Taking Pride in Creation: Genesis: Paradise Lost | Movie Review
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
From a Creation supporting ministry,
and movie supporter: (AIG)
From a Creation Supporting Ministry: (The
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. 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:
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?
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...
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
1 "Faith film ‘Genesis: Paradise Lost’ shows
creation story in 3-D" by Tom Quimby for
2. "Movie Review:
Genesis: Paradise Lost" by Avery Foley for Answers in Genesis,
3. "Genesis: Paradise
Lost | Movie Review" by Sara J. Mikkelson for The Creation Club,
Genesis Paradise Lost -
promotional photo (used by permission)