March 28th, 2014
01:22 PM ET

Does God have a prayer in Hollywood?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

Los Angeles (CNN) – Forgive Darren Aronofsky if he’s begun to identify with the title character of his new film, “Noah.”

Like the infamous ark-maker, the 45-year-old director has weathered a Bible-sized storm – and it’s not over yet.

Aronofsky’s epic, which stars Russell Crowe and boasts a $130 million budget (with marketing costs to match), rode a swelling wave of controversy into American theaters on Friday.

Despite fierce criticism from some conservative Christians, "Noah" was the top box-office draw last weekend, raking in $44 million in the United States.

Part Middle-Earth fantasy flick, part family melodrama, the film is an ambitious leap for Aronofsky, director of the art-house hits “Black Swan” and “The Wrestler.”

Both of those films were showered with praise and awards. “Noah,” on the other hand, has sailed into a stiff headwind.

Glenn Beck and megachurch pastor Rick Warren blasted the film. The National Religious Broadcasters insisted “Noah” include a disclaimer acknowledging the filmmakers took “artistic license” with the Bible story. Several Muslim countries have banned the movie, citing Islam’s injunctions against depicting prophets.

Even Paramount, the studio releasing “Noah,” has agitated Aronofsky, testing at least five different versions of his film with focus groups.

“I can understand some of the suspicion because it’s been 50 years since an Old Testament biblical epic has come to the big screen,” Aronofsky said recently. “And in that time a lot of films have come out of Hollywood that have rubbed people the wrong way."

Box office report: 'Noah' wreaks Old Testament havoc on its competitors

2014 is supposed to be the year Tinsel Town reversed that trend and finally got religion.

A decade after “The Passion of the Christ” surprised Hollywood, rankled liberals and raked in $600 million worldwide, big studios are backing a flotilla of faith-based films.

In addition to “Noah,” there’s “Son of God” from 20th Century Fox, which came out in March and is culled from the History Channel’s megahit miniseries, "The Bible."

In April, Sony Pictures will release “Heaven is For Real,” based on the bestselling book and produced by Bishop T.D. Jakes, a Texas megachurch pastor and multimedia entrepreneur.

The movie “Exodus,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale as Moses, is scheduled for December. So, too, is “Mary, Mother of Christ,” which is billed as a prequel to Mel Gibson’s “Passion.”

More biblical epics may be on the horizon. Steven Spielberg is reportedly in talks to direct another movie about Moses, and Warner Brothers recently bought a script about Pontius Pilate.

The box office hasn’t seen this many faith-based films since Charlton Heston delivered the “The Ten Commandments” in Technicolor. And that’s not even counting “God is Not Dead,” the indie sleeper that took in $8.5 million last weekend.

So what’s behind Hollywood’s religious revival?

“The biggest factor is the dynamic growth of the box office in international markets,” said Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore, one of the forces behind “Noah.”

MORE ON CNN: A flood of reviews for 'Noah'

Moore pointed to the $14 million his film has made in Mexico and South Korea, two of the more than 20 countries where “Noah” will run this year.

As Hollywood’s supply of comic-book heroes seems to run dry, studios know the Good Book comes with a built-in audience of billions. The Bible’s heroes and villains are jeered and cheered on nearly every continent. Its morally complex stories are rife with blockbuster-ready special effects like locust plagues, apocalyptic floods and talking donkeys.

But the controversy over “Noah” illustrates the promise and the peril of bringing the Bible to the big screen.

Yes, there’s a ready-made audience that loves the book, but will they tolerate a script that strays from Scripture? On the other hand, will increasingly secular young Americans flock to see films that look and sound like sermons?

"The earlier emphasis of faith-based films was to sacrifice quality for the message," Jakes said in a recent interview. "But it's dangerous to divide entertainment from evangelism. You're not going to connect with the average movie-goer if you're not putting out good stuff."

But even Jakes, a longtime pastor and film producer, said it's not easy to turn a religious text into a movie.

Megachurch pastor and multimedia entrepreneur Bishop T.D. Jakes' latest film, "Heaven is For Real," releases in April.

The author of "Heaven is For Real" has been adamant that the movie mirror the bestselling book. And Jakes cautions that the film's depiction of heaven does not comport with Christian orthodoxy.

"It's a little boy's vision of heaven," he said. "It's not a theological film by a council of scholars."

Like Jakes, Mark Burnett said he sees the silver screen as an evangelistic tool.

