|Posted on August 22, 2014 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
I finally saw Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. After reading all of the reviews, I decided I wasn’t going to give him a dime of my money. I’d watch it on Netflix. Turns out, we were able to watch it for free from Redbox, that is, until I told my wife I wanted the Blueray. She said, “But that’s not free, it’s 32 cents! Is a Blueray really worth THAT?” “Yes,” I said. So, I guess I ended up giving Aronofsky a little over a quarter. I’ll pretend it is going to Redbox instead.
At any rate, the movie was a visual feast, though I was a bit let down after having watched 2012 again (on Blueray) this same week. Will anything ever top that movie for special effects? But Aronofsky’s Noah isn’t about the CAD (Computer Animated Design), for him or for me. Brian Godawa is right, this movie is about subversion. Take someone else’s story and tell it in your own image. That’s exactly what this director has done.
Now, I’ve written books on Noah’s day with the giants, and I’m also a Christian in the Reformed tradition. That makes me (along with Brian), one of three Reformed people I’ve ever seen to have taken the view we do (James Boice being the third). So I’m in pretty small company. Going in, I thought what would bother me the most is his mistelling of the giants, or perhaps the Gnostic worldview that I’ve read about. Turns out, that wasn’t even close. As fun as the giant topic is, there are fouler things than Nephilim in the deep places of the earth!
I like to think of myself as a person who is willing to grant a lot, no make that giganotosaurus amounts of poetic license when telling historically based stories. If a story only has a three pages, and you are trying to fill three hours, then you should have a right to fill in the gaps, so long as you remain relatively faithful to the heart of the story you are telling and the few things we do know about it. I do want to be entertained after all.
So I’m fine with (here comes the spoilers, but hey, its been several months, so that's OK by now, right?) ... Noah and Tubal-Cain becoming enemies, with Noah meeting the Watchers, with Methuselah living alone in a cave, with Noah being a little “off his rocker.” I also found that I was willing to live with, shall we call them, certain historical liberties: Somehow fallen angelic Watchers become giant rock Golems; Tubal-Cain manages to get on the ark, God seems to have destroyed the world because not enough men joined Green Peace (this isn’t worthy of getting angry because it is so absurd, sort of like the same ideas in The Day After Tomorrow), Shem’s daughter giving birth to a couple of babies on the ark that Noah thinks is God’s will for him to kill (because God obviously can’t stand mankind anymore).
Then there were the basic ignorant theological miscues that so many others make: The confusion of Watchers with Nephilim (they aren’t the same); the Watchers are never punished by being chained in Tartarus (even the Greeks got that right), they are redeemed by saving Noah and sent back to heaven; Ham didn’t see a naked Noah, he slept with Noah’s wife; it didn’t happen in a cave, but in a tent; Noah never curses Ham’s son, because Ham never has a son. Even the Adam and Eve as Gnostic figures of light I was willing to swallow for the sake of a movie. These were much more disturbing, because I know that the goal is subversion.
But there was one thing that really, really bothered me about this movie, one thing that I’m just not willing to let slide. That one thing may in fact be at the heart of Aronofsky’s subversion. It was something that actually wasn’t in the movie, and there is no way this was an oversight. It is too central to the biblical story to be “missed.” “Oops! I completely forgot about that part.” No. Perhaps it is my Reformed bent coming out, but perhaps it is also that this happens to be the heart and soul of the Noah story in the Bible.
This is the idea of covenant. And Christ.
There is no covenant in Aronofsky’s Noah, because there is no God who speaks. The God portrayed in this movie is not the God of the Bible, but the God of deism and Islam. (Yes, he is probably also the evil-Yahweh lower-level archon god of the Gnostics, a warrior god bent on nothing but death, but in my judgment, this is so utterly unknown to almost everyone, that it is not yet all the subversive, it just goes over people’s heads altogether). This Noah’s God is utterly, deafeningly silent. Noah’s only reason for knowing anything at all about the future is that he has vague intuitions that are brought on by waking visions and drug-induced trances (perhaps he was actually a Mayan priest?), and magical things happen all around him to confirm his intuitions .
But the biblical portrayal of these events is that God walks, speaks, and talks to Noah. I wonder, how many Christians even see this? Or do they just chock it off as anthropomorphism, due to a basically Unitarian reading of the OT? But in Genesis, this God gives Noah clear, specific directions for how to make the ark. He tells him with words how he and his family are to be saved. And most importantly, he makes a covenant with Noah confirming it all. The covenant is the means by which God’s promise is insured. It is the way relationship is built in the Bible. Is the warp and woof of redemptive history. At the end of the biblical Flood story, God reconfirms this covenant, Noah offers a sacrifice, stipulations and arrangements are made for how God is going to keep his covenant, and the rainbow—which in the movie is just sort of there for no reason (one could, I suppose, interpret it through some gay-pride grid and not take it out of context, because there is no context for it in the movie), just sort of hoverings there like the credits that immediately follow it, as if its purpose is to introduce you to the Magnificent Aronofsky—whose name immediately follows, of course!
