Why call you them good?

All the animals go to The Ark of Noah painted by the American artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849) - Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA)

All the animals go to The Ark of Noah painted by the American artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849) – Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA)

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.
Mark 10:18

Do Christians have to say a movie is good just because it’s based on the Bible?

It seems that Hollywood is finally catching on that Christians actually do go to the movies. Five films (that we know of) with distinct Biblical themes are heading to, or have already arrived in, theaters.

Son of God, from the producers of The Bible Series which was wildly popular last year on The History Channel, opened on Friday. The film from producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett used footage from the television series to compile the film. Satan didn’t make the cut.

I have a lot of friends who have been anticipating this movie. I hope they like it. But I’ll not be seeing it in the theaters. Truth is, I only got through one episode of The Bible Series last year. It seemed slow, as does the trailer for the Son of God. And where is it written that everyone in the Bible had a British accent?

Noah is the movie I have to see according to my film student son because, “it’s got Gladiator and Hermione.” But the movie has not been without criticism. Late last week, based on criticism that the story is not actually a Biblical retelling of Noah’s flood, but rather a film based on the account, National Religious Broadcasters and Paramount reached an agreement that future marketing materials will have an explanatory note.

Future marketing materials as well as an upcoming online trailer will carry the following note:

“The film is inspired by the story of Noah.
“While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.
“The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
Source: Charisma News

God’s Not Dead tells the story of a college freshman challenged by his Philosophy class. He is challenged by his professor to admit that God is dead or prove God’s existence over the course of the semester. The film features Kevin Sorbo with appearances by the Newsboys as well as Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korie Robertson. Release date: March 21.

Heaven is For Real, coming out in April is based on the New York Times Best seller by the same name. It tells the story of a young boy who died, went to Heaven and spoke with relatives. The boy speaks to his parents about things that happened before he was born and about which he couldn’t possibly know.

Exodus hits the screens in December, with Christian Bale taking on the role of Moses. After all, who better to free the Hebrews than Batman? There is not much known yet about this movie from director Ridley Scott. The cast also includes Ben Kingsley as Nun and Sigourney Weaver as Tuya.

Hollywood made a lot of great Biblical movies in the 1950s and 1960s. These movies may or may not be great, but it’s encouraging that they’re taking on the subject material.

But, Christians are under no obligation to like these films just because of the subject matter.

Let’s hope they’re well done. Let’s hope they do really well. Telling the story of the Bible is important. If nothing else, let’s hope these inspire people to turn to the actual book to read more.

At the same time, if they’re badly done, it will be okay to say so. Seriously.

I have long argued against accepting something of mediocre quality just because it carried a “Christian” label. It’s wrong to praise something that’s inferior just because someone said grace over it.

Let’s hope these films are well written, well made and well received.

But if not, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying “Surely, Lord, they stinketh.”


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