Robert and Maureen McQuillan write:
Seen the movie Noah yet? It has attracted much attention everywhere. Good casting, very creative, well thought out, full of godly righteous principles and attention-gripping all the way.
But it’s Hollywood style and only a little biblical, like DeMille’s Bible-inspired The Ten Commandments. Diehard ‘black and white only Christians’ eyebrows have been raised and it’s felt that ‘far too much artistic licence has been taken.’ Any who dare suggest believers should see the movie have been slammed.
We enjoyed it for several reasons. As well as having a good time out we had wanted to see why critics are so up in arms.
Hollywoodish, yes, but Bible truths are there, clear to be heard!
Yes, several aspects are definitely not biblical, immediately questioned (but then Hollywood has to spin a yarn to extend four short Genesis chapters to make a two hour movie!). And one could wish that ‘The Creator’ was actually called God.
But beyond this, it’s a delight to realise audiences worldwide are hearing the biblical seven day creation account told simply, believably and beautifully by Noah (Russell Crowe, above, photo: Paramount Pictures).
And how else but in cinemas can you get thousands of captive audiences to sit quietly and hear a clear visual declaration that:
- Original sin brought more sin into the world
- Evil is inherent in everyone
- The creator’s wrath must come on sinful people
- Even the most pious person (like Noah) is not perfect
- We all have choices to make
- Miracles can and do happen
- One can hear from God – he has a plan for each of us
- God has a place of safety for those who obey
- A new beginning is possible.
Themes of forgiveness, faith, trust, responsibility, courage, hope and new possibilities flow throughout the movie.
We like Christian Computing Magazine’s Steve Hewitt‘s response when criticised for promoting the movie – Why did I Help Promote the Noah Movie? (Link: http://www.ccmag.com).
‘I am distressed that this movie has caused such uproar in the Christian community. I had found several things about History Channel’s Bible Series contrary to my beliefs about scripture, but said nothing because I felt the opportunities that series provided us to discuss God and our beliefs about the Bible were worth it.
‘What grieves me most is once again the nation gets to witness Christians throwing stones at each other, and at someone’s attempt to produce a movie based on a biblical character. The church in America is dying. More Christians stay away than attend, and one of their main reasons is because we are so quick to judge, condemn and shun.
‘One of my staff members said it best: If we killed the movie, and instead spent millions to rent theatres across this nation and paid to pack them full of people in order to have someone simply read the biblical account of Noah, there would be lots of arguments, complaints, name calling and judging… over which translation they chose to use for the reading.’
Steve Hewitt includes two links (a video and text) to comments from major Christian ministries that are excited about the potential of this movie – http://vimeo.com/89714097 and http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/noah-movie-review-study-encouraged/
Theologian Rusty Wright, in his ASSIST article Noah movie: Courage, Faith, Hope, challenges: ‘The essential framework of the biblical flood story – human evil, divine judgment, hope and salvation – remains in Noah. Consider these facets of that story and their modern implications.’ (Link: http://www.assistnews.net)
We particularly like Dr Ed Delph‘s blog comments (Link: http://www.NATIONStrategy.com) – ‘It’s interesting that every major culture has the story of a huge flood that took place in times past. Why is Noah significant at this time? Some practical lessons can be learned. Here are seven “lighter side” ones …
- Don’t miss the boat.
- Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
- Stay fit – when you’re old, God may ask you to do something big.
- Don’t listen to critics; get on with the job that needs doing.
- For safety sake, travel in pairs.
- The ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
- No matter the storm, with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.’
Ed adds: ‘I do appreciate the fact that Hollywood is beginning to take notice of the Bible, for whatever the reasons. God can work with that. It brings awareness to those outside of the church, many of whom have never even heard of Noah.’
Here are some of our own thoughts
The ark represents safety and a new beginning. So does Easter which comes up soon – for those who know Jesus.
Noah‘s production designer had so many ideas about the ark that it was interesting to learn that Jewish director Darren Aronofsky , himself an original thinker and visualist, insisted that the image be based on the Bible dimensions – God’s plan.
As we celebrate Easter shortly – the gift of forgiveness of sin and the promise of a miraculous new beginning, let us be thankful to ‘the Creator’ – Father God – for his great salvation plan, the gift of his only Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
God wanted true rest for his creation. He is truly greater than the cleverest digital graphics person and his plan to bring about salvation that doesn’t depend on our strength was sealed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Every person can find forgiveness from sin through accepting Jesus as his or her Saviour and ark of safety. Easter brings opportunities to share the message of hope and the new life and beginning found in having Jesus as Saviour and friend.
‘Noah’ means ‘rest’ but ‘Jesus’ – the real rest – indicates ‘God is salvation.’ May we remember too his Matthew 24: 37-39 warning about his return: ‘The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing – until the flood.’
Yes, God’s plan was an ark for Noah and his family. Today our ark is God’s plan established in Jesus. May we assist others to find the real ark and get on board!
Some good advice
Read the real Genesis 6-9 flood story of Noah and God grieved (means heartbroken) because of his creation’s sins. As with many movies, the book is so much better! This movie is really a current talking point for Christians with nonChristians as was The Ten Commandments and Robert Duvall’s The Apostle!
A young friend in the UK wrote to say he’d be personally taking some unsaved friends to see the movie and chatting/challenging them over coffee afterwards. A major Christian bookstore wrote to say that as many customers are talking with staff about Noah , they pinned a copy of this article on the staff noticeboard to give them a balanced viewpoint for comment.
(c) 2014.04. Permission granted to reproduce provided source is acknowledged