'Noah' Environmental Crusade or Redemptive Story?

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The movie "Noah," starring Russell Crowe, hits theaters Friday, March 28, but the film has been generating buzz and controversy for months.

Several Arab countries moved to ban the movie because of their Islamic faith.

And some Christian leaders have criticized it, calling the movie an environmental crusade that strays too far from the biblical storyline.

But others, like Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, are speaking out in support of the film.

"Although the film does not reflect a contextualized expository exegetical extrapolation of Genesis 8 and 9, it does capture the redemptive and reconciliatory grace-filled hope at the center of the Gospel message," Rodriguez said after screening the film.

"The nature of God as depicted in the film is the same as the nature of God as depicted in Scripture," he continued. "And that gives us as Christians an excellent opportunity to tell our friends and neighbors about the mighty One we serve."

Other voices are heard in this special preview Paramount Pictures released exclusively to CBN News. Watch below:

Charles Jenkins, pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, agreed.

"Noah is a riveting blockbuster that conjoins complexity with many underpinning moments of simplicity that hit home," Jenkins said.

"Messages of righteousness, justice, mercy, sacrifice, honor, faithfulness, family, frustration, temptation, depravity, and grace shine through," he said.

"I did feel like there were a few science-fiction-like moments at points," Jenkins added. "But I get it."

The president of National Religious Broadcasters also praised the film for its production value, acting, and faithfulness to the Bible's elements of sin, judgement and restoration.

His support came after Paramount Pictures made an addition to its advertising for the film, saying that it's "inspired by the story of Noah" and that "artistic licenses had been taken."

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Efrem Graham

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.