1. notleia says:

    [Insert blahblahblah, YEAH! CONTEXT, SNITCHES, blahblah.]
    Copple, you’re a relief to my blood pressure.

  2. Adam Graham says:

    I think you said something here that really hit the nail on the head for me:

     What picture of God and man is painted for me when taken as a whole? Is that Biblically true and worth challenging my assumptions and complacency? 

    I think that’s really the problem with Noah. It’s not that the movie plays with facts.  Every version HAS to,  but it’s the movies portrait of God and man that comes across as troubling.  Because it portrays a God who Doesn’t even want to show mercy, and man as more of a pestilence. It slanders Noah and it slanders God. It’s the JFK of movies about the Bible. 

    • Because it portrays a God who Doesn’t even want to show mercy, and man as more of a pestilence. It slanders Noah and it slanders God.

      I’ve actually heard (from Austin Gunderson’s review and many others) that this isn’t what the film does. In fact it does risk “slandering Noah” but for the purpose of showing that Noah has the capacity to be as much a sinner as those whom God destroyed. I’ve read that the film goes out of its way to show how nasty mankind was so that God does not come across as ridiculously wrathful — and that the story even ultimately shows that it was God all along showing mercy, though not revealing it up-front. In Scripture God was clear about His covenant to save Noah and his family, so this is indeed a drastic departure from Scripture. But I’m not sure (I haven’t yet seen the film) if it’s as bad as intentionally slandering God.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      Within the context of the Biblical story of Noah, I don’t know that the picture of God you’ve given isn’t more accurate. Yes, we know from the Gospel of God’s mercy, and He demonstrated it plenty of times after the flood as well as His judgment.
      But taking the story of Noah itself, whereas He showed mercy to Noah and his family, but showed zero mercy and unbending judgment to who knows how many thousands, millions, or billions of men, women, children, and babies. God practically commits genocide. A picture of a God of judgment is inherent in that story. For most of the world, God showed no mercy. Only judgment.
      His mercy is demonstrated in both stories by not completely wiping out the human race, and promising never to do that again. I’m not so sure that paints an unBiblical picture of God within that story. That the story of Noah even in the Bible does not paint a complete picture of God by itself, I hope would be self-evident. A Christian filmmaker might be motivated to tack that onto the story in some fashion.  I wouldn’t expect a “pagan” director to do that. From the descriptions I’ve read, on that specific point of God’s judgment and mercy, within the context of the Biblical narrative, it sounds like he got it more right than wrong.

  3. R. L. Copple says:

    Rebecca LuElla Miller has posted a response to this article on a different blog. You may want to see what she has to say. I commented over there.

  4. dmdutcher says:

    I think the problem is that Christians don’t like speculation so close to Biblical events. Speculation that alters Biblical accounts instead of being merely additive to them. So something like The Robe is okay because it’s just adding side stories to the tale of Christ, but something like Michael Moorcock’s Behold the Man isn’t. Even granting Christian themes, we don’t like the Biblical accounts changed.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      True. But I would qualify that to say a certain segment of Christians don’t like that, and it also depends upon what is being changed for many.
      But it is often the perception/interpretation (even within context of all Scripture) that is being changed, not necessarily the Biblical account.
      For instance, if a movie were to show Jesus telling Thomas to touch the nail prints in his hands and place his hand in Jesus’s side, and Thomas didn’t do it, some would no doubt complain it wasn’t following the Bible. That is, until someone pointed out that the Bible never says Thomas did that. It has Thomas immediately falling down saying, “My Lord, and my God.” But it is a very common belief, based on tradition, that he did do it, even among most Protestants.
      That probably wouldn’t create that big a ruckus, but points out that often we are reacting to our perception of what is Biblical, rather than what is actually in there, and/or not taking the whole of Scripture into account.
      I’m refraining from making a judgment on Noah until I’ve seen it. But yeah, when you go to speculating with Scripture, whether openly or not, many Christians are going to have problems with it. Some even have a problem with additions.

  5. HG Ferguson says:

    Funny how something is being lost in all this discussion — God’s reason for destroying all of mankind except for 8 who found His favor, and that is that when God looked down and saw, He saw that man’s every thought, act and deed was only evil continually.  This was not “genocide.”   I would expect a word like that to come from Richard Dawkins and not from people who actually believe the Bible.  “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy,” God declares.  And He was sorry He made man.  Why?  He tells us.  Because everything man was, was only evil, all the time.  There is no “perception” here.  God tells us what He wants us to know.  If something needs to be said in scripture, it will be clearly said.  No one likes to speak of God being angry with sinners who spit in His face and live as they please.  No one likes to speak of such sinners actually deserving, like the people of Noah’s day, what they ought to receive.  But we can’t speak of the Cross without declaring the Truth as to why that Cross was raised in the first place.  God did not commit genocide, nor should we speak of Him in such terms.  He judged sin.  Let’s keep our “perceptions” biblical, shall we?

    • R. L. Copple says:

      noun: genocide; plural noun: genocides
      the deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.
      This says nothing of what the motive is, or even whether God “sinned” by doing so. Obviously He didn’t sin and though it goes against modern sensibilities, He was justified to do so. That said, what God did fits the definition. It is not a statement on the morality of what He did. But He did wipe out whole nations of people.  He instructed the Jews to kill all people in the land they were entering. That’s genocide. The motive or moral rightness/wrongness has nothing to do with the definition of the word.
      Rather, you’re reacting to the connotation often placed on the word because in a majority or most cases, we’d consider doing that to be an evil act. God’s an exception in that case, because His reasons are righteous. The Potter can do with the clay what He wills. Using that word does not deny that, it only points to what God did: wipe out whole nations of people.

What do you think?