Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Noah - A Film

Elli and I went to see this latest cinematic offering last night.

The main similarities with the biblical text are the following:
  1. There's a guy called Noah (and another named Methuselah and another named Tubal-Cain who is a forger of iron, but I don't see him playing any of his brother's nice musical inventions - Gen. 4:21-22).
  2. There's a boat.
  3. There are a lot of animals.
  4. There's a lot of water.
If you take a snapshot view, of the film other similarities occur, but when set against the flow of where the Bible has come from and where it is going. The film's portrayal of the original story is simply unintelligible and bizarre.

That said, I thought two sentiments were well expressed and helpful to me.

Firstly, the way that wicked king Tubal-Cain twists the commands of God to his own advantage - using "the Creator's" blessings not as an opportunity for service and self sacrifice, but for domination and self aggrandisement. He views his actions as not only his right, but his duty and he is justified in his own eyes - no matter how morally depraved he actually and clearly is.

Secondly, Noah's insistence that all should perish including himself and his family. The wickedness that he sees in humanity, he sees in himself and his family, so why should he / they escape? The rest of his family move too quickly (for my liking) to the glib humanist cliches about guilt and innocence, justice and mercy.

Salvation is not a right. It is never earned. It will never be merited. God doesn't see a glimmer in our unregenerate eyes and think - he could turn out a good'un. Our benchmarks of justice, mercy, guilt and innocence are far too skewed by our own over optimistic assessments of ourselves.

Mercy is, by definition, undeserved.

In the film, Noah is an inhumane, mystical eco-warrior charged with saving the creator's creation. The aim is preservation.

In the Bible, Noah is a picture of Christ who preaches to all, but who is reviled and ultimately saves only those who are made like him, transporting them with him through the waters of judgment and death to a renewed world. The aim is transformation.

I'm not on Facebook atm, but my wife told me that a friend of mine posted this excellent article which blows my well meant, but stupid little review out of the water!

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