‘Noah’ as Fable – reminder to read the original story

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I have yet to see the new blockbuster film ‘Noah’ out today.

Yet I have heard personal opinions from many of my Evangelical Christian friends and pastors. This even before the film was released. I am a skeptical Christian when my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ assume that any film from Hollywood distorts Christian perspectives. So I wanted to wait until the film was released before commenting.

I do not know if I will see this film. I will not see the movie because of harsh attacks from the Christian Right, neither will I view a film based on the encouragement of the Christian Left. I choose to voice my opinion only after careful thought.

The reason I will most likely not see this film is due to my own prayerful thought based on trailers and interviews with directors and actors. But I must admit that the articulation of Dr. Ken Ham on this film has persuaded how I will articulate my final opinion. Please read his comments in TIME here. He writes:

But we have an obligation to send out a warning, and in so doing also to communicate biblical truths and undo the possible damage that might be caused by this sci-fi fantasy

If the film is more of a mythical fable and a “biblically-themed” work rather than a biblical work, then I must stay away. Even if the film did not quote scripture verbatim, but still ran with the theme of honor to God, then I might consider seeing the film. But by redirecting the nature of the Noah narrative to a mythical fable akin to the ancient heroes of Greece and Rome, Aronofsky’s film has changed completely the purpose of the Noah story. God is the center of the Flood narrative. Not man. Not creation. Not magic. This despite the mention of giants and mighty men of old in the Noah narrative. [Genesis 6:4]

I do not call for a boycott on Hollywood. Actually I am a proponent of film as a great story-telling medium. But if Hollywood wishes to tell a story well, they must decide to tell a story correctly. This can be done creatively. It can be done with great special effects and inspirational drama. But to change the focus of a story to a myth or fable changes the meaning of the original story all together.

However, I must conclude my thoughts with a challenge to Evangelical Christians nationwide. Instead of taking joy in bashing Hollywood or condemning with eagerness those who patronize the NOAH film, take this time to re-read the Noah narrative again. Genesis 6-9.

Perhaps we can all be revived in our own bible study in order to articulate the differences between the NOAH film version and the original story. Unless we can tell the original story well ourselves, we cannot criticize Hollywood for changing it. When a friend or co-worker talks with a Christian about this movie, will the Christian respond with actual accounts from Genesis 6-9? or will the Christian respond with vitriol and hatred toward anyone who dare make a film?

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