The Darren Aronofsky directed epic, Noah, hit movies this weekend.
I saw it opening day.
I named my son after this Biblical character, so I was hooked from the first trailer. Add in Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, and Jennifer Connelly as the cast, and I was getting more excited by the minute.
Not surprisingly, though, this film has kicked up a hotbed of controversy.
This post isn’t about that. (If you want my full report on Noah, you can read it here.)
I simply want all the Christians to step back, take a deep breath, and think about one thing…
We have a huge opportunity with Noah.
How? Here’s a quick rundown:
- This is a mainstream movie. Yes, Son of God hit regular theaters. It even did well. But the total box office take for Son of God was around 56 million. Noah is expected to hit over 40 million in its opening weekend. Total expected is closer to 125 million. This movie has mass appeal.
- Noah has an A-list cast with a successful, yet controversial director. This epic is not some B-movie with a “Christian” label slapped on it. It’s a motion picture with respected talent that pulled its source material from the Old Testament.
- So, because of reasons #1 and #2, several MILLION people will see this movie that do not attend church and do not consider themselves Christians. (“Russell Crowe? Darren Aronofsky? Big epic? Sure, I’ll go!”)
Ok, so let’s think hard about this… What other times can you think of that you can walk up to any coworker, friend, or family member that does not go to church and strike up a conversation about the Bible with no problem?
Doesn’t happen too often, does it?
But you know what anyone can do at work on Monday morning, March 31st, 2014?
“Hey, what did you think of that Noah movie?” or
“Did you see Noah this weekend?” or
“Did you read the real story in the Bible to see how it matches up?”
THAT is why this is a huge opportunity!
So, maybe you have some problems with the movie not lining up with the Biblical record. Maybe you weren’t a fan of the rock monsters. Maybe you didn’t like Noah’s struggles to interpret God’s calling.
None of that matters. You know what does matter? Striking up a conversation about the Bible with someone that normally has no place for God in their lives.
So please, Christians, before you get up in arms about this movie, think about the opportunity you have. You have a choice. Will you be too rigid in your worldview to accept an honest look at a Biblical story from someone that may be a little misguided? Or will you embrace the chance to kick start open discussion at every opportunity?
Some possible ways to leverage the movie:
- Simply ask people at work if they have seen Noah or plan on going soon.
- Invite several friends and coworkers to go see the movie with you and grab some wings and beer afterward to discuss it.
- Plan a 4 week small group study around the Biblical story. Go to the movie with a group of friends- some Christians and some that don’t attend church. Invite them over to your house one night for dinner to discuss the movie and look at the story in the Bible. Do this for the next 4 weeks. At the end of the 4 weeks, see who would be interested in continuing the meetings and finding another Biblical story to discuss.
- Find someone that has seen the movie but is not familiar with the Bible story. Respectfully explain some of the issues you had with the movie. Note: I said respectfully! Ask their thoughts and be open. Invite them to coffee to keep the conversation going.
I understand the Son of God was more “Christian family friendly”. That has its place. But Noah gives us an opportunity to build bridges with people that we don’t normally have a chance to. It gives us common ground to meet together and discuss things of life and faith.
It opens the door.
And that is a great opportunity.