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Cracking the Code[1]

Cracking the Code[1]

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Published by WICKED MERCY
GNOSTICISM was an ancient, pre-Christian form of esoteric wisdom. The Gnostics coded their wisdom into poetical, symbolical works that need to be "decoded" or "cracked."
GNOSTICISM was an ancient, pre-Christian form of esoteric wisdom. The Gnostics coded their wisdom into poetical, symbolical works that need to be "decoded" or "cracked."

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Published by: WICKED MERCY on Nov 20, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Cracking the Code
 An Episcopal Priest Debunks the Da Vinci Code 
By Father Gregory Jones
© 2003, the Rev. S. Gregory Jones12-30-2003 Edition
Cracking the Code, 2
So what’s my problem with Dan Brown’s
The Da Vinci Code 
?Is it that
The Da Vinci Code 
is a run-away best seller, and willbecome a major motion picture for Sony – to be directed by RonHoward? Is it that
The Da Vinci Code 
criticizes the RomanCatholic Church? Or is it that
The Da Vinci Code 
reasserts therightful place of the sacred feminine? Not at all.In fact, I was very glad to be reminded that Mary Magdalene wasnot the harlot she was painted to be by centuries of RomanCatholic teaching. As well, I hadn’t heard that Leonardo was ahomosexual, but I suppose I never really cared one way or theother. The sexuality of Leonardo Da Vinci is of no matter to meat all – for my understanding of the Gospel requires that I valuehim regardless of his sexuality. So what is my problem? Well, my problem with
The Da Vinci Code 
is that the book blurs the lines between fiction and fact – in a way that comes across to me as deceptive, false and willfully misleading. Most of all, I am troubled that many readers finishthe book with grave questions about the essentials of theChristian faith and Church history. As a pastor, and a publicChristian authority, I have spoken with countless numbers of confused people – who have read the book, and simply don’tknow what to make of the supposedly factual remarks by thebook’s scholarly characters. People don’t know what to make of the claim to factuality made in the title pages of the hard-coveredition. People in my church, all of whom are normally highly educated, don’t know what in the book is true and what is purefiction.Now, I wouldn’t normally be offended by a work of fiction.Indeed, I like historical fiction. James Michener, Ken Follett, and
Cracking the Code, 3
Umberto Eco are three favorites of mine. Michener, Follett andEco have each written books which merge bible or church history  with legend and their own invention. Michener and Follett areknown for a high degree of factual content in their novels, andUmberto Eco is himself a university academic.Of the three authors I mention, Eco acts a good foil for DanBrown. At least three of Eco’s books
 – Name of the Rose 
Foucault’s Pendulum 
-- involve an intellectually challenging and delighting blend of invention and historical factconcerning the Church. Eco himself is rather like the real-life version of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon character. RobertLangdon
the fictional character 
is a professor of the fictionaldiscipline of “symbology.” Umberto Eco
the real-life author 
is aprofessor of the factual academic discipline of semiotics. Why Dan Brown creates a phony academic discipline called symbology is hard to fathom, given that academia already has disciplinescalled iconology and semiotics. At any rate whereas Eco is anagnostic with great knowledge of Christian theology and history,Brown appears to have an axe to grind with the church, but notmuch actual knowledge. Both authors write fiction involving theChurch, the Knights Templar, Post Modern philosophy, etc.I suppose the key difference between the two is this: Eco doesn’tcreate his stories out of claims of fact which are completely phony or mistaken. Brown does. And what is stranger, Brown couldhave written pretty much the same book, without inventing any major historical facts. He could have criticized historicChristianity, taken up the cause of women, and triumphed theplace of the “sacred feminine” within the factual context of realChurch history. He likewise could have retold the same Holy Grail stuff – with little or no need to invent anything outside of the now vast canon of established Grail Lore. But instead of citing only historical facts, Brown makes numerous claims abouthistoric Christianity and Christian doctrine which if he is right – undermine the essential beliefs of Christianity.

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