Skip to comments.‘Noah’: Why Christians should see it
Posted on 04/01/2014 8:04:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
* * * (Spoiler alert: I’m not sure if it’s possible to spoil the story of Noah’s ark, but be forewarned…)
A great debate is taking place amongst Christians this week. The topic? Whether or not to go see the new Noah movie, starring Russell Crowe. If this sounds like a joke, it’s not. In fact, it may be a realization that pop culture matters.
Sides are being chosen. HotAir’s Ed Morrssey calls it “a mess,” while Steven D. Greydanus says it’s “deeply serious.” RedState’s Erick Erickson mocked the film on Twitter (his blog post is a bit more nuanced), while cultural critic R.J. Moeller noted that “biblical scholars [also] criticized Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments when they came out.” This is just a sampling of opinion.
So who’s right?
Everyone concedes the film is not an accurate biblical representation, but I’m fascinated with the question of whether or not it does more good than harm. Here are my thoughts:
What Christians should like…
- The spirituality. In a cynical, secular world, Christians should appreciate the (I would argue) positive portrayal of the concept of spirituality. Whether or not the theology is perfect, it is entirely possible this film will spark an interest in viewers who will explore these issues for themselves.
- Instead of hearing an audible voice, Noah mostly receives his instructions via dreams and visions (there are also some miracles.) In some cases, Noah clearly knows what his instructions are; in other cases, he struggles to find the correct thing to do (my guess is this is closer to the experience of most Christians than it would have been had there been an audible voice.) I also liked the discussion about why God used water instead of fire to destroy the earth. (Essentially, Noah says, it’s because water is for cleansing or purifying.)
- Unlike the cartoonish representations a lot of kids grow up with in Sunday School classes, this film depicts a truly wicked world (which, of course, was what necessitated the flood.) This struck me as more realistic and interesting than the sanitized version most children are taught (and let’s be honest, these early representations often stick around). There are also parallels for us today. On one hand, we also live in a fallen and corrupted world. On the other hand, this is an illustration of just how bad things could get if we descend into complete chaos where there is an almost complete breakdown of virtue and the rule of law.
What didn’t bother me — but deserves comment …
- The giant rock monsters: One has to allow for some artistic license, and, so long as there isn’t an attempt to represent the story as 100 percent biblically accurate, this doesn’t strike me as hugely problematic. Lewis and Tolkien, after all, also told fantastical stories, which held biblical truths. In addition to allowing for some artistic license, I think it’s important for Christians to recognize that perhaps not everything has been revealed. There very well may be some interesting parts of the story which simply have not been shared.
- The environmentalism. Some conservatives have voiced concern about the environmentalism portrayed in the film. There is a tension between the commands to be good stewards and to have “dominion” over the earth. This is a worthy debate, but it didn’t strike me as egregious, and it doesn’t strike me as a deal breaker.
- Many Christians, I suspect, will likely have fundamental problems with how the relationship between God and man is portrayed. For example, (as far as I recall) in the film, Noah never refers to Him as “Father” or even as “God,” but instead, as “The Creator.” To some degree, though, this is exactly as it should be. For Christians, the status between God and man after the fall was vastly different than in a New Testament paradigm — and even dramatically different than in a post-Abrahamic covenant world. The relationship would necessarily have been much less intimate.
What should concern Christians …
- For much of the film, Noah believes that it is God’s intention to end humanity, preserving only the animals on the boat. Ultimately, he cannot bring himself to do what he would have to do in order to guarantee this outcome. It is implied by one of the characters that God left this decision up to Noah.
- As such, it is never explicitly clear that using the flood was essentially part of God’s way of salvaging humanity — which, I think, most Christians would say is the fundamental point of the story. There seems to be a heavy focus on the fact that humans are inherently evil (which is certainly consistent with Christian theology), but not a lot of talk about how “for God so loved the world.”
- In fairness, there were some throwaway lines about this humanity having a “new start,” and there were the perfunctory rainbow scenes at the end. But I think the huge missed opportunity here was to have a slightly more optimistic message about how God loved humanity so much that He was searching for ways to redeem us. This theme wasn’t entirely omitted, but it was, I think, vastly underplayed and overshadowed by competing worldviews. And that was a huge missed opportunity that wouldn’t have diminished (and, in fact, would have enhanced) the film.
My take is that Christians should see this film as doing more good than bad. In a cynical, secular world, it presents spirituality as serious, and may be used as a conversation starter about theological issues not easily broached in our modern culture.
Ugh I’m sick of hearing a/b this movie (and “God’s not Dead” from the other direction.)
