anything as are the writings of mythology. However all or part of both could contain truths!
John Kirkham |
Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 08:19 AM
Ah ha you came back. What is the soul? Does the soul need saving? "What good is it if a man were to gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?" (Matthew 19:24-27) Do you agree with Jesus there? Are you coming from an eastern viewpoint where the soul is basically good, a "spark of divinity" or a purely skeptical or atheistic one? If a skeptical one, why should I look inward if there's nothing there but molecules. :-)
You defended Dan Brown, DVC, and "Holy Blood." You called them compelling. I asked what is compelling about a book that is based on proven frauds, lies, errors? Or do you DENY these books (and the DVC movie) are based on proven frauds, lies, and errors?
JohnKirk: "It is possible (another theory) that the reason Jesus is deified as God is because the Romans needed to worship a devine entity and so created one. which of the gospels was written by a Roman?"
Again, give me some evidence for that view. There is NONE. Yes, Jesus could be a space man from Pluto. Give me some evidence for that view too. Same thing. READ William Lane Craig and N.T. Wright, they present the best case FOR the Resurrection and the Christian claim.
JohnKirk: "The Gospels are no more rock solid proof of anything as are the writings of mythology. However all or part of both could contain truths!"
Here is a little bit on the Gospels. Catholic apologetics is a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. :-) Summarized from Kreeft/Tacelli:
-- The style of the Gospels is radically and clearly different from the style of all myths; there are no overblown, spectacular, exaggerated events; nothing is arbitrary, everything is meaningful;
-- There was not enough time for myth to develop; several generations have to pass before the added mythological elements can be mistakenly believed to be facts; eyewitnesses would be around before that to discredit the new, mythic versions;
-- The first witnesses of the Resurrection were women; in first-century Judaism, women had low social status and no legal right to serve as witnesses; if the empty tomb were an invented legend, its inventors surely would not have had it discovered by women, whose testimony was considered worthless; if the writers were simply reporting what they saw, they would have to tell the truth;
-- The New Testament could not be myth misinterpreted and confused with fact because it specifically distinguishes the two and repudiates the mythic interpretation (2 Peter 1:16);
-- The Gospels were written by eyewitnesses from internal evidence: the style of writing in the Gospels is simple and alive; the Gospels show an intimate knowledge of Jerusalem prior to its destruction in AD 70; the Gospels are full of proper names, dates, cultural details, historical events, and customs and opinions of that time;
-- The stories of Jesus' human weaknesses and of the disciples' faults also bespeak the Gospels' accuracy: the Gospels do not try to suppress apparent discrepancies, which indicates their originality; the Gospels do not contain anachronisms; the authors appear to have been first-century Jews who were witnesses of the events;
-- The disciples must have left some writings, engaged as they were in giving lessons to and counseling believers who were geographically distant; what could these writings be if not the Gospels and epistles themselves;
-- There were many eyewitnesses who were still alive when the books were written who could testify whether they came from their purported authors or not;
-- The external evidence: extra-biblical testimony unanimously attributes the Gospels to their traditional authors; with a single exception, no apocryphal gospel is ever quoted by any known author during the first three hundred years after Christ; there is no evidence that any inauthentic gospel whatever existed in the first century in which all four Gospels and Acts were written;
-- No other ancient work is available in so many copies and languages, and yet all these various versions agree in content;
The text has remained unmarred by heretical additions; the abundance of manuscripts over a wide geographical distribution demonstrates that the text has been transmitted with only trifling discrepancies; the quotations of the New Testament books in the early Church Fathers all coincide; no one could have corrupted all the manuscripts;
-- The text of the New Testament is every bit as good as the text of the classical works of antiquity; to repudiate the textual purity of the Gospels would be to reject all the works of antiquity, since the text of those works is less certain than that of the Gospels.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 11:57 AM
