CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Noah and Christian Discernment

Mar 30, 2014

Disclaimer: I am not going to waste my money on this film. When it comes out on DVD or on TV, I may then take a look. But if I do see it later, I am quite certain my thoughts will not change from what I offer here. The truth is, we have seen the trailers, we all know a fair amount about the film already, and when you read heaps of reviews from those you respect and trust, what more is needed?

Some misguided Christians claim I must experience this film, otherwise I cannot speak to it. But I haven’t had firsthand experience of a satanic church service either – so what? There are plenty of things I can rely on others about, and/or I don’t need to experience myself. And with many dozens of reviews and articles now out on this film, I think I have a pretty clear understanding of what is going on here.

noah 3Furthermore, I really should call this piece ‘Noah and the Utter lack of Christian Discernment’. For that is what this piece really focuses on. This is the situation we find ourselves in: Christians who should know better are so biblically illiterate that they will actually side against their own faith and against Holy Scripture, and side with pagan Hollywood filmmakers. Go figure!

Since we first heard about this film, many of us knew this would be a crap movie. This is Hollywood after all. And when we knew ahead of time that the director is an atheist; that God is never once mentioned in the film; and that a main theme of this film is loopy environmentalism, then you know this thing is going to be a loser.

And it gets even worse. Director Darren Aronofsky said he is proud of the fact that he’s taken a story inspired by God’s word and turned it into something so secular. He even called his movie “the least biblical biblical film ever made”. Yet clueless Christians are still defending the film to the hilt. You know we are in big trouble when atheists have more biblical discernment than those claiming to be Christians.

And that is the biggest problem for me. I don’t care at all if you want to see the movie. Go for it. You can see whatever you like. But what I do care greatly about is the legion of biblically illiterate Christians praising this film, and going on about what a great “witnessing tool” it is.

There has been one Christian after another defending the film, telling us we must use it to dialogue with others and to reach people. I have been utterly shocked and saddened to see that biblical discernment is at such an all time low amongst the church today, and amongst so many of our so-called Christian leaders.

Christians today are so compromised and carnal that they actually feel the need to slovenly grovel before the latest Hollywood offerings. Forget the movie – I knew it would be a loser. The biggest loser in my books is a church so compromised, so convictionless, and so squeezed into the world’s mould, that it can no longer think biblically.

It will actually defend Hollywood rubbish rather than take a solid stand for the Word of God. And such evangellyfish will actually tell us what a great tool such a film is for evangelising! But the real question is, will all those unbelievers be sold a bill of goods, and become even further turned off to the Bible? One must be very careful here.

Sure, God can use the film if he wants. He can use anything, even Balaam’s ass. But that is not the point. The real issue is this: might it not be possible that more people will be hurt than helped here? Might more people be hardened, deceived, led astray and further confused than saved? That is certainly possible.

So, can God use anything? Yes, but it is not always advisable to promote every means. He can use atheists and rebels, and he can use Assyria and Babylon, etc. That does not mean we must go down this path as well. In that sense he could even use a film like The Da Vinci Code to perhaps reach others, but I would not recommend it.

If we really want to help people come to the Lord, there are far better means available, including simply telling them the gospel! Of course we can use other means, but so many believers seem so ashamed of their own faith, and never actually tell people the gospel. They have to rely on pagan Hollywood to “open doors” for them. Such is the anaemic condition of Christianity today.

I even had Christians tell me this film is fully defensible because we see God-given “creativity” here – even from an atheist film maker! Yeah, well Satan can be creative too, and we can see people led creatively to hell. Sorry, but God’s common grace can be used by the enemy big time. I don’t care how “creative” a film might be if it ends up leading many souls to hell. There is nothing virtuous in “creatively” twisting the word of God, deceiving people, and sending souls to a lost eternity.

We seem to be so obsessed in defending Hollywood, “creativity” and the like, that we miss the bigger picture here. If our zeal for a pagan film in fact leads people to a lost eternity, then we need to rethink our Christianity. If we end up becoming culpable in harming others and putting a stumbling block in their path, that is not a good place to be in.

As one observant Christian said, “If they’re financially successful with this what might be the next Biblical story they distort? Let’s just think about that: they could do Jonah and the whale – that could be about animal rights somehow; or they could do a story about David and his friend Jonathan or one about Jesus and the disciple he ‘loved’ John. I don’t even want to think about what they could do with those.

“There are always a few discrepancies in biblical films. I accept that they don’t get them perfect. But Noah sounds like all they kept was animals, water and a boat. The context, that it occurred because humans sinned against God (not nature), is lost. How far do we bend for Hollywood? How many lies do we accept?”

Yes quite right. I can easily offer a dozen reviews which are saying the same thing. But let me finish with the words of just one. And it is a terrific review, from a Christian and a Hollywood insider, Barbara Nicolosi. She begins her review this way:

Tragically, as Western Civilization continues to decay all around us, one thing remains unmuddled: everything is politics. And nowhere is that more true than in media. The same polarization that fired Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and then got him rehired, and made Mel Gibson $600 million, and then lost him his Hollywood career, and made half the world want to canonize Roman Polanski with the other half wanting him castrated — these are the same social causes propelling the embarrassingly awful horribleness of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, into a 76% fresh rating from the shameless, agenda-driven critics at RottenTomatoes, and setting so many Christian leaders and critics into shilling for the same. Please, stop the madness. It is astounding to me how Christians can be lured into a defense of the indefensible because they are so afraid of the charge of “unreasonableness.” Trying so hard to be nice, we end up being patsies for people who have no other agenda than to make money off of us.

