Noah, The Movie

This post is especially for all of you believers who are up in arms over the new film , Noah, which is now in theaters.  I see your posts on Facebook, your nose-in-the-air comments about the film not being true to the Bible.  I haven’t seen the film yet.  I will when I get a chance.  In the meantime, here are some observations.

First, some of the most influential “Christian” leaders, authors, speakers, and musicians aren’t true to the Bible either, but that doesn’t stop us from worshiping in their churches, buying their books and CD’s, attending their conferences, and stealing their illustrations.  If you’re going to adopt the position that everything you read, watch, or listen to has to be perfectly Biblical, you’re not going to be reading, watching, or listening to much.

(And by the way, all of you who are yelping in protest about this movie, I’d be interested to know what other movies or TV shows you’ve watched.  Shall we check your Netflix “recently watched” list?)

Second, it is impossible–IMPOSSIBLE–to take a Bible story that can be read in two minutes and turn it into a full-length movie without taking some creative liberties.  I’m not a filmmaker, but I know gaps have to be filled in…details that don’t appear in the Biblical record have to be imagined in order to flesh out the story.  Thoughts, conversations, and relationships are part of every great story.  If the Bible doesn’t provide them, the script writer has to invent them.

Third, I am reminded again that many Christians don’t know a blessing when it’s tied in a bow and handed to them on a silver platter.  We should be rejoicing that this movie was made (even if it isn’t true to the Biblical record) because it can be a great conversation starter.  When you’re standing around the water cooler with an unbelieving coworker, you can say, “Have you seen that new movie about Noah?”  Before you know it you can be having a dialogue about a Bible story.  How cool is that?!  Pop culture is actually inviting you to have a conversation about your faith!

(I’m guessing that many of the people who are pooh-poohing this movie haven’t shared their faith with an unbeliever in ages, yet they’ll reject this golden opportunity without a second thought.)

Finally, Christians gripe about Hollywood all the time.  “They never make any decent movies!” we whine.  Well, here is a movie that, good or bad, is at least an attempt to tell a Bible story.

Just think: no car chases.

I, for one, am thankful.

 

 

 

 

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20 Responses to Noah, The Movie

  1. Mark,

    I agree 200 percent!

    It is am opportunity that has already presented itself.

    Great conversation starter.

    Kendall

  2. Ed Williamson says:

    I went and saw this movie. I thought it was very good! I know it left a lot to be desired with reference to being “scriptural” in some spots, but there were no sex scenes and I don’t think I heard a single curse word (I could be wrong). How long has it been since you’ve been to a movie where you can say that? I believe the movie did an outstanding job in depicting the difference between sin and righteousness, between good and evil. It also pretty well summed up what every Christian believes: the Creator created everything including man, Satan led Adam and Eve astray, the earth was cursed as a result. The descendants of Cain grew ever more evil while the few descendants of Seth tried to remain faithful to the Creator. Sure the director took some license, but he also basically told the creation story. While I don’t agree with everything in the movie (the Rock people were a little too much) I don’t think the director’s imagination is any better or worse than some of the outlandish ideas advocated by those who subscribe to premillennial theories. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for Christians to interact with the world rather than throwing stones at someone from behind our walls.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks, Ed. I appreciate your point of view. And I’m glad you can now engage people who may want to talk about this movie.

  3. Ed Williamson says:

    By the way, I appreciate Mark for posting what he did!

  4. Klaus Roetsch says:

    Saw the movie on opening night. I thought the writer tied up the loose ends very well; after all, how does a man by himself build an arc! And how God delivered His message to Noah … We’ll done… Believable (with imagination) to me and with a purpose! Well thought out. But the most compelling part was the good vs evil angle. An yes, kids were talking about it afterword. Great door opener.

    Have mercey on me and my comments as I am not a writer/author. It also served a personal purpose; it directed me to my Bible, always a good thing.

    Praise the love of God!

    • Mark says:

      Thanks, Klaus. I love the fact that the movie directed you to your Bible. I suspect that will happen with a lot of people.

  5. John Marshall says:

    I respect Klaus for our common salvation and faith in Christ. It takes courage to post comments and say what you feel. But my thoughts and feelings about the movie (I just saw it.) are quite different.

    I think Noah and his family spent 100 years building the ark. I think he earnestly tried for more human passengers than what he got (I Peter 3:20).

    Noah was promised a covenant BEFORE the flood (Gen. 6:18). I don’t think his building of the ark was just about the ONLY thing he managed to get right.

    I’m already sounding like a typical nit-picking Christian–only because I’m also quite self-conscious about posting publicly. I’m trying to make this watertight (no pun intended).

    I wasn’t thinking in such detail while watching the movie. My questions were more like…”Are God’s prophets really so lost, dazed and confused as this ‘Noah’?”

    I couldn’t stop thinking the Biblical account (and the character of Noah) was being disrespected, even if without the conscious intent of Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel.
    There ARE ways to use artistic license respectfully (e.g. by Franco Zeffirelli in Jesus of Nazareth) and there are ways to use it to slaughter the very thing one tries to interpret (e.g. by Martin Scorsese in The Last Temptation of Christ).

    I spent the first half of the movie feeling a bit bewildered (especially with the “watchers”). I spent the second half feeling disgusted. Things had gotten so whacked out. Still I waited (to the end) for some redeeming value to this film but found none.

