I put out a challenge for those who got upset by Noah to give as much weight as to what they thought about that movie as to the other movies with a Christian/Biblical theme that are out or will be coming out. In particularly Heaven is for real, God’s not dead, Son of God. A friend of mine lovingly challenged me to watch all 4, and so I’m in the process of doing that.
I’ve seen Noah and God’s Not Dead so far, but will see the other 2 in due time. I’m not a professional movie reviewer, so I’ll just be pointing out what I observed and picked up and out of the movies. And “2 Litas” – Litas is the currency of Lithuania, my father’s country of origin, and I would be lying if I stated I like that country despite not having gone there…yet.
So, here’s my take on Noah…enjoy, or don’t, but hey- my blog my rules! 😉
P.S. I will be looking at the movie as a movie. I’m going to give my insight and thoughts, what I liked and what I didn’t like, but I’m not necessarily going to be making about the validity of the director’s vision whether or not it is “accurate” or not. Sure I have some issues with movies, but again, it’s a movie and not the be-all end-all to discussions theological, biblical, or other.
God’s Not Dead
I liked the dedication of the main character’s research. I like researching and learning for understanding and also for sharing, the movie showed someone dedicated to finding out more than the answers given to him as well as answers he thought all along. This is the only thing I truly liked about the movie.
The God talked about and represented in this movie is too small. He was prone to being fickle and irked by humans, a God prone to jealousy on our terms and that (sometimes subtly presented and other times it was blatant) that God will disown us if we disown him. Making God out to be like that reduces God’s God-ness and goodness. It is a human trait to write people off when people have dissed us, but I believe in a God of reconciliation and restoration; a good who is in the habit of making “all things new” and that all is being shaped and molded into what will one day be perfect shalom for all of mankind.
In making God out to be too small, it makes us out to be too big. That somehow the weight of our experiences, our faiths, and our beliefs is our responsibility in a larger way than I truly can comprehend. Yes I want to partake in a living breathing active faith, but I recognize my human fragility, and so I let God handle things I can and cannot control. This movie seemed to point to making following Christ to be a weight we carry more than God carries. I truly believe our weight in what we say what God can do and not do from a negative point-of-view is self-imposed more than anything else. We make following Christ legalistic and when we do that there’s no room for grace and unconditional love.
I also didn’t like that the movie had so many biases and stereotypes against different people of different backgrounds.
– The only black guy in the movie informs the professor and classroom his of his nickname instead of his name, “G Dog”.
– The young Muslim woman comes from an environment where she has to wear a hijab in public, which she takes off when her father is out of sight and wears it in his presence. It gets taken to the next level when he’s physically abusive to her for listening to a Franklin Graham podcast about Jesus and kicks her out of her house!
– Then there’s the foreign exchange student from China, who’s father tells him to believe what his professor believes in order to stay the course of doing well in school.
– Even Kevin Sorbo’s character as a professor who’s an Atheist is an belligerent strong-willed my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy. He’s full of himself and what he believes in the realm of God’s non-existence.
Yes some individuals might exemplify the stereotypes presented, but really? You’re going to subtly try to implant the idea that ALL these people and their backgrounds are like this? For shame!
I also didn’t like the nature of having to defend and having to prove God’s existence. I don’t recall reading a Bible verse saying we had to defend God and come up with quantitative proof for his existence. In doing so I saw the movie take on the role of going on belief rather than faith, that it was about getting answers to all the questions, and I see that as antithesis of faith. If I am honest and where I am at in my journey of life as well as my journey of faith, I know less now than when I was younger, I have less answers to the questions…but I am completely okay with that! My desired posture for life is loving God and loving others, and my testimony isn’t my short-and-sweet story of how I got “saved” but rather my testimony is how I see my life and what I’ve done with it to completion. My testimony is far from over.
I also didn’t like that some scenes made it all about God putting us in predicaments where our only option is choosing him. I believe in freewill, so to be predestined to be hit by a car (spoiler alert) Kevin Sorbo’s character finds God as he’s dying. Yes some of us will find God on our deathbed, to make it about “well God meant for you to be hit to bring him glory” strikes me as…well…predestination and to some extent leaves out choice, which I believe we’ve always had- for better or worse.
Lastly what I didn’t like about this movie is that it was marketed as a “Christian” movie. I say it from time to time because I know it to be true;
“the word “christian,” when applied to anything other than a human being, is a marketing term.” – Derek Webb
This movie and some others that Harold Cronk directed were aimed for a target audience only. At least Darren Aronofsky’s movie took a broader swath and didn’t go for *insert audience here* watching his movie. I truly believe that you should do the best that you can with your skill set, just don’t box it in and label it as a way to get one set of viewers/participants through the door, that limits your art and creativity and subsequently that limits God.