Taking Pride in Creation: Genesis: Paradise Lost | Movie Review

 

Genesis: Paradise Lost movie

Since the limited run  of  Genesis: Paradise Lost is almost over (there’s a final encore on December 11, 2017), you may be wondering why another review. We’ll get to that in a moment. But first let me note that a number of even handed reviews have already been written. Here are 3 of them:

From the Secular press: (Washington Times)
Comment: A surprisingly fair review review for secular media with no cheap shots.
Excerpt:

“Genesis: Paradise Lost,” the nation’s first 3-D faith-based film, uses computer animation interwoven with commentary from top creationists to depict the Bible’s account of the origins of Earth and its various life forms.

“We want to put you back at that time as if you were there,” said Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter.
[1]

From a Creation supporting ministry, and movie supporter: (AIG)
Comment:  Ken Ham, mentioned above is featured in the film. The movie uses the same approach as his ministry: pointing out the worldview conflict between Biblical creation and the secular origin story of evolution and answering objections with scientific experts, all made accessible to millions by means of a world class attraction.
Excerpt:

Genesis: Paradise Lost, a new film from Creation Today, is the first film to bring the events of Creation Week and Adam and Eve’s time in the Garden of Eden to life in stunning 3D animation (some showings were in 2D). Woven throughout the animated scenes of creation are interviews with top scientists and theologians who explain how science confirms the history we find in Genesis.[2]

From a Creation Supporting Ministry: (The Creation Club)
Comment: This creation supporting ministry is one I contribute to. The review highlights pros and cons of the movie, and if you read down to reader comments you’ll find one by yours truly on both the good, and one item that irritated me about the movie.
Excerpt:

“Even talking with Bible-believing Christians who don’t really believe in evolution, there are still webs of the evolutionary pictures woven into their minds of what “cave men” and dinosaurs were like. These wrong worldviews are so embedded in people’s minds that it’s often difficult for them to visualize a truly Biblical picture of earth history.”

“I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see a movie like the new ‘Genesis: Paradise Lost‘ movie that can help people get a better picture of what Biblical earth history looks like.”
[3]

So in this review, I won’t give you another summary review. Instead the purpose of this review is to comment on what I see as a desperate need within the Christian community: the need to fully embrace the Biblical doctrine of creation.

Last month I wrote an article titled “Are you ashamed to be a creationist?” Because it’s become clear to me that many Christians are afraid to be identified as a “Creationist.”  Ignoring the clear teaching of scripture, and turning a blind eye to the gaping holes in the Big Bang and evolutionary fairy tales, such Christians jump on the science-right-or-wrong band wagon driven by secular (read pagan) scientists with a secular world view to protect. Such scientists tell them a story about the past which they 1. didn’t witness, 2. can’t repeat (so it’s not science),  3. relies on made up concepts (like cosmic inflation), and 4. which contradicts the laws of logic and physics like causality, and the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics, (speaking of the big bang problems) for starters.

And since materialists (those for whom only material causes are allowed)  rule the academic and scientific disciplines and effectively censor any dissenting opinions from the Big Bang/Darwinian Evolution status quo, you rarely hear about scientists who believe in Creation. Even Intelligent Design theorists – who are qualified scientists – and believe in Creation (the logical conclusion of their Intelligent Design thesis) refuse to be identified as a “Creationist.”

Clearly the Creation movement needs a radical revamping to its image. And in particular, a new teaching and approach to water the dormant seed of creation in Christians who know it’s what the Bible teaches, but can’t bring themselves to confess to believing it in this anti-Christian, anti-creation climate. To bring forth a fully flowering, solidly rooted,  mature believer in creation from the seeds currently hidden under a bushel (Matt 5.15)  is possible, but it will  require a highly visible, concerted effort. But I’m confident it’s possible because I’ve seen it happen more than once before.

In the 1960’s – the civil rights era – blacks were still trying to overcome the pervasive problem of deep seated racism, and thus were looking for empowerment and justice.  But there was another deep seated problem that was just as big a problem as systemic racism. A problem that often remained out of view – on the edge of awareness, always there, but never verbalized.

It was the fact that you knew, as a member of the black community, that regardless of how talented you might be, you as a person, as a human being, had little to be proud of. And there were plenty of things to reinforce that perception. All one had to do was look at any type of media – TV, magazine, billboard. Look at the role models. You were almost guaranteed to see a white face looking back at you.  And who were the big achievers? Did they ever highlight people of color in fields other than sports or entertainment? Almost never.