BTW, there is zero evidence for this claim you made earlier:
JohnKirk: "gospels carefully selected to convey a message at ease with the philosophies of powerful priests whilst other equally relevant writings were hidden and degraded"
That is just another error found in Dan Brown's novel and Ron Howard's movie. Very simple: GIVE ME SOME EVIDENCE FOR THAT ERROR. :-)
"In the first half of the second century, then, collections of Christian writings which were due one day to be given canonical status were already taking shape -- notably the fourfold gospel [Matthew, Mark, Luke, John] and the corpus of Pauline letters....from the early second century onward Paul's letters circulated not singly, but as a collection [cf. 2 Peter 3:15f]. It was as a collection that Christians of the second century and later knew them, both orthodox and heterodox." (F.F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, page 123-124, 130)
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were the only ones ever considered, and their canonical status was clearly recognized by the second century AD. The earliest Christian writings cite these Gospels as the only authoritative and authentic written words about Jesus: the epistle of Barnabas (c. 70-100 AD), the Didache (c. 70-130), St. Clement of Rome (c. 95), the epistles of St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110), Papias (c. 120), the Shepherd of Hermas (c. 140), and the Muratorian fragment (or canon c. 170 AD), all quote or allude to all four canonical Gospels (Geisler / Nix, page 288-291). The rest of the New Testament (the 27-book canon) is quoted or alluded to by these same writers, plus the earliest orthodox Church Fathers: St. Ignatius (c. 110), St. Justin Martyr (c. 150), St. Irenaeus (c. 180), St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 200), Origen (c. 220), etc. There is a growing recognition of the extent of the New Testament canon, and this began early in the second century AD.
DO YOU DISPUTE THIS? YES OR NO. Its called demolishing Dan Brown's errors and getting you to admit his errors while there is still time. :-)
We have established that you haven't read William Lane Craig, N.T. Wright, and Peter Kreeft. Do you also refuse to read Norman Geisler and William Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible (Moody, 1986). If you read these maybe some of your errors can be corrected.
Again, your turn.
Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 12:17 PM
Pardon me , MenTaLquY and actually to everyone who bothered to respond to this commentary, correct me if I'm wrong , but doesn't Dan Brown have a disclaimer in his book ,that The Da Vinci Code is "FICTION" -An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented (dictionary.com). Therefore the "message" in the Da Vinci Code is "made-up" "non truth". It seems to me that non-believers in the Bible and Christianity ( nevermind institutions such as Catholicism Protestantism Lutherans Episcopalians Baptists etc -you get the picture, for I shall not try to defend those) but again, it seems to me that non believers in the Bible or the divinity of Jesus or Christianity, can NOT use the Da Vinci Code as proof of the invalidity of Jesus' divinity or the Bible or Christianity, because the Da Vinci Code is "FICTION" - An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented (dictionary.com). (sorry non-believers, the Da Vinci Code is NOT an "I told you so" moment -beeeeeeecause the Da Vinci Code is made up -a FICTION -An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented (dictionary.com).
As for believers in the divinity of Jesus , the Word of the Bible, and Christianity (excluding institutions such as the Catholic Church), no problem there ! Our faith would never have been shaken in the first place. So that , this whole discourse on the validity of the divinity of Jesus vs. the Da Vinci Code is moot and a waste of time.
Jakob B. |
Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 10:32 PM
I was raised a Catholic, but as a child, in Church, often felt that the Catholic Mass experience was dispassionate. At times, I felt that I was surrounded by "zombies", whose tone and cadence in reciting Prayer reflected a sense of distance from God. Having attended Catholic grade school and high school, and being force-fed a steady diet of Bible readings, I did what human nature dictates, and "rebelled" against such involuntary indoctrination. I went through a period of deep introspection and intellectual skepticism regarding my faith. One could say that I tread the waters of secular humanism, agnosticism, and even atheism. At one point, I harbored genuine hostility toward the Church.
