It's rare that we take a service and we devote it to a book, but this is no ordinary book. It's been on the top of The New York Times bestseller list and Amazon.com for 50 weeks. Not even the release of a new John Grisham novel could knock it off. It inspired a one-hour ABC News special. It's being developed as a major motion picture. At first glance when you look at this book you wonder What's creating the attention? Because at first glance the plot isn't anything that really stands out above normal mystery fare. It starts off with the murder of a curator at the Louvre in Paris, leads to a trail of clues found in the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, and the discovery of a centuries-old secret society. It's a page-turner. But that's not what has grabbed our attention. It's that the clues of Leonardo's work and the mission of the secret society revolve around the Holy Grail. This Holy Grail is not put forward as what we traditionally think of as the Holy Grailthe chalice that Jesus used during the Last Supper and that some feel was also taken to the cross and captured some of the blood from the crucifixion. The novel identifies the Holy Grail as the bloodline of Jesus. The book suggests that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus and the mother of his child. And because she bore descendants, particularly a daughter by the name of Sarah, she is, in fact, the Holy Grail. After the crucifixion, she fled with their child to the south of France where they established the Merovingian line of European royalty, which then became the basis of a secret society to preserve that bloodline and to protect the secret until it was time to make it known to the wider world.
Along the way, Brown also suggests that the church invented the deity of Jesus ...
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James Emery White is founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a consulting editor to Leadership Journal. He is author of Serious Times and A Search for the Spiritual, and blogs at churchandculture.org.