21
Jun
07

Evan Blasphemy

Homebuilders,

After reading an interview in Christianity Today with the director of the movies Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty (the one about Noah’s Ark), I had to ask some questions of the editor.  To me, the portrayal of God and His work among men in such a base way is blasphemous and sinful. Period. A few texts, among many others, motivate my thinking:

Hebrews 12:28-29: “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 10:31: “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Just to show you how at least one editor of the e-letter of Christianity Today thinks, and how I think too, I am posting my corresponded with one of their editors (with his permission).

PLJ:  Is there no Christian at CT willing to stand up and criticize the movies EvanAlmighty or Bruce Almighty for blaspheming God in the way He is portrayed in the movie? Has Christianity come to such a low level of awe at our God that they would stand by and watch Him played by an actor, good or bad? This is very sad. CT no longer has any theological moorings.

 

CT: God was played by an actor in The Passion of the Christ.

 

PLJ: A serious portrayal of the God-man Jesus which attempts to remain faithful to the Scripture is completely different than a humorous portrayal of God the Father which is unfaithful to His portrayal in the Bible, and thus blasphemous.

 

CT: Is it the humor that makes it necessarily “blasphemous,” or the fact that a human being portrays God that makes it so?

 

PLJ: Not humor in and of itself. I cannot comment on the humor in the movies, whether or not it is blasphemous, since I have only seen previews. Again, the entire package–a humorous god portrayed by a man–that is unfaithful to the portrayal of God in Scripture Who is to be approached with fear and trembling and reverence and awe (Heb 12:28,29) as a consuming fire.

 

I think you should place in your e-newsletter an article giving an apologetic, biblical or otherwise, of the approach to portraying God taken in these movies.  Would you be willing to do that?

 

CT: I like to think God has a sense of humor, and even invented it. (Remember when he asked if the gods of Baal were busy sitting on the toilet taking a dump? Yeah, God has a sense of humor.)

All I can say is this: I’ve seen the film, it’s not blasphemous, it is funny, it is family-friendly, and it is faithful to God’s character–as one who loves us, cares for us and His creation, wants us to obey (even when it seems preposterous, like building an Ark), and wants us to serve others. If a secular audience comes away from this film seeing all of those characteristics of God, isn’t that a good thing?

And no, the newsletter won’t include an “apologetic” for the way God is portrayed in these films, because I’m fine with it. He is portrayed with all of the characteristics noted in the previous paragraph — and yes, as a God with a sense of humor. Amen to that.  

 

PLJ: I don’t mean to come across as demanding an apologetic, but if you have brothers and sisters raising sincere, biblical concerns about your promotion of these movies, I think it is not too much to ask that you consider such an article.

 

CT: Are your concerns about the apparent promotion of the movie, or about the movie itself? We are not promoting it; we are covering it, because it’s a big movie on many people’s radar screens, and especially for Christians because of the content. Promoting it is the job of the studio — and they are promoting it throughout CT’s publications by purchasing ads. But they’re promoting it, not us.

PLJ: Thank you. I agree that technically you are not promoting it, and since CT is as it is titled, Christianity Today, you are reflecting the viewpoint of the evangelical church at large by covering it rather positively. I think there are some segments of Evangelicalism that are quite negative towards the film and so our opinions should make it into your material at some point. Perhaps this will be addressed in the review [it was not, really].

PLJ

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