Comments about ‘Jim Bennett: 'Noah' gets God wrong’

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Published: Thursday, April 3 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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slcdenizen
t-ville, UT

"Jews and Christians would refer to God in intimate terms as a wise and loving father"

Any citation for this bold claim? Or is Mr. Bennett projected his own belief system on the past? I suspect the latter.

This Old Testament Jehovah fanboy response is indistinguishable from the obligatory reviews that accompany each superhero movie expressing frustration that the "originalist" understanding of the character's costume and sidekick were not acknowledged or included. Why does a deep and abiding faith in a deity not provoke the need to broach challenging concepts and intellectualize the human condition? It's as if the religously minded have abandoned the "good fight" and have decided to just get offended as frequently as non-believers open their mouths. Sad really...

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

And yet the story depicts God preserving all the animal life on the planet. Perhaps this was in part to ensure a food source for people, but given that we don’t eat over 99% of the animals anyway, building a boat that size with only the preservation of humans in mind seems like overkill.

God may not be a vegan but he sure seems big on biodiversity…

Marsha N.
SANDY, UT

I am grateful for modern day prophets whose perspective on the eternal destiny of mankind is more ennobling, enriching and humanitarian than that of ancient legends which rarely speak of God from a holy view. Just because a document is ancient doesn't mean its source is righteous or true. Joseph Smith gave, I believe, the finest and most motivating statement of mankind when he said by Christ "the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters of God." Contrast the beautiful feeling such philosophy brings with the bloody and dark view of the film "Noah." We saw it in Mexico, in a theater packed with good people seeking an inspiring experience. They left the theater in total silence and carried away a terrible, misleading impression of one of God's revered prophets. So much good could have been done with the subject material: so much evil has been done.

Creaver
Sandy, UT

"Jews and Christians would refer to God in intimate terms as a wise and loving father." Unlike the first commenter, I see this as a statement not about the past, but the present. Since there were neither Jews nor Christians at the time of the Noah story, he must be talking about how religionists would describe God today.

Regardless, that's a diversion from the broader point here, which is that "The Creator" of this movie bears no resemblance to the biblical God, either past or present. He doesn't seem offended by this, but it's more or less an accurate observation on the writer's part.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

Prophets and Apostles of the LDS Church have gone on record numerous times saying they don't comprehend the Atonement, or God works in mysterious ways, or God's ways are above man's ways and men (including themselves) do not understand God's omniscience and omnipotence.

This author "understands" god so well and so thoroughly that he can tell when someone else "gets god wrong"?

I submit that atheists understand god and religion FAR better than do believers, and there is ample empirical evidence to support my claim.

G-Day-M8
WVC, UT

Creaver,

You are incorrect to say there were not Christians in Noah's time. Every Old Testament Prophet made it very clear that Christ would come and exhorted the people to have faith in him as he would redeem them just as those of us today look forward to his return and our redemption through him.

As for Jews, They would come much later as they are the family of Judah, son of Jacob (Israel), grandson of Abraham, a Hebrew.

G-Day-M8
WVC, UT

Scientist,

I have heard the LDS Apostles and Prophets infer that the Atonement is so infinite and so intimate that to fully comprehend it is impossible. I cannot fully understand or comprehend something that I have not experienced nor could I ever experience because I am not Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father. What I can comprehend though is the effect it has for me personally.

The Bible and other LDS Scriptures and doctrine teach us that we have access to the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven through faith, repentance, ordinances, personal revelation through prayer, fasting and the witness of the Holy Ghost. It's a life long quest and beyond to know the fullness of God. I believe it's a perfectly appropriate for the LDS Apostles and Prophets to say they don't know all things but to suggest they do not understand God is both disingenuous and dishonest.

I believe the tenor of your comment is somewhat mocking by suggesting that to know God, You have to know every thing he knows.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

I truly appreciated the background provided in this article. I will probably see the film, but I will not go there expecting to view a righteous prophet acting as a spokesman of a loving God. The rock people and other extra-Biblical details are interesting but irrelevant. The liberal themes of conservation and evolution are mere side shows. The real issue will be the delicate interaction of justice and mercy. Let's see if the author can get those right. I'm not holding my breath. (That was not an intended pun.)

