Ferocious Originality

Ferocious Originality August 20, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from Eric Samuel Timm, one of an excellent class of students from Bethel Seminary who recently studied the intersection between theology and science.

Have you ever seen the divided come together to make something beautiful?

Think Pie.

American Apple Pie to be really specific.

The ingredients in a pie, divided in the corners of a grocery story or your kitchen counter, come together to make something beautiful,

and delicious.

What about Motorcycles?

Divided engine parts, nuts, bolts, shiny fenders and stitched seats come together to make something beautiful.

And fast. (According to mothers everywhere also dangerous.)

What about a Musical Arrangement?

Every note, every part, all the voices set differently then composed together to a make something more, something beautiful.

Music transcends just notes on a page.

Because it’s more.

It’s more then a bike,

and there is unquestionably more then America Pie.

So beauty is possible to been eventually seen from what would first divided.

Welcome to Patheos the new Hollywood block buster movie:

Noah. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959490/

Then welcome buttery popcorn that is gone like motorcycles and tastes like pie.

But after that fast and delicious, then welcome


Why are there so many divided opinions about the movie Noah?

A quick web search and many recent polarizing posts will arise to the data surface. Some commenting about the Biblical inaccuracy of the story as a detriment and others heaping praises on the creative interpretation and loose adaptation as an asset.

“This disappointing story isn’t close to being Biblically accurate.” June Thompson for the News-Herald Media http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/article/20140410/MNH04/304100063/Movie-review-Biblical-Noah-historically-disappoints


“…a picture that dares to handle a sacred text not with the clunky messages and stiff pieties we’ve come to expect from so much so-called “Christian cinema,” but rather with a thrilling sense of personal investment and artistic risk.” by Justin Chang http://variety.com/2014/film/news/noah-is-the-biblical-epic-that-christians-deserve-1201150333/


This is really a not a new problem,


Especially in Hollywood.

Beyond movie reviews this is one example of a long heated battle within the arenas of

literal and figurative.


Literal and Figurative are both starting players in the Theology and Science debates,

especially within the subject of Human Origins.

When did the universe begin?

How did we get here?

Was there an actual boat?

A global flood?

Questions like these will revel much division.

Like pie, motorcycles and music I am confident that the two can come together to create something beautiful. Something more. This won’t happen without humility and open conviction.

With that in mind, how about a open, honest question?

Is the division about the Movie Noah,

the division of the Biblical account of Noah,

or even the division centered around Origin questions,

a result of what to do with science and its data?


a result of what to do with Genesis and its meaning?

I’m still reflecting along with my Science and Theology class at Bethel Seminary under Professor Dr. Daniel Harrell, (insert plug for his book for extra credit):  http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Witness-Evolution-Inspire-Theology/dp/0687642353/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397238248&sr=8-1&keywords=how+evolution++can+inspire+faith

Enough questions. What do I think?

I think it’s a problem that no one that I found has gotten all snake eyed that Darren Aronofsky, the talented director of Noah, didn’t juxtapose the story of Noah against one of the 100‘s of other flood stories from cultures that tell a similar story.

One quick example is the Mesopotamian accounts. These stores have a huge boat built to precise dimensions, all the animals come on board, the boat rests on a mountain, birds are sent out and so the parallel’s arise within the Bible, Gilgamesh and the

Atrahasis Epics. Google it, I for sure had to.

In the light of the uniqueness of the film, how unique the Biblical story of Noah is should surface to the receding waters.

This is a flood that ends with the God making the promise control of natural display and establishing the covenant.

Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

Maybe the movie Noah isn’t historical, or fully Biblical.

Maybe the account of Noah is not to be scientifically harmonized,

maybe it isn’t science at all,

maybe it is saying something more,

something beautiful.

Like the God who is offering something more,

something beautiful

and will do it again,

and again,

and finally,

one last time.

But that is all together different movie.  (Not Lethal Weapon.)

One last movie critic’s review of the Noah,

And yet there’s still a ferocious originality to “Noah.” Despite its assemblage of borrowed and stolen and re-imagined pieces, you have never seen anything quite like it. Matt Zoller Seitz  http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/noah-2014

Are we still talking about the movie or something else? I say more.

Eric Samuel Timm




(In full disclosure of this post I have not seen the movie. I’m in ministry, have three kids and working toward a Dmin in Seminary deconstructing my presuppositions at every turn, so there is no time:) In a related extended dialogue about TIME, buy Static Jedi here:  http://www.amazon.com/Static-Jedi-Hearing-Through-Noise/dp/162136271X/ref=sr_1_1_title_2_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397238304&sr=1-1&keywords=static+jedi Shameless, I know but seminary is dang expensive and my GPA stinks so I usually don’t qualify for those things, oh….what are they called?…free money, I mean, scholarships.)

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