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'Noah' disappoints Christian audience; but can appeal to non-religious viewers

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Noah” had this notation as a disclaimer concerning the film which was released Friday, March 28th:

“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.”

As the Christian examiner for San Jose, I appropriately went to the screening of “Noah” on April 1st to see if Hollywood would be true to form and unnecessarily deviate from the Holy Scriptures in the Genesis account of the timeless story of Noah’s Ark. One could expect a little Hollywood embellishment.

Paramount Pictures released the movie with a barrage of prepping the audience for what was to come. Apparently Paramount hired high powered personnel to assist in selling the idea that “Noah” was going to be different.

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), was used to help audiences better understand that the feature film is a dramatization of the major scriptural themes and not a line-by-line retelling of the Bible story.

Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has taught cinematic theology at the undergraduate level in college as well as the theology of movies and visual media at the graduate level in seminary.

“Many people will go to this film and enjoy it. Christians should be ready to engage with them about the main biblical themes that are portrayed in the film, namely sin, judgment, and salvation,” noted Dr. Johnson.

NRB reached out to Paramount earlier before the release of “Noah”, the NRB conducted a special event at its 2014 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tennessee where Dr. Johnson led a panel discussion with John Snowden, a biblical consultant for “Noah”, along with Phil Cooke who was a media consultant and writer and a member of the NRB board of directors.

Dr. Johnson warned that there are more than a few creative liberties taken that would concern those that knew their Bible and that the explanatory messages will help people of faith understand that the film is not a literal presentation of the Genesis story.

This was a kind way to warn the Christian audience to expect to be disappointed, and that pretty much is the summation to the movie “Noah”.

Expecting current day Hollywood to adhere to God’s word in its religious themed movies is like expecting a 1-year old not to poop in its diaper……it just aint going to happen.

There is a strong ecology and environmental message which appears to be a core theme in “Noah” and plays too significant a role for the decision of Hollywood, not God, to upgrade this modern day value as a reason for God’s judgment. This is not a minor artistic liberty. One would almost expect to see recycle bins throughout the movie presentation.

The family structure was compromised from the 4 husband and 4 wife narrative of the Bible. Why it was necessary to “artistically impression” this away with a different makeup is puzzling.

The sons of Noah had girlfriends which was an unnecessary detour. Fornication is a common format in Hollywood movies and lifestyles and it presented a contradiction of dealing with sin outside the ark and allowing sin sanctioned inside the ark. Yikes!

Having rock transformers as Nephilim was both interesting and painful to watch in the movie with Biblical knowledge. These “fallen ones” were described as descendants of Seth coming to the “daughters of men”. The actual term in Genesis states the “sons of God” came to the “daughters of men”, and bore children is the Biblical account. These Nephilim represented the hybrid off spring of these relationships.

Angels having sexual intercourse with human females is more of an ideological reject than one of interpretation. The “sons of God” reference is used in Job when the “sons of God” presented themselves with Satan before God in heaven. There is no way one can interpret “sons of God” as the “sons of Seth” unless one places human beings in heaven which would be ludicrous. The Nephilim would be giant humans as specified in the Bible and would be a more fascinating theme than imaginary rock creatures helping to build the ark.

This is the ongoing problem with the “movie” Noah. There are too many significant deviations that renders the story line unacceptable rationally and theologically. One could enjoy the film in ignorant bliss if no religious training has been given, but contradictions would still be puzzling in the movie.

The real “Noah” preached a message of salvation during the 100-125 years the ark was probably built by Noah and his three sons. He would have welcomed people on the ark instead of trying to kill the people. Perhaps the character of Russell Crowe’s Gladiator film was imparted way too much because Noah in the Bible was righteous and blameless before God.

Noah wanting to slay his grandchildren?…..Please!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah

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