Prayerfully Speaking

Hope from the Truths of God's Word

Noah: the Movie, the Bible, our Culture and Prayer {Guest Post}

Christian perspective of Noah - the Movie

Today we address a very important topic. Our culture and the Bible and how they intersect in the NOAH movie. BibleGeekGoneWild.com blogger and AuthorTalks Podcaster, Shaun Tabatt has seen the movie. I respect his opinion very much and invited him to share his insights with us. 

Christian perspective of Noah - the MovieRussell Crowe’s film NOAH releases today in theaters. As many of you are aware, there has been substantial controversy in the media over whether or not Christians should support this film. I was in the unique position to attend the NOAH press Junket in Beverly Hills, CA last weekend, where I viewed the final cut of the film and participated in a roundtable Q&A discussion with Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel. In the days leading up to the press event, I had been listening to the audiobook edition of Mark Batterson’s book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day (Multnomah Books, 2008). The following quote gave me substantial food for thought:

“In his book Roaring Lambs, Bob Briner reflects on missionary conventions he went to as a kid where children were challenged to commit themselves to missions. And that’s an awesome thing. Missionaries are heroes. But I agree with Briner when he says that the same spirit needs to prevail in sending our children into culture-shaping professions like entertainment, journalism, education, and politics.

I envision a whole generation who will lay claim to these careers with the same vigor and commitment that sent men like Hudson Taylor to China… We need to stop criticizing culture and start creating.”

Batterson’s book helped me to muster the courage to jump on a plane and spend the whole weekend outside of my comfort zone. After all, I’m a homeschooling father of eight, who promotes Christian books for a living. Hollywood is not my normal scene and truth be told, I’m often in agreement with many of the Christian ministries who have spoken out the loudest against this film. Yet here I was, with an opportunity to give feedback on this controversial Bible-themed movie.

I’ve received a range of responses to my participation in this event. People closest to me have been very supportive and encouraging, while a number of strangers have suggested that Hollywood bought me off with a fancy weekend getaway. Minor personal attacks aside; it’s a new experience for me to be on the receiving end of this sort of criticism. If you’re a Christian who feels a strong need to criticize NOAH, I ask you to consider why you’re so uncomfortable about a film you’ve never actually seen. If you choose to go see the movie, you will encounter many surprises and it will push many of your assumptions. That’s the whole point. The filmmakers want to make you a bit uncomfortable and get you thinking on and discussing the broad themes of the film.

One of the things that has intrigued me in the midst of all the controversy is that the main reason people are hating on NOAH is because it’s based on a biblical story and may not display their personal understanding of that part of Genesis. However as movies go, it only rated PG-13, which in my estimation is for some sequences of violence and the film’s dark apocalyptic themes. When it comes to responding to NOAH, I think it’d be wise for us to examine our hearts. I know other church-going Christians who regularly watch R-rated films and are into shows like Game of Thrones, which display scenes and images that in my opinion, Christians really should not be consuming. To me, there is just something ironic and inconsistent about that.

So, how should Christians respond to Noah?

Shaun Tabatt bloggerI’m of the opinion that Christians ought to head out and see the film this weekend. Consider for yourself first-hand, how good or bad it is. Pray that God will give you divine appointments with friends and acquaintances in the coming days and weeks to discuss the film and the parts of the Bible on which it is based. If you would like to see more Christian and Bible-themed media coming out of Hollywood, pray to that end. If you have a burden to be a part of that process, then pray that God would give you not only the courage, but also the opportunity to as Mark Batterson says, “stop criticizing culture and start creating.”

Shaun Tabatt is a homeschooling father of eight. You can follow his blog and Author Talks podcast at BibleGeekGoneWild.com.

How will you respond to the movie? How will you pray?

About Jennifer O. White

I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.

5 Replies

  1. Mary McGuire

    It was interesting to me that God timed our turn to teach Sunday school this past Sunday and what event came into focus? Noah. It occurred to me that even though the students in that class were young for this movie some off them might go see it. We encouraged them to read the entire biblical account before they go…….two or three times would be better. We suggested they watch and look for how the movie relates the event, what is accurate and what is not and then ask why. I would recommend this to anyone. It is not a bad thing to go see this and can be used as a great learning tool. Read the account from God first. I can understand why people don’t like biblically based movies. However, the created will never stop expressing in regard to the creator. This will be an excellent springboard to future discussion about the bible and I welcome it.

    Jennifer, I am trying to post this and using the login button at the end. Cannot recall my password. I don’t see an option to tell the website I forgot my password.

    1. Mary, this is excellent advice — to read the BIble account of this historical event before seeing the movie. We CANNOT be effective ministers of God’s love and grace to the world without the revelation of the Truth. I love these words you wrote – “The created will never stop expressing in regard to the creator.” So true. Have you see Ray Comfort’s book – Made in Heaven?

      So – how are you praying for our culture in regards to this movie?

  2. Angel @ Finding The Inspiring

    I want to thank Shaun for this thoughtful review and thank you, Jennifer, for highlighting this very important topic related to faith vs. culture. I happen to agree that while it’s important to protect ourselves from harmful forms of “entertainment,” rejecting the bad, we have to start having a mentality of creating and supporting the good. There comes a time when we need to step back from just being a critic and move toward being a part of the solution.

    1. Thank you Angel – for stopping by to encourage both Shaun and me with your words. This topic is worthy of exploring. We have the beautiful freedom to study the Truth of God’s Word and invite His insights, His revelation. We also have His power at work in us to STAND in the evil day. Jesus is a friend of sinners who chose to reject the status quo to reach them (us) with His compassion and redemption. I want to be WISE and on guard – putting many guardrails in my life to keep my mind renewed by His Word. But I also want to walk thru Samaria when called to do so – so that I can tell how His Truth led me to the deep fountain where I drink with great job. (Isaiah 12:3) #Preachingtomyself