Published on March 25th, 2014 | by Seth Campbell0
Noah: Watch Before You Speak
Quite a bit of internet ink has been metaphorically spilled over the issue of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah epic set to premiere at the end of this month. What concerns me isn’t that Christians are offering an opinion on Hollywood’s presentation of a Biblical story. What does concern me is majority of the people who have done the spilling haven’t done any watching. Despite a handful of exceptions, I know of very few reviewers who have actually seen this movie. So what you won’t hear in this post is how terribly unbiblical this movie is and how you should avoid it like you should avoid ‘Fresh Seafood’ in Kansas. You also won’t hear me tell you how accurate and helpful this movie is either. Until I view the movie personally, I won’t utter a word about it’s benefits or shortcomings.
I will, however, share briefly what I know as fact.
- This movie will open with a disclaimer. It will read, “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.” Another Biblical movie in recent memory opened with a disclaimer, yet I don’t recall nearly as many people in a tizzy about that film. If you recall, The Prince of Egypt’s disclaimer read, “The motion picture you are about to see is an adaptation of the Exodus story. While artistic and historical license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Moses can be found in the book of Exodus.”
- The movie will include and seems to imply the historicity of a flood that destroyed all of humanity with the exception of Noah and his family. This is in accordance with the Biblical account.
- There will be elements of of this movie that are not in the Biblical record. This may cause confusion especially for Christians (and non-Christians) who attempt to substitute watching a movie for reading the account God gave us in the Scripture. As a high school Bible teacher at a private Christian school, I cannot tell you how much damage control I have to do when I teach through Moses and the Exodus because of The Prince of Egypt. Similarly, I’ve had my hands quite a bit fuller recently because of the feather-haired, limp-wristed, pacifist Jesus portrayed in the most recent Son of God movie. I am confident that Noah will have a similar effect and to be frank, my desire is that it help Evangelicals swing the pendulum away from the obviously unbiblical cartoonized versions we have been painting on the walls of our church nurseries for eons.
Here’s the rub…
If you are dead-set against seeing this movie, then celebrate your freedom in Christ to not participate and go outside and enjoy a spring day.
However, if you desire to see this movie, be an informed viewer. Make sure the blogs and articles you read are written by those who have seen the film. (I would recommend these two. They are 5 Positives and 5 Negatives of the film written by Dr. Jerry Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters…someone who has seen the film. Or even this one in which Darren Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel do an interview with Christianity Today about their thoughts behind the movie.)
And, if you desire to express your opinion about the content, before you consider promoting it or slamming it, make sure you see it.
Update: Here is another great article from The Gospel Coalition written by a Gregory Alan Thornbury who was privileged to see a private screening of Noah with an open dialogue with Aronofsky and Handel before and after the film.