She continues:

Noah is a terrible, terrible movie. I kept thinking all through, “Wow. The secular critics hate Christians this much. They hate the Christians so much, that they will rave about this piece of crap because they think the Christians are going to hate it for ideological reasons.” And the Christian critics? Well, too many have been all balled up in the throes of self-loathing for at least a decade, which leads them to depths of self-contradiction in their popular culture appraisals that never seems to have a bottom. As soon as the momentum around this picture as offensive Scripturally began to go – and it is clear that this was generated intentionally by the studio and PR people promoting Noah – the Christians felt themselves double-dared to show themselves “enlightened” enough to embrace the movie even as it spits in their eye in every way – as an adaptation of Scripture, as a work of cinema, and as a plain old story.

And she doesn’t mince any words in her conclusion:

Anybody who says Christians need to see the movie to promote dialogue is being a tool. Anybody who says the movie is visionary is jumping on an Emperor has No Clothes bandwagon. Any pastor who creates a sermon to coincide with this awful piece is being played for a sucker. And the Christians who are promoting the film for money should be ASHAMED of themselves. Really, how dare you?

So, if you want to go see the film, fine. Go for it. But please spare us all these gung-ho defences of the film. Some of these believers seem more keen on defending a pagan film than they do their own Scriptures. And if you are really concerned about reaching the lost, why don’t you just try sharing the gospel for a change? Relying on Hollywood to do our evangelising for us indicates a church that has lost its way big time.

p.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/24/atheist-noah-director-brags-film-least-biblical-bi/
www.patheos.com/blogs/churchofthemasses/2014/03/the-utter-embarrassing-mess-of-noah-and-why-everybody-is-lying-about-it/

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57 Responses to Noah and Christian Discernment

  • I haven’t been to the movies in years, but I saw Noah today, just so I could say I did when I blasted it to these emergent degenerates that positively worship media and entertainment.

    It is every bit the blasphemous, bible butchering, anachronistically political, occultic, sci-fi abomination you’ve read. And then some. I barely made it through. I left short of breath, hands trembling and tears in my eyes. Yes, it was THAT horrifically offensive.

    It also reminded of why I don’t go to the movies. I had to sit with my hat over my eyes during the previews to keep the soft porn out and I felt defiled just being in that temple of Baal in the first place.

    People can think what they want. I am never in these places and not used to them. That theater is absolutely designed to drag one’s heart and mind away from God. The lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh in full regaled celebration.

    tiribulus.net/pix/the-golden-idol.jpg

  • I’m not planning to watch this Noah film.

    You can trust Hollywood for whatever reasons to twist the story material. The recent ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ film, quite apart from being gory, does not resemble the historically known events of the Greek-Persian wars. Likewise, the recent ’47 ronin’ film, about a real-life Japanese event, somehow end up being a fantasy adventure with Keanu Reeves thrown in.

  • I saw Noah and thought it simply a silly waste of time. It’s hard to imagine it succeeding with any audience, Christian or no. It’s just Darren Aronofsky’s sad muddled worldview in film. I didn’t come out particularly indignant and completely missed the “soft porn” referred to, but I did feel sorry for this poor guy who seemed to try quite hard to reconcile the Biblical truth with his way of thinking and ended up with just nonsense. He simply couldn’t get away from demonstrating to us all the bankruptcy of his worldview. The script was really woeful and Noah’s years of angst over obeying the “Creator” finally resolved by a anticlimactic leap into the upper story. Everything he added to the truth was laughable or contradicted what had gone before. I would have been much more offended if the film had portrayed lies in a pursuasive or coherent way.

  • And consider this, the dumbest thing I have read yet by the Noahphiles:

    “How can I criticize a filmmaker for not representing a story from the Bible perfectly, when as a Christian I do not represent Christ perfectly?”

    Puh-leeese! Give me a break. One might as well say we can’t criticise Hitler because we are not perfect. Are there any Christians with brains and discernment left out there?

  • Gday
    my wife and i watched the movie today. Probably 75% was good, the other 25 % was not scriptural at all and Hollywoodised!
    The underlining message was good in that it was mankind that was responsible for God Destroying the Earth with the flood. I enjoyed that as i am sick of the God knockers coming out with the line that “How could such a just God destroy the Earth?” When actually , it was our own fault sadly…
    Other parts of the movie that were a bid dubious was that Noah’s 3 sons did not enter the Ark with 3 wives, but rather only 1 entered with Noah’s oldest son and she had twin daughters who presumably married the other 2 sons, which was certainly not scriptural
    Also and most disappointingly, the latter part of the movie portrayed Noah as some sort of lunatic that was hell bent on killing the 2 newborn daughters at all costs and that human life was going to end with the 6 remaining people on the ark and life was not going to go on.
    There was also an evolutionary spin in the movie when Noah told the creation story and it seemed according to the images, that life came from the ocean and evolved into sea life, then birds, then land dwelling animals and then into humans. (Not sure if others interpreted it that way?) My God certainly would not be that stupid to put into process a fairy tale like Evolution
    Finally, during the whole movie, they referred to God as “The Creator !” not once was God mentioned or the name Jehovah
    The underlying message was good, albeit certainly Holywoodised and not 100 % scriptually correct
    Anyway, food for thought.

    cheers, Andrew

  • Thanks Andrew. But given all that you have said, I am surprised you gave it 75% good! Sounds at least 75% bad to me. Indeed, if we just rate it on biblical and theological grounds, from what others have said, we should say it is 90% bad at least.

