“Noah,” “Son of God,” & me

by Norm Miller
editor/moderator
sbctoday.com

Now that the flood of commentary has subsided regarding that “Noah” movie, one thought recurs like the incessant tide. It rides the cusp of other concepts, then curls and crashes, inundating me with spiritual conviction.

Critics accurately noted how far off course “Noah” drifted from the biblical record, as the film was ecological, not theological.

In this same period, the “Son of God” movie suffered similar salvos from those who decried both films’ “sins” of omission and commission. It seems those who read, understand and believe the Bible as historical and literal truth take grave umbrage when Sacred Writ is “artistically” diminished by subtraction or addition. Artistic license must be subservient to truth.

Where is Cecil B. DeMille when you need him? Though his 1956 film, “The Ten Commandments,” was not inerrant, I recall Dr. Adrian Rogers – in the hot height of the SBC’s Conservative Resurgence – referenced the movie publicly, saying (paraphrase): “Mr. DeMille can see more literal truth on two pages of Scripture than some of our seminary professors can in the entire Bible.”

Inasmuch as Southern Baptists expect professors in their employ to teach the Bible as the inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word of God, as Dr. Rogers intimated, we have the same expectation of movies purporting to represent our God and His Word.

Thus, the din of dissatisfaction from disciples when such movies go awry. I wonder, however, why we don’t hold ourselves to the same standard. Why is there no “din of dissatisfaction” in disciples’ hearts when we go astray?

If anyone should get it right in this life it is us, God’s children – those who know Him and obey Him. We wanted “Noah” to reflect the Bible perfectly. Why do we not have the same expectation of ourselves?

Why do our shortcomings pale into the shadows while we train floodlights on those of others? The burden we require of others who claim to convey God’s truth is our burden, too. The Standard we use to judge others will judge us.

A believer’s life may be all the Jesus others will see. So, then, what’s showing? What’s the script?

That last little phrase in John 1.18 – so few words – is laden with the cargo of Christian comportment. The Beloved Apostle said Jesus “exegeted” the Father to others. What are we exegeting to others about Christianity?

As we navigate this life, let Jesus chart our course.
“He’s the Master of the sea / Billows, His will, obey.”
Let us take the same tack.