In case you’ve been fasting from media for Lent (and thanks for breaking your fast to read my low-trafficked blog), Noah has hit theaters this weekend. There are a lot of opinions in the Christian media about the film, even as to whether or not a Christian should view it. Personally, when the broader culture creates any kind of art that draws from Scripture, I want to participate in it, even if it is a grand skewing of our story, because it presents opportunities for us to speak back as a people whose story and life roots in Scripture. Any door the movie Noah opens for us to talk with our neighbors about Christ is worth walking through.
And you might disagree, and that’s fine. This post isn’t really about why you should or shouldn’t go see it.
Instead, for those who are going to see it and do hope for opportunities to talk about it with others, let me suggest four ways you might better prepare to watch Noah with future mission in mind:
1. Be familiar with Genesis 6-9. If you are going to talk about Noah from a Scriptural perspective, read the story again. Don’t rely on your memory or past experience with it; go to Genesis 6-9 and get familiar with the entire story of Noah’s life, family, and decisions. Know the text and you’ll see the director’s choices (narratively, visually, etc…) and how they follow or diverge from the text. To be honest, you might want to read Genesis 1-9 to get ready to watch the movie, for it all informs how we understand God’s actions and purposes in the Noah story.
2. Pay attention not only to what is being said, but how it is being said. This goes for both Bible reading and movie watching, and especially when we are comparing the two. What does Genesis 6-9 say about God? Humanity? Noah? Creation? How is it said? What about in the movie? What does the film say about God? Humanity? Noah? Creation? How is it said? How are their messages similar or different?
3. Look for what the movie does well, not just what it gets wrong. Most people aren’t going into the movie to critique what the movie gets right are wrong from a biblical perspective; they are going to hear a story. And there will be parts of the story the movie gets right that can provide us launching pads into deeper conversation about God, obedience, creation, and tons of other subjects.
4. Look for Christ in the movie. All of Scripture points to Christ, and this story, though it may be modified from the text, will still have echoes of the story of redemption that point to Jesus. Noah’s story is our story, and Hollywood cannot change that. So look for the ways that the movie still echoes our story of redemption. The places you see our story of redemption could be places God uses to open the eyes of others.
Enjoy the movie, and let me know what you think! And may the Lord open doors for the church to testify of God’s goodness and grace through it all.Comments
What are you repenting of? I mean, right now, this week, what is it that you are repenting of these days?
If you don’t have a ready answer, how can you be taking holiness seriously?
It’s worth a pause.