I just realized how long ago it had been since I blogged on this three-part Noah series, and so with much apology I'm back at the keyboard. The tidal wave of teaching activity since Labor Day has certainly carried me far away from all this, and it's good to be back.
I've already spilled ink on how I viewed Noah as through the eyes of a biblical traditionalist and a cinematic realist. Very briefly, there is also the third lens through which I saw the movie, that of...
(3) A practical idealist: Someone recently asked me my views on the Left Behind series of books, as they had seen the movie starring Kirk Cameron. As I generally avoid movies with Mr. Cameron--no offense--I couldn't speak to the movie itself, nor had I read the book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. In fact, the little I know of what the books say tends to clash with my own view of "the end times" because I see the creation being renewed, not destroyed and rebuilt (among other trifles), but that takes us beyond this point. I did mention that I tend not to stand in the way of media that truly generates an interest in people checking out the Biblical story for themselves. The film or novel or whatever might be inaccurate on some (or many) levels, and I've already detailed some of my concerns about how the Biblical story was presented in the Noah film. But does that have to be the last word.
Even in the previews for the film itself, director Darren Aronofsky was careful to mention something along the lines that "the Biblical narrative of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis." I thought that was a remarkable display of transparency, as was his admission that historical, literary, and artistic license had been taken in the film's presentation of the epic. And perhaps that's what gives me a sliver of optimism. Perhaps people will check the original source, whatever their view of the Bible is, whether they believe it's trustworthy or not, if they believe it is God's Word or not. If this generates an interest in reading Scripture, then that in itself could be a victory.
It can't get any worse, in my opinion. Americans are deplorable in their biblical literacy [more on that in a future post dealing some more recent findings] and anything that raises the tide in that area gets a thumbs-up from me.
So Noah wasn't exactly lined up with the Biblical story. Your challenge--if you count yourself as a Christian--is to know the Biblical drama well enough so you can speak intelligently and winsomely about how to bridge the gaps in those differences. Not to mention, the true hope for me is that people not only enjoy the Great Story, but that they also place their trust and confidence in the Storyteller, thus finding themselves caught up and thrilled to be in the Greater Drama itself.