Apr 182005
Authors: Justin Jarvis

Hank Hanegraaff came to CSU to debate the ideology that truth is behind one of the best selling fiction books of all time.

Hanegraaff, president and chairman of the board at the Christian Research Institute International, presented "The DaVinci Code: Fact or Fiction?" to more than 200 people in the Lory Student Center Theatre Monday night.

"The Da Vinci Code," by Dan Brown is a fictional book that is powerful in communicating different perspectives, Hanegraaff said. Hanegraaff also hosts the Bible Answer Man radio program, which broadcasts across the United States and Canada.

"Ultimately fiction can be an incredibly powerful means to communicate a point of view," he said. "Fiction becomes the vehicle or the means by which you can communicate information."

In "The Da Vinci Code," which has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for nearly a year, Brown describes an organization called the Priory of Sion.

"Brown depicts the Priory of Sion as the secret society bent on covering up the scandal of Christ's marriage to Mary Magdalene, who would have been the true leader of the Christian Church, if she had not unceremoniously crashed into an apostolic glass ceiling erected by a patriarchal church," he said. "Much of what Brown (depicts) as truth is based on a fabrication concocted by an anti-Semite with a criminal record."

Brown is confident in the claims of his book, Hanegraaff said.

"Brown says he is so confident in the reliability of his claims, that were he to write a non-fiction piece on the same theme, he would not change a thing," Hanegraaff said.

Hanegraaff looked to examples of the Bible's Scripture to seek truth.

"Ultimately, truth is sabotaged in the 'The Da Vinci Code,'" he said. "It is important for me to establish my beliefs that the Bible is divine, rather than human in origin."

Some students who have not read "The Da Vinci Code" found Hanegraaff's presentation good, but are still interested in reading the book.

"I think his most important point was establishing authenticity of the Bible and the accuracy of it," said Abigail Ackerman, a freshman art major. "He showed that the Bible is not made by man. He did a good job bringing up circumstantial and factual evidence in support of the Bible's divinity."

Ackerman had not read "The Da Vinci Code" yet, but wants to.

"I want to know exactly what the book says and what everyone is talking about," she said.

Isaac Oltersdorf, a junior human development and family studies major had not read the book either, but said Hanegraaff's presentation was well thought out.

"His presentation was good, very intelligent and a well thought out argument," Oltersdorf said. "It is important to remember that 'The Da Vinci Code' is a piece of fiction. People like to think it is historical, but it is just fiction. It sounds like a great book though.'

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