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Movies discuss Noah film - good or bad? in the Entertainment and Humor forums; So there's a film called Noah being released based on the very same Bible story. My initial response to this was downright apathy combined with ...

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    benjamin1991 is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Noah film - good or bad?

    So there's a film called Noah being released based on the very same Bible story.

    My initial response to this was downright apathy combined with a realisation that this was going to cause much internet debate when it was released.

    Further thinking has inclined me against the whole idea of a secular company making a film based on the Bible. How can it not be "adding or subtracting" to Scripture? And how can it honour God when it portrays the story as myth rather than truth?

    Talking it over with friends revealed a lot of disagreement with this position.

    My question is: am I being too critical? Is there a space for films based on the Bible (that aren't at the same time, biblical in truth)? Can I enjoy it for its entertainment value and separate that out from my own personal views? Can I enjoy it as a story that just happens to be called Noah and is loosely based on the Bible? Or is it right to judge it with a very high standard.

    Wisdom in this matter would be appreciated.
    Ben, Layman, Bellevue Baptist Church, Edinburgh, UK
    Reformed Baptist

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    Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.
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    I am of the mind that it's far better to err on the side of caution in matters such as these.

    I won't be seeing it, and in my opinion I think this film is sinful because it actually misrepresents the Word of God, as in the LITERALLY utterances of God.

    Early reports say that God is mad to man for "wrecking the Earth", ie, not being environmentally friendly.

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    Leslie is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    I have a set of films on the patriarchs plus Moses, Samson and David, well done, that I use to teach my girls English. They teach good values, are faithful to the scriptures. But I think the company that made them is Christian.
    Mary Vanderkooi
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    Romans922's Avatar
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    God gave us in His word all we need to know about Noah and the flood. To add to Scripture deserves what? To take away from Scripture deserves what? WHat do the Scriptures say?
    Elder Andrew Barnes (PCA)
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    Semper Fidelis's Avatar
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    Someone sent me the trailer the other day and I was watching the trailer with two of my kids looking on. My daughter, 9, said: "It's probably something different than what the Bible teaches."
    Rich
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    But i cannot wondering "is that so bad and against the scripture ?" Actually, i just look very quickly the video and saw that the specials effects were quite well done. In a period where people just think the Bible (if they know exactly what is the Bible ! Because you would be surprised to hear that some people don't in Europe) is a old and useless book that tell boring stories, is this sort of movies not good to catch the interest of the people ?

    I'm writing that to "relaunch" the discussion because i think too that that sort of movie tend to "mythologize" the Bible and are not good enough on the message that God wanted to transmit through his Word and especially the story of Noah.
    Τιμόθεος, United Protestant Church of Belgium (EPUB), Mons, Belgium.

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    John Lanier's Avatar
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    Two quotes from the director of the film should answer your question.

    ďI donít think itís a very religious story. I think itís a great fable thatís part of so many different religions and spiritual practices. I just think itís a great story thatís never been on film.Ē
    ďI think religion is often very different than spirituality. Religion is often about rules and people trying to control our lives who are actually very unspiritual. Another message of the film is that God can be found anywhere, and, in fact, everywhere. And so you donít necessarily need a religious dogma to get you to spirituality.Ē
    Any time a film such is this is made, extrabiblical occurrences must be added because the Biblical account is not a moment by moment story such as a movie would be. That is a dangerous thing. I also read that Noah has a daughter in the film.

    In other words...BAD!
    John Lanier
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanPatrickCornell View Post

    Early reports say that God is mad to man for "wrecking the Earth", ie, not being environmentally friendly.
    Randy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timobe View Post
    But i cannot wondering "is that so bad and against the scripture ?" Actually, i just look very quickly the video and saw that the specials effects were quite well done. In a period where people just think the Bible (if they know exactly what is the Bible ! Because you would be surprised to hear that some people don't in Europe) is a old and useless book that tell boring stories, is this sort of movies not good to catch the interest of the people ?

