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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Da Vinci Code: What Does the Gnostic Anti-Defamation League Have to Say?

I am currently teaching a four-part class on the book-and-movie-which-shall-not-be-named. Attendance for the class is higher than typical but still disappointingly low, given the subject matter. But then again, American Idol is on Tuesdays so what else should I expect?

At one point last night I caught myself and said I would call Dan Brown an ignoramus but that has such negative connotations. Even so, it's an accurate adjective if ever there was one. Here is where the people who think I'm not nice enough to heretics and blasphemers can leave and go watch Oprah. (Being "not nice" is always a worse sin than screwing up the gospel).

The fact of the matter is that Mr. Brown is an ignorant buffoon. I'm not saying he's stupid. Just ignorant. Likewise, I am ignorant about how this computer works. So I'm not going to pretend I am otherwise and write a book about it.

Even with all that I've read and written and said about Brown's book, I had a minor epiphany while teaching last evening.

Here is the four-part structure of my class:

1) Introduction to the novel and the controversy
2) The Bible, it's origins
3) Jesus: God, Man, or God-Man?
4) The Sacred Feminine

Last night, I was talking about the historical development of the canon of the New Testament, the so-called lost books of the bible, the truth about Constantine and the Council of Nicea, the Nag Hammadi library, and the Dead Sea scrolls.

In some ways, I actually consider last night's topic one of the most important. The confusion about this subject is breath-taking.

Well anyway, along the course of the evening, questions arose about the nature of ancient gnosticism. So I began to drift away from my outline to discuss the basic tenets of this philosophy. And it was while doing so that it dawned on me that not only is Dan Brown misrepresenting Christianity, he is also misrepresenting gnosticism. I kicked myself for not making that connection sooner. Duh!

All this rubbish about the Nag Hammadi scrolls and the Dead Sea scrolls and the ignoramus in question not only gets wrong their role in Christian history, but he doesn't even represent gnosticism correctly. He claims that these texts were suppressed because they supposedly highlight the fact that Jesus was a mere man when in fact, quite the opposite is true. Gnostics typically believed that the material world was evil and that God could not/would not become a man.

Well, in any case, this blurb from Russell Moore spells it out better than I.

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c. l. miller said...

It is good to hear someone who is willing to say what they acutally feel. One of the things I like about reading Luther is his bluntness, in spite of his almost profane language.
Don't apologize for speaking the truth.

Rev. Troy said...

I am glad that you both had the realization and wrote about it. One (filled in) Gospel of Philip quote does not a Gnostic make.

Brown is as Gnostic as he is Catholic. And I don't know if he is more of an ignoramus or someone able to push peoples buttons and pull people's stings.

Just thought you might appreciate a confirmation from a Gnostic.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

RevTroy, thanks for your comment. I mention it in my most recent blog post.

New Curriculum at Concordia Theological Seminary