The Noah Film: My 2nd Grader Knows His Bible Better than Most Evangelicals

Jason Micheli —  March 26, 2014 — 4 Comments

russell-crowe-noah1There’s been a lot of e-vitriol spilled by Christians over the upcoming film, Noah.

Rick Warren last week even Tweeted that he wouldn’t waste his money on the flick and then proceeded to misquote the film’s director. In typical fair-and-balanced fashion, the Washington Times repeated the misquote in their review, casting atheist aspersions on Noah’s director.

I wonder if Warren and other evangelical megachurch pastors are receiving a percentage of Noah’s box office competition: Son of God or God’s Not Dead?

I know I’m defensive about Noah. I’m on record as having an acute mancrush on Russell Crowe, but a surprising number of Christians seem to have a host of problems with this upcoming (as in, they haven’t actually seen it yet) film, including:

It has more subtlety than a Geico commercial and is thus not suited for soul-saving.

Its makers are not professional Christians. Even though Christians want ‘nones’ in the Church we certainly don’t want those people making movies about ‘our’ bible. We prefer movies made by Christians for the Christian ghetto.

It doesn’t conform to Christians’ favorite devotional activity when it comes to the bible: proving the bible rather than using the bible to witness.

Noah deviates from the ‘biblical’ story Noah.

Never mind that the ‘biblical’ story belongs to the primeval history and, as such, has all the length and detail of a Bon Iver song. In my own bible, the Noah story is only 2 total pages and 1/3 of that is Noah’s genealogy. I’m no filmmaker but I’m pretty sure that would make for boring screen time.

Two other complaints, however, appear to trump all the others:

 

God does not speak in the film.

Noah is a dark, unsettling tale.

Such complaints merely confirm that many evangelicals do not know their Bible as well as my second-grader.

Reading the Noah story in the Brick Bible recently, Gabriel made the following theological observations:

1.) God doesn’t seem very nice.

An observation seemingly confirmed by God who later sticks a rainbow over the boo-boo and promises ‘I won’t do that sort of thing again.’

2.) How can everyone in the Earth be completely evil? Even kids?

And this existential observation:

I bet Noah felt bad getting to live but watching everyone else have to die.

What’s more Gabriel- my youngest son- tacitly acknowledged the former complaint by noticing that ‘Noah doesn’t actually say anything in the entire story until the end when he curses his youngest son.’

While this fact would seem to point out the narrative difficulty in filming a character Noah never actually gives voice to himself (I’m sure evangelicals would prefer a lame voice coming down from the sky anyway), Gabriel took this in another direction.

‘I see you naked plenty, Dad. You don’t curse me. I think Noah had an attitude problem.’

Maybe that’s why so many Christians are preoccupied with proving the Flood really happened: it’s a more savory distraction than honestly dealing with the character and God the text has given us.

 

Jason Micheli

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4 responses to The Noah Film: My 2nd Grader Knows His Bible Better than Most Evangelicals

  1. Honestly, it is “entertainment”, and not advertised as a documentary. I cannot believe so much print/advertising time is devoted to debating the accuracy and consistency with the Bible. Like so many stories in the Bible, the truth is very far from our understanding or comprehension. Gabriel’s observations are similar to mine about the Bible version, but I am still very interested in seeing this movie as an “action” film. The criticism annoys me as much as the retired military special operators who critique every film that comes out about Navy Seals or Special Ops missions. IT IS ENTERTAINMENT, go to the History channel for documentaries.

  2. What does the scene at the mouth of the man cave near the end do for the man crush? 🙂

    • Jean, I’ve not actually seen the movie. We were going to see it this weekend and then got the PG13 pause…and decided to wait and see it for ourselves before we took our boys. However, if a turd of a movie like A Beautiful Mind can’t ruin my man crush I’m sure a quasi biblical cum apocalyptic movie can’t ruin it. It’s just The Road with an ark right?

      • My comment was just an attempt at humor, which I won’t explain so as to not spoil the movie. I actually enjoyed the movie, although I had to research the books of Enoch after words because material from Enoch is used as well as Genesis.

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