Having graduated at or near the very top of my classes throughout all levels of my education, what need had I for Christ in my life? Truth for me was science and empirical processes, things that could be quantified and observed. Let's just say that my life hit a bit of an unhappy turning point. Although I am fiercely proud of attending a fine Jesuit university in the heart of an inner city envronment (I know this is surprising given my then agnostic leanings), it was this period in my life that led to deep depression. My off-campus apartment was just blocks away from the nation's worst serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. While I've always considered myself a strong individual, this horrible display of sheer evil and inhumanity shook me to the core. Although I had studied the history of the Holocaust, despotism, and war, those were intangible vestiges of academia. Now, I was confronted with an all too real example of the true depths of a man's soul. One could say that this humanist lost his faith in humanity. What was left? It was time in my life to put my faith in something other than Man. I had studied Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Nihilism, Confucianism, among others. I had read the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita (sic?). My college, Marquette, though Jesuit/Catholic never force-fed its students Christianity, and encouraged a Socratic examining of our beliefs. For that, I am thankful, because it was this environment that allowed me to come full-circle in my faith. One day, I simply decided to ask Christ back into my life and accepted Him as my Savior. I still find Mass quite uninspiring, so I do not attend regularly. I simply asked for peace of mind, and received it. My depression ended almost instantly. I will always see God more in the mountains of Colorado than the Cathedrals of Rome. The presence of God in humanity is a more difficult concept for me, since man is obviously capable of despicable evil, either individually or stamped with the imprimatur of the state. Yet, there are good who walk among us as well.
My ultimate point is that, while I have asked Christ into my life, I don't feel the need to attack the intellectual musings of Mr. Brown or anyone who has questioned his or her faith. Is it really blasphemous to emphasize Jesus's humanity over his divinity? One over-arching theme in this fictional work is the sense that through Jesus, man shares in the divine. The Christian, through acceptance of Him, acknowledges all our human shortcomings, yet seeks a higher level of consciousness, which ultimately leads to a salvation stage. Though not all religions embrace this state of grace, all certainly seek out higher planes of consciousness, whereby man transcends his limited physical existence. Many Christians interpret adaptation to a model which highlites the humanity of Christ as anathema to dogmatic principles of divinity. My fear is that Christianity, in understandably seeking to defend time-held priniciples, will do so in such a way that will alienate those, like myself, who would have totally "fallen by the wayside", were it not for a sense of the primacy of the human-ity of Christ. Had I embraced only the divinity of Christ, what purpose would there have been for me to re-gain any semblance of trust in humanity?
Robert Matijevich |
Monday, May 29, 2006 at 01:46 AM
Robert: "My ultimate point is that, while I have asked Christ into my life, I don't feel the need to attack the intellectual musings of Mr. Brown or anyone who has questioned his or her faith. Is it really blasphemous to emphasize Jesus's humanity over his divinity?"
Thanks for the personal story. It wouldn't be blasphemous or sacrilegeous if one can emphasize the humanity of Christ without making blatant errors and telling lies about the Catholic and Christian faith. Two books that emphasize the humanity of Christ:
To Know Christ Jesus by Frank Sheed
The Lord by Romano Guardini
There is nothing intellectual about Dan Brown's musings. It is clear he hasn't studied the faith at all as you have. He gets everything wrong and simply bashes the faith. There is nothing subtle about it.
The humanity of Christ is on full display in the Gospels: Jesus walks in a human body, talks, touches, eats, sleeps, weeps, feels real pain and anguish, shows righteous anger and other human emotions, etc. Just because he was celibate, doesn't make him less human. As the critics have mentioned, there are examples of single and celibate teachers: Jeremiah the prophet, John the Baptist, the Essene community at Qumran, St. Paul the Apostle, the Virgin Mary in Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, etc.
As for true intellectual or scholarly attacks on Christianity, I can think of atheist Michael Martin's The Case Against Christianity (1991), or any of the William Lane Craig debate books (there are several of them) or some of the writings of the http://www.Infidels.org
Dan Brown's "sacred feminist" critique is about as intellectual as Dave Hunt's fundamentalist critique A Woman Rides the Beast, or Jack Chick's comic book Why is Mary Crying? There's nothing there but error and misunderstanding. And those errors, lies, and frauds must be and have been dealt with aggressively (in case you missed the title is The Da Vinci Hoax by Olson / Miesel).
