The overwhelming success of the TV series, The Bible, which was featured on the History Channel in March of 2013, seems to have prompted Hollywood to wake up and take notice of the fact that there are millions of people who are interested in Bible-related movies and TV programs. The series drew the largest cable TV audience in history — more than 13 million viewers, with a cumulative total of more than 100 million.
NBC has already contracted to finance a sequel that will take the story of Christianity through the end of the book of Acts and even beyond that. It is tentatively titled, AD: Beyond the Bible.
Son of God
20th Century Fox decided to get on the bandwagon by distributing a portion of The Bible series as a major motion picture titled, Son of God. I saw the film, and I was greatly impressed by it. Some Christian critics cut the film to pieces with arguments that were petty to the point of being silly. A great article by Nathan Jones analyzes the movie in detail.
One thing I loved about the movie, that I did not see any critic mention, was its title. Think about it. "Son of God" is a title of deity. It affirms that Jesus was who He said He was — namely, God in the flesh. That title is blasphemous to Jews and downright horrendous to Muslims, but the movie's producers did not give in to the pressure of political correctness. Also, in the movie, Jesus states three times that He is the only way to God. Christians should be celebrating the film rather than throwing rocks at it.
The second biblical epic of the year, Noah, is a better candidate for stoning. It was about 20% Bible and 80% imagination — vivid imagination!
The first half of the film came across to me like a Sci-fi movie. It featured weird creatures called "Watchers."They served as protectors of Noah and his family, and they helped Noah build the Ark. These creatures, who supposedly are fallen angels, were presented as modern-day Hollywood transformers who could transform themselves from a pile of rocks into 20 foot tall fiendish monsters. I guess they were based on the biblical reference to Nephilim living on the earth at the time of Noah (fallen angels who manifested themselves as giants — see Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33). What I was never able to figure out is why fallen angels would want to help Noah!
The other strange aspect of the movie was a revelation Noah made to his family. In the midst of their voyage, Noah told them he felt it was God's will for all of them to commit suicide when they landed so that the sin of Man would never again corrupt nature! Needless to say, this insane idea caused Noah's family to rebel against him. I suppose this concept was introduced to provide dramatic effect to offset what otherwise would be a boring cruise.
But despite all this nonsense, the film had some redeeming virtues. There was no filthy language or torrid sex scenes. It clearly differentiated good from evil. It related the reason for the Flood to the sinful rebellion of Mankind. The Flood itself was pictured as a worldwide deluge, in stark contrast to the currently popular idea that it was only a regional flood.
Some have criticized the movie for never mentioning the word, God. That criticism is invalid. God is spoken about constantly, but He is called "The Creator." And, I liked that term of reference since we live in a time when even thinking about a Creator God is considered ridiculous.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Noah is portrayed sitting down with his family in the midst of their voyage to tell them the story of Creation. It is told just as it is related in the first chapter of Genesis.
My favorite part of the film is when Noah disguises himself and walks through the camp of his besiegers the night before the flood begins. He witnesses debauchery that simply overwhelms him and impresses upon him God's justice in sending the flood.
But what happened next prompted me to want to stand up and shout, "Hallelujah!" Noah goes back to the Ark and shares with his wife what he saw. She is repulsed, and Noah responds by observing that the same potential for debauchery resides in the two of them and in all of Mankind. I could hardly believe what I was seeing and hearing on the screen — a Hollywood denial of the essence of Humanism. The basic religion of Satan has always been Humanism, and it is the religion of Hollywood. Humanism teaches that Man is basically good and capable of perfection. The Bible teaches that Man is basically evil and can be changed only by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Noah affirms the biblical view.
God's Not Dead
A few days after seeing Noah, a friend called and said I needed to see a film titled, God's Not Dead. I had not heard about it. I checked the Internet and found that it was being shown at only a handful of theaters in the Dallas area. Then a few days later, when I checked again to see the show times, I discovered it had spread to theaters all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
I went to see the movie on a Saturday morning at 11am, and the theater was packed! I quickly discovered why. It turned out to be the best Christian movie I have ever seen. It is outstanding in every respect — strong acting, excellent directing, and a compelling story that is true to God's Word. As we say here in Texas, "I got my socks blessed off."
That's all I am going to say about it, because I don't want to spoil it for you. Incidentally, this movie was funded by the Duck Dynasty.