I would like to take the pleasure of introducing my first guest blogger on Nyk.pm. Steve Park has been a friend of mine for many years. He lives in the Kansas City area and his ability to see inside music and movies and theological issues has always impressed me. that is why I asked him to write for my blog when he can. I was very interested in hearing his take on the new movie Noah. I am sure you will enjoy it as well.
In life, as with this movie, we mustn't let our unmet expectations drive us to wallow in disappointment. Upon first hearing of a Noah movie I thought, "its about time someone tackled this epic". If Matthew 24:37 is any indication, one might say it's rather timely. Yet immediately, the debate and controversy began. A battle really, and not just over the minute details. The conversation over precision is unfortunate if necessary, yet it should at least be leading back to the main point, that Noah's story is a part of the gospel as a whole. I thought how can, or who would want to get the story of Noah wrong? Then I hear of Jewish atheist writers and a typical save the planet theme and my disappointment nearly brought me to just dismiss it. However, this is such a crucial story, a crucial part of history, and I'm not usually quick to boycott Hollywood's ignorance anyway (usually its just more of a consistent avoidance). Still I remained guardedly hopeful.
My growing skepticism made it difficult to apply myself in the theater at first, as the "earth first" plot began to unfold. However the movie eventually began to run along the ever familiar storyline, albeit about as parallel as a set of non-identical twins. Maybe a caveat would have been in order, "based on true events".
While the Biblical record of Noah and the flood is quite detailed in some ways, well researched extra-canonical liberties were taken to fill in the possibilities which were, for the most part, left to us as mysteries, such being the Nephilim, or Watchers, represented here as Tolkienish Ent-like stone beings capable of repentance and redemption. The more bothersome inclusion for many would have to be the anti-civilization theme so common today. It is true, sin thrives in the city yet it is first bred in the heart. So the real answer is responsibility, not this heartless, constantly forced religion of "sustainability".
Somewhere through the film as I engaged, I began to recognize the struggle often only attributed to our own personal one, where we wrestle with God alone in secret at night. This was quite vividly demonstrated by the villain, city ruler Tubal-Cain in his calling out to God, "I am a man made in Your image! Why do you not converse with me?! …Speak to me!" I thought, "sure, most of us at times come to that point, yet for sure 'the heart is selfish and desperately evil'". Everyone knows of the Creator, it's just that we wish to create Him in our image instead. This honest struggle seen also in Noah, began to be one of the most crucial aspects of this story, and in the end, nearly caused the earth-focus to seem unnecessary. Except that, in reality, its as though Noah, being an imperfect person, had simply gotten God's purpose for this mostly wrong. He had misunderstood God's main reason for this cleansing, and though that care of creation drove him to fulfill his understood purpose, in the end he found out this renewal was all meant for a restoration of the proper intention for our relationships, that being love and grace.
|Ila and the wizardly Methuselah|
In light of that, some who left the movie early in discouragement, may have avoided a blessing. Just as Ila, Noah's adopted daughter could have given up on God and then missed that encounter with the wizardly Methuselah, a turning point giving her a way to soon see life as through the eyes of the Creator.
God chose Noah, however imperfect, because he knew through him and his steadfastness He could mete out, not just His justice, but His love and mercy... eventually being ultimately accomplished in Christ.