Once again, in The Da Vinci Code… “Jesus Christ was a historical figure of staggering influence, perhaps the most enigmatic and inspirational leader the world has ever seen. As the prophesied Messiah, Jesus toppled kings, inspired millions, and founded new philosophies. As a descendant of the lines of King Solomon and King David, Jesus possessed a rightful claim to the throne of the King of the Jews.” Page 231
Unfortunately, also in The Da Vinci Code… Teabing said, “Stay with me. During this fusion of religions, Constantine needed to strengthen the new Christian tradition, and held a famous ecumenical gathering known as the Council of Nicea.” Sophie had heard of it only insofar as its being the birthplace of the Nicene Creed. “At this gathering,” Teabing said, “many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted upon - the date of Easter, the role of the bishops, the administration of the sacraments, and, of course, the divinity of Jesus.”
Unfortunately, also in The Da Vinci Code… “I don’t follow. His divinity?” “My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history, 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 Nicea.”
Unfortunately, also in The Da Vinci Code… “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 unchangeable.
Unfortunately, also in The Da Vinci Code… “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 Langdom, and he gave her a soft nod of concurrence. “It was all about power,” Teabing continued. “Christ as Messiah was critical to the functioning of Church and state.
Unfortunately, also in The Da Vinci Code… “Many scholars claim that the early Church literally stole Jesus from His original followers, hijacking His human message, shrouding it in an impenetrable cloak of divinity, and using it to expand their own power. I’ve written several books on the topic.” “And I assume devout Christians send you hate mail on a daily basis?” “Why would they?” Teabing countered. “The vast majority of educated Christians know the history of their faith. Jesus was indeed a great and powerful man.
Unfortunately, also in The Da Vinci Code… “Constantine’s underhanded political maneuvers don’t diminish the majesty of Christ’s life. Nobody is saying Christ was a fraud, or denying that He walked the earth and inspired millions to better lives. All we are saying is that Constantine took advantage of Christ’s substantial influence and importance. And in doing so, he shaped the face of Christianity as we know it today.” (Pages 233 & 234)
Stand back! (There might a lightning strike!)
Okay… let’s deal with the obvious fallacies of Dan Brown’s imagination: 1. Jesus was viewed as being God by ALL Christian teachers and theologians throughout the 300 years prior to Constantine! Ignatius of Antioch (50-117 A.D.): “There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible, and then impossible, even Jesus Christ our Lord… he will be within us as our God - as he actually is… For our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb of Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Ghost.” Letter to the Ephesians
Okay… let’s deal with the obvious fallacies of Dan Brown’s imagination: 1. Jesus was viewed as being God by ALL Christian teachers and theologians throughout the 300 years prior to Constantine! Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.): “For if you had understood was written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He (Jesus) was God, Son of the only begotten, unutterable God.” Dialogue with Trypho “Jesus Christ is the only proper Son who has been begotten by God, being His Word.” First Apology
Okay… let’s deal with the obvious fallacies of Dan Brown’s imagination: 1. Jesus was viewed as being God by ALL Christian teachers and theologians throughout the 300 years prior to Constantine! Irenaeus (130-200 A.D.): “Now the Scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man… He is the holy Lord, the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Beautiful in appearance, and the Mighty God, coming on the clouds as the Judge of all men - all these things did the Scriptures prophesy of Him.” Against Heresies
Okay… let’s deal with the obvious fallacies of Dan Brown’s imagination: 1. Jesus was viewed as being God by ALL Christian teachers and theologians throughout the 300 years prior to Constantine! Clement of Alexandria (150-215 A.D.): “Despised as to appearance but in reality adored, Jesus is the expiator, the Savior, the soother, the divine Word, he that is quite evidently true God, he that is put on the a level with the Lord of the universe because he was his Son.” Exhortation to the Greeks
Okay… let’s deal with the obvious fallacies of Dan Brown’s imagination: 1. Jesus was viewed as being God by ALL Christian teachers and theologians throughout the 300 years prior to Constantine! Tertullian (160-225 A.D.): “God alone is without sin. The only man who is without sin is Christ; for Christ is also God.” The Soul Origen (185-254 A.D.): “Although the Son was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was: God.” The Fundamental Doctrines
Okay… let’s deal with the obvious fallacies of Dan Brown’s imagination: 2. The Council of Nicea did NOT vote on Jesus’ divinity. His divinity was already accepted teaching by all Christians! The Council of Nicea debated on the relationship between the Father and the Son - how both could be God. In other words, what did it mean to say that the Father is God and, at the same time, that Jesus is God? Their conclusion? Jesus is “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made.” And the ‘relatively close’ vote? 300 to 2!
What’s really at stake here? Well… whether you’re talking about Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of Philip, Gnosticism, the Priory of Sion, the Holy Grail or the Knights Templar - The REAL issue always comes back to this: Who is Jesus? The Da Vinci Code is just the latest in a string of challenges as to the nature and work of Jesus Christ! Indeed, all false teaching ultimately is an attack on Jesus!
Who is Jesus? Let’s have the Nicene Creed be our guide!
The Second Article (Paragraph) of the Nicene Creed And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried. And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And he will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
Who is Jesus? He is “begotten” of the Father before all worlds (or from eternity). That means that Jesus is eternally comes from the Father, sent to be our Savior. He was neither created nor made. He is eternal - just like God the Father is.
Who is Jesus? This begotten aspect of Jesus means that it is God begetting God and the true (very) God issuing forth the true God. It is Light of the World shining forth the Light of the World. We’re talking about God here when we talk about Jesus. He is of one substance & essence as the Father. When you see Jesus, you see God.
Who is Jesus? As Jesus Himself said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) “Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father… don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” (John 14:9-10)
Who is Jesus? Everything in all creation… indeed, the entire universe was created by Jesus and for Jesus! As Paul writes: “For in him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17
Who is Jesus? He came down to save us… He entered time & space…He was born of the virgin Mary… His birth was miraculous… Imagine: God became a human being!
Who is Jesus? To save us He had to endure the false accusations of humankind… He had to endure the mockery of an illegal trial with trumped up charges.
Who is Jesus? He suffered under Pontius Pilate He was crucified
Who is Jesus? He died He was buried
Who is Jesus? According to Scripture, He rose from the dead He returned to heaven
Who is Jesus? And He’s coming again with all the glory that is His as the Son of God to judge all people and to bring to fruition His eternal Kingdom!
Who is Jesus? The Jesus of the Nicene Creed is the Jesus of the Bible, the Jesus as He always has been, and thus the Jesus of reality! The Da Vinci Code notwithstanding!
One thing in The Da Vinci Code that is true: “The vast majority of educated Christians DO know the history of their faith.” And what do all these educated, faithful, historical, relevant and Biblically-based Christians say?
40 million hardcover copies sold… $77 million of box office sales the first weekend the movie is out… all this hype about Dan Brown’s book and Ron Howard’s movie… We’re done, right?
Yeah… we’re done, all right. But not before one, final comment from the person who, in so many ways, is at the center of The Da Vinci Code… Mary Magdalene
And what does Mary say? “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18)
May you, like Mary Magdalene, always see the Lord! The Lord Jesus who is both your God and Savior! (No matter what The Da Vinci Code says!)