Something different: Dan Brown and neo-Gnosticism

October 19, 2007 at 3:45 am (Books, Christianity, History, Idiots, Personal, Religion)

I had a coworker who had accepted Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as gospel truth. This astonishes me to no end. But there you have it: some people are just that impressionable and stupid.

The heresies and lies of Dan Brown, especially as expressed in his magnum opus, The Da Vinci Code, have been refuted and exposed millennia ago. That is: thousands of years ago! But, again and again, they rise up, grip the minds and imaginations and follies of men, and lead them astray down dark paths of lies and untruths.

I find it especially frustrating because when these heresies and lies rise up, as they are periodically wont to do, they are considered to be new, to be rediscovered truths, to be an expose of established authorities (and, particularly, of the demonic or diabolical or evil foundations thereof). I believe I can tell how early Church leaders must have felt.

Anyone who has studied religion, and particularly Christianity, would recognize the recycled Gnostic claptrap that Brown parades around as fact. Whether today or a few centuries after the ascension of our Lord, no one with any serious background in Christianity takes the Gnostics seriously. They simply mixed in pre-Christian mysticism and myths with Christianity and added to it a dash of “exposing” the “real” origins and purposes of the authorities. But the whole Gnostic edifice was built on heresies and lies and even deliberate misinformation.

And it also astonishes me how, in the same line of thought and tendencies, people will grasp onto spurious texts, holding them to be more true than the commonly-accepted texts of the Gospel. They claim we support our texts because they support our agendas and purposes and desires and vain imaginings and plots, all the while evidently oblivious to the fact that this is precisely why they accept, support, or believe in the spurious texts they uphold. Indeed, we accept the traditional (and authoritative) canon of the Gospel because it has been taught to us as the truth, because we received it as authoritative and as true by those to whom the preservation of authority and truth has been entrusted by God Himself. I, for one, am not going to jump onto the bandwagon of some Sacred Feminine-embracing crackpot neo-Gnostic heretic.

What amuses me (or, rather, would amuse me were it not tragic at the same time) is that these heretics accuse the established authorities of what they do themselves. They accuse the established authorities of claiming a monopoly on truth, which is precisely what Gnosticism is about: they have the knowledge (“gnosis”) of the real truth, knowledge of which will lead one to salvation, ignorance of which will doom one to loss. They are, in this respect, no better than those whom they oppose. They also accuse the established authorities of hiding or suppressing the truth, while at the same time Gnostics quite gleefully hide the truth from the ignorant masses, taking delight in their superiority and in their status as the saved elite. They look down on the “sheeple”.

As I mentioned, the Gnostic heresies, with what contemporary modifications, reappear periodically. The only reason this resurgence has been as widespread as it has been has been because of groundwork the New Age movement established for the reception of such ideas. (Many ideas, practices, and teachings of the New Age movement(s) are themselves part of regularly recurring elements in the fringe of established religion.) The other reason has to do with the highly entertaining, gripping, and convincing setting in which one can find them through Dan Brown’s work.

He must be so proud of himself, a firebrand prophet against the millennia-old Gospel of Jesus Christ, when all he is, is a talented hack. I bet even serious Gnostics may be a little annoyed how no one listened to them but now, all of a sudden, are listening to the words of some fiction-writer.

Which reminds me of another fiction-writer (specifically, science fiction) who, on a bet or dare, created a psychiatric quasi-religious treatment method which is taken quite seriously by many.

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1 Comment

  1. Sophia Sadek said,

    Thanks for the posting.

    It seems that every generation some Gnostic comes along and says, “I am the Truth, the Light, and the Way.” Good Christians do their duty by nailing the poor bastard to a tree, or some other such deed.

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