  • Bill, what you said about the devil using common grace is, I think very important. We are told to take souls from common grace to special grace. The devil takes people from common grace to hell. So, if we are more eager to please the seeker than the Holy God, the only one who can lift the seeker up to Himself, are we not doing the same as the devil without even knowing it?
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Hi Mr. Muehlenberg, Have read and heard your thoughts many times before, hold respect for you and your work as does my parents.

    I read Mrs. Nicolosi article more of an emotive, yet expert, critique of the film’s story and characters. Not objectively & clearly going through which ideas were biblical, which distorted the biblical story and which spoke into those areas that the bible is silent on.

    Not having seen the film you may be interested in some quick points on accurate, inaccurate and dubiously leveraging probability in areas that are silent:

    * What it nailed accurately as far as the bible: *

    1. It nailed accurately the biblical story of the creation of the world (which is huge in a world that mocks the very idea of a God creator)
    2. It nailed accurately the story of Adam and eve (explaining why sin entered and giving understanding as to why God destroyed the earth by a flood).
    3. The mysterious nature of how God communicates with individuals (this is tough to depict on the cinema screen and have not seen it ever done well).
    4. The fallen nature in all humans on the earth and on the ark. That none are righteous before the creator of the universe.

    * What it clearly got wrong: *

    1. The fact that all of Noah’s sons had wives on the ark, not just one thus the story of tension between the sons and Noah
    2. It never accurately and overtly illustrated the beautiful heart of God regarding saving Noah’s family and the animals and his promise to never again bring that kind of destruction on the earth.
    3. The idea of ‘fallen’ angels.
    4. That cain-tubal found a way onto the ark and fought with Noah

    *Some areas it added to the story where the Bible is silent*

    1. What the rest of the people on the earth were doing in response to Noah’s building project
    2. Tension between Noah and the rest of his family & other relatives
    3. How Noah built the ark

    Personally, my thought coming out of the film was this:
    I don’t know of many other opportunities in a secular culture where a whole cinema gets presented with and educated on a theistic beginning of the world in a way that actually presents it as a viable option.

    I hope you may excuse my exceeding the 100 words. Thought you might find some of the points of what they got accurate interesting.

    As someone from a younger generation I appreciate and am thankful for the work you’ve dedicated your life to,

    Nathan

  • Thanks Nathan. Yes having read over a dozen reviews of this film, I have seen the various lists of possibly good, possibly bad stuff contained therein biblical speaking. No one of course is saying there is nothing in the film that has some semblance to biblical reality.

    But you did not address my main concern that I spoke of, namely, what if more people end up being deceived or turned away from the gospel than helped as a result of this film? And as I also said in my piece, if we are really concerned about witnessing opportunities, why in the world don’t we do the obvious thing here: actually start telling people about Jesus? Why must we depend on atheistic Hollywood to do our evangelisation? But thanks for your thoughts.

  • I could not convince my wife not to go see this movie. She is an avid movie goer and she has been caught a few times by critical reviews that were far from what the reality of the movie was about. For instance Gravity was touted as being an amazing movie but is was the crappiest movie since almost ever.

    So I got dragged along against my better judgement. I did NOT go to see this movie, I knew it was going to be bad and it didn’t let me down. I went to support my wife who has a circle of friends who rely on her to make recommendations. she I highly doubt will recommend this movie now that she has seen it for herself.

    One of the motifs that ran all the way through the movie is that blessings come from the serpent. Oh my giddy aunt. So many many very very distorted and wrong headed and wooly thinking in this movie. You can just tell that the producer/director has turned themselves inside out to turn a wonderful Biblical story around to mean something that is totally unrecognisable. This is simply cultural nihilism writ large. Everything that has been said about how bad this movie is is true.

    Interestingly most of the people who went to see this movie were middle aged or older with very few young people. I put this down to a generation that has been to Sunday School or Church and wanted desperately to believe that this was going to be a wholesome Biblical rendering. It seemed that most everyone was disappointed. Bad bad bad. I came out and told my wife that I told her so. She agreed.

  • I have always been dubious about the use of supposedly biblical movies to spread the message, and in this case it seems that I will have no hesitation in not seeing it.

  • Thank you for your discernment and honesty. I too am tired of Hollywood and it’s so called stars being the rulers of this world. They play a role and somehow think they then become the be all and end all of life. Gloria.

  • So many excellent points made in your article, Bill. It’s so needed for Christians with revelation and discernment in the culture wars to teach others who don’t seem to understand what is happening in the church. What’s at stake here is more of a deepening and parting of the ways between the two different camps in contemporary Christendom. Some Australian pastors are apparently saying it’s great and renting it out for their church congregations (so I’ve been told). And others are actually looking at it with a modicum of discernment and running in the opposite direction. Thank God some people can actually see the rubbish for what it is, but what the heck is going on with this other sector of the modern church? I hate to think how far many in the modern church are going to stoop as they allow compromise after compromise to callous their hearts and minds to truth and how many weaker brethren are going to be carried along with the crowds as far as the crowds will go.

  • Yes exactly right Dee.

