What About Evan Almighty?

I can’t believe how gullible and undiscerning American Christians can be! A movie which makes a comedy about the story of God’s ultimate act of judgment of sin in the Old Testament and presents God the Father as a man has been marketed to Christians, and Christians are buying it! Finally, an unbeliever says what Christian leaders should have been saying long ago.

HT: Bart Barber

UPDATE: Now Dr. James Dobson has spoken out on the movie. See his dissent from his own organization’s review here (scroll down to Dobson’s comments after the review). Here’s an excerpt that hits the nail on the head.

My greatest objection to the film is its use of God’s name irreverently in eight or 10 instances, as in “Oh my ____.” It was simply unnecessary to write the script this way, and I was bothered by it. I was also uncomfortable with the depiction of our most righteous God as an ordinary man who, though endearing and warm, danced and performed funny miracles. Some people, even individuals with similar beliefs to mine, will not be offended by this presentation. But I was taught at my mother’s knee that God is profoundly holy, and we are to approach Him with deep humility and reverence. The first four of the Ten Commandments refer to this divine nature, including a warning to those who would misuse His name or refer to it disrespectfully. How can I endorse a movie that runs past those boundaries, even though most others do far worse?

Finally, I was concerned about the rewriting of the story of Noah and his ark. “God,” played charmingly by Morgan Freeman, told the new Noah character that the first flood occurred because the people hadn’t done enough “acts of random kindness” (as in A.R.K. Get it?). God destroyed the world and its inhabitants, the contemporary god said, not to punish a wicked and perverse generation as we read in Genesis 6, but as a benign object lesson to encourage people to be nicer to each other. It was bad theology and a radical distortion of Scripture.  (HT:  Sharper Iron)

Again, let me express my incredulity that a Christian would risk being part of something that demeans the character of God for a few laughs with one’s family. This shows how Christians idolize humor.

Disclaimer: I like comedies. I also enjoy the NBC series The Office in which Steve Carell, the main actor in Evan Almighty, plays Michael Scott.

22 comments

  1. Really, Steve, you can’t believe how gullible and undiscerning American Christians can be? Have you ever tuned into TBN?

  2. Jeremy,

    Great comment!

    Lewis,

    Sometimes things sink to a new level.

    JRush,

    Sadly, I’ve heard that argument before. “I’m not going to learn theology, just to have a good time with my family.” As if the purpose in going nullifies the end result. If God is made light of, presented in an unbiblical way, I don’t see how that can be entertainment for a believing family.

  3. Steve,

    Last night in class several students were talking about how Evan Almighty is “funny, respectful, and biblical.” Then the instructor mentioned how a couple in his church “loved it,” and want to take the instructor and his wife out to see it.

    Like you said, most modern Christians lack the ability (or desire) to THINK BIBLICALLY about culture. This applies not just to mainstream Hollywood products, but so called “Christian” media too.

  4. I must confess, I saw the movie. It is a ‘clean’ movie as far as being without sex, nudity, violence, and cursing. I do agree that it is a mockery of God and the story of Noah. The moral of the story was alright as far as it goes, but was in no way reflective of the Truth. Should Christians embrace it? No. I believe it serves to dilute the Gospel and deceive the ignorant.

  5. When I first heard about Bruce Almighty I thought to myself “what a mockery of God”. In the sequel, Evan Almighty, I see no difference.

  6. PS: It seems like John may have been speaking “tongue in cheek”. I dunno for sure, but that’s how it came across to me.

  7. Did any of you actually see this movie?

    I am a student at a seminary and think about things theologically, as well. I believe that God could call upon someone in our day to do something of Biblical proportions. Why not? The movie was not recreating the story of Noah’s ark as a separate event, but as an event in present day where God called upon someone to do something drastic and simply trust that it was because God loved him. Hmmm…sounds like a good movie to me…I came out of the movie with not only having had a fun time, but also a new perspective on how awesome God truly is.

    Miranda

  8. Miranda,

    I don’t have a problem with the events which you have described. My main problem is the depiction of God (the Father) as a man. I thought that was clear in my post. If not, I’m sorry. None of the positive elements of the movie (which I don’t deny) can possibly negate what I consider to be a blasphemous depiction of God.

    But, thanks for your comment!
    Steve

  9. I AM SOOOO HAPPY to see/read someone finally standing up to this blasphemous movie. I DO agree with Dobson about God’s name being taken in vain and the importance of using correct theology. Why are those things in this movie if it’s for Christians? Or even complimentary of God? Only God knows the hearts and true intentions of the creators but the effect doesn’t glorify Him. And for those who Don’t get their Theology at church or via the Bible… those outside the church aren’t seeing the True God.