"We believe that over the next few decades, billions of people are going to see 'Son of God'," the reality-show producer said. "This is not just some film to us."

Burnett pitched his movie hard to religious leaders before its release. Evangelical pastors like Rick Warren rented out entire theaters, and Catholic bishops endorsed the film – which hews to the New Testament telling of Jesus’ life.

The Christian push lifted “Son of God” to No. 2 on its opening weekend in February when it made more than $26 million in the United States.

Since then, sales have fallen sharply. But Burnett cautions filmmakers against bowdlerizing the Bible to succeed at the box office.

“There’s a big price to pay for departing from the sacred text,” he said.

Just ask Universal Pictures, the studio behind Martin Scorcese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” which sparked outrage in 1988.

Not only did Christians boycott the movie, in which Jesus fantasizes about married life, some sent death threats to studio executives.

“These stories hit really sensitive areas,” said Elijah Davidson, director of the Reel Spirituality program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

Noah’s tale is a prime example. Just four short Bible chapters, it’s more sketch than story: The protagonist doesn’t speak until the boat finally lands ashore.

“And yet it’s a foundational story for many Christians,” Davidson said.

For centuries, theologians have taught that God’s covenant with Noah and post-flood promise to be merciful prophesied Christ’s later arrival.

Building Noah’s arc

Aronofsky, who describes himself as culturally Jewish but not especially religious, said he respects how important the Noah story is for believers.

“We tried very hard not to contradict anything in the Bible,” the director said. “But we also wanted to bring the story alive for a 21st century audience.”

Wiry and intense, with a shaved head and a Brooklyn accent, Aronofsky looks like a man who’s just finished one fight and is girding for another.

“What’s been missing from the whole controversy is my personal passion for the film,” the director said. “I’ve been thinking about this for 30 years.”

"Noah" director Darren Arnofsky's previous films have included the art-house hits "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler."

When he was 13, Aronofsky’s middle-school class in Coney Island was asked to write about peace.

He penned a poem about Noah called “The Dove” that was recognized by the United Nations. (As a thank you for setting him on the creative path, Aronofsky gave his teacher, Ms. Fried, a bit part in “Noah.”)

Even as a child, the director said, the Noah story unsettled him.

Aronofsky didn’t see the happy tale of rainbows and doves told in children’s books. He saw the humans and animals consumed by the waters – the world drowning in the deluge outside the ark.

As he began his film career, the director grew obsessed with telling the Noah story from that perspective – and employing the power of modern special effects to portray Earth’s first apocalypse.

“It’s one of the oldest and most famous stories in the world,” Aronofsky said. “And yet it’s never been told on the big screen.”

There are good reasons for that. After all, it’s a dark story.

God, distressed at human wickedness, decides to hit the cosmic reset button. His waters wipe all life from the planet, except for the fortunate few on the ark. After the storm, Noah gets goodly drunk – perhaps the first known case of survivor’s guilt – and curses the descendants of his son Ham to slavery.

To understand Noah, and to give his character a story arc, Aronofsky and his co-writer, Ari Handel, spent 10 years poring over the Book of Genesis and the midrash – stories written by rabbis to fill out the Bible’s narratives.

They also read texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Book of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch, a work ascribed to Noah’s great-grandfather. Handel, who studied neuroscience, is known as an obsessive researcher. The script’s bibliography runs five pages long, single-spaced.

“We had to figure out how Noah and his family would get through this, and what it would feel like,” Aronofsky said.

The studio also hired a Christian consultant for the film. John Snowden is a former youth pastor at Vineyard Christian Fellowship Church, where Moore, the Paramount executive, is a member.

Snowden, who was pastor to Moore's son, said the filmmakers’ questions ranged from the sublime (Why did God create human life?) to the ridiculous (Would Christians be upset if Noah wears pants?).

“I gave them a sort-of manifesto of Christian theology,” said Snowden, 38, who now lives in Nepal. “The most important part of the story is why God created humanity, which is basically to reflect God’s glory. Those are the kind of conversations we would have.”

Script or Scripture? 

Several evangelical leaders have posted positive reviews of the film, and, with the help of a Christian marketing firm hired by Paramount, are spreading the word that nothing in "Noah" belies the Bible.

But others aren’t so sure.

On March 16, megachurch pastor Rick Warren tweeted this message to his 1.3 million Twitter followers:

Director of new “Noah” movie calls it “The LEAST biblical film ever made" then uses F word referring to those wanting Bible-based [films]

For the record, Aronofsky said he’s made the “least biblical biblical film ever made.” That is, don’t expect the camel-and-sandals settings of last century’s Bible movies.