One thing that I think even many Christians miss in this covenant making is that in order to have a covenant, there has to be a person on the other end of it. It isn’t like Noah is toasting the sky in the Bible. Nor would he look like a raving lunatic talking to himself. Rather, there is a Person there, walking and talking to Noah and others with whom he makes a covenant. This person is none other than God’s only-begotten Son, who in the NT takes on human flesh, assumes human nature, is born of a virgin, dies for our sins, and is raised from the dead.
But perhaps at just this point, too many Christians have a rather Islamic view of the covenant God of the OT. Is there room for Christ in our own theology? Has our silence of him in this story kind of given Aronofksy a pass on this? Is not the Angel of the LORD, the uncreated being who bears the very name Yahweh, who covenanted with Israel (Judges 2:1ff), forgives her sins (Ex 23:20-21), and is called “I AM” (Ex 3:2, 14), is he not the same God who covenants with all of his people, from Genesis to Revelation?
Certainly there is no room for him in Darren Aronofsky’s subterfuge movie Noah. This is the one thing I can’t forgive him for (unless, of course, he repents). Because this is the heart and soul of everything the Bible tells me to believe. This IS the story of Noah—the only Mediator between God and man, not yet in human form, but nevertheless taking the form of God’s Messenger, comes to Noah, tells him of an upcoming disaster, explains to him how to escape it, and gives him his sure and certain promise that it will be so—through a covenant. This covenant was “cut” when all flesh was “cut off” of the earth, and the animals were cut and bloodied in the pleasing aroma that went up from Noah’s altar after the crisis was over.
This covenant is a type of the greater covenant made in Christ’s own blood when he was cut-off from the land of the living, so that he might make a way for sinners to escape the floody-judgment of God’s wrath, because Christ took that same wrath upon himself so that anyone who trusts in him can be hidden inside of Christ—the New and Greater Ark who saves all inside from the wrath to come. This is the love of God in Christ. This is the Noah movie I still await.
|Posted on February 1, 2014 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
This video is consistent with my research that giants were usually between 8-12 ft. tall. I wouldn't say that all of these are true, but I also would not say that all of them are not. Most come from sober local newspaper reporting in the 1800s in America, but there are quite a few that do not. Take a look for yourself.
|Posted on January 29, 2014 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Today I began what will be a long process of uploading PDFs relating to Giants and the Sons of God (and other related topics). Many of these I reference in the book on giants, so now you can read them for your own study. You can find them under the Og Blog tab at the "Articles" tab.
It will be nice to have these all in one convenient location. Some of these are PDF scans from journals, others are the LOGOS version of the paper turned into a PDF, and still others are typed versions by other people found on the internet. I do believe this last set are accurate, though sometimes the footnoting andheadings may be off.
|Posted on January 25, 2014 at 10:20 PM||comments (0)|
This is the very first Og Blog post (after the Wecome). It will be something short and yet long. This is a link to the sermon I'm preaching tomorrow on Genesis 6:1-4 called Giants in the Earth (just click the link). I've been preaching in Genesis for a couple of months now, and this "just happens" to be where we are at now. We will be uploading all of the sermons to our church website, which you can find by clicking the link under the "Church" tab (above). This sermon is a kind of a short introduction to the Introduction in the book Giants: Sons of the Gods, but with preaching application mixed in. Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment.
|Posted on January 21, 2014 at 8:20 PM||comments (0)|
Welcome to the Og Blog, your source for all things--non hoax--giants, and a bit more as well.
Why the Og Blog?
In Deuteronomy 3:11 we read, "For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bed was a bed of iron. Is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit." Nine cubits translates to roughly 13 ft. This "bed" was either a bed or a sarcophagus. While it is fallacious to say that because Og slept, either temporarily or permanently, in something this huge that he was therefore a giant, it is not a fallacy to say that Og was one giant dude, because his lineage—the Rephaim—were themselves giants. His gigantism is the reason he is mentioned in the story.
He was said to rule in the land of Bashan, or “serpent” in old Ugaritic (the language of the Canaanites). The picture you see above is a screen shot taken from Google Earth. It is of the land of Bashan with Mt. Hermon in the background. Mt. Hermon is the place where tradition has it that the evil Watchers or sons of God descended in the days of Jared (the great grandfather of Noah) and began having giant children with human women. In the foreground is perhaps the most ancient archeological site in Israel—Gilgal Refaim (Wheel of Giants). One day I was searching the wheel, like Indiana Jones of the Internet, and I happened to notice that just above it there was something that looked shockingly like a serpent mount. The more I've searched, the more convinced there is something to this. If so, it could be asold as the wheel and it remains as yet unspoiled by looter or modern archeology.
This blog is an extension of my book Giants: Sons of theGods. It will be a place for me to discuss with you all things giants. But I have more that I want to discuss here, much more. So come back for regular visits and you will be sure to find me talking about many supernatural things in the Bible that are related to the giants.
What makes this blog unique is that I am a Reformed Christian in my eschatology. My view of history is that there are two ages which presently overlap. These are the present evil age (begun at the Fall), and the age to come (innagurated in Jesus' first coming). This means that I’ll try to help put the giants into perspective of Christ’s First Coming at least as much as I'll speak to their relation to the Second.
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Doug Van Dorn