Will Evangelicals Miss the Boat on Paramount’s ‘Noah?’


Prominent evangelicals have unleashed a flood of criticism at “Noah,” the epic film releasing from Paramount Pictures on March 28 starring Russell Crowe. The naysayers claim that Christians shouldn’t see the movie because it differs in places from the biblical story in Genesis. Yesterday, for example, Rick Warren tweeted that he would not be going to see the film before deleting the message and adding another simply critiquing the movie's coverage. Which inaccuracies are these leaders most upset about? Most can’t say because they haven’t actually seen the film. All they know is that someone told them that there are deviations from the biblical account, and this is apparently grounds for a boycott.

Unlike some of the film's fiercest critics, I've actually seen “Noah” and was able to sit down with the Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky for an intimate interview. I asked Aronofsky pointed theological questions; the amount of biblical and historical research his team conducted for this movie nearly knocked me off my chair.

Does this film follow every jot and tittle of the (surprisingly short) biblical story? No. But it is more accurate than portraits of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus hanging in many churches or the romanticized tales of Christ’s birth recounted by Christians around Christmas with details that have little or no textual support. And most relevant to this discussion, “Noah” is at least as accurate as other biblical films and television shows of late--productions, by the way, that many of these same leaders have lauded in various publications and from their pulpits.