But thanks for your comments and story.
Monday, May 29, 2006 at 01:55 PM
Robert: "One over-arching theme in this fictional work is the sense that through Jesus, man shares in the divine. The Christian, through acceptance of Him, acknowledges all our human shortcomings, yet seeks a higher level of consciousness, which ultimately leads to a salvation stage. Though not all religions embrace this state of grace, all certainly seek out higher planes of consciousness, whereby man transcends his limited physical existence."
I'm not sure where you get that in the novel or movie. Jesus has little to do with Dan Brown's "sacred feminist" theology. "Through Jesus, man shares in the divine?" Jesus is not divine according to the novel, he is just a man (the movie seems to contradict that).
What Jesus does in the novel is marry a "goddess" and have kids. The only difference between Jesus and us in Dan Brown's world is that some "goddess" chose him to marry. The "higher level of consciousness" in Dan Brown's "theology" is gained through a sex ritual. It is basically pagan, satanic, and/or Gnostic (although Gnostics did away with the "marriage" part, some of them kept the "sex" part). It has nothing to do with the Catholic or Christian gospel.
The cross, sacrifice, resurrection, and message of Christ in the Gospels (Matthew 16:24-27) is irrelevant:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.
Sorry to disagree, but there is nothing in Dan Brown's novel to recommend it. The frauds, lies, and errors are just a start. If you want the humanity of Christ, read Frank Sheed or Romano Guardini or John Paul II or any number of a thousand Catholic or Christian theologians. Or simply read the Gospels.
Monday, May 29, 2006 at 02:20 PM
Finally done with my little page, with help from Carl Olson's original articles in Envoy, the Hoax book, and other sources. Everything on one page for easy printing.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 03:32 PM
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I saw The Da Vinci Code movie last night here in Iraq where I am stationed. Having not read the book and having been asked "Did you read the book?" over the past two years by no less than five of my best friends and most intimate family, I felt an obligation to them to see the movie. And I am glad that I went. For, this film emphasizes, in Sophie as "the last living blood relative of Jesus Christ," or something like that, that we are blessed, so blessed, to be the real, true sons and daughters of God. We humbly, joyfully, truthfully are the children of God! We know this! The world does not know this, but we know this! That joy and amazement and wonder that Robert had looking at Sophie at this point, and Sophie's similar awe at her new-found status as a relative of Jesus, is what we have always, every second of every day, praise be to God! I am a guy whose "cup is half full", and have been so my whole life, my mother and father tell me, and I believe them. I saw good and bad in most all of The Da Vinci Code characters, and the puzzling, nonsensical common thread of them all was that they trusted too much in themselves and not enough in Jesus. The constant double- and triple-crossing made me sick, as that is not how people behave if love of neighbor is their calling. No wonder that Robert says near the end the lines about "You can believe anything you want," because none of the characters seem to be fully truthful about anything, really. And, yet, the one, sure, true, permanent truth is all that anyone needs to know: Jesus loves you and me! Jesus the embryo in Mother Mary's womb, Jesus the infant in the manger, Jesus the apprentice in Joseph's workshop, Jesus the 12-year-old who listened and asked questions, Jesus the man who made apostles and then friends out of ordinary men and women like you and me, Jesus the friend who wept for Lazarus, Jesus the Son of Man who raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus the compassionate who came to save you and me from our sinful ways, Jesus our brother, Jesus the only Son of God who sits at the right hand of the Father as the Judge and Savior of you and me. Jesus is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega, the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Him, Jesus. My prayers are for my dear friends and family, and for all those whose faith has been shaken or taken away by the cynical, lazy history of The Da Vinci Code. Our faith is not cynical, not lazy, but is the faith of the martyrs and the saints and all of us sinners who beg for mercy from Almighty God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit! Amen!
Eric Lund |
Monday, June 05, 2006 at 07:27 AM
It sounds very much like a bunch of bantering fools with an axe to grind. Other than quotes from your book of 'false Hope' that you call the bible, you seem to have no tangible evidence to support or dismiss the theory presented by Mr. Brown.