  • And this from a Jewish commentator: “Went to see Noah last night. I can only think a film like this is possible today because no one any longer actually knows the story. More evidence, as if it were needed, that our Judeo-Christian culture will not hold and something else will be arriving very soon.”

    catallaxyfiles.com/2014/03/30/amazingly-the-book-is-more-plausible-than-the-film/

  • I must say though I did think about how some people could be deceived re. certain aspects of the story presented. I did not think of it on the level of seriousness that your question poses.

    You are right when you deduce its ‘THE’ question. So as I’ve thought of the level of weight that your question brings I am only left with more question than answers as I continue to grapple with the implications of your question.

    How do I as an individual quantify or answer that question. Is it balancing the explicit or implicit message of the movie; is the deception based on the view of the individual that is already present in their heart and thus the movie either further hardens or softens their heart; Is it in the re-action or pro-action that the church takes that will determine the depth of deception or effective use of the gospel?

    What is the key deception here, and does this make them any more deceived then what they previously were; is it increasing, decreasing, or just reinforcing the deception?
    I am assuming that every individual who doesn’t know Jesus is decieved/blinded

    My Main Question I would like your further thoughts on:

    How do I as an individual make sure this does not add to the deception of the people in my world who don’t go to church and don’t value the bible?
    – I understand I may be starting from the wrong premise here, but having been taught that one tool at my disposal when I share Jesus is that I can look for ways to redeem what culture puts out as a bridge in conversaton – So is there anything here to redeem, or to utilise as paul did on Mars Hill?

    I accept the sharpness of your point that Christian should be initiating opportunities to share Jesus, not to wait for a hollywood movie that may/may not aide their courage or lack of it. That is a confronting and seems to me a correct rebuke, but what of Paul at Mars Hill. Paul could have gone straight to Jesus, but instead he started with an object of idol worship in their popular culture – does his example speak to this situation?

    Appreciate your time & any thoughts.

  • Thanks again Nathan. Those who are familiar with this site know that I am a keen proponent of Christian apologetics (see the 499 articles I have in that section!). So yes we need to build bridges to non-Christians, as Paul did in Acts 17, eg. But of course Paul framed the debate from the outset, utilising pagan elements for his own purposes. He did not begin with a pagan, anti-Christian film and try to “Christianise” it or use it for possible gospel openings. But as I already said, if you wanna go see the film, fine. And if you wanna take a non-Christian friend along, that is up to you. I can think of better methods, including simply obeying the simple Great Commission! But if God leads you in that direction, then go for it.

  • Thanks Mr. Muehlenberg. I hope my questions came across in the spirit of inquiry & learning that I was intending. My questions arose out of trying to answer your thought – not out of an intention to defend an opposite position.

    Know of your thoughts on christian apologetics and was interested to see how you see their relevance to this scenario, and how to react to the deception that is present.

    Appreciate your time and the opportunity to converse with you on this.

  • Alissa Wilkinson is chief film critic for Christianity Today and she provided these 5 positive reasons why ‘Noah is worth your time and your ticket price’ (27 March 2014):

    Reason 1: Noah is a good movie made by good filmmakers who pursue important questions and think of movies as art.
    Reason 2: Noah is a solid adaptation.
    Reason 3: Noah is visually and imaginatively compelling.
    Reason 4: Noah re-enchants the ancient world in powerful ways that counteract some of the worst excesses of modernity.
    Reason 5: You should actually see it for yourself.

    Then she adds, ‘Let Me Just Bust Two Myths’. They are, (1) ‘it is false to say that this Noah adaptation “never names God”‘, and (2) ‘this is a work of “environmental propaganda”‘. She calls these myths that need to be busted (my word). Her view is that ‘ it’s a movie that approaches the level of “good art.” It asks big questions. It explores concepts like grace, justice, pride, guilt, and love. It respects its source material and respects the power of human imagination. It takes a sober look at the evil in the human heart’.

    I don’t know which Book she has been reading to arrive at such a skewed view of the film, especially of it being ‘a solid adaptation’. But it does tell us where Christianity Today, a leading evangelical voice, is going when it prints such a favourable review. Perhaps they will say that they did publish on 3 March 2014, ‘Noah: Five Negative Features about this Film’.

    Spencer

  • No probs Nathan. Keep writing in.

  • I have been surprised by some of the points Christian have made. A lot of people seem to be up in arms about Noah being presented as a vegetarian. Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t God institute the eating of animals after the flood and not before, therefore Noah would have been vegetarian, at least before the flood.
    People seem to be happier with the dream/vision Noah had than the typical Hollywood booming voice of God. Given that the Bible say God spoke to Noah gave Joseph a dream, had angels appear to Mary etc, I’d say he spoke to Noah, and I don’t think Noah could have misunderstood, God was clear enough to specify the size of the ark, number of levels etc.
    People say the movie shows Noah as fallible, from what I’ve heard murderous maniac is more accurate. And guess what the Bible says he was fallible to, he did get drunk and naked (which seems to be bugging some Christians), but he didn’t go around killing people, he preached righteousness. The Bible says he was righteous in Gods sight.
    I did say Noah was probably vegetarian but the Bible is also clear on animal sacrifice to God both before and after the flood, God told Noah to ‘pack’ extra sacrificial animals for that purpose.
    The skin of the serpent that deceived Eve had special powers harness by God’s people??????
    One more point and I am probably getting a bit long-winded, Nathan ask how people could be more deceived. If they believe the movie is true to the Bible they are more likely to be turned off Christianity than start asking questions of faith. If the Noah in the movie is the righteous man of God in the Bible I would want nothing to do with that God.

