4 Ways Believers Can Prepare to Watch Noah
When asked to write a brief post for this blog concerning the upcoming screening and panel discussion of the Noah movie, I seriously hesitated. Some of the hesitation was caused by all the normal reasons; time constraint, poor grades in Mr. Warren’s composition class and a genuine concern about if I had anything to say. But the greatest factor for hesitation, I must admit, was fear. Fear of the possible reaction to anything I would say concerning the movie.
My friend, Pepperdine University communications professor Craig Detweiler, put it this way, “It’s tough to make movies for the easily offended. Studios assume these biblical stories are in the public domain, but a lot of believers consider the Bible their private property, and if you don’t interpret them the same way they’ve been taught, they’re going to speak out.”
And speak out they have.
At times the “speaking out” has been thoughtful, but for the most part, it seems reactive rather than responsive. So, I hesitated. To be honest I didn’t know if I wanted to “risk” weighing in on such a hot topic. (I agree with Detweiler about the easily offended.) After a little time though, I obviously decided to jump into the fray.
But not with my opinion of the movie.
What I would like to do is share a few suggestions on how a believer could prepare to see the movie.
Reread the first eleven chapters of Genesis focusing on the Noah account.
I know this seems so simple and obvious, but I recently came across a few alarming statistics.More than 50 percent of American Christians can’t identify Genesis as the first book of the bible, but they do identify Joan of Ark as Noah’s wife. Seriously. It’s probably not a bad idea for all of us to refresh our memories and clear the Veggie Tales “Search for Noah’s Umbrella” from our mental hard drives.
Secondly, remember the place of art in the world.
In an overly simplistic way, allow me to suggest that good art keeps us balanced. It provokes our imagination and reminds us of both the darkness of our world and the redemptive possibilities. As Madeleine L’Engle put it, “There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.”
Pray for God to open up a conversation with a non-believer.
Every time a piece of cultural real estate is grabbed and our collective attentions are focused, even for a brief moment, it is an opportunity for us to engage those around us. I dare say, even with the Left Behind remake at the end of the year, we will have the same opportunity. Pray for God to clearly open a door or two for a discussion about every inclination of man’s heart and God’s redemptive plan.
And lastly, enter a dialogue with a group of gracious, thoughtful Christians.
Spiritual formation is a team sport. I’m sure you would agree all of us, regardless of age, could learn a thing or two. There are lessons for us even from biblical texts we have treasured since childhood.
Ron Lewis ’82
Senior Pastor, Spring Road Christian Church