I saw the movie, SeekAndFind
It was a dark version, but there were some things in there that I hadn’t thought of. In Genesis 5, the patriarchs life span was 900, Lamech - Noah’s father - was 777.
* Spoiler Alert *
The movie portrayed Lamech as being murdered, which is a possibility.
Don't listen to those who advise seeing this film no matter what the reasons are for giving it.
One thing for certain, rather than hoping to "gain an insight to ......" you are giving the largest cesspool responsible for the decline in morals of this nation, billions of your hard-earned dollars!
Give the amount to the Christian institution of your choice, stay home and study what the scriptures has to say about adding anything to it!
One thing for certain, nothing from this film comes from the Holy Bible so why not rent a copy of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and pretend it's a tale about the life of Jesus of Nazareth, if you must support Hollywierd!
Didn’t it also show Methuselah as being killed by the flood?
If so, the man could have lived pass a thousand had he entered the ark...
Watch the movie as FICTION similar to Harry Potter...
Euphemism for lying..........
It reminds me of the “victory” won by getting a PG-13 rating. So now we get Hollywood’s thirteen year old: a foul mouthed, brat who would like to see some nudity and “adult” situations since he’s been watching R & X for five years already. How’s that mature content for ya?
Yep, I understand the director is an athiest. I’ll pass.
Nah. I don’t want to put one nickel into the pockets of people who mock God’s Word.
the puke’s a militant athiest.... at that!
“The spirituality. In a cynical, secular world, Christians should appreciate the (I would argue) positive portrayal of the concept of spirituality. Whether or not the theology is perfect, it is entirely possible this film will spark an interest in viewers who will explore these issues for themselves.”
Does the author speak with a lisp?
There have been so many threads about this movie- I haven’t seen it and plan on staying away. But I keep thinking what a shame it is that this movie wasn’t done with biblical accuracy- what a waste- it could have opened up doors to discussions about Christ Jesus- it could have led people to Christ....truly a shame.
Advice....instead, go see the Christian-themed movie "God's Not Dead". It's a very good film on all levels.
The studio and the director made a liberal, leftist, green, global warming and enviro-whacko PROPAGANDA HIT PIECE against the foundations of Christianity and the Bible and instead, sneaking in their enviro-whacko IDEOLOGY as the basis of the movie!
Dennis Prager, in the following Freeper posting, explains what is going on, in our culture. This movie NOAH is a prime example of how that works.
Judaism, Christianity, Environmentalism
“...Instead of hearing an audible voice, Noah mostly receives his instructions via dreams and visions ... than it would have been had there been an audible voice....”
Why do I hear Bill Cosby’s voice in my head saying “Noah! How Long Can You Tread Water?
Yes, what manner of spirits—demonic spirits.
God’s word accurately documents Noah. We discover from the Bible that the flood/ark event represents God’s miraculous provision in Jesus Christ, who will return and save and judge the earth when he ushers in his millennial kingdom. Those who would escape judgement have but to enter in through the door, through faith. (The atheistic and unbelieving left perverts marriage, and everything it touches.)
Changing the Noah account strips it of its power. Those who do this walk a very precarious path on the edge of the abyss. For many they are reprobate, beyond reaching.
“Spirituality”= hipsters trying to sound less shallow than they actually are.
I saw it on Saturday. Some observations.
1. It pretty much preserved the themes of judgement, mercy, and redemption, but got there by a pretty twisted path.
2. Visually the giant rock monsters look like they were a combination of the transformers and the Ents from Lord of the Rings.
3. They poked in a lot of stuff that is not in the Biblical account for the sake of creating dramatic conflict. It’s a movie so I understand what they did and in terms of telling an interesting story it works.
4. This is not Moses’ story. If that bothers you, I wouldn’t go see it. (If you are relying on Hollywood movies for spiritual edification you should probably reassess your strategy.)
“Spirituality” is rejecting how God defines Himself, and making up your own definition... idolatry.
Is there any connection between this Noah movie and the other Christian movie “Son of God”? Just seems weird they were released around the same time, when the last Hollywood Christian movie was what Passion of the Christ?
Some scholars have calculated that Methuselah died the year of the flood.
But, you are right, it is fiction ... and I knew that when I watched it. That does not mean there is nothing to be gleaned there.
Albert Camus ‘Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.’ .
When I saw the rock monsters, I thought of this scene, too, Sloth.
I’ll agree with that, and the real idol is usually the image staring back from the mirror.
That’s one of the greatest deceptions ever - that you are serving yourself in your rebellion. When in actuality, you’re serving Satan when you think you’re serving yourself.
