Monday, July 25, 2005

Required Reading?

Touchstone Magazine reports that a reader has alerted them that their high-school freshman son will be reguired to read Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" this fall when school resumes. This is amazing. The Da Vinci Code is a totally fictitious work that tries to pass itself off as historical scholarship. Instead, it is so full of errors to make it laughable. For instance, we read in this book that "more than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament … Who chose which gospels to include? … The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine" (p.231).

Aside from this and other errors, the real damage is done in the very premise of this book.
The book revolves around a a ‘conspiracy theory’ with the help of some very powerful (and almost believable) real-life players—Leonardo Da Vinci, Opus Dei, and modern goddess-worshipping ‘historians’ who prefer the faked gospels to the real thing. You see, the Holy Grail turns out not to be a chalice, but a person. The Holy Grail is a woman—Mary Magdalene—who married and bore children to Jesus. And there she is, for all the world to see, in Leonardo’s famous painting of The Last Supper—in the place of honour, at Jesus’ right hand.

For the more knowledgeable, the story really falls apart when Brown claims the Gospel of Mary Magdalene to be an ‘unaltered’ (p.248) and therefore true account of these events (yet even the words he quotes from it betray its fraudulence). However, this Gnostic ‘gospel’ is known only from three fragmentary manuscripts, and dates from the middle of the second century at the earliest. Before this or any other Gnostic ‘gospel’ was written, the church far and wide recognized the authority of the four canonical gospels. But a less knowledgeable soul might easily be duped.

So, in schools where anything that smacks of Christianity is outlawed, it is going to be REQUIRED that students read a book that trashes the Christ and Christianity. I wish I could say I am shocked but I'm not!

For sites and resources that offer good critiques of this book, try these on for size:
Good books to purchase for further study:

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