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so dark the con of dan (brown)

next sunday i will begin a three-part sermon series, with a companion sunday school study, based on dan brown's da vinci code. mr. brown's work has sold more than 40 million copies, and the film, directed by ron howard and starring tom hanks, is nearing the $100 million area for box office sales. the book, released in 2003, has created a sensation unlike anything before.

Christians have for three years been bashing the book, and rightfully so: it is an attack on Christianity, claiming that our faith really boils down to power hungry people (men) and conspiracy. mr. brown's book is filled with factual errors, which is perhaps the most annoying thing: if you're going to claim that Christianity is false, at least read some history books. these factual errors have been pointed out in many places, notably at www.jesusdecoded.com, a website created by the roman catholic church.

it is not my intention to bash the book further than it already has been (if i were going to do that, however, i would have a little more credability than many Christian da vinci haters, since i have actually read the book and seen the film-- what good does it do to scream about something you've never even read??). my goal is to use this book and its film release to say clearly what the Church of Jesus Christ actually does say about theology. i want to create a distinction between what mr. brown claims is true and what is the actual truth. (see the introduction to his book, where he claims everything is factual-- and while i am on the subject of that "cover letter," mr. brown, when he was still allowing interviews, initially defended the "facts"; it was only after the reaction of scholars that he backtracked somewhat. don't confuse it with the tongue-in-cheek "based on a true story" line at the beginning of the film fargo.)

so over three weeks, the sermons will address the following questions:
  • june 4: "what is the church?"
  • june 11: "where did the bible come from?"
  • june 18: "who was mary magdalene?"

the companion sunday school study, the da vinci code deception, will meet for those same three sundays, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

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