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

I have always felt that atheists make the best producers of bible films. I mean it only makes sense right? Sort of like having an old USSR Communist do a film about the US constitution and bill of rights or perhaps having Hitler do a commitary on the history of the Jews or maybe a KKK grand dragaon do a comitary on African Americans. Anytime you read or see something today the FIRST question to ask is - who wrote it or who producted it. Once you find out the answer to that question then everything makes sense.

the Noah film is Lord of the Rings with a few bible words thrown in ...nothing more. I'm surprised Noah didn't land somewhere in Middle Earth!!

antodav
TAMPA, FL

And this article, also, gets at what may be one of the crucial problems with the film (i.e., the fact that the director himself doesn’t understand the source material he is addressing), although its perspective is more limited than the other, scholarly article on the subject.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

I saw the movie “Noah” last night, and was disappointed that the depiction of that great prophet was so severely misrepresented. I had to tell myself that this was just a science fiction story that used characters with the same names as are found in the Bible and latter-day scriptures. The plot was tortured because it represented Noah without real communication with the Lord. He made assumptions based solely on a few short visions of the flood and the ark. The movie was slightly redeemed at the end, because Noah began to make decisions based on mercy rather than justice.

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

Allah, Jehovah, Elohim, the Holy Trinity, Brahman, Vishnu, Krishna etc. have all been portrayed very differently throughout recorded history. Who is Mr. Bennett, or any religion or ancient writers, to presume to know what the real God (if there is one) is really like? Even the God of portrayed by different prophets of the Old Testament varies in attributes and characteristics.

Church member
North Salt Lake, UT

I love how this author says "Darren Aronofsky doesn't understand God" as if this author knows the absolute truth. I wonder how this author would feel if a Muslim wrote an article saying "those Mormons don't really understand the true God".

Dave D
Spring Creek, NV

The thing is, Aronofsky knows the story of Noah far better than I do, and I have been reading scripture and attending church my entire life. There is much we can learn from the academic and secular worlds about this story. Why not be willing to learn, and take truth from all sources? May I recommend David Bokovoy's Patheos blog as a place to learn more about this story from a faithful perspective?

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Maybe animals actually were better than people at the time of Noah. God didn't flood the earth because he was angry at animals--it was evil people who provoked him. In fact, the Bible says he left only eight people alive during the flood, whereas many animals survived.

Also, in writing about things like Eden and the creation, it is best for writers not to display too much certitude. After all, in LDS theology we have five different ways of looking at the Creation. We have the Genesis, Moses and Abraham accounts, all different, along with the temple film versions, which combine aspects of the previous three while adding new aspects. Then, there's a fifth perspective, sprinkled through various scriptures, that suggest the Creation was an instant event, where God simply commanded and the earth came into existence.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

So,
Why don't we just have an all out war over this film, and get it over with once and for all....

Enough already.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

The article says: "That’s why Aronofsky, who describes himself paradoxically as both a Bible scholar and an atheist..."

There is no paradox here. I can study the stories and practices of worshipping the Greek Pantheon of Zeus and Hera, Apollo and Aphrodite and Hades and the rest, writing scholarly articles and teaching classes without being a believer.

The director has studied the complete collection of bronze-age myths and stories and traditions of a particular tribe, along with the source material of the stories from other, earlier tribes. While he took artistic license and cast some parts in terms more attuned to a modern audience, the story he told is based in all the ancient myths of a flood, not just one particular version.

This is like understanding all the variations of the modern Santa Claus myth, instead of claiming that the only true Santa is found in old Coca-Cola ads and "The Night Before Christmas."

Myth stories are wonderfully rich. Seeing the complexity of the stories is uplifting.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Who cares, all that matters if the film makes money or nat and how much. If it rakes in the big bucks then there will be a sequel.

Rikitikitavi
Cardston, Alberta

Saw Noah with my wife. We both agreed (afterward) we should have got up and walked out. I have better things to do with my time and money.

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