These were among the "facts" that Brown used as a foundation for his story. When the "Secret Files" were exposed as a forgery by French researchers and authors, Plantard acknowledged that the above mentioned list was a fraud. In 1989, however, he tried to make a comeback and revive the Priory of Sion by publishing a second list of Priory Grand Masters. Incredible! But wait, there is much more:

  • I was interested in his take on the Council of Nicene. Brown got that mostly wrong as well. Fellow Crosswalk blogger Albert Mohler summarizes nicely the errors of Brown's statements:

Constantine supposedly called the Council of Nicaea in 325 in order to invent the idea of Christ's divinity (and celibacy) and then turn out the heretics, thus burying the real story of Jesus (and Mary Magdalene) forever. "It's all about power," one character explains. That's why Constantine "upgraded Jesus' status."

And the Council of Nicaea? There, "The Da Vinci Code" reveals, the Emperor led the bishops to declare Jesus as the Son of God by a vote. "A relatively close vote at that," the text elaborates. The real Council of Nicaea adopted a creed in order to reject the heretical teachings of one Arius, who taught that Jesus was not of the same substance as the Father. Brown weaves fact and fiction with such recklessness that the average reader will assume all these claims to be factual.

The Council of Nicaea did not "invent" the divinity of Jesus. This was already the declaration of the Church, claimed by Jesus himself and proclaimed by the apostles. The council boldly claimed this as the faith of the Church and named Arianism as a heresy and Arians as heretics. A close vote? Only two out of more than 300 bishops failed to sign the creed. Not exactly a cliff-hanger.

The Council was never convened for the purpose of deciding if Jesus was divine. I could go on and on with other factual errors or interpretive stretches. Clearly this book should not be taken at face value on any historical claim. Do the research.

Why the title of "Thank you, Dan Brown"? Because, like most average human beings who are stumbling their way through this journey with Jesus, I had not taken the time to study these issues. Thanks to Mr.Brown I have spent a lot more time investigating early church history, the foundation of the Bible, and other critical issues brought to the forefront by "The Da Vinci Code." Made me look, Dan! And I am comfortable with what I have found. So thank you Dan Brown!

Whether you decide to see the movie or not why not take the time to do a little investigation of your own. We read the following in Isaiah:

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD.

What a blessed relief to have that attitude among most of Christendom about these issues. God will use this movie and this book for His purpose. We just need to be informed and available.

You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com.

Blessings and grace,

Dave