Saturday, August 2, 2014
Noah: Hollywood’s Theology
I finally sat down and too the time to watch the movie that I have read about for months now. The reviews have been in for some time and from I what I had read, Christians did not like this movie. However, I was not convinced by what I read that Christians had a really good reason for hating it the way the articles I read seemed to imply. My initial thought was that the movie probably took a few liberties here and there but was probably close to the biblical account as far as it goes. Well, I could not have been more wrong. From the very beginning, the movie Noah showed very little similarity to the biblical record of what actually happened.
First, I want to focus on the positives. Trust me, that won’t take much space. Men were depicted as exceedingly wicked. There was a great flood produced by the wrath of God. There was an ark. There was a man named Noah. All the animals were gathered into the ark. I am probably missing a small element here and there but that is the gist of it. The details of Noah ignore the biblical account almost entirely. I did notice that Hollywood managed to get the scene of Noah’s drunkenness mostly right as a detail. Clearly, Hollywood had some objectives in mind when they created this project.
The inclusion of mystic components, such as the watchers is clearly a departure from the biblical record itself. Most of the information is derived from the Pseudapigraphal books of Enoch in conjunction with the typical Hollywood creative creative liberties. This calls into question the accuracy of the biblical record itself, which is perhaps one of the main objectives of the movie.
The second component of the movie is the complete inaccuracy of details. The movie depicts Shem with a wife, Ham as single and Japheth as a child. These are not in keeping with the biblical record. It would not be quite a big deal if modern Christians actually read the Bible like it meant something to them, but most do not. I can see thousands of pastors and Sunday school teachers now having to clear up the incompetent and confused “Jesus lovers” now. Yes, a bit of sarcasm is in order I think. If you have been a Christian for a few years and don’t know enough about Noah that this movie confuses you, then you deserve a little scorn. Grow up and stop being so lazy. If you are interested in what God has to say, then prove it.
In addition, there were eight souls on the ark during the flood. Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. The movie records Noah, his wife, Shem and his wife, Ham, Japheth, and Tubal-cain. That is 7 souls: two there were missing according to Scripture and one that was the product of Hollywood imagination. According to Scripture, Tubal-cain and Noah were half brothers, with Lamech as their father.
As the movie goes on, Noah is depicted as fanatic who sees the wickedness of not only all “those” men, but also the wickedness in his own heart. In one scene in particular, Noah is depicted as saying something very profound: the wickedness is not only in them, but it is in us as well. While his wife sees inherent good in humans, especially in her own children and her self, Noah sees the wickedness as clearly as a man can see it. And Noah is right! But Noah goes beyond what is considered biblical and begins to suffer delusional thoughts that all men are supposed to die with the death of his youngest son. This makes very little sense and the attempt to pain Noah is such a light can be viewed as nothing other than Hollywood’s attempt to take a swipe at traditional Christianity.
One final point worth making is the interesting circumstances surround Ham. While Ham was clearly a heterosexual in the film, one cannot help but wonder if the movie attempted to take a backhanded swat at Christians in a most underhanded way. One of the “gay Christian” tactics that is used by people like Matthew Vines is that traditional Christians want to force gays to be alone and lonely. One cannot help but feel empathy with and sympathy for Ham when Noah shows little concern that he will not have a partner. I could not help but feel like the gay influence was saying in this scenario: you see, this is how we feel. In addition, it was obvious that Noah was painted in the worse possible light with is complete lack of emotion regarding Ham’s circumstances. He was depicted and cold, distant, and uncaring. This is exactly the approach used by homosexuals that desire to eradicate Christianity by insisting gay Christianity is a possibility.
In addition, as one listen listens to Noah’s story of creation during the flood with his family gathered around him, theistic evolution is surely in view as the images flash across the screen. The message from Hollywood is obvious. The Biblical account can be recast and retold in a number of ways.
The movie Noah takes a swipe at the Biblical record from a variety of perspectives. Not only does it mix the Bible with the Pseudapigrapha, it mixes it with modern scientific hypotheses as well. The Bible as it is simply cannot be trusted to provide a realistic and accurate account of what really happened. Other sources are required. This is antithetical of course, to the Christian view of the reliability and sufficiency of Scripture. If I were to capture the learning objectives of Noah, they would be as follows:
· Introduce contradictory accounts of Noah and the flood in order to help people understand that they should not rely solely on the Bible as their source for human history.
· Recast Noah as a delusional man with extremist and radical ideas of his mission from God.
· Look for opportunities to paint modern Christianity as delusion, uncaring, cold, bigoted, and extremist just like Noah.
· Depict the liberal, high, lofty view of man as the loving, caring, right attitude about man and use Noah’s wife as the instrument. This furthers the cause of an anti-biblical philosophy of leadership and props up modern feminism.
· Help Christians feel the pain of the consequences of their rejection of homosexuals, using Ham, a heterosexual as a model of that hurt and Noah as an example of just how uncaring and callused the Christian position is.
As one can see, the aims of the movie Noah are clear:
1. Doubt the Bible
2. Religion is delusional
3. Christianity is uncaring and callused, inhumane even.
4. Man is the measure of all things.