Noah, The Biblical Story, and Stuff Christians Fight About

A great article on how we should approach Aronofsky’s Noah. Great job, Stephen!

panic, preacher. panic!

I don’t usually blog about controversial topics, but I’ve seen so much about this and I have some thoughts, so I figured I would get them out. I think many (not all) of the issues some of my fellow Christians have about the new Noah film are much more telling about a problematic understanding of scripture within the modern day Church than about some evil, maniacal filmmaker twirling his mustache and trying to dismantle Christianity as we know it. Russell Crowe as Noah

It’s not as if the book of Genesis is the sole intellectual property of Christians and it’s also not as if the movie (or any of the press surrounding it) ever states that it is intended to be an accurate representation of the biblical story. It’s exactly what it’s marketed as, a big budget action film loosely based on the story of Noah. I mean, would so many Christians freak out…

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6 thoughts on “Noah, The Biblical Story, and Stuff Christians Fight About

  1. I meant to post this here, not on the original (and slightly older) post:

    I still think these type of things are done to troll for straw men with which to lambaste Christianity in the “conversations” that follow these releases.

    This might be anecdotal on my part, but not a single Christian friend of mine who found the idea of grinding Noah’s story into an a pseudo-gnostic environmental screed objectionable ever did anything other than bring it up as a matter of discussion.

    This, to me bespeaks debate, not pathological derangement. But it allows the media template to flourish–and after one discussion of the movie goes viral, the press (a LAZY and MYOPIC press) sits back, and writes narratives about Christians “freaking out.”

    In fact, it appears that “freaking out about a video” is a common tool used by politicos and their buddies in the press to keep from getting to actual facts about anything.

    If we’re going to understand the idea that Jesus in the fullness of who he is, will always be the derided model:

    1. The Last temptation of Christ–Christians objecting are the problem.

    2. Da Vinci Code–Christians bothered by a takedown of Christ’s majesty are the problem.

    3. Passion of The Christ–Christians supporting a movie that DOESN”T assault Christ’s legacy are the problem.

    And on and on and on. It just turns out that it’s more fun to sit back in the coliseum for NOW and watch “enlightened” Christians take on an undefined constituency of refuseniks in their own ranks. And if all it takes is a phony “controversy,” to get them fighting each other, that much easier.

    This film,and its “discussion” is a classic case of them trolling us. That’s it.

    Like this

    • Hi Ron,

      Hollywood’s going to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a film just to troll Christians? I can’t believe that’s what is going on. From a dollar and cents standpoint, it just doesn’t make sense, because if POC demonstrates anything, it demonstrates that if they at least get it close to right, Christians will come out in droves.

      No, I think with Noah, they simply gave the keys to a hot director who is known for having dark and twisted sensibilities, and he gave us a dark and twisted Bible film. I was watching the lead up to the release very carefully, and you could almost smell the panic radiating from the studios that this film was not going to hit the “faith-based” demographic – thus the capitulating and tacking on the disclaimer at the beginning. And then it ended up missing, for the most part.

      My blog post, “What’s Wrong with Christian Filmmaking” went viral just in time for me to see a bit of the anger and angst that is truly directed at Hollywood from normal Christians. I received several comments from people who blasted the film, the director, the actors, and even me for wanting to see it – without having seen the film at all. These were comments from regular people who were truly upset because the film reportedly insulted their sensibilities by being different then their own ideas and traditions.

      Also, it did get authentically heated as accusations were flying over the web that the religious leaders and Christian critics who endorsed the film before it was widely released did so because they received something in return (money, prestige, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood). And as far as Christians responding in a deranged way, thankfully Christianity isn’t the religion that typically does that. It’s usually only about debate with us, and the occasional congregational split.

      I’m sure the studio was somewhat happy with the controversy, because it had people talking, but I’m certain that they would have been happier to bring in more box office. My guess is that they learned a lesson here – and the upcoming Exodus directed by Ridley Scott will show if that’s the case – that they can’t go to wild in a religiously themed film and expect to bring in the cash that POC brought in.

      Thanks for the comment!
      Nate

      • The only thing I’d add is that I don’t think they’d do it just to troll–but they DO count on the loads of money our constituency has to shell out if we think it has any conciliatory attitude towards the faith–which was the impression given at the outset.

        You do have great points. And be sure, my comments are not dismissive of them cart Blanche;)

        Me? I would never–count on any industry that still employs the casting couch to get it right even if they wanted to. They are simply blind to the worldviews beyond the “guy in a boat” narrative.

        I think the trolling is an entertaining by-product for them. That’s more of what I meant to say.

        By the way, I’m a bonafide Thimble-rigger, insofar as sleight-of-hand has been a marked part of my life.

      • I think for many in H’wood, it’s a Catch-22. On the one hand, they’re happy to spend the money we give them when they throw us a bone. On the other hand, they largely think that we’re ignorant snake-kissing hillbillies who marry our cousins and are closeted homosexuals.

        In other words, they have no idea what to do with us! This is actually a good thing, I think, that they haven’t really figured out how to exploit us as a demographic.

        Glad to meet another Thimblerigger! I’ll have to keep my eye on you, Ron, and my hand on my wallet. 😉

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