  • Seems fitting that the Noah story would serve the environmental cause since that is the new religion today.

    Dennis Prager had a good column on the Noah account recently;

    “Having taught the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) from the Hebrew for more than 40 years (hundreds of hours are available by download through my website), I consider the biblical flood story one of the world’s most profound moral teachings. As I will show, it means that God cares about goodness more than anything else…

    …First, this is so only if you believe that the biblical flood story states that the entire earth from the North Pole to the South Pole was flooded and that every living creature from penguins to polar bears, except for the animals and the people on Noah’s ark, was killed. But that is not what the story says. The narrative speaks of the world where Noah lived: It is expressly stated in Genesis 9:10 that there were other animals in the world that were not killed by the flood.

    Second, the primary purpose of the flood story — like other stories in the Bible, such as the creation story — is to convey enduring wisdom and moral insight, not geology or science. And the lessons of the flood story influenced civilization for millennia.”

    www.dennisprager.com/noah-one-moral-stories-ever-told/

  • Hey Bill,

    I saw similar arguments being said about Rob Bell’s book before it was officially released. Many were taking the moral high ground against conservative evangelicals for demanding that Rob Bell make his theology clear on what he thought about hell. There were many blogs saying “we should wait and see until the book came out. After it had come out it changed to “well you better read the book first”. But in any case I firmly believed at the time that since Rob Bell decided to make a deliberately proactive video (in order to better promote his book) – Christians had every right to demand he come clean immediately. Thoughts?

    As for the film, when I heard about it I wasn’t interested because I already had a good idea the silly and speculative cinematic film it would be. All early indications is that is the case. I am over the wishy washy “its so important we ‘dialogue’ with the secular community” – its an excuse for us to sell out.

  • BTW this is different from Hollywood of old. Remember The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston? I believe that was far more biblically faithful. Sad what has happened.

  • Bill, as usual, I thoroughly agree with your central statement here: only Jesus saves, and only by the Truth of God’s Gospel. However I’ll look forward to your response once you’ve seen this movie. Of all your contributors above I think Margaret Sonneman summarises it most accurately. I’m reminded of another grand theatrical event “The Royal Nonesuch” in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. One of my most straight-talking Christian friends described the movie well in one word, “Ridiculous”. That poor girl can never see the Emperor’s clothes!

  • I don’t expect that I will go and see Noah but I was interested in your comment about it being used as an evangelism tool Bill. I agree with you whole heartedly that God can use whatever He pleases to bring people to faith but deliberately using something quite so bent out of shape is wrongheaded to say the least.
    As someone who witnesses to people on the streets of Hobart regularly I must say that I am hoping for one thing one from this film. The same thing I got and continue to get from Dawkins, Dennet, and their ilk; an opportunity to discuss God’s word and the Gospel! I hope people will want to talk about this movie and will engage with biblically literate Christians that I pray will make themselves available.
    I praise God that there is such rich gospel opportunities provided for us at this time when we still have (and may not have for long) freedom to proclaim the Gospel. It is just a pity that these opportunities come from a distortion or from an opponent.
    Good teaching/descipling tool? No! Good gospel tool? No! Good opportunity/motive to share the truth with as many people as possible? Yes!

  • I have not seen the film, and likely would not anyway.
    Even less reason following your fine review!
    I have only one comment – Why bother to pay for a cheap imitation, when you can enjoy and savour the real thing (God’s own account in Genesis)?
    And for FREE?

  • I have just noticed a review of ‘Noah’ by Ken Ham, a leading creationist (featured on Time.com website under ‘opinion- religion’), and amongst other highly critical comments says:
    “The unbiblical Noah is a fable of a film… Is an insult to Christians .. An unbiblical, pagan film from the start…”

    seems to confirm your view Bill, and that of discerning Christians.

  • The fact that everybody seems to be missing regarding this Noah Film is that if it is not 100% Scripturally Correct, then in fact it is a lie, it is deceptively Untrue, end of Story and Bill is Totally Correct.

    Leigh D Stebbins

  • The movie contains some interesting discussion points e.g. it opens with a misquote of Genesis 1:1 “…there was nothing…”, later we’re told that the Creator made the world in 7 days…
    Also, as I understand the big evolution/creation controversy, Noah’s flood is a crucial factor. Creationists say that Flood left us with the fossils, stratification, minerals under pressure, topography etc. Evolutionists say they’re the result of billions of years of generous chance and there was no flood. True, this movie has the strength of a horse designed for a committee, but at least it takes the flood seriously, kind of.

  • I saw this movie today and was extremely disappointed in its depiction of Noah and the great flood. Actually someone described this film as Gladiator meets Lord of the Rings meets The Day after Tomorrow. It was a twisted warped view of the biblical story with so many elements missing and/or added to as to be pretty well unrecognisable. The thing that concerns me is that many who are not properly read of the biblical account will accept this story as correct. It was truely actrocious and I should have known better to see a movie made by the director of a perverse and very dark film called the Black Swan (a film I did not see) but heard from people who did. This version of Noah was produced by the morally bereft of Hollywood. Don’t waste your money either at the cinema or on a DVD

  • It is frustrating that the writer of this film didn’t stay true to the source material. Even if you don’t believe what the Bible says is true, you could simply treat as a story that you use what the source material says. Just because say Lord of the Rings isn’t true doesn’t mean you can change it to make it out to something that isn’t even close. It is simply dishonest then to call that film Lord of the Rings, just like calling this film Noah based on the Bible.