“We wanted to smash those expectations, Aronofsky said. “We are reinventing the biblical epic for the 21st century.”

Count conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck among the unimpressed.

Before he even saw the movie, Beck, who is Mormon, called “Noah” a “slap in the face” to religious people.

“It’s dangerous disinformation,” he told his 10 million radio listeners.

After Paramount screened “Noah” for Beck last weekend, he acknowledged that blasting the film sight unseen was “kind of a dirtball” move.

Then he blasted the movie again, calling it a “$100 million disaster.”

Beck’s biggest problem with “Noah” was Noah himself, whom Mormons believe is the angel Gabriel in human form.

“I always thought of Noah as more of a nice, gentle guy, prophet of God,” Beck said, “and not the raving lunatic Paramount found in the Bible.”

MORE ON CNN: Is 'Noah' film sacred enough?

Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, said he has the same problem with Aronofsky’s depiction of Noah.

The Bible calls Noah a “righteous man,” Johnson said. In the movie, his character is much more complex.

Noah begins the film as a rugged environmentalist who teaches his family to respect the Creator and all of creation. As he becomes increasingly zealous, Noah seems bent on destroying life rather than saving it.

“I understand that the writers want to create tension and resolve it, but they push it to a spot where if you haven’t read Genesis, you wouldn’t know whether Noah is really a man of faith or not.”

Moore, the Paramount executive, said focus groups had similar questions: How much of the film is from the Bible and how much was invented by Aronofsky?

At Johnson’s urging, Paramount agreed to include a disclaimer before the opening credits and in marketing materials stating that the film is “inspired” by the Bible and true to its values but takes certain liberties with the story. (The language mirrors Dreamworks' disclaimer for “The Prince of Egypt,” which was based on the Book of Exodus.)

“People needed to know upfront that this is not a literal re-telling of Scripture,” Moore said. “It helped set their expectations for a movie about a guy who goes on an intense journey. This is probably not the Noah they remember from Sunday school.”

Aronofsky and Handel insist, however, that their film never directly contradicts Genesis, and even takes pains to remain faithful to it. The ark, for example, is built to the Bible’s specifications, down to the last cubit.

Ultimately, though, the director has little patience with literalists on either side of the believer-atheist divide.

It's ungenerous to insist, as some Christians do, that there is only one way to interpret Genesis, according to Aronofsky. But it's also pointless to argue, as some atheists have, that no ark could possibly hold all the animals.

The story of the flood has lasted for millennia not because it’s "right" – or wrong – but because it’s deep and alive and unsettling, the director said.

The artist's job, like Noah's, is to make sure those kinds of stories survive – to prepare us for the next storm.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Art • Bible • Business • Christianity • Media • Money & Faith • Moses • Movies

soundoff (2,089 Responses)
  1. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    March 30, 2014 at 12:05 am |
    • CS

      Toes barely touching the floor
      Her filthy white night gown torn and tattered
      Back arching
      Facing an invisible tormenter
      Releases a silent scream
      Eyes red and purple
      A sea of fire fills the ceiling and he is there floating
      He is smiling with arms outstretched

      March 30, 2014 at 12:52 am |
    • Reality

      Only for lookatuniverse and all other aliases and all other Muslims:

      And from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi-

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      March 30, 2014 at 7:04 am |
  2. johnnyzone

    It's not that Bible stories made into movies is a bad thing. It's bad (and quite frustrating) when the director or executives try to make it sound like the movie is "true to story," when in reality, the movie contains barely any of the actual story and represents a horribly inaccurate picture of the heart of the story. I love how once again, Christians are targeted by Hollywood. I would love to see them take a story from the Koran and butcher it to bits. Always has to be Christians. Sigh.

    March 30, 2014 at 12:02 am |
    • Doris

      "If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England."

      –Ben Franklin, while in London, in a letter to the London Packet, 3 June 1772

      March 30, 2014 at 12:21 am |
    • doobzz

      Poor persecuted Christians.

      March 30, 2014 at 1:27 am |
  3. lewcypher

    why would a god need a movie to promote itself?

    March 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
  4. 633music

    Man, this film is bad, just bad, but it could have been much better if it followed the more interesting narrative in Genesis...Flaming swords, deceit, HOT women, fallen Angels, half men, half angel brutes running around, families not listening then perhaps begging to be let on the Ark...

    Save your money.

