I wrote in my last blog about the fact that Christians need to be thoughtful in how we respond to films such as Noah, and films in general. Since then, the movie has been released, and reviews are out.
People are saying that although Noah gets some things right, and captures some emotion of what a worldwide flood must have been like, it also falls flat in many other major respects.
The truth is, I was excited when I first heard of this movie because of the great visual story that could really bring out the true and fascinating description of Noah. The visual possibilities alone could be amazing. I was also hopeful that the bulk of the Biblical Noah story would stay intact. I did read that the measurements of the ark were precise according to the Biblical description, and the sinfulness of mankind was made clearly evident.
So that’s something.
But based on reviews from several sources I trust (both personal and media), it seems that the film doesn’t live up to its full potential, which is really rather sad. Descriptions of the “rock people”, Methuselah as a weird kind of medicine man, and other details (no spoilers) remind me of the NBC miniseries a while back that portrayed Lot as a pirate who encountered Noah on the high seas.
Not only inaccurate, but also a little corny.
To summarize what I have been reading, Aronofsky’s “Noah” sounds similar to that NBC miniseries: a mixed bag with sweeping visuals, a lot of storyline problems, and a smidgen of redeeming qualities.
DISCLAIMER: I personally have not seen this movie.
I still may or may not. If it shows up on Netflix I’ll certainly give it a spin.
However, one thing I never said is that we must all go see the movie to judge it ourselves. That position just makes no sense, since we shouldn’t indulge in everything the world offers just to say we know why its wrong.
I also never said that you are an evil person if you do see it. I need you to then give the rest of us a fair opinion.
I simply said we should reserve judgement until calmer heads had seen it and given a fair response.
So now that this has happened, what do we now do with the movie?
The one Biblical parallel that comes to mind is Paul on Mars Hill, as he spoke to the leading minds of Athens in Acts 17:22-32. He spoke to them about their statue “to an unknown god”, and used it as a conversation starter. I think that same conversion today might sound a little like this:
Acts 17:22-32 NLT (re-paraphrased with some Hebrews and Matthew added in )
“I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many religious based films. And one of your movies had this title: ‘NOAH.’ “
“In reality, it was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith (Hebrews 11:7).”
“This God, whom you are actually thinking about without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. No movie can accurately portray all that He is. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.
From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as a character in a book or a movie, or an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
Consider that Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. All of that is accurate and true. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:37-42 NLT)
When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.”
This is how we should respond to this movie. With love, truth, and honest Scriptural discussion. At least that’s the way I see it.