This blog has been going viral on social media sites, frequently re-posted by people who have yet to see the movie. After my husband and I watched it yesterday, I posted a short status urging people to still give it a shot:
Don’t let narrow-minded ‘Christian’ blogs defer you from seeing the movie Noah. We just left the theater, and I am actually extremely happy I paid money to support it. If you have an open mind, an understanding of the literary message of Genesis, and creativity, it will be a wonderful movie to enjoy. I fully support this director, yes atheist, and think he did a beautiful job of bringing this story to the masses in a unique way. Bravo! Very thought-provoking!
I now think the aforementioned blog deserves a lengthier response. My goal is not at all to be argumentative, opinionated, or rude, and I pray that my words come across as the complete opposite of that. It would be a shame for such a beautiful story of God’s character to not reach its full potential of truly speaking to someone’s heart who may not really believe in or trust Him merely because of some blogs floating around that are not well thought out and miss the mark.
My thoughts on this blog:
– You’re going to use Titanic of all movies to compare with Noah on the grounds of being morally permissible? Really? I think your point is that there is a way to add some fiction to a factual story-line to appeal to modern cinematography, which Titanic did, without taking from the main story, but how in the world is Noah any different? The director added creativity to a story that is very short in the Bible, and I personally didn’t see anything wrong with his take on how a few events may have unfurled. Titanic. Jeez. You’ll see my case below:
1) The clothing is too modern? Yes, I noticed this too, and actually at times it was a bit distracting. I made a mental note in my head that the clothes were more modern than what would have been worn back then, and then I moved on and enjoyed the rest of the movie. That is a ridiculous reason to regret your decision in seeing the film. Petty.
2) The film does not promote evolution over creationism. The way I understood it, they go hand in hand. I know many Christians disagree on this subject, but I don’t believe that it is this black and white. I’m not going to argue that point here, because I don’t think it’s at the core of the Gospel and is not worth ever arguing over, but I will stand behind the view that this movie discussed the Creator CREATING things many many times throughout the film. When Noah was explaining the creation story to his family, it was all from God. Sure, maybe not an explicit 7, 24-hour day view where things spontaneously appeared (but it didn’t really go against that either). It was just an artistic way of showing the evolution of the Earth and all the creatures within it. It was actually very beautiful and left me in awe of my God. The Creation story in Genesis is a poetic narrative and should be read as such (podcast discussing this view).
“Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds” – Genesis 1:24.
3) The rock creatures were far-fetched, I agree. There were several occasions where I looked at my husband with a puzzled look, laughed, and then kept watching. But let me say this. The more I watched the movie, and the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with this allegory. The Bible is rich with descriptive language about created objects, including rocks, crying out to the Creator after sin entered the earth and being made into a desolate, groaning land (NT: Romans 8, OT: Jeremiah 12, the new Earth in Revelation 21). As these passages came to mind, I couldn’t help but smile at how the director, whether intentional or not (but I think the former), decided to add to the story by using God’s very creation to assist the humans in completing this monumental task. That’s how I imagine it would have been anyway, so why not use rock creatures to add to the storyline?
4) “Noah decides that God actually meant to kill everyone. While on the ark, Noah decides to end the human race by killing his family.”
While not main-stream Bible belt material, this interpretation is rich with metaphors and quite beautiful if you really think about it. Whey else would Noah have left everyone else off the ark? It isn’t far fetched to believe that people probably did cry out to get on the ark after the floods started rising. This is a creative way to look at it, and really helps us understand that there always has been and always will be Divinity and free-will. There was, and always will be, evil and good in the world and in each of our hearts. At the same time, there will always be a way out, and the movie ends with that being through pure, human love. Noah decided that humanity was worth saving because he felt a glimmer of hope deep in his heart and was overwhelmed with love for his grand-daughters, innocent and peaceful after being calmed by their new mother (do you see the parallel between the storm raging outside and the peaceful hope the doves bring with the olive branch?). Humanity has hope. We will always have evil tendencies, which is shown in Ham’s actions as he brought murder into the new creation (see Cain and Abel), but we will always also have the capacity to love righteously. I think it was really brilliant of the director to place all the tools to make this decision in the hands of a man, given the capacity to love and succeed by his Creator, God.
5) “The film’s villain successfully sneaks onto the ark by using an axe to cut a hole, befriends Noah’s son Ham to plot against his father and kill Noah.”
I do not at all believe this actually happened, but I also thought it was brilliantly moving as I pondered its meaning while driving home from the theater. I shared with my husband my take on it, which is basically showing the audience what I was describing previously: there will always be a struggle of good versus evil in creation, and this man signified that man’s sin came with them after the great flood. The villain taught Ham what it felt like to take a life. He calls him a “real man” after he murders. You can see the struggle in Ham’s heart as he contemplates murdering his father, and you can see the anguish and embarrassment in him after they land on the mountain top. He ends up leaving his family because he feels so out of place, so innately evil, and isn’t this the story of each of our lives at some point or another? The villain on the ark could have been left out, and it still would have been a fine film, but I like how it signified dark versus light, good versus evil, which is kind of a major theme in the entire Bible, including the story of Noah.
The writer of the blog goes on to urge: “For all those wanting to see Noah this weekend, please reconsider. If you value the Bible and walk with the Lord it will only leave your heart hurting and in utter disbelief.” Well, I say, go ahead and see it, and think for yourself. This move is a great opportunity to engage in a dialogue about the Bible with people from all walks of life. Each person is entitled to their own interpretation, and I personally choose to look at it as an artistic representation of a famous story that can both show us who God is while appealing to the average movie-goer.
I completely agree with everything this man has to say in his blog here:
Please take a read on that one as well.