The movie “Noah” hits theaters tomorrow, and as Christians we must decide what to do with it.
It begs a larger question: how does a Christ follower engage Biblically with the non-Christ following world we live in?
Some of us lean towards righteous indignation. We have seen the beauty of Truth, and fight vehemently against anything that contains darkness.
Some of us lean towards appeasement. We can best lead people to Christ when we also stand against the same hypocrites and stop acting so “churchy”.
As in most things, I see the real answer somewhere in the middle.
All Christ followers should rejoice in the fact that Biblical movies are even being made. Let’s face it; classics like “The Ten Commandments”, “The Robe”, or even “The Passion of the Christ” add to and deviate in many ways from the Biblical narrative. Yet we celebrate them because of the truth they do contain. And that’s a good thing.
Perspective and honest discussion can give us unique angles, and help us see things for what they really are, or aren’t.
Some have expressed concern with the film for different reasons. Some are upset about the idea that Noah would get drunk (he did – Genesis 9:21). Some are upset about the portrayal of the Nephilim, which are not mentioned in the Noah narrative, but were mentioned as being present on the earth at the time (Genesis 6:4). And nobody can honestly say they know exactly who the Nephilim were anyway. Artistic liberty may have been taken here, but that is the nature of the medium. We can talk about it once we see it.
At the end of the day, I am simply encouraged that the story of Noah is being told, totally accurate or not.
It gives us an opportunity to engage in good conversations.
It gives us an opportunity to point others to Scripture who may otherwise not be interested, or have a reason to be.
It gives us an opportunity to check our own faith and knowledge of the Bible, in order to accurately portray the Biblical narrative.
Most importantly, it is an indication that people are still seeking and interested in the Bible.
There was a full-page ad in the New York Times encouraging people to look up the story for themselves, and that is encouraging.
My approach is to withhold criticism until some of us have actually seen the film and had time to digest it. None of us really know exactly what it is just yet. But people are talking about it. Let’s be a part of that conversation.
Movies tell stories. As people of faith, we should embrace people of film as the storytellers they are, and be willing to engage in the conversations they tee up for us. That is, after all, is at the heart of why they do this. To tell a story that will get us talking, and thinking.
I leave you with the following quote from Focus on the Family president Jim Daly:
“Darren Aronofsky is not a theologian, nor does he claim to be. He is a filmmaker and a storyteller, and in Noah, he has told a compelling story. It is a creative interpretation of the scriptural account that allows us to imagine the deep struggles Noah may have wrestled with as he answered God’s call on his life. This cinematic vision of Noah’s story gives Christians a great opportunity to engage our culture with the biblical Noah, and to have conversations with friends and family about matters of eternal significance.”