    I'm writing that to "relaunch" the discussion because i think too that that sort of movie tend to "mythologize" the Bible and are not good enough on the message that God wanted to transmit through his Word and especially the story of Noah.
    It catches the interest of ignorant Christians and others to a false word. What you win them with is what you win them to.
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    I learn about God from his word, and I go to movies for entertainment. Unless there are atrocious second commandment violations, I will be seeing it eagerly. Like most historically based films, I'm sure this one will be full of errors. All of history is God's history, not just the bits recorded in the Bible, so I wouldn't think of a film about the flood any differently than I would a film about the civil war. Every sermon I've ever heard on the flood "imagines" all kinds of details not found in the text, so it's hardly fair to criticize a secular film for doing the same. I'm actually pretty fond of Russel Crowe films, so I'm looking forward to it.
    Brandon Morgan
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    I think we can anticipate that the film will take liberities with the Scripture account and replace much of the biblical ethic with with ethics that have a broader appeal. Nearly all mass market films based on biblical stories have done this. The question is where specifically this one will go wrong. The recent full-length trailer made it appear that the film in some way acknowledges the idea that sin deserves punishment, which actually sounds more biblically faithful than many children's story books about Noah.

    I'll probably see it, expecting to be annoyed, if for no other reason than so I can intelligently interact with others who see it.
    Jack K.
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    I hope during the credits, they play the song about Noah making his arky arky out of gopher barky barky
    Brandon Morgan
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlepeople View Post
    I learn about God from his word, and I go to movies for entertainment. Unless there are atrocious second commandment violations, I will be seeing it eagerly.
    Changing or misrepresenting the Word of God is an atrocious thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlepeople View Post
    All of history is God's history, not just the bits recorded in the Bible, so I wouldn't think of a film about the flood any differently than I would a film about the civil war.
    Except that a Civil War history film does not recount an occurrence in the Word of God that teaches us about sin, God's justice, His covenants, and our need for the redeeming power of Christ. No one is presenting the storyline of a Civil War film to be the Word of God. Sure it could teach us about sin and the need for redemption but it is not a recounting of a Biblical event preserved by God in the manner and words in which He chose to preserve it.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlepeople View Post
    Every sermon I've ever heard on the flood "imagines" all kinds of details not found in the text, so it's hardly fair to criticize a secular film for doing the same.
    Imagining details and presenting them as fact are two different things. Although, I think it is dangerous to imagine too many details or present these imaginations in a sermon. A film about the flood cannot be a secular film since it is from the Scriptures. Since it is preserved in the Word of God it cannot be separated from it.
    John Lanier
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Lanier View Post
    A film about the flood cannot be a secular film since it is from the Scriptures.
    - No, I don't think that's the case. The events recorded in scripture are no more true than any others. All fiction and dramatizations change, misrepresent, or something exaggerate something about history or nature. I can see how one might argue consistently that all forms of storytelling are sinful - I guess I should ask you. Are you ok with historical films so long as the those histories aren't one recorded in scripture? Or do you oppose all historical fiction in movies?
    Brandon Morgan
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    I still cannot get the childhood idea out of my head that God has a deep booming voice overdubbed with reverb. I'll pass over this just so I don't aggravate my condition.
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    From whatI gather the film is using the book of Enoch (or at least it sounds that way from the description) to fill in the gaps.
    Trent
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanPatrickCornell View Post
    Early reports say that God is mad to man for "wrecking the Earth", ie, not being environmentally friendly.
    That about sums up 21st century mainline theology. In the infamous words of Cheech Marin "Save the wales, but shoot them seals..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    Someone sent me the trailer the other day and I was watching the trailer with two of my kids looking on. My daughter, 9, said: "It's probably something different than what the Bible teaches."
    A wise young gal there, Rich.....wiser than all of Hollywood.
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    I think when this is normally done with children the story is very sanitized. God killed all people and land roaming animals, who were not in the ark. I don't know that I would enjoy watching a reenactment of the flood. Everything was destroyed. I find it ironic that we make toys out of the ark and Noah. That wasn't a happy occasion. That was the greatest destruction that this world has ever seen. When I read the story I always picture the flood waters gradually rising and people and more intelligent animals climbing for toward higher ground, probably fighting with one another as the water continued to rise. And despite all of their cries and agony, the wrath of God continued to fall on them. All of the cities, and buildings. All of the inventions destroyed all at once. All of the beauty in created world on land and all of the creativity that man have because he was made in the image of God...destroyed and then remade through Noah's line. A line that, on their own merits deserved to die in the flood as well. When I read I think that is what I deserve apart from God's grace. I don't see why it would be enjoyable to watch that event in full video detail.
    Aaron Josh Wright
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    Quote Originally Posted by puritanpilgrim View Post
    I think when this is normally done with children the story is very sanitized. God killed all people and land roaming animals, who were not in the ark. I don't know that I would enjoy watching a reenactment of the flood. Everything was destroyed. I find it ironic that we make toys out of the ark and Noah. That wasn't a happy occasion. That was the greatest destruction that this world has ever seen. When I read the story I always picture the flood waters gradually rising and people and more intelligent animals climbing for toward higher ground, probably fighting with one another as the water continued to rise. And despite all of their cries and agony, the wrath of God continued to fall on them. All of the cities, and buildings. All of the inventions destroyed all at once. All of the beauty in created world on land and all of the creativity that man have because he was made in the image of God...destroyed and then remade through Noah's line. A line that, on their own merits deserved to die in the flood as well. When I read I think that is what I deserve apart from God's grace. I don't see why it would be enjoyable to watch that event in full video detail.
    Well, the flood account is not only about unhappiness. It's a place where God's terrible justice in punishing sin meets his loving, saving mercy... probably the strongest example of that anywhere in the Bible until we get to the cross. I agree with you that the flood account usually gets way too sanitized when put in story books for kids, but the biggest shame in that is how kids miss a story which ought to set them up to better understand salvation in Jesus.
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    Besides, they have Russell Crowe as Noah - just won't be the same without Charlton Heston!
    Matt Glover
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    Heston was born some 1500 years after Russell Crowe I believe
    Brandon Morgan
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    benjamin1991 is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    To sum up the disagreement: is making a film of a Bible story different to making any other historical film?

