One Christian’s Take on Noah Apr01


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One Christian’s Take on Noah

Many of you reading this have already heard the jeers and disappointment regarding the movie NOAH from Paramount Pictures. So, why should you listen to anything else I have to say?

noah01Unlike so many noisy critics of this film, I actually saw it. That’s right, I reserved judgment until I spent my $8.50 and 2 hours to watch the film. And, after stepping out of the theatre, I turned to my wife and said, “WELL, THAT WAS AMAZING!” If you’ll give me a few moments, I’d like to tell you why I thought it was a fantastic movie that was not only extremely enjoyable as entertainment but also a very respectful interpretation of the flood story from the book of Genesis.

 The short of it is…

  1. It’s a movie of a story taken from scripture. It is NOT scripture itself. Give yourself permission to enjoy the fiction. Several plot points exist in the movie that do not take place in the story of Noah that is found in the book of Genesis. The most theologically divergent in my opinion is that of the fallen angels which were kept out of all trailers and promotional material for this film.  However, the message of God’s justice and mercy remain true.
  2. It’s certainly the most honest and heart-wrenching look at this story committed to film or any other medium.  The most intense conflict of the film takes place after the deluge has been released and the title character swings between the maddening burden of survivor’s guilt and the terrible responsibility to act in faithful obedience when the stakes are the extinction of the human race.
  3. The writing is great, the acting is great, the directing is great. Visually, the depictions of creation and Adam and Eve in the garden are thoughtful and …supernatural. In regard to the actors’ performances, I came close to tears more than once just watching Jennifer Connely and Russell Crowe bearing the burden of the end of the world as husband and wife.

So much hate has been spewed about this movie depicting God as cruel. I’m not sure what movie they saw. More importantly, I’m not sure what Bible they’ve read either. The God of the Bible killed every human being on Earth sparing only Noah’s family according to the book of Genesis. Everyone. That includes women and children, folks. To reference C.S. Lewis’s storybook depiction of God, let me share what Mr. Beaver had to say regarding the Creator/King of Narnia: “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

Another critique is that God is depicted as absent from his creation. Throughout the film the protagonist and antagonist alike are shown pleading for the Creator to answer them. Though the Creator never gives an audible response, He shows his presence and approval/disproval in several miraculous ways. When was the last time you heard God’s audible voice? Does that mean He is absent or has turned his back on you? It should go without saying that this movie version of Noah is not the felt board version of Noah some may be familiar with from Sunday school when we were kids.  To be honest, the scriptural version of Noah is not the felt board version either.

Another, plot point that has so many troubled about this film is the tension created in the third act when Noah reveals that he believes God wants man wiped out entirely…including his family. He even gives each family member responsibilities to bury each other as they naturally will die off one-by-one. Critics cry that this is cruel and unlike the God of the Bible. I wonder if they’ve read the story of God demanding that Abraham sacrifice his son, Isaac? That’s also in the book of Genesis.

I’m confident that the most vocal Bible-believing critics of this movie would have loved it IF the movie had not been titled NOAH. Ask yourself what would have happened if they kept the same script and same cast but changed the name. What if the same themes of God’s justice and forgiveness showed up in some other Hollywood film directed by a proclaimed atheist?  If this had been a totally original character named TOAH that was warned by God that a global flood threatened to imminently destroy all life on the planet and only his family would be spared …and if the production company was funded by a Southern Baptist Church in Georgia…*wink*…CHRISTIANS WOULD BE LINING UP IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE CINEMAS TO SEE IT!!!

I’ve shared plenty of my own opinion of the movie. But, I don’t want to end this by telling you what you should think. Let me, however, offer some questions you should ask yourself if you dare to go see it. And, I really hope you do.

Question: What does it mean to be a man? Better yet, what does it mean to be human?

Question: What is your family worth to you?

Question: What does it mean to obey God? Even when you don’t hear Him and He isn’t safe?

Author Aaron Shaver takes on pop culture and youth ministry at his blog: Follow him on Twitter: @theaaronshaver