Should Christians see Darren Aronofsky’s controversial “Noah,” the $130 million epic starring Russell Crowe loosely based on the biblical story of Noah and the great flood, debuting in theaters across the nation?
One noted authority on the story of Noah believes the answer is “yes.”
“There are some Christians who will not want to see the movie,” said Larry Stone, author of the recently released “Noah: The Real Story.”
“They have heard people say how horrible it is. Glenn Beck for one. A friend of mine for another, who was asked to write an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, saw the movie, and thought it was terrible – not for theological reasons, but for artistic reasons. I say, if you don’t want to see the movie, that’s OK.”
Stone noted that at the start of “Noah,” there’s a disclaimer stating the movie doesn’t directly mirror the biblical tale.
“This will immediately cause many Christians and parents bringing their children to the movie to give pause about what they are about to watch,” Stone said.
But, he said, there are some Christians who will want to see the movie, and for those people, he said, “print out the Discussion Guide at NoahTheRealStory.com (under ‘The Movie’), go see it with some friends, get some pizza, and talk about it afterwards.”
“You’ll have a great time,” he said.
Aronofsky told Variety magazine the film was made for believers and non-believers.
“I’m more concerned about getting non-believers into the theater or people who are less religious,” he said. “A lot of people are thinking, ‘Oh. I don’t want to go see a Bible movie,’ but we completely shook up all expectations and people will see that as soon as they sit down and watch the movie.”
One pastor and frequent Fox News contributor, Craig Gross, wrote that the negative reaction to the movie from Christians is “embarrassing.”
Gross, the founder of XXXChurch.com, said Christians vowing to boycott the film are wrong.
“I write this because it’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to belong to a faith that attracts a group of people who always have to be right, and when something pushes them just a bit, they want to shut it down or keep people away.”
Gross, whose son appears in “Noah” as a young Ham, also wrote: “As a pastor and a Christian, I find this to be truly amazing. If there are things that don’t line up in these movies with your opinions on what happened, then you have a great chance to follow up at dinner with your family or friends or small groups and talk about it. Talk about what you agreed with and what you didn’t. Remember, you have access to the book.”
Stone said Gross’ criticism of Christians who are boycotting “Noah” is misguided.
“The problem with Craig Gross saying, ‘chill out; it’s just a movie’ is that he will alienate those he thinks need to hear it,” he said, noting the movie represents a “great evangelistic tool” for share the Christian faith.
Stone said many non-Christians who see the movie will have questions about Noah, the flood, the ark and the animals.
“Be prepared to talk with them by reading ‘Noah: The Real Story’ and when the Holy Spirit tells you to, direct them to ‘Noah’s Secret for Surviving the End of the World’ – watch, be ready, and choose now which side you are on, who you will believe and serve. What a great evangelistic opportunity,” he said.
Stone says his book, “Noah: The Real Story,” “doesn’t deviate at all from the biblical story.
“It’s the biblical tale, covering everything and delving into the science of the matter, taking on questions such as was the flood global or local? How big was the Ark? How was it built? How did Noah gather and take care of the animals? Where can you see the Ark today?”
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