Let’s ‘Othercott’ Da Vinci – Barbara Nicolosi
Let me start out by saying that I know Barbara hates that people slam Christ, just as I do. It makes me angry when they slam my Savior. But how is it we as believer’s should respond to this? Should we engage or disengage the skeptical culture at hand? Well, all I have to say to this article and the way the author desires to respond is …
Good grief. Pastors and theologians like Spurgeon, Calvin, Dever, Mohler, Sproul, Piper, and Keller would have words with her concerning her attitude toward evangelizing and engaging the culture. Sure, what she says about the book and its fallacies are good, and I echo her statement when she says, “I love Jesus. It makes me physically sick to entertain discussion about the ways in which the defining acts of his life—his Passion, Resurrection and establishment of the Church—could be a diabolical scam that he never anticipated nor experienced.” And I don’t dispute any of that. But how should we react? Does this mean we disengage the culture altogether, or pursue them with the Gospel all the more? This movie coming out and really any attack on Christianity is one of the many reasons why theology, apologetics, and at least a basic knowledge of church history are so essential. What unbeliever would ever read this article and take her seriously? What unbeliever would ever gain trust with her and entertain anything she has to say with this kind of attitude as a backdrop? I sure wouldn’t, I’d just walk away … and many do because of Christians like her. Believers with this type of rhetoric are one of the things that are wrong with the church. No heart or care for the lost, for those who throw up arguments in our faces. Those people are eternally lost unless they believe in Christ! Believers like this, especially with the ability to write articles on ChristianityToday.com, flatten other Christian’s effectiveness in witnessing and they make unbelievers even more hostile to the church. It’s like a fellow soldier in battle with you that every time you try to engage the enemy, your fellow soldier trips you, and then goes and does something to enrage the enemy even more. These believer’s attitude is basically, “Unbelievers hate us Christians, therefore we should hate them back; and I will not talk with them about this, and for that matter, about Christ. They don’t deserve it.” Well, no one deserves Christ, which is why we must engage them in this, that some of them may be saved.
Concerning the DVC, Christians like her essentially say, “This book isn’t even worthy of my godly assessment and therefore I will not even engage an interview with any unbeliever. It doesn’t even deserve a response.” In my estimation, though I’m not authoritative in any manner concerning this and it’s simply an opinion, this is a scapegoat for not having a proper defense for the hope that is in her, sharing Christ with those who desperately need it. Maybe it’s because theologically, apologetically, and historically, she doesn’t even know where to start to defend her faith (who knows, not saying she doesn’t, but with a response like this, how can anyone know? It just seems like a scapegoat to me, because it’s not an easy task at hand and requires a ready defense). Maybe she gets into those types of arguments with people she cited where they don’t let her speak because of her attitude toward them to start with. Has she ever thought of that? If the church wants to pigeonhole itself away from society and not bring the Gospel near to those who desperately need it (even if those people fight against it), then it needs more people like her who avoid interviews or debates, and any meaningful conversation with unbelievers at all costs. She states, “I get lots of calls to do interviews about The Da Vinci Code, but I duck as many of them as I can. Basically, I hate talking about DVC because I have a personal relationship with Jesus.” This is utterly tragic. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Because you love Christ you want to engage the culture and share with them the all-satisfying joy you have in Christ, by properly defending against this heresy? I for one am sick of people who claim the name “Christian” possessing this type of attitude, and I personally want all of us believers to engage the culture in order that as many as possible can be saved, as God sees fit to work in the preaching of His Gospel. Can she look at the cross and not see how desperate her condition is herself and see that she doesn’t deserve salvation either? It just seems she may have forgotten that fact. There just seems to be this type of arrogance among those with the name “Christian” and this is just one example. Prior to conversion, was she not a sinner slapping Christ in the face and nailing Him to the cross with her sins, hostile and arrogant in nature, just like all of us? Me, you, all men under heaven? Barbara, you’re acting just like they are. And whatever happened to the words of Christ, “Love your enemies?” She’s attempting to defend Christianity by adopting the very same attitude of the world that hates us and it defeats the purpose of sharing Christ with those who hate us, and even injures the cause of other believers to properly defend against heresy and share the Gospel.
There have been people I’ve talked with that have said they would listen more to what Christians had to say if they didn’t have to speak with people like this lady who ruin the message of the Gospel with their attitude, thus disengaging the very people we need to reach with the Gospel! What unbeliever would ever care to engage someone like this? I know she wouldn’t care to engage them, but still. She says in that article, “DVC as great opportunity for evangelism? Hmmm. The climate of evangelism is not consistent with a posture of defiance and cynicism.” What about her cynicism toward unbelievers? I’m sorry, but who is it that does the work in salvation? It’s not us, we’re just instruments in God’s hands, and He does what we cannot: change the disposition of people’s hearts. Do we avoid those who oppose us? No, absolutely not, but like Paul, when they beat us and throw us out of the city for the Gospel, we get right back up and walk right back in to preach the Gospel more. Cannot God the Holy Spirit disengage the most hostile of people through the message of the Gospel? Maybe if through the kindness of believers presenting the Gospel in love, some may get a taste of the kindness of Christ, thus leading them to repentance and faith in Christ. She goes on and sarcasticly asks, “Is slander an opportunity?” Yes! Read the book of Acts, the whole thing! “Is angry superiority an opportunity? DVC represents all the ‘opportunity’ that the Roman persecutions offered the early Church. Rah.” Okay … many people were saved in the early church because of God working through the faithful believers who persisted and endured to share Christ with the culture, despite the opposition! How else do you think the church survived?
The Da Vinci Code is absolutely an opportunity to defend the faith and absolutely a chance for evangelism … in fact, it’s more of an opportunity now than if the book was never written at all, because people are asking the questions we want them to ask in order that we may share the Gospel with them. I personally have had several very meaningful conversations with unbelievers as a direct result of this movie about to come out, in which I was able to preach the Gospel to 5 or more people at one time, and they listened to every word! (God has opened that opportunity, I take no credit for anything, just giving a subjective example that thwarts her statements). I would question whether or not she’s even engaged anyone at all concerning this. The people I talked with definitely had their share of questions and arguments against things, but they allowed me to answer (opposing her assumption that people won’t let you speak), and it generated a conversation that gave me a chance to defend the name of Christ among unbelievers … and did they not listen to me because the Holy Spirit was working to disarm their hostility toward Christ? If she and others like her want to stick their heads in the sand because of this book and “every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God,” go for it, I’d rather they not open their mouths anymore and let people like Keller, Piper, and other like-minded pastors speak on behalf of believers. I’d rather us all engage the skeptical post-modern culture before us and give them the very thing they most desperately need: truth, forgiveness, cleansing of sin, and a saving, love-relationship with the God of the universe, in Christ Jesus the Lord.
I found it ironic too that when I went to this article, there was an advertisement on the right-hand side that said, “The Da Vinci Code – How Will You Repsond?” Well, not like Barbara … try this out instead … The Truth About Da Vinci.com