    March 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
  5. erikschmitz

    My Review: If you're looking for Noah from the Bible, this isn't the movie you want to see. If you want to see how Hollywood can twist a story with some Judeo-Christian undertones into a poorly written sci-fi flick with fallen-angel rock monsters and eco-humanism, then this is the movie for you, brother!

    March 29, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
    • observer

      The original story was poorly written science fiction, too.

      March 29, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
      • Doris

        Gosh – it sounds like if they wanted a really impressive production, they should have had the Mormons make it.

        Oh – that just gave me an idea – I'll call one of my producer friends. I'm envisioning the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing in Atlantis with the Ark floating above it. You know, maybe it really should be a musical....

        March 29, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
  6. CS

    Deep pain
    Finds a home in you
    Dug in to you
    A dead part
    Do you have one?
    Do you have a dead spot?
    Did you want it to end like this?
    You know the verdict
    You didn’t want this.

    March 29, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
  7. kevintroygiles

    As a product of a culture largely defined by motion pictures, I have seen enough to know that Noah was a rather stellar attempt to portray a story derived from the Holy Bible, but it was the story they STOLE. God's Word was not denoted, no credit to scripture was given, there was no reference to the Bible whatsoever. It was a rip! And what's with the "rock" Nephilim? Did we steal some animation from LOR? Bully.
    Was the director on crack?! It was too speedy! No director, no knack!
    Is Hollywood so sterile and rigid that they are unable to evolve with the rest of the world? Where are the holographs? 3D is good, but holographic movies would be very possible and not that expensive. Who is hiding the good technology? I would like an immersed movie experience!
    If the producers are unable to adopt holographic tech, probably because they are too cheap, that at least furnish a decent rainbow at the end! How hard would it be to place a small electroprism at the base of the screen to create a real rainbow for the audience for a happy end.

    March 29, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
    • one24scale

      Deadline to get it release in time for Easter celebration. They miss it and it loses millions.
      Hollywood works around 'events'.

      March 29, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
    • otoh2


      Then are you aware that your ancient Hebrews STOLE the story from other older cultures' flood tales and adapted it to fit their agenda?

      Read down the page a bit...

      March 29, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
  8. hearthetruthonline2014



    March 29, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
    • CS


      March 29, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
  9. donnaml

    After seeing Noah the movie I have to say it was bad. The acting was bad, the script was bad also. The special effects were decent. But anyone who tries to write a script from such a well known story, and destroy every detail of the original story is doomed. I mean come on. There were two children in the theater that said it best. Did the writer of this movie even look at the original story???

    March 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      Many works of fiction when adapted for the movies are reworked. Really there isn't much more to this than effects.

      March 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
      • CS

        Can't help it, I just flashed Hollywood Moses Charlton Heston parting the jello in 1956 . Special effects have come a long way.

        March 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    • easson

      The original????

      Do you even know what the original was? I doubt it.

      The version admired by Jews and Christians was written about 900 BC, shortly after the Hebrews had invented their alphabet.

      The original version goes back far, far in history, back to at least 3200 BC, to the Sumerian civilization, where they told the tale of prince Anamatipishtin, who built an ark to save the world from the wrath of the gods, who were displeased at their creation, the humans (because they were too noisy). He brought various animals onto his ark, and then after many days ended up on the hills of the Ararat mountain range, after he had first released a dove and a raven to see if there was any bare land left.

      Does any of this seem familiar to you???

      March 29, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
      • CS

        Thank you.

        Can we talk about an ark that can hold 10 million animals, food and water next?

        March 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • christianguy17

          Such faithlessness. Have you not heard how Christ fed 5000 and 4000, not including women and children. How Christ raised the dead and rose himself the 3rd day. Creation itself. Could not God provide food and keep all onboard safe during His flood. Either you believe the Bible and have faith in Christ and His word or you do not...which will have ternal consequences.

          March 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • observer


          Not "faithlessness" but logic and intelligence.

          March 29, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • christianguy17

          Romands 1:22a.

          March 29, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • Doris

          Romands? I haven't tried those. I do like the Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds, though.

          March 29, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • otoh2


          I'll bet that you think yourself to be wise to believe that, eh?

          March 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • observer


          Yep. You know you're in trouble when all you can offer for rebuttal is that you have to eliminate any intelligence.

