Welcome to Mars Hill. The market place of ideas. We live in a Jesus haunted, Biblically illiterate society. Ben Witherington III Asbury Seminary. The Da Vinci Code has capitalized on three intersecting cultural trends.
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Welcome to Mars Hill
We live in a Jesus haunted, Biblically illiterate society. Ben Witherington III Asbury Seminary
The Da Vinci Code has capitalized on three intersecting cultural trends
The Da Vinci Code has capitalized on three intersecting cultural trends • Widespread skepticism. • Enormous spiritual confusion. • Deep spiritual hunger. Ray Pritchard
Week #1: The Code or The Christ? Which is “TRUTH”? Week #2: Brown’s Book or the Bible? Who tells the TRUTH? Week #3: Power or Purpose? Why does the Church exist? Week #4: Crossing Over: How can I share The TRUTH with my friends?
Week #1: The Code or The Christ? Which is “TRUTH”? DVC DVC Quotes
“At this gathering,” Teabing said, “many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted upon – the date of Easter, the role of the bishops, the administration of the sacraments, and, of course, the divinity of Jesus.” ”I don’t follow. His divinity?”
“My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet…a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.” “Not the Son of God?”
“Right,” Teabing said, “Jesus’ establishment as ‘The Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea.” “Hold on. You’re saying Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote?” “A relatively close vote at that,” Teabing added. The Da Vinci Code p. 233
“Constantine upgraded Jesus’ status almost four centuries after Jesus’ death.” “As I mentioned,” Teabing clarified, “the early Church needed to convince the world that the mortal prophet Jesus was a divine being. Therefore, any gospels that described earthly aspects of Jesus’ life had to be omitted from the Bible.” The Da Vinci Code p. 234
“Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false.” The Da Vinci Code p. 235 “The greatest story ever told is, in fact, the greatest story ever sold.” The Da Vinci Code p. 267
Another’s quote (and my objective today)
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with a man who says he's a poached egg -- or else he'd be the devil of hell. You must make your choice.
Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at is feet and call Him Lord and God.
But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. “Mere Christianity” C.S. Lewis
Today's Questions Was Jesus perceived as divine before 325 AD? What did the Council of Nicaea accomplish?
The Identity of Jesus • His statements about Himself
 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."  "But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?"  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:13-16
“I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."  Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?” "He is worthy of death," they answered. Matthew 26:64-66
My Father is working until now, and I myself am working. (John 5:17) If you knew Me, you would know the Father. (John 8:19) I and the Father are One. (John 8:30) If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. (John 12:45)
The Identity of Jesus • His statements about Himself • How His adversaries understood Him
 The Jews gathered around Him, saying, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly."  Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in My Father's name speak for Me,  but you do not believe…  I and the Father are One." John 10:24-33
 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone Him,  but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"  "We are not stoning You for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because You, a mere man, claim to be God." John 10:24-33
The Identity of Jesus • His statements about Himself • How His adversaries understood Him • What the earliest disciples believed
He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15 For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him. Colossians 1:19
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. Colossians 2:9
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. Colossians 2:9 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Philippians 2:6
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being. Hebrews 1:3
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. John 1:1-2
 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God… John 20:30-31
As evidenced by numerous things the Twelve later said and did, they did not at this time have a full comprehension of the Trinity or even of the full nature and work of Christ. But they knew Jesus was truly the Christ and that He was truly divine, the Son of the living God. John MacArthur :
The Identity of Jesus • His statements about Himself • How His adversaries understood Him • What the earliest disciples believed • The consensus of the church fathers
“For our God Jesus Christ….” Ignatius (110 A.D.) Epistle to the Ephesians “...the Father of the universe has a Son; Who being the logos and First-begotten is also God." Justin Martyr (d. 164) First Apology 63:15
"...in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, . . ." Irenaeus (d. ca. 200) Against Heresies