That Time the Apostle Paul Went to Go See the Movie Noah

That Time the Apostle Paul Went to Go See the Movie Noah March 31, 2014

The movie Noah has been a lightning rod in the Christian community. To see it or not to see it? But I heard it contradicted Scripture! But I heard it was made by an atheist! But I heard Noah is portrayed as an eco-terrorist! But I heard the ark doesn’t even look how it did in my Sunday School quarterly growing up!

While I’ve already posted about why you should see the movie Noah, what’s been surprising to me has been the outright hostility and condemnation of a movie before it was even seen. “Frozen” has some anti-biblical elements and yet we sing its praises. “Noah” has many more biblical elements than “Frozen” yet we vilify it. If we’re going to vilify movies, let’s at least be consistent. The larger question for me becomes: how do we respond to a culture that is becoming more and more anti-biblical? Do we embrace it? Do we condemn it? Or do we engage it and try to redeem what we can?

Paul had to wrestle with this same dilemma when he encountered a deeply anti-biblical society in ancient Athens:

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:16-18

When invited to speak to some of the leaders of the city, how did he respond? Did he embrace their gods? Did he vilify and condemn them, wishing them safe travels on their journey to hell? Or did he attempt to engage and redeem what he could?

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. Acts 17:22-23

If the apostle Paul were alive today I wouldn’t put it past him to watch the movie Noah and use it as an opportunity to preach the gospel. I’m not saying that’s why the movie was made. I’m not saying movie Noah is completely accurate biblically.

I’m saying that the level of condemnation and vilification for a movie not yet seen has been disheartening. Noah was a good movie with many redeeming elements. Noah was easily the #1 movie in America this past weekend. Millions of people saw it. But if all the Christians sat home, then who will engage non-believers today about the movie and use it as an opportunity to explore the biblical concepts brought out by Noah? Millions of people are talking today about sin, judgment, and the Creator. By removing ourselves so early from the conversation, we’ve missed an opportunity to engage others in some of the deepest problems affecting mankind.

QUESTION: If the Apostle Paul were alive today, what do you think his response would be to the movie Noah?

P.S. I heard Christian Bale is playing Moses in a movie coming out in December. Anyone want to be the first to condemn that?


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