  • Best Review I’ve found. HERE If someone wants great detail. Much will be a repeat from the one Bill quoted though too.

    What’s amazing is that the atheist director HIMSELF says this is the least actually biblical bible movie ever made. It’s the CHURCH that is tripping over itself to push this blasphemous hatchet job down it’s own throat. Aranofskey’s more honest than these art and culture worshiping “progressives”.

    In my mind there is an inherent hazard to making biblical movies at all. Even for faithful believers in that almost none of the bible lends itself well to doing so. It is not written with sufficient dramatic detail in any given place to provide material for a 2 hour movie. Not even close. So then “artistic License” must be inflicted upon the eternally settled in heaven word of almighty God in order to re imagine it into motion picture form. Put it in the hands of God hating pagan like Aranofskey and X-Files meets Noah is what we get. Hollywood is only doing what we should expect. When oh when oh when will we ever learn that an industry that thrives and flourishes on celebrating everything God hates is not our friend?

  • I saw the film on Friday night, but I went along expecting it not to be a film like the Passion. I think that, on some level, if you go along expecting it to be similar to “Avatar,” then you could enjoy it, but if you go along expecting it to be a faithful representation of the story with a little bit of poetic license to make it a 2hour film, like (as Damien Spillane mentioned) Cecil B DeMille’s the Ten Commandments starting the late Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner, then you’ll be grossly disappointed. It was essentially a film about environmentalism where Noah is (as I heard Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute say today) pretty much a more intelligent, thoughtful, and likeable version of current WA Greens senator Scott Ludlam. The only thing it had that related to the Genesis historical story were a flood, a boat, and couple of characters named after folks from the book of Genesis. So if you allow for all these factors, then the film could be mildly entertaining to some people, in a “Lord of the Ring meets the Black Swan” kind of way. Trouble for the director in my opinion is, if he were aiming to reach the audience that went to see Mel Gibson’s the Passion, then there’s no doubt he’s failed, as the Passion’s audience wouldn’t be interested in seeing a “biblical movie” that has nothing at all to do with the bible. If he were trying to reach a largely secular audience then he’s failed because the film is kinda boring and the special effects are awful, eg, the “rock monsters” look awfully like mid-90s French “claymation”, which didn’t make sense since the film had a budget of $120 million… Peter only knows where that money went since they clearly didn’t spend much on scriptwriters…
    The only positive thing I can say about the film is that, as always, Sir Anthony Hopkins gave a brilliant performance.
    P.S. I couldn’t understand why the guy who played “Shem” was prettier than his wife played by Emma Watson.. Just saying.. However I guess it make for a good story “Ark”… Get it?? (That was a “dad” pun for those less observant).

  • Tm Keller of a large Presbyterian Church in Manhattan believes that the Flood was local. How does that square with the fact that the Bible says the whole human race was wiped out leaving only eight people? Is his church emerging or a sign of the disappearing institutional church ?

    adaughterofthereformation.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/keller-noahs-flood-was-a-regional-flood/

    David Skinner

  • If the movie was made by Australians they could have made Noah and his family a group of refugees trying to break down the heartless Howard border policies.

    Bolta takes on Noah here;

    “AMAZING. Hollywood just killed God, and almost no critic noticed how it quietly slipped a green human-hater in his place.

    I never thought you could make a two-hour film about Noah and his ark without mentioning “God” even once, but director Darren Aronofsky has managed it in his $142 million epic, which opened last week.

    His Noah, played by a muttering Russell Crowe, prays to a different deity, a much nastier one called “the Creator” who seems to brood on global warming.

    Hey, what a coincidence! So does Aronofsky, who last year declared, “climate change as an enemy of the people”. So does Crowe, tweeting in most unbiblical language: “F— denial of climate change.”

    And in their film, Noah, they give us their creator, a vegetarian who really does want to “f— denial of climate change” and put filthy humans in their place so, as Crowe’s Noah rasps, “creation will be left alone — safe. Beautiful”.

    As an agnostic, I should barely care which invisible being Crowe talks to, but this switcheroo is freaky.”

    blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_meet_noah_the_original_eco_loon_and_his_green_god/

  • I went and saw Noah upon release on the strength of the trailer and the article in TIME mag which was an interview with the guy who advised on Biblical content.

    I was so upset by the film that it literally made me ill. I was distressed when I left — had to re-read the Genesis account to essentially “cleanse” my mind — couldn’t sleep — woke with nausea and a splitting headache! Still really really upset! The devil is laughing all the way to the bank!

    here are a few spoilers:
    * the Nephilim (giants) / sons of God — are pictured as good angels that came to earth to help humanity. God was so angry with them for wanting to help humanity – that he cursed them and turned them into rock creatures/monsters. First they join with the evil men against God (angry that God would not let them help humanity) — then they turn and help Noah build the ark (as they recognise Noah as righteous and want to help him – which is what they came to do in the first place and would have done had God not turned them into Tolkeinesque rock monsters!).

    * there is a stowaway (Tubal-Cain) on the ark — who plots with Ham (who hates is father for denying him a wife!) to stage a mutiny!

    * contrary to scripture, none of Noah’s sons have wives — but there is a female – a girl they rescued – who was serious wounded in war and left barren.

    * Noah is convinced that God intends to wipe out the human race – that Noah’s family will die out and there will be no children – no more humans to ruin creation. SO, when the girl gets pregnant to Shem (after being miraculously healed by Methuselah) Noah commits to killing the child if it is a girl.