What was needed was a change in attitude. Not just in society, but starting with a change in the way blacks perceived themselves. And thus ultimately how they would demand others to see them as well.  How did that change happen?  At least part of it was through the impact of media that positively and strongly expressed the change they wanted to see.  An anthem of the period expressed the sentiment well: James Brown’s “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.”   As a black child growing up in the 60’s in a primarily white neighborhood – when this song came out I wasn’t sure I wanted to sing along regardless of how popular it was – because I wasn’t certain it was true – the proud part I mean. But there’s power in seeing not just the truth of a message, but seeing others embrace the message. Seeing how the message unifies and strengthens them. Seeing how it edifies and encourages. As it changes the group, it changes the individuals too. And if you’re part of the group, it will likely change you too.

Today many creationists have a similar mindset as I had back then: not certain they’re proud to be a creationist. Not certain of the truth of the proposition. They need a unifying point. They need encouragement. They need something to make them proud to say, “I’m a creationist and I’m proud of it.”

Which brings us back to this movie. Perhaps this movie won’t be the anthem that “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” became. Perhaps it won’t have the same emotional impact. But at least it’s a start. It’s a new opportunity, a new chance for creationists to not only see the truth of creation supported by science, but to begin to take ownership – and then take pride in that ownership.  And as we see more opportunities like this – more movies, more attractions like the Ark Encounter – perhaps pride in identifying as a creationist will grow among Christians as pride in identifying as a “black” person grew among those of the African American population – including myself.

The civil rights movement has been so successful in driving their agenda into American consciousness that today most people today will confess to just about anything before they’ll confess to being a racist. (Excepting the terminally bigoted white supremacists of course.)

There are lessons to be learned here, and I trust they are obvious enough that I don’t need to enumerate them here – particularly since I’m at the end of this article. Instead let me leave Christian readers (to whom this is aimed ) a parting thought:

You will never convince others of a truth that you yourself  a) do not believe,  b) refuse to fully embrace and c) are frankly ashamed to be identified with.

To those Christians who deny the biblical creation: you believe God for salvation just as he has presented it, but you refuse to believe he created just as he has presented. If that is the case, why should anyone believe your testimony about salvation since you yourself don’t fully believe it?

Make no mistake – denial of creation is intimately to linked salvation. Jesus is, after all , the last Adam – a life giving spirit. (1 Cor 15:45).  If you deny a young earth creation so you can fit in evolution or the big bang, you deny the first Adam. And if you deny the first Adam, you deny the last Adam since it makes no sense without a first, literal Adam. This is painfully obvious to non-believers.

It is the Apostle Paul who made the analogy of the two Adams, the same who said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel…” Rom 1:16  The black community has learned how to take pride in their heritage – to finally see “black” as a beautiful thing, not something to be ashamed of. I don’t think the majority in the Christian community can say the same about the doctrine of creation.  We have a long way to go to get to that point, but Genesis: Paradise Lost   – is moving us in that direction, and helping us #takeback #creation. Helping us to both understand the scientific moorings so we can take pride in our uniquely Christian heritage,  as well as calling out the people of God to stand proudly together;  proudly and boldly under the banner: In the beginning, God created…

P.S.
In case you haven’t figured out my opinion about the movie – it’s well done, go see it.


Duane Caldwell | posted November 30, 2017 | printer friendly version

 


Notes  

1  “Faith film ‘Genesis: Paradise Lost’ shows creation story in 3-D” by Tom Quimby for
The Washington Times,
November 12, 2017
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/12/genesis-paradise-lost-takes-viewers-3-d-ride-throu/

Back

2“Movie Review: Genesis: Paradise Lost” by Avery Foley for Answers in Genesis,
November 14, 2017,
https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/movies/genesis-paradise-lost/

Back

3. “Genesis: Paradise Lost | Movie Review” by Sara J. Mikkelson for The Creation Club, October 31, 2017, http://thecreationclub.com/genesis-paradise-lost-movie-review/
Back


Images:

All images – used by permission from the license holders as noted below:

Genesis Paradise Lost – promotional photo (used by permission)
© 2017 Genesis: Paradise Lost
https://genesismovie.com/photos

4 thoughts on “Taking Pride in Creation: Genesis: Paradise Lost | Movie Review

  1. Brother Duane Caldwell,

    As the screenwriter for the animated, adapted chapter one segments of the movie “GENESIS: Paradise Lost,” I read your article and review with much interest. Thank you for your honest yet favorable review and endorsement. GPL may not prove to be the culture wars flagship for Christians’ reclamation of our respectable Biblical heritage in Genesis, but I agree with your sentiment that it is in the very least a bold step in course-correction for the Church. We shall see what God does with it.

