Themes & Questions for Readings: 060709


APOLOGETICS: Da Vinci Code Errors: A Quick List (Coral Ridge Ministry, 060500)

APOLOGETICS: Deciphering ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (Mohler, 030729)

APOLOGETICS: Upcoming Movie Renews ‘Da Vinci Code’ Debate (Christian Post, 060426)


THEME: The Da Vinci Code is a book that attacks the fundamental beliefs of Christianity but those attacks are not based on facts.




What are the main attacks of the book on orthodox Christianity? How are these attacks erroneous?


(1) “The New Testament is false testimony.”


But some of the 27 New Testament books weren’t universally accepted until after Constantine’s day. Constantine himself had nothing to do with these decisions.


(2) The doctrine that Jesus was divine was created by a pagan emperor in the fourth century, Constantine, for the purposes of manipulation.


No one believed, prior to the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. that Jesus was divine.

It depends only on a close vote.


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.

Only two out of more than 300 bishops failed to sign the creed.


(3) Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had descendants.

their daughter inaugurated a royal bloodline in France.


based on documents written by Gnostics.


General arguments against the book:






Please summarize the major problems of the book in less than 30 words?


Brown weaves fact and fiction with such recklessness that the average reader will assume all these claims to be factual.


The problem is that “Da Vinci” is billed as more than mere fiction.


Brown’s opening page begins with the word “FACT” and asserts that all descriptions of documents “are accurate.”


SOCIETY: The New Fertility Divide—What’s Happening in Canada? (Mohler, 050831)


THEME: In recent years, the fertility rate in the U.S. has been much higher than in Canada and there are good reasons for such differences.




What is the difference between the fertility rates in Canada and in the U.S.?


In 1980 their populations had almost the same median age, fertility rates, and immigration rates.


the Canadian fertility level is approximately 25% lower than that of Americans. (US close to replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman, Canada slightly above 1.5)


the Canadian marriage rate is only 60% of the U.S. rate, many common law marriages


What are the 3 hypotheses that explain this difference?


(1) “Family Economics” hypothesis: the opportunity cost of having children increases directly with women’s education and income; fertility rates are likely to fall as women become better educated and more employable. (2) “Relative Income” hypothesis: large birth cohorts will have more trouble reaching their expected income goals than smaller cohorts; a smaller number of workers would presumably lead to higher income rates. (3) “Role Incomparability” hypothesis: the ability of women to combine childbirth and work is a strong determinant of how many children they will eventually have.


What is the main factor used by Torrey and Eberstadt in the explanation?


The difference can be explained by changing values in 3 areas:


(1) Role of the man in the family: Those who answered in the affirmative to the statement that “the father of the family must be master in his own house” (a strong role of the father in the family) were more likely to report higher birth rates. Americans were more likely to respond with an affirmation of a strong male role in the family, they were also more likely to report higher rates of fertility.


(2) Religious values: People who are actively religious tend to marry more and stay together longer, resulting higher fertility rates. Americans reported a higher level of church attendance and produced a higher level of fertility.


The process of secularization has been accelerated in Canada, especially over the last three decades. This factor seems to play a part in explaining the decrease in Canadian birth rates.


(3) Religiosity: Those who regard God as important are less likely to have abortions. Since 1980, the Canadian abortion rate has been rising while the American rate has been falling.


The more predominant secularized worldview in Canada causes lower fertility rates.