          March 29, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • christianguy17

          You speak of improper rebuttals after your "logic and intelligance" comment? A one liner filled with snarky condescension and arrogance. My starting point for all truth is Scripture. Your starting point is what you think you can learn from human reason, logic and your perceptions. We'll see which one stands the test of time. The only one that is capable of causing you or anyone here to believe and know truth is God. I pray he will open your eyes.

          March 29, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
        • CS

          christianguy17, you are forgetting that Christianity is a lie. You're welcome.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • johnnyzone

          At least research about the story before you make a comment like that. The understanding is that animals by their "kind" were taken on the ark. This is in the thousands. There are good details out there, if you look for them.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:09 am |
        • observer


          Arrogance? Your quote is basically claiming that smart people are stupid and stupid people are smart. Sure looks like you are putting yourself in the latter group.

          Another quote about intelligence: (Matt. 18:3) “And [Jesus] said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

          March 30, 2014 at 12:09 am |
        • Doris

          CS: " We'll see which one stands the test of time. "

          LOL – I was just thinking about the avalanches and mud slides. You know they can start off apparently small and then it all just falls.

          I guess many silly superstitions can be like that. And oh my, here we are in the information age. That helps.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:13 am |
        • Doris

          Sorry, CS. In my last reply here, I was quoting christianguy17, not CS.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:24 am |
        • CS

          Ain't no thang.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:27 am |
        • jensgessner

          Christianguy17, You can't possibly believe the story of the Great Flood. It makes no sense to anyone outside of your religion, and insisting that it must be true because it says so in an ancient text makes you appear gullible and silly.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:35 am |
      • CS

        johnnyzone, animals by their kind would be about 5 million. You are a little off.

        March 30, 2014 at 12:20 am |
        • johnnyzone

          Get some valid data before making claims. At least mine was based on actual research by biblical scholars. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab3/how-could-animals-fit-on-ark

          March 30, 2014 at 12:25 am |
        • CS

          Mine was based on actual reality. You could figure this one out with a very minor amount of research.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:33 am |
        • observer


          Speaking of ACTUAL research:

          A study, published in the online journal PLoS Biology, a publication of the Public Library of Science, estimated the number of species at nearly 8.8 million. Of those species, 6.5 million would be on land and 2.2 million in the ocean.
          The research estimates that animals rule with 7.8 million species, followed by fungi with 611,000 and plants with just shy of 300,000 species. – 08/11

          So maybe 17.6 MILLION animals on a boat smaller than many of today's cruise ships.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:29 am |
      • christianguy17


        The wisdom of this world is foolishness (quoted from 1 Cor 3:29), which would include "wisdom" that denies God's word as being anything but true and eternal. These aren't my concepts but God's. So yes, if you want to put it that way, the "smart people" of this world, who may have higher IQ's, photographic memories, inventors, genius' who are more logical thinkers...if they don't believe the Bible which is absolute truth...God calls them fools. They are throwing an eternal life in heaven away with a sleight of hand.

        That verse in Matt 18 does not teach us that our knowledge should be as children but that we should gave faith as little children. If you have children, then you will you understand how implicite a young child trusts, believes and looks to his/her father and mother. That is what Christ is saying. Verses such as proverbs 4:5 and many others teaches us to get wisdom.

        March 30, 2014 at 12:29 am |
        • observer

          (I Cor. 13:11) “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things.”

          Just another contradiction in the Bible.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:33 am |
        • hotairace

          Or how and why to indoctrinate children, without their permission of course.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:38 am |
        • christianguy17

          What did you do, find this on google just now and, Wam, you've just proved the Bible to be self contradictory. I guess I could attempt to explain the importance of understanding context that is required in Biblical heurmeneutics, the fact that not all things children do are good to emulate and that in this context he actually IS speaking of knowledge (and as already stated, matt 18 does not, but faith) which should not be a children...logically, even a secularist humanist such as yourself should be able to understand that...but since you are the proponents of logic, reason and knowledge, I'm sure you took the time to study the surrounding passages. Goodnight Sir.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:45 am |
    • 633music

      Well said.

      March 29, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
  10. etiendelamothecassel

    Hollywood Religion is as believable as Sunday School religion.

    March 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
    • CS

      Why do you criticize Hollywood?

      March 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
      • one24scale

        The simple answer is more idioots believe in a movie then in the religious pimps.
        We still have 40% of the population believing President Obama is a Muslim just from a YouTube slice and dice video.

        And even from a Photoshop picture they dressed him up as and floated it all over the internet.

        Americans especially are by in large very gullible peoples. And the more they claim they are enlighten the more ridiculous they look. One side gets the slant and the force fed jive from the Limbaughs and the Becks while the other side gets the b.s. from Reddit and infowars.