    * Consequently, Sem and the girl build a raft and plot – with Noah’s wife – to escape the ark. Pscho-Noah burns the raft!

    * girl gives birth to twin girls — Noah draws the knife — but can’t do it. The family have already turned against Noah for abandoning “innocent” people to the floodwaters (as demanded by God). This is the last straw — but he can’t do it.

    * on land, Noah becomes a pathetic creature, believing he has failed God. His family is shattered due to his behaviour on the ark – his wife wants nothing to do with him. He becomes a loaner and drunkard.

    * the girl asks “Why didn’t you do it” (kill the girls) – and Noah explains that while he knew he had to – to be obedient to God to wipe out all humanity – when he looked at the little girls, all he could feel was love. THe girl explains (essentially) that (contrary to God’s assertion) humanity is good – as Noah proved, by feeling love and for mercifully letting love reign against God’s unfair, unmerciful and indiscriminate judgement.

    * after this little chat with the all-wise girl – Noah returns to his poor wife and the film ends with them touching hands and showing warmth. At that – a sort-of rainbow fills the screen and the credits start rolling.

    I feel ashamed for contributing to the box office takings.

    This film is anti-God. Christians should boycott it.

  • On the one hand I totally agree with the majority of postings on this site that the movie has grossly departed from biblical truth, as set out in Genesis 6-9. Therefore the movie is bad.
    HOWEVER, it provides the most wonderful opportunity for CONVERSATION. Each of you, who know the true story, can share it with your family, friends and neighbors. You can point out where the movie is Biblically accurate and where it deviates.
    I did this yesterday with a Muslim student, beginning with the movie, moving into the Koran and then into my Arabic/English Bible.
    Use the opportunity. Some people may read the Bible story for the first time because of you.

  • It’s a fantasy film, like Star Wars or The Da Vinci code. But it does raise the idea of the global Flood, and that provides opportunities. The big stronghold against belief in the Bible in our culture is geology, because almost all geologists do their work assuming the Flood never happened. And this geological philosophy permeates everything else in our culture. Could this film provide a window of opportunity to start breaking down this stronghold?

  • Thanks Sandra and Tas. Sure, anything is possible, but…. I deal with your concerns not only in the article above, but here as well:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2014/03/31/please-let-my-people-think/

    I write there:

    Of course one can find “talking points” in anything, but a bit of caution is still needed. You can take your non-Christian friend with you to a porn film with sleazy sex scenes, then afterwards compare and contrast that with biblical sexuality, etc. But I don’t recommend it! Nor do I recommend wasting our money on such endeavours. If we are looking for a way to share with non-Christians, why not just open our mouths and share the gospel? Why must we depend on godless Hollywood for our evangelism!?

    While there is nothing wrong with building bridges to non-believers, and looking for creative ways to share with others, there are clearly limits to this. I have been asked by some what the solution is then. I said it is the same solution Jesus and the disciples used: It is called the Great Commission. They did not need pagan movies to reach the masses.

    They shared the gospel – why can’t we? Why must we hide behind atheistic Hollywood to do our evangelising? And as I also warned, we may have blood on our hands if we use this as a “witnessing tool” and end up deceiving and turning away more people than we help. I don’t want to be in that place.

    Yes we should seek to build bridges to non-Christians, as Paul did in Acts 17, eg. But of course there Paul framed the debate from the outset, utilising pagan elements for his own purposes. He did not begin with a pagan, anti-Christian film and try to “Christianise” it, or use it for possible gospel openings.

    Sure, we should use any opportunity available. But if Christians were simply doing their job in sharing their faith on a regular basis, we might be a bit less dependent on big films, etc, to get the job done!

  • I have no intention of paying out good money to see a film that distorts any Bible Story. Hollywood is very good at changing history in the hope of persuading movie goers to accept their version.
    I have seen trailers of the movie and am not impressed so am in agreement with all you have stated Bill.
    Andrew Bolt (H/S 31/3) supports everything you have stated Bill even though he is an atheist.

  • Something I forgot to add to my comment yesterday regarding the ‘Noah’ movie, is how far down Hollywood has sunk particularly in the last 30/40 years. I remember films such as Ben Hur and the King of Kings, just to name a couple and these films were made with considerable reverence and respect and adhered closely to the Gospel telling and/or original story – in particular Ben Hur. It would seem now that Hollywood no longer bothers to try to hide its atheist left wing heart and just strives to blur boundaries between good and evil and feed this to the gullible masses.

  • Seems to me like this is one of the latest tools to defame the Word of God.

  • Having also read Andrew Bolt’s review, I have to say that if an athiest can find it insulting to the God of the Bible, who he does not believe in, why don’t so called Christians? God is not a human hating greenie.

    I will not be going to see the movie, and if I preach on the topic it will be so that people can know what the Bible says happened, not what Hollywood dreamed up to infect their understanding of God.

  • I saw the film “Noah” and was most disappointed that it was far removed from the real story as presented in Genesis (chapters 6 – 9)
    I noted too that there were only about 12 mostly older people in the cinema. There were no younger people there at all. There’s no way it would appeal to them.
    “Noah”will be an all-time loser at the box office. All it deserves.

