Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1 Chron 12:32 report, 71: A powerful video lecture on the da Vinci Code: fact or fiction?

A couple of days ago, I suffered a data loss event (I thought I was adding, and did not realise I was also inadvertently subtracting . . . thanks to those who have helped out with recovery and off site storage so this  does not happen again . . . ), and among other things, I had to try to recover the well researched George Oviatt video on Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

While searching, I came across this 90 minute talk, slide show and Question-Answer session: The da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction?,  at the University of California, presented by professor Ward Gasque:

If we want a solid answer to Dan Brown-inspired talking points, and an explanation of why the sort of novel- as- claimed- "fact"- based- expose- of- imagined- conspiracies rhetorical strategy is so dangerous, we would have to look far to find something more solid than these two presentations. 

Historically, people have turned novels into movements of claimed truth before, and Gasque talks of people visiting churches etc with Dan Brown's book under arm, refusing to accept correction of errors -- it's part of the conspiracy, see. And when a survey of readers was done in Canada, 40% imagine that he novel is telling the real history, which is understandable given the following highly misleading claims, starting on page 1:

“FACT . . . . All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” [Page 1, emphases added]

"Constantine [the first “Christian” Roman Emperor] commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ's human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned." [Page 234] . . . .

"Fortunately for historians... some of the gospels that Constantine attempted to eradicate managed to survive. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1950s [note the wrong decade: the original discovery of the caves dates to 1947; also the materials are specifically Jewish and contain no Gospels, Gnostic or canonical] hidden in a cave near Qumran in the Judean desert." [Page 234] . . . .

"Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false." [Page 235]

(For a corrective to this sort of -- pardon, frank language is well warranted here -- willfully deceptive nonsense, kindly cf here, in the in-development draft Nicene Creed based Systematic Theology course for the proposes AA CCS.)


Well worth watching, for individuals, families, youth groups, churches, etc.

A lot better than renting some trashy DVD at the video rental shop, or whatever the equivalent is today.

I think this is an excellent example of how the Internet (properly used -- I am reminded of my shock when I recently discovered that apparently the roll-out of the Broadband net in the USA was paid for by people who bought it to watch porn . . . ) can replace idle TV viewing with serious and solid, even entertaining education.

Strongly recommended. 

Ammo for answering the Dan Brownista talking points on the street. END

F/N: For a survey of street level issues and challenges to the church C1 - 21, cf the PDF of a multi-session slide show here.

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