Jenkins to challenge Brown’s bestseller The DaVinci Code in spring capstone class

Through a labyrinth of puzzles and codes, a Harvard symbologist and a French cryptologist race against monastic knights and a faceless powerbroker to retrieve a secret knowledge that, if unleashed, has the power to alter the world forever.

This summarizes Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code, upon which Dr. Gary Jenkins has recently decided to base a capstone course.

Jenkins decided to teach the capstone in order to correct the unbiblical influence of Brown’s book and other apocalyptic fiction.

“Apocalyptic fiction has created in readers a double-mindedness toward Christ,” Jenkins said.

One way such books have done so is through historical errors.

“These authors skew history. They cut and paste periods and people in order to support their theses,” Jenkins said.

The capstone will correct these errors by having students read histories, especially those of the Church, and compare them to the sources Brown used in writing his novel, according to Jenkins.

The course will also challenge Brown’s thesis that Jesus Christ was a mere man who was married to Mary Magdalene and had children of his own.

One of Jenkins’ greatest reasons for teaching the capstone is to emphasize the full importance of the divine Christ’s body.

He said that apocalyptic fiction often over-emphasizes the division of the spiritual and fleshly.

“The book is very gnostic in the sense that there is some secret knowledge that will save those who find it from the evils of this world,” he said.

Thus, by giving sound accounts of history, Jenkins hopes to strengthen the faith of students.

According to Jenkins, the success of these novels, including Tim LaHaye’s and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind series and Henry Lincoln’s Holy Blood, Holy Grail, derives from the desire of human beings for the apocalypse.

This fascination with the beyond is fed by these apocalyptic books, which entertain instead of minister, Jenkins said.

Jenkins is seeking a new title for his capstone after getting feedback from faculty that his “Dan Brown and All That” title was too broad.

Jenkins plans to offer the course in the spring of 2006.

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