Conservative critics are particularly unhappy with the recently released film, ‘Noah,’ and for all the predictable reasons: it strays from a tight reading of the biblical text, weaves in a bit of environmentalism, implies evolution, seems to endorse promiscuity, etc.
Why? Never purporting to be the Bible’s account, I think you’ll find it more ‘biblical’ in the whole than what many preachers do with the difficult chapter in Genesis. In fact, the writers offer audiences an authentic confrontation with the following truths:
The sequential creation of the world by the voice of a sovereign God who remains invested in its well-being.
The free will of man and the consequential nature of choice.
The presence of Evil and the abiding power of temptation.
The tension between justice and mercy.
The paradox of the good, suffering.
The wisdom of humility.
The reality of mystery.
The apparent silence of God vs. evidence of his active presence.
The danger of dogmatic certitude.
The struggle that is faith.
The pre-eminence of love.
In all these things and more you will find ‘Noah’ offering honest inquiry and, ironically, biblical responses. The question that remains, of course, is how far do we go in engaging the Bible imaginatively. I’ve no doubt that boundaries of respect are important- even necessary- but we do well to probe the principles of our Faith with minds unbound by unnecessary conventions.