    I would argue that this comparison is wrong. Noah is a film more in the vein of Troy than a historical film. It's a re-hashing of what is treated like an ancient myth. My problem here is that at what point does the Bible become a Marvel universe type thing and bible characters are "as real" to filmgoers as Thor and Loki? (not that I have a problem with seeing Marvel films, it's clearly fiction) Our society already treats the Bible as fiction and this doesn't seem likely to change that view.

    It's the film's connection to the Bible which means I feel like I should judge very harshly.
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    My take: Historically, Hollywood has acknowledged, to an extent, that the Bible is different from other source material such as ancient myth or Marvel comic books. But it isn't so much that they've revered the Bible; rather that they feel using it comes with "baggage." Hollywood is not comfortable with Bible believers. Hollywood knows that much of its audience includes Bible believers, but doesn't understand them and generally would rather keep its distance from topics and source material that might be seen as sacred to them. There have been notable exceptions, but the number of Bible-based movies that have been made are relatively few given the wealth and familiarity of the source material.

    This may be changing. Evangelical Christians, in particular, have recently embraced Bible-story-based movies even when those movies take atrocious liberties with the Bible account, water down the theological foundations of the stories, and take ridiculous pains to avoid any mention of the gospel. You would think Christians might be up in arms about such revisionism, but they tend instead to feel appreciative that Hollywood has thrown them a bone by making any kind of movie at all based on the Bible. Examples of this are Prince of Egypt (main message: believe in yourself) and The Passion of the Christ (main message: feel sorry for Jesus), both of which are proudly featured in church libraries everywhere.