    As an imperfect collaborative effort from imperfect people, even I have my criticisms of our documentary movie. Yet I’m grateful even for the room for improvement which can be applied to our sequel, God willing. I’d like to muse on your criticisms of the movie for a bit.
    Personally, I ally with neither the King James-only crowd nor the KJV despisers club. Using the KJV translation was not the preference of either the movie director Ralph or myself. Aesthetically however, I think the traditional KJV fits nicely with the “period piece” feel of the film. The 1769 edition was the popular English Bible in use when Darwin first publicized his reckless theory. It’s interesting that you found the word “firmament” to be unfortunate (for me, the disappointment is with the translation “replenish” instead of fill, and the antiquated, confusing English idiom “meat” instead of food.) Perhaps firmament could have a helpful connotation in rendering the Hebrew word, by implying that the dual-heaven of our planet’s atmosphere and outer space is “thinness with substance”; that even the darkness (Isaiah 45:7) of deep space is not no-thing, but is some-thing of the material universe. I agree that expanse is probably the best rendering in English, but I suspect that most moviegoers today are unfamiliar with the archaic misconceptions of the upper sky being thoroughly solid and supported somewhere by literal pillars of some sort. The colossal water spouts in our movie were meant to serve as the temporary mechanism that God might have used to draw out and divide the waters above from the waters below. The movie’s next shot suggests their dispersion in outer space.

    Also, the Scripture passages at the end of the movie are in fact not from the KJV. With fear and trembling, they were studied and carefully worded in a contextually conscientious way by yours truly so as to be understandable to modern English speakers. Overall, I think we provided a little something for a lot of people: some documentary, some historical narrative; some simple concepts, some complex concepts; and some creative choices in delivery that alternately both upset and pleased our audience members, depending on the individual’s perspective.

    I appreciate you coming to our defense in regard to a minor criticism from Sara Mikkelson’s mostly supportive review of GPL. Although the on-screen titles revealing some speakers’ credentials were not intentionally delayed to coincide with speeches within their areas of expertise, I’ll claim any incidental strength of the movie as Providential. The placement actually had to do with the director finding shots where the audience would have time to read a name and credentials before cutting away from the speaker. But you were on the right track in suggesting that we wanted to avoid resorting to the authority fallacy in building a case both for the inerrant, time-tested truths of God’s Word and against the shifting sands of speculation from fallible scientists operating from an anti-Christ worldview (Romans 1). In the earlier cut of the film that Sara previewed, the speakers’ names and credentials were only given under their virtual picture frames at the end of the movie. We then redundantly added names and titles to faces throughout the movie as well, as a concession to a focus group test audience. Maybe this is partly the fault of television formatters producing conditioned responses. It seems that most audiences no longer question their expectation for the instant and false assurances of a familiar name and the validation of a speaker’s trustworthiness by a third party, no matter the party. We wanted our moviegoers to listen and consider what was being spoken, instead of being distracted while reading about the speaker. Yet we are learning the fine art of compromise on the non-essentials in getting a big vision off the ground.

    The Masterminded depths of the ancient text of Genesis chapter one evidences the divine signature. Genesis 1-11 contain more than the historical narrative on its surface, but not less. Those Christians who misinterpret these early passages of the Torah strictly as poetry in order to eisegetically accomodate the popular “science” of our time, or who gut the historical picture that God paints only to take away the framework to apply to later Scriptures, only impoverish themselves in the process.

    fellow unashamed creationist,

    Tim Gwynn

    • Brother Tim,

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your clarifying comments. It’s good to hear straight from the horses mouth, and your explanations do help to explain some of the choices made in this overall well done film that by necessity covers some contentious ground.

      I see you have correctly assessed that my desire for this film to inspire and rally Christians around the doctrine of creation means I think that overall this film executes very well on its vision and goal of presenting the truth and majesty of God’s creation – and doing so within the framework and worldview of the Biblical text. So let me echo my comments from a previous comment: overall the film does an excellent job and all (particularly Christians) should go see it.

      Congrats to you and your team on a job well done and I look forward to the next movie.

      – Duane

  2. Thanks again, and about those insightful articles of yours: Keep ’em comin’! Keep proclaiming the Truth that has a name and saves us. We must 2 Corinthians 10:5, especially to big, repeated lies claiming immunity as “science.” Did any atheist observe the Big Bang as a natural event with their five senses? Has any evolutionist ever witnessed the “spontaneous generation”/”abiogenesis”/”autogenesis”/etc. of any life form from non-life? Are such events testable and falsifiable, as scientific? Apart from the Creator, all such beliefs regarding origins and all biodiversity branching from a simple prototype organism are essentially fantasies of self-creation. And self-creation is unbiblical, unscientific, and illogical. So keep that Spirit-bestowed logic coming, brother Duane…

    • Thanks. I intend to keep them coming.
      And you keep those world class blockbuster movies coming. So many need both a world view adjustment, and encouragement to stand firm for the faith “once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1.3)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*