(Photo: Answers in Genesis)
Answers in Genesis, a ministry led by Ken Ham, launched a billboard campaign over the weekend to counter Darren Aronofsky's recently released film, "Noah." Two "Meet the Real Noah" billboards were put up in New York and California.
"The new boards are designed not only to counter the anti-biblical Noah film that Paramount Studios released nine days ago but also to draw attention to the Creation Museum's excellent displays about the reality of Noah's Flood and Noah's Ark-and the fact that all children 12 and under come free to our museum this year with at least one paying adult," Answers in Genesis CEO Ham wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
The billboards – in Times Square and Hollywood – feature images of Noah and parts of the ark, and direct people to The Creation Museum website. A blog post on Answers in Genesis further explains that the organization's public effort is aimed at exposing the "unbiblical content" behind "Noah."
"The way in which Aronofsky's 'Noah' blasphemes God, maligns the character of a righteous man, adds pagan and mystical elements, and twists the biblical narrative has prompted AiG to alert the church and culture about this unbiblical movie," the organization argues, and links to a detailed review of the Hollywood movie.
"Noah" has been criticized by some Christians, like Ham, who insist that it strays heavily from the biblical narrative. The movie has performed well at the box office, however, and has been praised by a number of other Christians.
Guy Noland, the executive director of Salvation Army Vision Network, called the Russell Crowe movie a "fun, action-packed, biblical epic that manages to champion the spirit of the Genesis tale while ensuring mass appeal."
"The film will undoubtedly introduce millions of souls to the scriptures who will likely never pick up a Bible on their own," Noland said. "'Noah' presents an open door to talking with my unchurched friends about the true living Word of God."
Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore, who claims to be a "devout Christian," noted last week that while some welcome Hollywood making biblical movies, others are not as open to filmmakers taking artistic license.
"There are two groups of people: one that is excited that Hollywood has made a blockbuster based on the Bible and book of Genesis, and a small vocal minority who don't think it's OK to make a movie that isn't literal and who don't have the respect to let people evaluate it for themselves," he said. "Darren took a lot of creative license in telling a story from the Bible."
Moore believes critics like Ham are only a "vocal minority." He said that the Creation Museum president "has become the guy who continues to take to the microphone criticizing the film ... and who has tried to keep the spotlight on himself.
"But there are a lot of credible religious leaders, including the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez (president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference), who have come out saying this is a movie people should see."