Saturday, March 15, 2014

Noah: The End is the Beginning

The story of Noah – the one found in Genesis 6 through 9 – is an incredible story of judgment and redemption, obedience, faithfulness and promise.

The movie Noah, which opens this month, has all the ingredients to be a blockbuster hit.  The cast includes some of my favorite Academy Award winning actors (I actually thought Russell Crowe was awesome as Javert in Les Miserables) and the production cost totals $145 million so the special effects should be spectacular.

I can’t wait to see the movie!

And I recognize that, while the movie and the Genesis story share some common ground, they are definitely NOT the same story.  Darren Aronofsky’s film may be inspired by the Biblical story but it’s not a retelling of Genesis 6 through 9.

There’s a lot being written and posted online about the movie (which I imagine delights Paramount).  Some of what is being written “warns” Christians about the dangers of the movie.  Other posts are encouraging Christians to go see the film.

I’ve not seen the movie – the fact is many of the people writing about it haven’t.  I’ve not read the script of the movie – again, many of the people writing about it haven’t either.  The ONLY information I have is what I’ve read online and based on that here’s my take:

There are some things the movie will get right – especially the idea that God takes sin seriously – and there are things in the movie that won’t match the Genesis story. It seems that the biggest concerns are extra elements that have been added to the original story - an apparent focus on environmental sin and a telling of the creation story that, while it isn’t a Richard Dawkins version, is more evolutionary than some Christians may like.

With that in mind, I believe those of us who follow Jesus should do two things:

Learn the story of Noah as it’s told in Genesis.  The movie trailer suggests that the story is more than you might imagine and that part they definitely get right.  Noah is about so much more than cute animals and rainbows.  We need to know the real story.  That’s why we are beginning a new series this SundayNoah:  the end is the beginning.  We will explore answers to the questions:

Why did God really destroy the earth?
What does it look like to be obedient when God asks me to do something crazy?
How can God care for me in the midst of His judgment?
What does a rainbow really promise?

The series begins this Sunday and it’s a great Sunday to do the second thing – invite a friend to come and learn the story with you. Invite someone to come to Mountaintop and together learn the story that inspired the movie – and then (after you know the real story) go to the movie together and talk about the differences. And pay attention in coming weeks – we have some fun ideas to help you make that invitation!

At Mountaintop we have a vision to be a community that is learning and sharing a better way of life.  We do that because we are convinced that life with Jesus is better (and will last forever) and that Jesus will make us better at life today.  Movies like Noah give us the opportunity to do what Jesus and His followers have always done: engage the world in learning His better way.

So I hope to see you Sunday – and at the movies!

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