Call me strange, or old-fashioned, but I strongly believe when one wants to get one's facts straight one goes to the source. Much digital ink has been spilled regarding the upcoming biblical epic, Noah (starring Russell Crow, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Watson), how it is not particularly biblical, etc. We all know that controversy drives the press, nets clicks and impressions.
It seems however that this controversy is more of a non-troversy, because (and this surprised me) Paramount hired an honest-to-goodness biblical adviser. A man who has been involved since the beginning, a man who (in his own words) has "read probably more than 10 drafts of the script, given longwinded feedback on each, seen every piece of footage that was shot and been flown around the world ... twice."
Remember what I wrote above about going straight to the source? In this case, that source is the man I alluded to in the preceding paragraph: John Snowden. Mr. Snowden (no relation to the infamous Edward), prior to consulting on the Noah film for the past two years, worked in vocational youth ministry in the Los Angeles area. In an editorial for the Christian Post, he gives his careful, measured, informed opinion that People of Faith Can Embrace Noah.
Yes, that's right, the biblical consultant on this multimillion dollar epic has weighed in on this debate that's been raging almost since the picture was announced. He makes a convincing case that this film will open doors, that it does not mishandle scripture, that it presents God at the front and center. Rather than reiterate his case, I'll say this: knowing a thing, or two, about story, I understand that a story at its most basic is about a character who wants something, and undergoes conflict to get it. In this upcoming film, Tubal-Cain (as portrayed by Ray Winstone) personifies the wickedness of mankind, giving the story its antagonist (and Noah's primary conflict). Put another way, any story without conflict would be boring. As author Donald Miller says, one could write a story about a man who wants a Volvo, but who would be engaged in such a tale?
Here, in Noah, the stakes are much higher: the fate of humanity is on the line. So Noah comes into conflict the wickedness of mankind (as personified in the person of Tubal-Cain). His life, and the lives of his family members, are on the line... In what is arguably a post-christian culture, giving people--the young, the old, the indifferent--a story into which they can sink their teeth is a good thing. It will open doors of discussion for we who are people faith to walk through. Rather than criticize Noah, let's rather embrace the opportunity afforded us.
And rather than editorialize any further, allow me to again direct you to Mr. Snowden's excellent analysis:
Why People of Faith Can Embrace Noah
Thanks for reading!