    Anyway, I’ll be hopefully soon creating my own essay on this and posting it several places online. I hope you don’t mind me taking some snips from this.

  10. Having seen the movie, and chuckled through most of it…I left with a very good feeling! Two reasons…1) God (in the movie) reminded us that what we pray for isn’t want we immediately get, but often a way to get it or get there.
    2) WHich I am sure lots will disagree..but this is MY feeling….We were made in the image of God. I know what I look like and my family, and I cannot even think what a “holy image” might look like. I know I have seen paintings of God or Jesus…are these irreverant? I would like to think of God…if he came to see us…would come in a way that each individual needed…be it a flaming bush, a pillar, Morgan Freeman. I would like to think that I could talk to God and he would listen as in the movie. Some of us need an approachable God or Jesus to talk to, and many of us feel unworthy to talk to the “holy image of God” but the image we were made after, the man in us, sometimes is the God we talk to or pray to. Remember, our personal relationship with Jesus and God is just that. And if one pictures the paintings of Jesus when they pray (which I am sure many do) or a painting by Michelangelo, or Morgan Freeman, if their heart is right with God, and they feel more comfortable talking with that image they have in their mind, isn’t that okay?
    I would really like to think of God, like he was protrayed in the movie…Approachable, understanding, sense of humor and likeable…someone I would like to have as a friend.
    (Please don’t be too hard on me with your responses)

  11. “What if God was one of us; just a slob like the rest of us?” Do any of you “christians” out there find this line offensive? I spoke to a “believer” this morning about this movie, and also this song lyric, and he, like so many other professing christians, like the idea of an approachable, friendly, “regular-kinda-guy” God that we see so often in contemporary culture AND churches. I agree that God wants us to see Him as the approachable “Abba” aka “Daddy” God AFTER we are His children, but lets not forget the Holiness of God. The tern Holy seems to be in distain these days, ’cause nobody wants to hear about judgment coming on the unholy &/or the unholiness in out own lives, and especially Hell which IS assured for those who reject the Holiness of Christ that can be imputed to them – or given to engulf – those who accept His payment for their sins and unholiness. We actually get to trade our unholiness for His holiness by faith on His finished work on the Cross – Oh, What a Saviour!!! Incidentally, I believe one of the reasons the church body may be losing touch with the holiness of God, and our appreciation of the absolute love and mercy of God that has been shown to us, is because of our lack of remembering what we are saved FROM – an Eternity in HELL! Why would God tell us specifically to “BE HOLY”?, He answers it in the same sentence “For I AM Holy!” Be assured, if we, as so-called followers of Christ don’t show a true reverence, and even a holy FEAR of God – which is the beginning of Wisdom, then why would we expect the world to think we are any different then them, and actually respect our God and Creator. May God help us to truly revere who He is, and live in dependence on His holiness being lived out in us as we daily surrender to His powerful Spirit residing in us, and directing our hearts to appreciating and even BELIEVING the absolute Holiness of God, and living our lives accordingly.

  12. Hi, I’m also a theological student and I totally agree with Miranda’s comment. I would like to say that yes, this movie does have its faults. Everything has faults. I know that no matter how well it was made people will always be nitpicking at it. So what we do is draw out the best in it. Finally, the media is the most untapped place. What the movie does is making use of the media as an evangelistic movie. IMO it was a good try (not perfect i admit). People are watching it. Have you seen any super holy moly movies? It’s evangelical agenda is so indiscreet that I cringe watching it. It’s all about contextualization. Evan almighty is at least better than nothing. Lastly, what’s the point of sitting here debating whether it was good or not. SInce you’re so smart and theologically sound, why not go produce your own movie?

  13. Hmm… my apologies. I just read my own comment esp the last part. Didn’t mean for it to come out like that. My apologies Ps Steve. I was just trying to put forth the point that it is impossible to make a flawless movie and that the creator did well. The other thing is that I don’t really see the depiction of God as entirely blasphemous. I believe our Almighty God can appear in any form. Saying otherwise will be putting him in a box. Besides, I don’t see how we can say that God was unholy or the “holiness of God” was any less via the portrayal of Morgan Freeman.

    God bless

  14. In my opinion,
    I find this movie as taking the Lord’s name and using it in such a way that brings a lot of disrespect to God’s name.
    It’s really sad how a lot of Christians don’t see it that way.
    But I really am not good at theological terms.
    Lots of people seem to be taking this from a Seminary background. Sorry I am just a kid.

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