    John Ferwerda

  • One of the most astute biblical assessments I have read of the movie is, ‘Drowning in Distortion — Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”’, by Dr Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Part of his assessment is:

    ‘Evangelical Christians tend to be either too excited or too exercised about Hollywood. There is a periodic swing between giddy excitement that Hollywood has decided to make a movie about the Bible or a Christian theme and, on the other hand, barely restrained outrage that Hollywood has brought forth some new atrocity. Actually, most celebrations and consternations about Hollywood are overblown. The film industry is all about telling a story and selling movie tickets. There are artistic elements, worldview considerations, and moral dimensions to be sure, but Hollywood is, after all, an industry.

    ‘Believing that evangelical concerns about Noah were almost surely overblown, I went to see the movie. I was wrong. The concerns are not overblown. My response is not outrage, however, but deep concern – and part of my concern is that so many evangelicals are, in my view, focusing on the wrong issues’.

    So what, in Mohler’s view, are some of the correct issues in ‘Noah’ on which we should focus? He claims they are the ‘distortions’ in the movie. I highly recommend this review by one of the most astute evangelical thinkers in the world.

    See: www.albertmohler.com/2014/03/31/drowning-in-distortion-darren-aronofskys-noah/

    Spencer

  • RE: Nathan Harding (30/3/2014) — “How do I as an individual make sure this does not add to the deception of the people in my world who don’t go to church and don’t value the bible?”

    I think this is HUGE. The movie vilifies God so subtly and yet so profoundly — so its impact will doubtless be equally subtle and profound. It will compound people’s false impression that God is unloving, unmerciful, unreasonable, vengeful, tyrannical and belligerent. This is a central theme of NOAH the movie – but done so subtly that many Christians are even oblivious to it. The vilification of God was, to me, the most distressing part of the film. Even now – days later, I still feel distressed and dirty – as if I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been, in a hostile, godless and disgusting place. It really really upset me.

    The god of NOAH is simply not the God of the Bible — and that, to me, is where to start. As Christians we need much greater focus on the character and attributes of the Almighty God. Most preaching these days focuses on human behaviour – being good and neighbourly and generous etc etc. I fear a lot of Christians don’t actually know who God is and what he has done. They have no concept of his glory and majesty or of his grace and mercy; for these days, being a Christian is increasingly about lifestyle, not truth.

    And as I make clear in my book (Turn Back the Battle) the promise is that when we exalt the LORD as our precious crowning glory, HE gives strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate (Isaiah 28:5-6).

    Maybe NOAH the film gives an opening to address the subject of the character of our glorious God.

  • Sure, we should use any opportunity available. But if Christians were simply doing their job in sharing their faith on a regular basis, we might be a bit less dependent on big films, etc, to get the job done!

    There is a difference between, say, taking a friend to see the film to provide an opportunity to discuss biblical matters, and taking advantage of the interest in and publicity for the film to have such discussions.

    My personality is not one that allows me to initiate casual conversations. I do look for opportunities to discuss biblical things with friends, but I’m not good at creating those opportunities. So anything like that that provides an opportunity is something that I will try and take advantage of, as Sandra and Tas suggest.

  • Hi Bill. This movie may indeed be a stinker, but all the same I think its value as a big opportunity for witnessing to the Truth shouldn’t be lost. (I’d love to expand on this statement but I don’t want to waste your time).
    The question it raises for Christians is: will we have the boldness, wisdom and knowledge to speak faithfully and plainly about the Gospel (as you rightly ask) and about the book of Genesis?

  • The scandal is this: of all the Christian leaders who went to great lengths to endorse this movie (for whatever reasons: “it’s a conversation starter,” “at least Hollywood is doing something on the Bible,” etc.), and all of the Christian leaders who panned it for “not following the Bible”… Not one of them could identify a blatantly Gnostic subversion of the biblical story when it was right in front of their faces. I believe Aronofsky did it as an experiment to make fools of us: “You are so ignorant that I can put Noah (granted, it’s Russell Crowe!) up on the big screen and portray him literally as the ‘seed of the Serpent’ and you all will watch my studio’s screening and endorse it.”

    drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/3/31/sympathy-for-the-devil

  • I thought Phil Cooke made some very sensible points Bill. An as far as people needing to ‘just share the gospel’, that brings up a whole other issue around whether people are being discipled to make disciples. “Don’t you bring people to church so the pastor can save them”??? Anyway, here is a link to Phil’s article, cheers Mike

    philcooke.com/christians-should-see-noah/

  • Thanks Mike. Yes I have seen his piece, and to be honest I really am not very impressed with it. He seems clueless about some of the important issues I and others have raised here and elsewhere. And I believe I speak to most of his points in my above article, as well as here:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2014/03/31/please-let-my-people-think/

  • Went to see the movie with a few mates from church men’s group (1st of April, what a fool) most enjoyed the movie but I came away annoyed about the man Noah and his character assassination – a maniac child killer!
    Anti-biblical themes at many levels, Dr Brian Mattson article is well worth the read it sums up the situation perfectly. I didn’t catch the significance of the snake skin at the time but the alarm bells had sounded. We are in spiritual warfare on all fronts.

    drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/3/31/sympathy-for-the-devil

  • If anyone wants a thorough summary of the movie & wants to understand what’s the fuss & wants a good laugh:

    mennoknight.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/a-no-holds-barred-review-of-noah-the-movie-2014/

    Also, Tas Walker’s booklet ‘The Genesis Flood’ gives a much more scriptural technical perspective than the movie does.

  • The movie does give us an opportunity to tell people the real story of Noah but we in no way need to watch or endorse the movie to use the evangelistic opportunity. Simply tell the truth when other start talking about it.

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