A group of Answers in Genesis staff attended the opening of Noah last night in a local movie theater. With all the Hollywood hype and news surrounding the controversial film, we were surprised at the low turnout, with only twelve other people in the theater. We had heard many negative reports but were hopeful, based on other comments, that there may have been some redeeming qualities of the film. However, those hopes were dashed against the rocks harder than Hollywood’s ark when it ran aground in the film. This point should be one that jars us to attention, realizing that our hope is not in a Hollywood film but in something infinitely more redeeming in quality: the person and work of Jesus Christ.
There are four elements from the biblical account that you will recognize in this film, but little else from Genesis 6–9. First, of course, there is a man named Noah, and he has three sons with the biblical names. Second, Noah builds an ark that is true to the biblical proportions (though it did not look seaworthy) and there were lots of animals that came to him and were on board (though far more creatures were crammed inside than were needed). Third, there is a flood that appears to cover the entire globe (though it’s not explicitly taught in the film). Fourth, mankind is depicted as extremely wicked (but because the film’s agenda is more about the environment, man’s wickedness was not so much sin against God but in how people were destroying the earth).
Ultimately, there is barely a hint of biblical accuracy in this almost two-and-a-half-hour film. But beyond being shocked at the massive distortions of God’s Word in Noah, we can recognize one opportunity: if you know of someone who has gone ahead and watched Noah (even with all the cautions AiG and others have presented about this unbiblical film), you can point a non-Christian toward trusting in God's Word and the forgiveness offered in Jesus.
Watch Review with Ken Ham
Here are just a few more of the many concerns with what we are calling a pagan film. (A more detailed review will be posted on the weekend that will point out many of the film’s pagan elements.)
Relying heavily on Jewish myths from the Book of Enoch and other sources, the filmmakers even twisted those ideas and flipped them on their heads. With the Bible text, it seems that director Aronofsky (who admitted that he had made the least biblical of Bible-themed films) and screenwriter Handel were willing to rearrange the account of Noah and the Flood in ways that made good evil and evil good, treating all of their textual sources with equal carelessness. For example, at two points in the film we are told, “In the beginning there was nothing.” But the Bible tells us that the triune God existed before the beginning: “
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). To compound this error, the visuals and words used to describe the creation are based on the big bang, the nebular hypothesis, and common descent from single-celled creatures to man (all three forms of evolutionary teaching were clearly presented).
Further compounding the troubles with the film was the depiction of Noah and his relationship with God. Noah comes off as a psychopathic murderer who is too weak to carry out what he believes is his God-given task. This problem arises because God does not speak clearly to Noah but expects him to assemble a puzzle from a few dreams and visions. Noah, who is willing to murder three men to save one animal, interprets these dreams to mean he is to save “the innocents”—the animals—and kill all of the humans so that the creation can be restored to the way God intended it. Here the filmmakers distort the character of Noah, described as a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5) and being a faithful and just man (Genesis 6:9; Hebrews 11:7), as well as the character of God who, in the film, cannot communicate clearly with His prophet. That is not faithful to the essence, values, and integrity of God’s Word regardless of what Paramount Pictures claims.
The way the filmmakers choose to portray man’s sin distorts the Bible’s teachings, Noah’s character, and most importantly, the character of God.
The filmmakers do show the sinfulness of mankind, though in the film mankind’s wickedness has more to do with how humans were destroying the environment and animals, rather than with their sin of rejecting God and mistreating their fellow man. The way the filmmakers choose to portray man’s sin distorts the Bible’s teachings, Noah’s character (he is portrayed in the film as a psychopath), and most importantly, the character of God. The movie is filled with mystical, pagan elements (e.g., Methuselah is a type of witchdoctor), blasphemy, and many disturbing scenes. Because of these things (and many other problems that we will present in a lengthier review of Noah on the weekend), we cannot recommend this pagan movie at all—much less for children to see.
There will be many in our culture, however, who will choose to see this movie. Here will be our opportunity to communicate the truth with them and undo the possible damage that the film has done in distorting the true account of Noah, the Flood, and the Ark in God’s Word and turning it into a fable. But we cannot make it our goal merely to get the details of the Bible correct or to point out all of the errors of the film—we must point them to the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15).
Invite someone you know has seen the movie to sit down with you and an open Bible and show them the truth that is in God’s Word. The account of Noah is one of judgment and mercy. While those themes can be found in the film, they are greatly distorted from the biblical concepts—the sins in the film are against the creatures and the creation, not against a holy and perfect Creator.
Ask probing questions about the film and help those you talk to about Noah understand their need for salvation from their sin against a holy God—to be saved from a sinful nature that has corrupted them. Then, point them to the Savior, Jesus Christ. Tell them that there is hope from the judgment that God has reserved for all men if they will repent of their sin and trust in Christ for salvation. Take advantage of this opportunity to share the gospel, and do it with grace and truth, yet be bold as you also share biblical truths with them about an important judgment event in human history. Do it knowing that the Holy Spirit can use the truth you speak to open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears. In all of this, let us do it for the glory of Christ, our Creator and Savior.
We will post a more comprehensive review in the near future. In the meantime, engage those around you who have seen the film and point them to the Word of Life.