NY Times “Noah” Ad Encourages Bible Reading

I just received an email from lifechurch.tv, the makers of the famous Bible app. When I read it, I wasn’t sure if I should be excited or upset. Here’s what it said: 

In a full-page ad in yesterday’s New York Times, the makers of the new epic film Noah recommend you read the biblical account of Noah’s story in the Bible App.

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Well, here’s why I was excited. Hollywood is using it’s own money, from a film hardly supported by the christian church, to promote not only the movie, but the bible! Can I get an amen?

But here’s why I was upset. Let’s be honest, this is hollywood’s attempt to get more Christians to see the film. It’s all about clever marketing. 

So should I be excited or upset?

Throughout this film journey, I have been upset with the way Christians have been responding. They have withdrawn support, calling this film blasphemy. Now, I’m sure it departs from the biblical story. But one thing seems clear now: the producers are not uncomfortable with the discrepancies between the film and the Bible. They are even encouraging you to read the biblical account before watching it. 

Many have accused the filmmakers of being secret agents of evil to deceive the world with environmental conspiracies and false accounts of the story. I’ve always guessed this wasn’t the case. I always assumed that they were simply trying to make a good film, with little understanding of the significance this story holds for many Christians. And, I wasn’t going to hold that against them. How should a nonChristian understand the nature of Christian politics? I don’t even understand it most of the time.

I think this ad, in the New York Times, proves my hunch. The producers are encouraging you to read the biblical account before watching the film. Because of this, I don’t think they meant any ill-will to the Christian community. There are a number of flood accounts from the ancient world. I’m sure they pulled from all of them to tell this story. And I’m sure they departed from all of them to make it an epic in line with movies like Gladiator. I mean, they cast Russell Crowe as Noah: What did you expect?

So I’m choosing to be more excited than upset.  In the email, Lifechurch.tv goes on and I couldn’t agree more: 

With the abundance of Bible-related movies and television shows over the past year, Hollywood seems to be realizing something the YouVersion community already knows: all over the world, this generation is excited about engaging with the Bible.

Isn’t that worth getting excited about? So I encourage you, read the story, watch the film, and talk about it with your nonChristian friends. Because as Paul said in Ephesians 5:16, we should be “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”


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