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.