Everyone else is doing it, so why not chime in? Here’s my pros and cons from just seeing Noah.
It was raw, bloody, violent, and not something you would want to decorate your nursery with – just like it should be. Noah’s story is not a bedtime tale, it’s a campfire sermon. Themes of humanity’s fallenness, God’s judgement, and covenantal mercy are key. Sometimes, we lose that message while painting smiley giraffes next to a plump, happy Noah in the kid’s room.
Noah told his family the creation narrative over campfire, just like the oral tradition of Genesis was passed down from generation to generation. Not only this, but the cinematography was great. It showed God creating the universe in the exact order that science and the Bible tell us. But, was that scene showing a literal six day creation or a figurative six day creation? The movie leaves that up to you to decide.
Noah isn’t a good guy. He sees the wickedness of man and in that wickedness sees himself. God didn’t choose Noah because the man was righteous. God didn’t choose Noah because he saw potential in him. God chose Noah despite his sinfulness, which is something the movie picked up on well.
God (or the Creator) spoke to Noah in dreams and visions. Sometimes people read the Bible and see that God spoke to people. This is a huge sticking point to them – did he audibly speak to them? I liked the director’s explanation: dreams, very vivid dreams. Daniel had “night visions” when God talked to him, could Noah have had a similar experience?
The director gives us a great explanation for why Noah got wasted on wine. The answer is simple – he could no longer handle the immense stressors of witnessing humanity’s judgment and extremely strained family relations. It makes sense that he took to the bottle, so to speak, because the pressure became too much. Was it right? Of course not. But, then again, Noah wasn’t perfect, and neither are we.
Noah, apparently, took the judgment theme a little too far. Parts of the movie was reminiscent of The Shining – a crazy dad bent on murdering his family. I highly doubt that Noah believed all of humanity (to include he and his family) were going to experience judgement. This add-on to the story is, I believe, a result of the overly-environmentalist Noah that so many others have complained about in reviews. All humans are bad, so all humans must go. Leave earth to itself. Never mind that we were created in the Creator's image and likeness...
Two words: rock people. Yes, yes, that’s the director’s attempt at tying in the Nephilim, but by doing so he opened up a huge theological can of worms. Can fallen angels be redeemed? According to this movie, the answer is yes. (Also, apparently, rock people are great ship builders?)
As far as I know, Noah’s grandpa wasn’t called Methuselah the Grey. What was with his magical powers? And his obsession with berries? Just because there wasn’t much written about the guy doesn’t mean you should go all Lord of the Rings with his character. A wise old sage would have sufficed.
Finally, and most importantly, the movie completely bypasses the covenant God made with Noah after the Flood, which, by the way, was the pinnacle of the story. The movie ends with Noah’s birthright being passed on to his offspring and the rainbow of God’s promise to never judge the earth by flooding again. Missing something? Yes, the covenant renewal with the altar and sacrifice. Kind of a big deal, since it points forward to Jesus.
Because of this, it was hard for me to see Jesus in the Noah movie, which is not a good thing. The biblical story of Noah points forward to Jesus – judgment, sacrifice, and redemption. Without sacrifice, there isn’t any redemption.
Kyle Beshears (@kylebeshears) is a pastor at the People of Mars Hill in Mobile, Alabama and blogs at Dear Ephesus on church issues and apologetics. He is the author of Robot Jesus and Three Other Jesuses You Never Knew.