Recent news reports confirm that Russell Crowe has been signed for Darren Aronofsky’s take on the biblical epic of Noah’s Ark, nine years after Peter Weir’s sea-faring epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Director Aronofsky says:

“I think it’s really timely because it’s about environmental apocalypse which is the biggest theme, for me, right now for what’s going on on this planet,” Aronofsky told SlashFilm.com in 2008. “So I think it’s got these big, big themes that connect with us. Noah was the first environmentalist. He’s a really interesting character.” (Christianity Today)

Yes, the environment was certainly a big concern of Noah – not in the way Aronofsky suggests of course, but rather when the rains would start. According to the Bible, Noah preaches repentance to escape a coming judgement, like Jonah and Jesus and Paul after him, because “the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5)

While the movie will be an interesting addition to the biblical epic genre, I really just want to know whether the movie will show a local flood or a global flood! And how and when those pesky fossils were formed! But just as I shouldn’t expect the Noah movie to answer all of my specific questions, we should approach the study of the book of Genesis with some degree of care. Over on Theologica, Danny offers a helpful list of common assumptions we should take into account when studying Genesis. Here’s one such highlight:

It’s not about me and my questions.  We expect this to be addressed to us and answer our questions and the big questions of our time.  But it that wasn’t its purpose.  The age of the universe and methodology of creation are key questions for us.  But it isn’t giving us the answer to our questions.  It’s addressing the questions and needs of someone else.

It’s not written in MY time.  It isn’t in easy to understand modern English.  It’s in a dead form of Hebrew.  And whether that is convenient to admit or not, it isn’t as clear as we’d like with what we’d like it to say.  And we don’t just have the debate over the genre and context of chapters, but debate over the narrow or broad understandings of specific words as well.

I probably don’t “land” where Danny does on all issues of creation, but the list is certainly worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the creation/evolution debate. The movie is sure to generate much more debate as the March 2014 release date approaches.

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