NOAH Movie—Now Playing

NOAH Movie—Now Playing

I haven’t seen the much talked about Noah movie—yet. But I plan to and then I will make comments on it. I usually avoid pre-hype about a movie because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But I do have some thoughts that will guide how I view the movie.

The story of Noah is not actually a story about Noah. Would it surprise you to learn that in the Biblical text, Noah never utters a word? He is a speechless character. In a sense, Noah is a foil that helps us understand God.  The main character is God and something deeply significant is being revealed about God.

My Wesleyan theology regarding the radical freedom of God’s creatures to sin, tells me that we are capable of devastating evil. It also tells me that God’s knowledge does not create the future. In other words, God did not envision the evil state of humanity at the beginning. The text says that God regretted having made humans. The word for “regret” is the same word used for the pain of childbearing that is the consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve. The pain of a curse has gotten into God’s own heart as God regrets these creatures of his.

The flood is God’s erase button. God can wipe the slate clean and start all over again. And God is one floating zoo away from being done with the whole human mess. A few more days and supplies will run out. But God cannot bring himself to extinguish us. The turning point in the story is the line “And God remembered Noah.” From there, God decides to deal with human sin by suffering for and with us rather than forcefully destroying us.

I believe the story of Noah is a story about pain in the heart of God and how God chooses to deal with human evil. I have written at length about the Noah story in my book The Dark Side of God: When God is Hard to Explain.

I hope my pastor friends will take this opportunity to preach the Noah texts. The Dark Side of God was written from a 6-week series I did a few years ago. This is a good moment for Christians to take a look at the mystery of God.

Now, let’s all go to the movies!

Comments

  1. Dan, By now you have probably seen the movie. I found it interesting in that though it did not resemble the biblical story closely at all, there was an attempt to show God’s justice and eventual mercy. If it has done nothing else, it has probably caused many to open their Bibles to see how the story is portrayed. Thanks for your insight, I guess I never realized Noah never speaks (Bill Cosby may have influenced that!) and indeed in Hollywood terms, he was God’s foil. In the movie, God’s pain is reflected in His servant Noah who agonizes over what must happen and feels that even his (Noah’s) family are not righteous enough to allow mankind to survive. The movie indeed got that right we are not righteous enough. Praise Him for making us so through Jesus.
    John

    • John, my day job has me swamped and I still haven’t gotten to the movie. Maybe I’ll get to see it for a dollar in the rerun theaters. Thanks for your heads up on the mercy. Dan

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