[Spoiler alert: if you plan to see the film Noah, you might want to read this after you've seen it!]
If you've gone to see the recently released Noah film starring Russell Crowe, then you know that it purports to be inspired by the Bible. However, after seeing it myself, it is clear that the producers were inspired by something other than the Bible! Sure it does include the ark, the animals and the universal flood, as well as the somewhat obscure episode following the flood in which Noah became drunk and was somehow violated by his son, Ham. But other than that there is much added to this feature length film that seems to bear little resemblance to either the letter or even the spirit of the biblical account. "Creative license" notwithstanding there is a noticeable emphasis upon mankind's "abuse" of the earth and the consequent need to "cleanse" the earth through the death of everyone. This is an obvious eco-friendly twist on the biblical rationale that God judged mankind for their exceeding wickedness before Him. Noah is chosen for the task because, as he says, "The Creator knows I will not fail him." In fact, the designation "Creator" is as close to the concept of God we get in this flick, and though he apparently communicates with Noah through dreams and visions, we never hear his voice. In addition, we are given a portrait of God through the words and actions of Noah that he is all about justice rather than mercy. In a word, God is cruel, and that cruelty is set in stark contrast to the mercy and compassion that is shown first by members of Noah's family and ultimately by Noah himself. Some posts I have read see in this portrayal of God a resurrection of the old Gnostic heresy that the God of the OT was a violent and wicked sort who had to be replaced by the loving God of the NT. Regardless, there is enough aberrant theology in this movie to lead many an uninformed person astray!
So what should our response be? Well, we can advocate boycotting the film, but I doubt that will have any effect on the move going public. A better option would be to see it and then engage our unchurched friends in a dialogue about its message. For example, “What view of God did you get from the film? Do you think that is accurate? What does the Bible really say about God's attitude towards mankind?” Discussions along these lines could very easily open up opportunities to share the Good News of God's redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ.
So let’s purpose to take advantage of those opportunities while we can!