Father Robert Barron’s inordinately charitable review of the Noah Movie makes me wonder what they’re teaching at the seminary he runs

noahmovie

by Doug Lawrence

First, let me paraphrase the Modernists: We know that the ancient people who wrote the Bible were crude, uneducated folk who merely set down in writing various myths that had been handed down to them by countless others. In light of that fact, modern-day biblical understanding, illuminated by our superior intelligence and our more highly developed rational thought processes, tends to be  substantially more reliable and much closer to the truth than the plain-sense, literal meaning of the biblical texts.

In short: THAT can’t be RIGHT.
THIS is obviously what God had in mind!

In his twisted but generally positive review of the dismally poor Noah Movie, Father Barron appears to “genuflect” to these Modernist ideas – something he has also often done in the past, in regard to other biblical matters. This tendency, when present in the Rector of a major Catholic Seminary, tends to leave me somewhat ill at ease.

Read Father Barron’s review here

 

The Noah Movie Review: “Psycho Noah” – plus lots of other strange things

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Noah would be amazed:
An underwater family “selfie” taken by yours truly.
Big old wooden, sunken ship in background.

by Doug Lawrence

I just saw the Noah movie, investing $8 for a ticket to the midnight show. Did I like the movie? Not really! Here’s why:

It was for the most part, dark, dreary, apocalyptic, violent and much more of a “stretch” than most people would imagine.

At best, the Noah Movie might claim to be inspired by the biblical story, but there was very, very little actual correspondence between the Bible and the movie. They could have named the movie “Fred” and it would have played just as well – and been lots more believable.

They got a whole lot of biblical things all mixed up and then they threw in a whole bunch of non-biblical things they just “dreamed up”. Some of it was ingenious. Most wasn’t. To say they took liberties with the biblical truth would be a gross understatement.

Probably the worst of it was the portrayal of Noah as a confused, murdering psychopath, much like Jack Nicholson’s character in Stephen King/Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”. Isolation can do that to people … but to Noah … a prophet of God? That was way over the top!

Anthony Hopkins did  a nice job of playing Methuselah and the animal special effects were “cute”.

Noah movie review

noahmovie

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah pays its source material a rare compliment: It takes Genesis seriously as a landmark of world literature and ancient moral reflection, and a worthy source of artistic inspiration in our day.

It is not a “Bible movie” in the usual sense, with all the story beats predetermined by the text, and actors in ancient Near Eastern couture hitting their marks and saying all the expected things. It is something more vital, surprising and confounding: a work of art and imagination that makes this most familiar of tales strange and new: at times illuminating the text, at times stretching it to the breaking point, at times inviting cross-examination and critique.

Read more

Official Movie Site

Editor’s note: A few more questions: Will they dare name Noah’s wife “Joan”? Will they dredge up the old “gopher wood” joke? What in the heck does antediluvian mean? Finally, did Pope Francis deliberately “pass” on a multi-million dollar endorsement deal that could have fed, clothed and housed lots and lots of poor people, for a very long time? In light of his current “rock star/top world leader” status – should he have?

“Catholicism” – Episode 2: Unsatisfying. Generally pointless. Sometimes misleading.

by Doug Lawrence

Watching the second installment of Father Robert Barron’s “Catholicism”, currently airing on local PBS stations, I couldn’t help asking myself, “Is there a point to this?”

Expecting to pick up a tip or two about the Catholic faith, all I seemed to be getting was a rather protracted explanation of all the things we DON’T and CAN’T know about God.

If we Catholics know so little about God, then what is the basis of what the Church has been teaching for the last 2000 years? Father Barron offered little or nothing to us, in that regard.

