Monday, March 07, 2005

Challenging the Church, Part 2

I'm about half way through Dan Burstein's Secrets of the Code. In my prior post I didn't have much of an opinioin yet. I'm here today to give what I have formulate thus far. The format of the book is excerpts of various scholars own works and interviews in support of various questions that the author detailed in his introduction. The answers range from the orthodox, or traditional, views to the gnostic, or heretical, views. I'm impressed with the balanced arguements. Each side is given their voice, leaving the reader to formulate his own opinion. The excerpts overlap and answer points or arguments that another may raise. While I can see where the gnostics have formed their opinions, theories, arguments. I just don't believe it. Is it because of my own background? Can I remove the filters that I have been trained to look through and evaluate their information in an unbiased manner? I believe so. My problem with their arguments lies with the whole. The point of the Bible is to show man how to get to heaven. The paths that the Gnostics follow do not do this. When they are taken as a whole, contradictions appear and no over-all message appears. Orthodox thought does this. I like some of the teachings that are found in the Nag Hammadi texts, but again, it's personal preference. It doesn't add to the over-all orthodox message. In some cases, there is an outright contradiction. Doesn't change the fact that I like it. My liking doesn't make it right either. I believe that what The Da Vinci Code does best is raise questions and cause people to think. Mr. Burnstein found that supplemental books sales have risen since The Da Vinci Code was published. (By supplemental books, he means books like his own or the Bible.) The mysteries are worth-while to look into. Don't take Dan Brown's word as truth. Additional Interesting links Dan Brown's website has a variety of supporting documentation, all from his point of view. Free. The Secret of the Code website is a paid site. For a mere, $19.95 you can explore what Mr. Burnstein has to say, receive articles and essays via email, plus a variety of other things. Personally, $19.95 for three months is steep for me, but everyone needs to make money somehow. I have to wonder at how many subscribers Dan Burnstein has collected when Dan Brown's site is free.

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