I am a writer and a scholar of many religious faiths and orders, including Christianity and I can say with little doubt that Mr. Brown has indeed done his homework and that you, clearly have not.
Please post some tangible arguement that has not been created by your religious order. I believe that to be impossible, but nonetheless, I offer the challenge.
Saturday, July 01, 2006 at 11:54 PM
When I saw the DVD sitting on the shelf on in Hollywood video I just about vomited. Dan Brown had to spend months trying to explain to people like you that it was just a story, not his theory. Instead, being as isolated as you all are, you probably didn't watch or read anything he said, assuming that you already know what it would be. So now you get so offended and off balance about it that you have to write a book and make a DVD to help you feel once again secure in your beliefs. Normal people when watching it would have just had casual conversation about inaccuracies and still enjoyed the movie. Instead you thought you felt a near miss from what wasn't actually intended to hit anything and went nuts. Oh, and I liked the comment on the back. "A far more intelligent book than the one it debunks." Childish. That sounds to me like nothing more than saying, "Dan Brown is a stupidhead." If The DaVinci Code swayed anybody's faith, it's the same people who would start believing just because "The Passion" was graphic. It's people like you who don't fully research what they're arguing against that cause all the bickering. I suppose he should have prefaced his book as Christopher Moore did with "Lamb" saying that it's just a story meant for the story and not trying to prove anything so he wouldn't have to deal with wackos like you. I'm sure that you spent most of this time reading this pointing out any spelling and grammar mistakes I might have made. On the other hand, you could have still made a book..."The DaVinci Code and History," or something like that if you had spent the time to find out that it was, again, just a story, if wanted an opportunity to promote Biblical learning. Nope you chose to attack with juvenile bickering and insults. Next time do your homework and act a bit more adult, because as a Christian I don't like being associated with the kind of ignorance and childishness that you've displayed.
Monday, December 11, 2006 at 02:26 PM
Oh, and the same goes to you, Nemesis. No matter how much you find true (not arguing if it is or not) you might as well defend the "Lord of the Rings" as historically accurate, because when it does come down to it, it was just a story in the end. Just like any good sci-fi movie, it can be based off of many proven principals but we're not where they are in the movie, so we don't have all of the answers yet. In other words, corners were cut to write the story. However, I do agree that if it had hypothetically been a real and completely accurate attempt to prove that Jesus had a wife and kids (Which there wouldn't be anything wrong with in my opinion. Why would him having a family make him any less the son of God and perfect. The Bible may be the word of God, but it was written down by flawed men. However I still believe Dan Brown's book is just a story AS HE SAID IT WAS A BILLION TIMES NOW!!!) the writers of this book would still not be able to cope with it. Can you imagine that. "Oh my GOD! Jesus had a family!? Oh, I've lost my faith because for some reason it was based on him being a bachelor and not on him being the Lamb of God and teaching people how to get along." Or maybe it was the idea that there might be some strange religious groups out there that claim to be Christian....CoughWACOCough. The funny part is that the story isn't about Jesus being false, just history turning out to be incorrect. It's sick how many times I feel the need to reemphasize that it was meant as a story. But these people are that sick. Anyway, I wouldn't bother arguing with them about facts and falasies. Just let them know that writing a book and making a DVD was a disgusting diplay of insecurity. What a bunch of babies.
Monday, December 11, 2006 at 02:54 PM
I can not realy understand the movie Davinci code, What are they trying to say is jesus has a femail descented, or which ever wy. How come in the bible they did ommit to explin further about the relationship between the two
emmanuel fundisi |
Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 11:27 AM
emmanuel fundisi |
Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 11:43 AM
Thanks for the post mate.
Forex Tracer |
Monday, June 16, 2008 at 10:36 AM
Forex Tracer |
Monday, June 16, 2008 at 10:37 AM
Hello. You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.
I am from Madagascar and now study English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Such baldness has then been colored going basis interaction."
With respect :), Abie.
Monday, August 31, 2009 at 02:07 PM
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