Im fairly certain that there are levels of reward in heaven...and another sort of set levels of reward in hell
Im going to GUESS that the filmaker is going to be treated to the best....hell has to offer...
“My take is that Christians should see this film as doing more good than bad.”
Yeah, that is the foolish thinking that led me to check it out this past weekend.
This movie is to the Biblical story of Noah what The Last Temptation of Christ was to the Biblical Passion narrative.
This is no conversation starter for Biblical discussion. It would take several hours just to address the anti-Biblical aspects of the movie. It is no better than using the fact Jesus name is taken in vain so often in the movies, and making that the basis to bring up Christ to a movie patron.
Please don’t make the mistake I made and support this despicable Hollywood perversion.
No thanks. It takes more than the 51/49 good to bad ratio to make a movie worthwhile. From what I have read of it, it appears to be little more than a Greenpeace/Vegan/PETA view of the story.
Not a dime to Hollywood. It is a sin to support the ungodly who use every opportunity to mock the Almighty and His Holy Word.
Asking Christians to enrich Hollywood has to be a sin
Can you believe it?! There are actually some Freepers supporting this liberal, leftist, ‘green’ and enviro-whacko IDEOLOGY that is in this film and actually “paying” the studio that produced it, so that they can keep distributing the very IDEOLOGY that Free Republic opposes! Amazing ...
A collection of FREEPER threads on the movie - Noah ...
Religious tide turns against Noah
Noah: a classic blunder
Nine problems with the movie Noah
Dont Get Punked by Paramounts Pagan Noah Film
Noah The Emperors New Movie (The Utter Embarrassing Mess of Noah)
Noah Review: Brilliantly Sinister Anti-Christian Filmmaking
Noah, The Film: All Washed Up
Box Office: Noah Winning Over Faith-Based and Mainstream Moviegoers
No meat at Noah party
The Noah Movie: Our Detailed Review [Christian Review]
The Noah Movie: Deconstructing Noahs Ark; Godawful Storytelling
Atheist Noah director brags film is least biblical Bible movie ever
Moviegoers Are Thinking Things Over After Earthquake Hits During Noah
Ken Ham: The Unbiblical Noah Is a Fable of a Film
Box Office: Moviegoers Flock to Noah
But Hate It
BOX OFFICE: Noah Rises, Gods Not Dead Surprises As Schwarzenegger Brought To Knees
Ray Comfort Releases Christian Noah Movie: Watch Noah and the Last Day on YouTube for Free
The midrashiest midrash that ever was midrashed [a spoiler-free Noah review]
just saw “Noah”. downer of a movie.
If Christians Are Going to Complain About The Movie Noah, Then Create Something Better
Noah is the Most Unpopular Movie in Current Release (Despite Topping the Box Office)
The Noah film is afloat with extremism
Pastors Enchanted by Hollywoods Courting Lead Christians to Patronize Noah Propaganda Film
Im a Christian and I think Noah deserves a four star review
Much Ado About Noah
Judaism, Christianity, Environmentalism
Thanks for posting this article.
Excellent distillation - thanks!
No comment on this? I am surprised there is no discussion on this considering these are both movies aimed towards the Christian audience.
I eventually got up and left because of how unrelated this story was to the actual story of Noah. It made demons look like good guys that help man, and it made God look like a careless, hateful creator that was eager to just throw man in the garbage. This was not biblical whatsoever. It is a very evil twisted telling of a story that bares some resemblance to the biblical Noah, but is definitely NOT the same biblical Noah story. This story I imagine is the way Satan would want people to believe the story of Noah went since it paints God as a merciless, careless and cold God. That is probably why my stomach turned at how twisted and evil this movie was. God is not cold or careless. His mercy triumphs over His judgment. And this movie also used evolution for the method of God making man from Apes! Completely not biblical either! Completely Demonic! If you have any ounce of desire for goodness or righteousness in your heart or mind, do NOT see this movie! It will only bring you down! It is complete filth, putrid, and poison. I would give it a 1000 negative stars if I could. Because of this movie, I never want to go to the theater again. It is a total waste of money, time, heart, and mind. Complete Garbage!
Isn’t that like giant shrimp or government intelligence?
From the review that I read, the movie is not even close to the real story, so I won’t be watching it.
You are thinking maybe of atheist spirituality.
A pagan may be quite spiritual.
The Carthaginians for example quite spiritually burned their first born children alive to honor Baal Hammon.
Spiritual is like devout. It is not necessarily a good quality when turned in the wrong direction.
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