I use the title of Dan Brown's novel, which is being released as a movie by the Howard-Hanks team, because it leads directly into our subject: Gnosticism. More specifically, I wish to discuss the barrage of novels, tracts, and movies that deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Belief in the triune nature of God is central and essential to Christianity, to the Way. All other religions, cults, and variants of Christianity deny Jesus' role as the second Person of the Trinity. He is not a created being, an illuminator, a teacher, or a guide: He is the Son of the living God, an aspect of the Godhead, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Of course He illuminates, teaches, and guides, but with the authority and power of Deity. He is the only Way to the Father; none may enter the Kingdom of Heaven save through Him. One can separate His sheep from the goats by asking the simple question: Who is Jesus? There is only one answer.
One cannot enter our favorite (and only) bookstore, the Barn of No-Bull, without seeing a book about the Knights Templar, Rosslyn Chapel, or the Priory of Scion. They all seem vaguely Gnostic and they all deny Christ's divinity. The favorite scenario goes somethinglike this: Jesus is conceived and born in the normal fashion. He shows great intelligence and wisdom beyond his years growing up. He finally takes the reins of the Jewish revolutionary movement, but he realizes he must disguise his ambitions in a messianic cloak and fakes his own death. He has already married Mary of Magdala, who, pregnant, escapes to France or wherever, gives birth, and establishes a secret "royal" line, which is finally rediscovered in the Twentieth Century. The Catholic Church and/or some secret group tries to cover up this "heresy" for selfish reasons.
There is no credible evidence for this fantastic conspiracy hypothesis. Brown's "scholarship" has been shown by many real scholars to be false and bogus. Some of the books raise interesting points: Why, for instance, does Scotland's Rosslyn Chapel, established in the early Middle Ages, show representations of New World plants such as corn, well before Columbus' voyages? I, for one, think that a lot more went on back in history than we realize. The evidence, though, for Jesus' crucifixion, death, entombment, and resurrection is powerful and convincing. If it is a lie, a lot of people, starting with His own apostles, have lived and died for that lie. I believe history pivots around that virgin birth.