Monday, April 10, 2006

John Adams would have loved The DaVinci Code:

Well, probably. I have not yet read The DaVinci Code, although I will certainly see the movie. Over the weekend, I was watching Coral Ridge (as I often do for entertainment and fodder for my blog), and Rev. D. James Kennedy did a feature on the book which he described as containing both "heresy" and "blasphemy."

One of the many heresies of the book, the first which Kennedy discussed, was the notion that Jesus wasn't God, and that it wasn't until a few hundred years after Christ's time that the Church in the Council of Nicea "voted" that Jesus was God.

This blog makes a similar point:

From time to time scholars suggest the divinity of Jesus is a later invention of the Church. Jesus, they claim, did not believe himself to be God, nor did he claim to be. His first followers, and the early church, likewise did not believe he was God but rather thought of him as a good teacher and moral example. The Da Vinci Code echoes such sentiments by declaring that "Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet . . . a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal." He was not considered to be God until the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.

And Kennedy even mentioned that the book argues that it was only by a "slim" margin that the Council of Nicea decided that Jesus was God.

Kennedy also comes down hard on the heresy/blasphemy of the "Gnostics" of early Christianity, which greatly influenced the book. The good Reverend is also a proponent of the "Christian Nation" myth. And one wishes that Kennedy would be so hard on the heresy and blasphemy of our key "Christian" Founders.

When listening to his sermon I was struck by how much of the heresy of The DaVinci Code parallels our key Founders' heterodox religious beliefs. They would have fit right in with the "Gnostics" of the early Church. The key Founders certainly were theological Unitarians (some of them militantly so) and tarred the early Church's councils and creeds as "corruptions" of Christianity. Indeed, as John Adams wrote:

"The Trinity was carried in a general council by one vote against a quaternity; the Virgin Mary lost an equality with the Father, Son, and Spirit only by a single suffrage."

John Adams to Benjamin Rush, June 12, 1812.


"An incarnate God!!! An eternal, self-existent, omnipresent omniscient Author of this stupendous Universe, suffering on a Cross!!! My Soul starts with horror, at the Idea, and it has stupified the Christian World. It has been the Source of almost all of the Corruptions of Christianity."

John Adams to John Quincy Adams, March 28, 1816:

Adams's words sound like they could have been lifted right from The DaVinci Code.


Jim Babka said...

Jon... Your point is clever and even amusing. However, the concept, "Jesus's divinity wasn't established until Nicea," is an unhistorical canard.

Yes, a debate cropped up in the church long after Christ, but the idea was not new or even recently invented. Leaving aside that the Gospel of John is quite clear on the subject, you also have these Second Century Church Fathers claiming the divinity of Christ: Papias, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria.

Jonathan Rowe said...


You are probably correct.

I love reading the Founders' views on religion; but because of advances and progress in scholarship, we know more than they do now.

I certainly don't defend all of their historical assertions. Although, as a nonbeliever in the Bible, I note that reading Jesus as something less than God is certainly a reasonable textual reading.

And, in line with some of the New Age and Eastern teachings, if Jesus really was "Divine" I see no Reason why the logic of the Trinity should be limited to just 3. Indeed, Hinduism, in line with the logic of the Trinity, asserts that their hundreds (thousands?) of Gods are really just different variations of the one true God of the Universe.

Karen McL said...

Well, if you'te looking for some sort of *historical* accuracies in "The Da Vinci Code" - then it will most likely disappoint. It's a fast paced fictional drama sprinkled with some tid-bits of historical facts, but fiction none-the-less.

More interesting of a book that I'm almost finished with is "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Erhman. This is a serious study and most intriguing information on the Bibical scriptual errors and omissions and changes.

I think you'd enjoy it - and I will post a few excepts when I get around to the time to type them up (AH - more opportunities for me and me typos. Hahahaha!)