        Both of you are whacked.

        March 29, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
        • CS

          I see.

          March 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Americans especially are by in large very gullible peoples."

          By in large?

          March 30, 2014 at 1:42 am |
  11. caesaro

    By God do we mean the invisible old man with blue eyes that lives behind the clouds that is vengeful and punishes poor people and ignores starving children but helps the super rich, phony Christians and sports celebrities win games? that one?

    March 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
    • hotairace

      I mean the alleged but never proven ones that probably don't exist. Given the foundation existence issue, all other attributes are pretty much irrelevant.

      March 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
    • 633music

      No, that one is a creation of man.

      March 29, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
  12. edlf2014

    This we need. Hollywood to tell us about God. Perhaps equal to tv evangelists telling us about God, (and of course telling us we will be blessed if we send them money.).

    March 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
    • lewcypher

      which god?

      March 30, 2014 at 12:00 am |
  13. anavinjohnson

    I wonder how much tax-free money went into making these for profit movies. At least they don't seem to be making a lot of proft. No prophet, no profit.

    March 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
  14. auntiekale

    ...at least Thor was good. Maybe they should stick to some of the other mythologies and leave the Abraham-god tales alone. Looking forward to Heracles!!! (also the son of God)

    March 29, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
  15. primatica

    Like all humans I like myths...That last Jesus movie sucked...dumb down propaganda. At least Mel's version had a vision, a bloody one but a vision at least. I'll probably watch gladiator Noah on redbox.

    March 29, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • easson

      The best Christian movie of the last 50 years ago was "The Life of Brian".

      March 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
      • auntiekale

        "...for he's a jolly good fellow...for he's a jolly good fellow..."

        March 29, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
      • diatrybe

        "because every sperm is sacred
        every sperm is great
        if a sperm is wasted
        God gets quite irate"

        March 30, 2014 at 12:27 am |
        • diatrybe

          Wait. Wrong movie.

          March 30, 2014 at 12:29 am |
  16. anavinjohnson

    Too bad that Texas Mega Church doesn't use the money to feed the poor, like Jeus taught.

    March 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
  17. internetisgay

    I'm torn because I don't want to support christianity propaganda but I also hate Glenn Beck. So I don't know if I should buy a ticket out of spite and just not go.

    March 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
    • readerpan

      "Before he even saw the movie, Beck, who is Mormon, called “Noah” a “slap in the face” to religious people."
      I;m trying to figure out why any intelligent person would exspect Glenn Beck to be rational...oh wait, none do.

      March 29, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
  18. spacelasers

    Noah is a fictional movie based on religion just like Thor is a fictional movie based on religion. Put your personal beliefs aside for a few hours and enjoy it for what it is, entertainment. The only difference between Noah and Thor is that Noah's source material comes from mythology that people still believe to be true.

    March 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
    • internetisgay

      haha, that's a very apt comparison.
      Thor has a sick hammer though and all Noah has is a ship full of smelly animals.

      March 29, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
    • diatrybe

      Thor is real. Have you seen any Frost Giants?

      March 30, 2014 at 12:31 am |
  19. deecee10000

    omg. The director REALLY believes in the story about the entire planet getting flooded and that "Noah" saved every species of animal that we have today? . . . I am so disappointed.

    March 29, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • CP

      Did he say that? In the entire article, did he say that? No.

      March 29, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
  20. martylk

    With "Noah", Hollywood got it way wrong. They chose to use an actor that portrays "The Master and Commander" in all his dramatic roles. And from the trailers I've seen, he's doing the same thing in "Noah". The "Noah" character should have been a humble, meek, man. Instead, he's a different form of "The Master and Commander".

    Silly. Absolutely silly.Hollywood and actors are so full of themselves. They have too much appraisal of themselves.

    March 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
    • doobzz

      I heard that Woody Allen was the director's first choice to play Moses, but he had a prior commitment.

      March 29, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
      • gauge2

        So did Kermit.

        March 29, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
      • alpeaston

        Woody could not make it... he was busy begetting with his step daughter / wife!

        March 29, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
    • Akira

      Noah sent his son into slavery, so the "Master" bit seems to apply.

      I would suggest not seeing a movie at all if one doesn't like the actors in it...that's one reason I won't go.

      March 29, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
    • diatrybe

      It is hard to cast a 480 year old man these days.

      March 30, 2014 at 12:33 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.