The Paramount Pictures movie "Noah" has recently generated a lot of controversy regarding its biblical accuracy. As one of only a handful of people who have seen the movie (to be released on March 28th), I've concluded that it's a film Christians need to see. In spite of "Noah" not being an exact biblical representation, here are nine reasons as to why I think it is worth watching:
1. I’ve been on the set. I’ve talked to the Chairman of the Studio, as well as the producer, director, set designer, and even the star – Russell Crowe. They did an amazing amount of research and event went to great lengths to build the ark to match exact Biblical measurements.
2. This week, Dr. Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters made an appeal to Paramount Studios to use a disclaimer on the film. He suggested that they add a disclaimer to say that this was INSPIRED by the Bible story rather than a film of the story itself. Paramount agreed with the idea without hesitation. To me, this proves that Paramount values the Christian audience.
3. It’s an epic film. I’ve always wondered about the places where the Biblical account of Noah was silent. In this version, Noah is a complex character. This helped me see possibilities I had never considered as to how details in the story could have happened.
4. For at least a decade, we’ve been asking Hollywood to produce movies based on the Bible. Now that they’re doing it, let’s be more encouraging. So far, they’ve proven to be serious in the effort. So let’s support it, not stifle it.
5. Our expectations may be unrealistic. Paramount Pictures is a business – a secular film studio. Should we really expect every Bible based film to be 100% accurate? To assume perfect accuracy is simply not realistic.
6. Whatever extra-Biblical elements there are in the film, that doesn’t overcome the fact that Paramount Studios is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to produce and promote a Bible story. This will be a national conversation that millions will participate in - what an opportunity for the Christian community! Rarely does an event come along that begs us to present our side of the story.
7. This is a powerful opportunity to share our faith. If you’ve felt awkward witnessing to a friend or co-worker, then what could be easier than taking them to a movie? Then follow-up with a discussion about what the Bible really says about the story.
8. It’s only a movie. As pollster George Barna remarked after Mel Gibson’s blockbuster "Passion of the Christ": “Less than one-tenth of one percent of those who saw the film stated that they made a profession of faith or accepted Jesus Christ as their savior in reaction to the film’s content.” That was the biggest religious film of all time, and yet it didn’t spark a revival. Likewise, chances are a movie about Noah that deviates from the scripture won’t drive Christians away from the faith.
9. Do we as a Christian community really need to “protect” ourselves from a movie that isn’t 100% Biblically accurate? Rather than withdrawing from the discussion, I suggest that we seize the moment and use this to our advantage. Pastors should be preaching messages on the Noah story. Let’s use the film to share our faith with friends/co-workers and better demonstrate the power of God’s Word.