Then, question number six of the old Baltimore Catechism, came to mind:

6. Q. Why did God make you?

A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

“To know” Him, because we must know of a thing before we can love it. A poor savage in Africa never longs to be at a game or contest going on in America, because he does not know it and therefore cannot love it. We see a person and know him; if he pleases us we love him, and if we love him we will try to serve him; we will not be satisfied with doing merely what he asks of us, but will do whatever we think might give him pleasure. So it is in regard to God. We must first know Him-learn who He is from our catechisms and books of instruction, but especially from the teaching of God’s ministers, the Holy Father, bishops and priests. When we know Him, we shall love Him. If we knew Him perfectly, we should love Him perfectly; so the better we know Him the more we shall love Him. And as it is our chief duty to love Him and serve Him upon earth, it becomes our strict duty to learn here whatever we can of His nature, attributes, and holy laws. The saints and angels in Heaven know God so well that they must love Him, and cannot therefore offend Him.

You have all seen some person in the world, or maybe several persons, whom you have greatly admired; still you did not love them perfectly; there was always some little thing about them in looks, manners, or disposition that could be rendered more pleasing; some defect or want you would like to see supplied; some fault or imperfection you would like to see corrected. Now suppose you had the power to take all the good qualities you found in the persons you loved and unite them in one person, in whom there would be nothing displeasing, but everything perfect and beautiful. Do you not think you would love such a person very much indeed?

Moreover, suppose you knew that person loved you intensely, would it not be your greatest delight to be ever with such a friend? Well, then, all the lovable qualities and beauties you see in created beings come from God and are bestowed by Him; yet all the good qualities on earth and those of the angels and saints in Heaven, and even of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, if united in one person would be nothing compared to the goodness and beauty of God. How good and how lovable, therefore, must He be! And what shall we say when we think that He loves us with a greater love than we could ever love Him, even with our most earnest efforts? Try then first to know God and you will surely love and serve Him. Do not be satisfied with the little you learn of Him in the Catechism, but afterward read good books, and above all hear sermons and instructions.

“In this world:” Because unless we do what is pleasing to Him in this world we cannot be with Him in the next. Our condition in the next world depends entirely upon our conduct in this. Thus we have discovered the answer to the great question, What is the end of man; for what was he made?

From this, it’s clear that God revealed enough about himself to enable us to know him and love him. So why all the nonsense?

In my last post I called Father Barron a modernist, because it seemed as though he didn’t seem to believe in Satan, the devil … or at least, he failed to acknowledge Satan’s particular role in the fall of man and our subsequent redemption in Jesus Christ.

Now I’m beginning to see the inherent weakness in all of the various catechetical schemas that have been foisted on unsuspecting Catholics since the beginning of the post-Vatican II deconstruction of the Church:

Many of our current priests and bishops have little or no regard for Tradition, Divine Revelation, the Sacred Deposit of Faith, the infallibility and divine inspiration of Sacred Scripture, and/or the continuing role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the Church.

Instead, we have church leaders, theologians, intellectuals and other alleged scholars attempting to use human logic alone to makes sense out of things which can only be understood in the light of faith, according to the grace of God.

Somebody should have told Father Barron that we Catholics know something about God from reading the Bible … particularly, the Gospels … from the teachings of the Apostles (who knew Jesus Christ personally) from their successors (who learned first hand, what the Apostles knew about Jesus Christ) … from the writings of the saints … from our own personal encounters with God, in and through our reception of the Sacraments .. and from the Holy Spirit himself, who, indwelling the souls of the faithful … intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” (Romans 8:26-27)

The Baltimore Catechism seems to indicate that this should be quite enough for us … at least for now. The rest can wait until the Kingdom comes!

It would have been much nicer to have dealt with these “positives” rather than spending half an hour discussing only what we don’t know.

The only redeeming part of the entire episode was the short discussion segment, near the end, when the producer asked a few questions that finally managed to elicit some fairly concrete answers from our good theologian/priest.

Here’s hoping that the next episode, on the Blessed Virgin Mary, will be much more edifying.

A positive movie review of “The Rite” … plus … 11 things you should know about exorcism.

I would like to say a few things about exorcism that are important to know and remember, especially when sensationalistic movies etc. take liberties. Allow these observations of mine in no particular order.

Read what Msgr. Charles Pope has to say