    Supposedly, the studio that's producing Noah tested it with focus groups that included evangelical leaders and listened to their concerns. This doesn't encourage me much, since the same was supposedly done with Prince of Egypt and that truly blasphemous-in-its-theme movie is said to have gotten a thumbs up.

    I'm not sure it's automatically wrong to make a movie based on Bible stories, even as I acknowledge that the nature of movie-making means such a film would necessarily have to imagine details the Bible doesn't provide. But surely such an undertaking must take place with exceptional care and reverence for the biblical text. It isn't just any source material. And as Hollywood sees that the use of Bible stories might not come with as much baggage as it did previously—and might even bring new audiences into the theater no matter how revisionist the movie script is—we can expect to see more such movies made with less and less care to biblical fidelity. Not that I really expect better from Hollywood, but this irks me. I too find myself wondering if buying a ticket to such a film is ever a good idea.
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    Wynteriii is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Take a look at what Russell Crowe has to say about his new movie. If need to, avert your eyes when Todd Friel appears

    Russell Crowe's Noah. Uh oh. - YouTube
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlepeople View Post
    Are you ok with historical films so long as the those histories aren't one recorded in scripture? Or do you oppose all historical fiction in movies?
    I am not opposed to historical fiction if it is made clear that it is historical fiction. But I do think there is a difference when you are dealing with Biblical material and therefore am opposed to a fictional representation of a Biblical account.
    John Lanier
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    Here is a review from Answers in Genesis:

    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/bl...googlelinkedin
    Last edited by John Lanier; 11-19-2013 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Updated Link
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlepeople View Post
    Heston was born some 1500 years after Russell Crowe I believe
    That's funny.
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    Thanks for putting up that link to AIG John. Wow, its sounds bizarre to the extreme what they have done to the Biblical account. If that's the case then no way do I want to see it. That's wrong on so many levels! You don't, ever, ever, mess with the Word of God!
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    I refuse to participate. Russell Crowe has a large enough fan base residing in his own head. Besides, shouldn't he be busy preparing for the upcoming invasion of New Zealand? He's an Aussie secret weapon - he could bore half the population to death with his arrogance...
    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Lanier View Post
    Here is a review from Answers in Genesis:

    Don
    Yikes!

    We will have none of that..
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    And now for a less hysterical review..... http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/...oah-the-movie/
    Matt Glover
    Presbyterian Church of Victoria, Australia

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    Noah film - good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Glover View Post
    And now for a less hysterical review..... http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/...oah-the-movie/
    As someone who was not raised in the church and experienced a later in life conversion, I would have to agree with this article. It's true that God used all sorts of things to capture my heart...he made all things work together for my good. That being said, as God regenerated my heart I found myself discerning accuracies and inaccuracies as the Holy Spirit moved within me. Today, I'm significantly less impressed when Hollywood makes a faith based movie, then I was when God was pulling me out of the mud. But with discernment we can partner with whatever and how God is working to reach his chosen. Yes we ought to avoid temptation and evil, but also remembering that the greater evil starts in our hearts, not a movie.


    Ken Lamb
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    Last edited by Ken_lamb; 11-21-2013 at 08:29 AM.
    Ken Lamb
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Glover View Post
    And now for a less hysterical review..... How Should Christians Respond to Noah the Movie? – Trevin Wax
    I agree with much in that article, but think he missed an opportunity to also talk about the message of a movie. Some movies get lots of biblical details right but skew the main message enough that they end up dangerously opposed to the Bible's true message. Other movies take several liberties with details of the story (movies almost always work better when they do) but remain faithful to the main message. Both methods come with concerns, but the sort of movie that changes the message concerns me most.
    Jack K.
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    Free Christian is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    To me a movie misrepresenting the truth of what and how something really happened is like Christmas. A bit of truth mingled with a lot of error! Christmas puts Jesus out there too. But its still wrong.
    Brett
    Presbyterian
    Victoria
    Australia

    John 8 v 32
    "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"

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