Decoding Da Vinci
by Burk Parsons
It should be no surprise to know that in 2005 the Louvre museum in Paris attracted more visitors, 7.3 million to be exact, than in any previous year since the Louvre was established as a museum in 1793. The museum is expecting to break that record again in 2006 with the May release of Hollywood’s version of Dan Brown’s best-selling book, The Da Vinci Code. Last year I too visited the Louvre while on a layover in Paris. Although I was not there in order to try to figure out the supposed centuries-old codes hidden in the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci, I was curious to see what sort of crowds his paintings were attracting. As I made my way to room 13, where Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was displayed, I could hear the low roar of what turned out to be the voices of hundreds of people from all over the world gazing at the intriguing smile and face of Da Vinci’s famous brown-eyed girl.
Some may say, and rightly so, “What’s all the fuss about? Isn’t The Da Vinci Code just a fictional story invented by some imaginative writer whose book was marketed to inquisitive readers?” Such a charge is certainly appropriate. Nevertheless, the book has had (and I suspect the movie will have) a religiously strong grip on the minds of undiscerning people throughout the world. Even though the book is sold under the category “fiction,” the author deceitfully and deliberately intertwines seeming fact and fiction in order to dupe his readers into thinking that there actually is a hidden code in Da Vinci’s works — a code that unlocks the secrets of the church, secrets that reveal the supposed truths that Jesus had been surreptitiously wed to Mary Magdalene, that the deity of Christ was invented in the fourth century by Constantine, and that the Bible is not the product of God but the product of devious men whose ecclesiastical descendants have dominated the church throughout history. Such notions are not simply innocent inventions but are the products of men who, while impenitent, are in the service of the father of lies (John 8:44).
At the foundation of our faith is the conviction that the Bible is not just a book of man’s opinions about God. On the contrary, the Bible is the inspired Word of God established by God Himself, in His gracious provision, so that we might know Him and live coram Deo, before His face and for His glory. Indeed, His Word is truth (17:17), for it not merely contains truth, but it defines truth and destroys all the devices and deceptions of men that rise up against it.