    Some (if not many) environmentalist now call for human extinction to save the earth. The film does seem to address this as well as (indirectly) abortion.

    So I guess I’m stuck with the whiny, pesky, only-against-everything Christians on this one. I saw all kinds of Oscars and Accolades with no real quality.

    Can you imagine what would happen if you gave Alex Kendrick one tenth of Aronosfky’s budget and asked him to make a film of Genesis six through nine?

    Will “Noah” give me an opportunity to share my faith? I hope so. It will be right up there with “The DaVinci Code.” We can’t stop Hollywood, but we can speak the truth in love.

    • Mark says:

      John, your post is thoughtful and meaningful…which is exactly my point. Because you saw the movie, you can offer a point of view that unbelievers (and even some believers) need to hear and consider. I never defended the movie, only the church’s opportunity to engage the culture with truth. In your last paragraph you say you hope the movie will give you an opportunity to share your faith. It already did!!!!

  6. Marg Morris Mitchell says:

    Love all the comments very thought provoking for sure. Have not seen the movie yet but hope to. If it brings people to conversations of the bible in anyway, that is a good thing. Thanks for the post Mark.

  7. Lynn says:

    I have not seen this movie, yet, either, but intend to . I agree with Pastor Mark, thou.
    In watching the previews, you can not help but realize that this movie is not Biblically correct. That will not stop me. Some is better than none.
    I do note though, that in a 4 month period, there have been 4 movies geared to believers and hopefully, non believers. Isn’t that in itself enlightening? I am hungry for this type of film making. If producers make more of these movies, even if it is just to make money, it is a chance to see and talk about these movies with others and witness.

  8. Dave Dillon says:

    Hi Mark,

    Right on!! Kerri and I saw the “Son of God” and brought tears to our eyes. As you said no car chases – vulgar language etc.

    Dave

  9. Donna Tell says:

    Dear Mark,

    I saw “Son of God” and was emotionally “involved” in the movie. I Loved it, and it made me Love Jesus even more. Although I wanted to scream at the “unbelievers” in the movie! I wanted to say at the top of my voice “come on people, don’t you SEE Jesus right in front of you & His gift to us!” Geesh….sometimes it frustrated me! I don’t need to analyze something or quote anything, as I say things from my heart more than my head. Sometimes it takes the heart to express something intelligently, not always intellect!

    I also saw “Noah”. I found the movie ok. I know screenplays are always written with liberties, but I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as “Son of God”. I found too many parts “tagging along” or just so far-fetched. I believe each person has their own personal opinions about this movie, whether good or bad. As you mentioned Mark, if it takes making a movie to get people to talk about the Bible, then Bless them as they discuss it. Word of mouth is a powerful thing!!

  10. Scott Jewell says:

    I will be interested in hearing your thoughts about the artistic license taken once you’ve seen the movie. Having watched it, there was much I didn’t mind because the Scriptures were silent on those parts. I did wish, however, they’d have stayed true to the facts that were given in the Scriptures. God actually spoke to Noah, leaving him no doubt as to what was expected. His sons were married before entering the ark, which doesn’t allow Noah to come off as a psychotic religious nut. Those things are written in black and white, there was plenty of other space between the lines with which the director could have taken his artistic license without changing those aspects.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks, for jumping in Scott. I will share my thoughts after this weekend. As I said in a previous response, the inaccuracies don’t bother me as much as some people because I think most people are smart enough to know the movie is a filmmaker’s vision and interpretation. I can’t imagine very many people giving this movie “Scripture status” in their minds. By and large, people don’t mark Hollywood down as their go-to source for info about God or the Bible.

  11. Dan Howell says:

    I have not seen the movie “Noah” nor “The Son of God” and probably won’t see them until they come out on DVD. Primarily, because I’m cheap, and secondarily, I don’t really want to waste so much money on movies that will probably upset me. (As do many films that have a Biblical theme).

    I have refrained from giving my personal opinion of the movies (as I haven’t seen them) but can be accused of posting on Facebook a few articles concerning the general themes as others have viewed and reviewed them. One reason I did so was for people to be informed before they saw the movies and understand the thinking of the writers, directors and producers. In other words, I want people to make an informed decision.

    While I do think that these movies would make good conversation starters and may encourage some to go to their Bibles to research further, I’m equally afraid that there will be a few that will not be so inclined and therefore be misinformed as to who God is and how He acts in this world. After all a “Paganized” Noah and a “New Age” Jesus (opinions of others) is not how I want others to view Noah or Jesus.

    I do hope, however, that these movies will encourage Christians to get more involved in the Arts. As churches we need to recognize and encourage others to use their talents to bring a Christian perspective to this world. Rather than just railing against the darkness we need to introduce the light.

    As an aside, I do think it interesting that God, in the movie Noah, according to one review, destroys mankind because of their misuse of the earth. A theme just in time for “Earth Day.”

    • Mark says:

      Dan, thank you for your thoughts. I am not so concerned about people getting a warped view of Noah. Some will, of course. But the movie is so outlandishly presented with special effects and rock monsters and the like, that I think most people are going to recognize that it is a filmmaker’s interpretation. Plus, I don’t think there are very many people in America who would mark Hollywood down as the first place to look if they were seeking God, or information about God. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see the movie as being as much of a doctrinal threat as some people do.

  12. Dolores says:

    I saw the movie and I enjoyed it. We have to keep in mind that it was indeed a movie and was not a true story of Noah’s life.

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