>The Da Vinci Opportunity

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Mark Roberts has written a series of articles dealing with The Da Vinci Code called “The Da Vinci Opportunity.”  This series  has been structured around seven opportunities afforded by The Da Vinci.  Each opportunity helps believers share the truth of the gospel with people who want to know more about Christianity.

Mark Roberts describes these seven opportunities as follows:

The Da Vinci Code’s claim that the Gnostic gospels present a more accurate picture of Jesus gives us:

     Opportunity #1. The opportunity to demonstrate the antiquity and reliability of the New Testament gospels, in contrast with the Gnostic gospels.

The Da Vinci Code’s promotion of the Christ of the Gnostic gospels gives us:

     Opportunity #2. The opportunity to present the engagingly human Jesus of the biblical gospels, in light of which the other-worldly Christ of the Gnostic gospels pales in comparison.

The Da Vinci Code’s hailing of Gnostic Christianity gives us:

     Opportunity #3. The opportunity to show how the orthodox Christian gospel is available and inclusive, in contrast to the esoteric, exclusive message of salvation in Gnosticism.

The Da Vinci Code’s claims about Mary Magdalene and women in early Christianity give us:

     Opportunity #4. The opportunity to explain how the portrait of Mary Magdalene in the New Testament, which does not include her marriage to Jesus, affirms both Mary and women in general, and suggests the full inclusion of women in Christian life.

The Da Vinci Code’s claims about the formation of the Christian canon and the involvement of Constantine in this process give us:

     Opportunity #5. The opportunity to show how the Christian Bible in fact came to be recognized, and why this supports confidence in Scripture.

The Da Vinci Code’s claims about the lateness of the belief in the divinity of Jesus give us:

     Opportunity #6. The opportunity to demonstrate the antiquity of Christian belief in the divinity and humanity of Jesus.

The Da Vinci Code’s favoring of Gnosticism gives us:

     Opportunity #7. The opportunity to showcase the compelling, creation-affirming, hopeful Christian “story” of salvation through Jesus, which stands brilliantly in contrast to the obscure, creation-denying, despairing “story” of Gnostic salvation.

I commend this series of articles to those who are interested in applying a Christian perspective to the issues raised by The Da Vinci Code.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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