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CANADA (ANS) -- Last month Universal Pictures’ “Evan Almighty”, the sequel to 2003’s “Bruce Almighty”, was released in theaters. The film stars Steve Carell as Congressman Evan Baxter--a modern-day Noah told by God (Morgan Freeman) to build an ark. Test your knowledge of the film and how it relates to the Genesis account of Noah and the flood.
1. What 1971 song by Creedence Clearwater Revival is heard in the movie’s opening moments?
2. Evan’s three sons are Dylan, Jordan and Ryan. What are the names of Noah’s three sons?
3. What does Evan tell God as he concludes his funny, but earnest prayer?
4. What time is it when Evan’s alarm clock sounds?
5. When God suddenly appears in the back seat of Evan’s Hummer, he tells a screaming Evan: “Let it out, son. It’s the beginning of wisdom.” (http://www.movieweb.com/video/V07F16beGIJRTV)
According to the books of Proverbs and Psalms, what is the beginning of wisdom?
6. In the same scene, God also appears to Evan as three other persons. What three?
7. What store delivered the crate of woodworking tools?
8. How many lots did Evan’s realtor say he bought--6, 8 or 10?
9. What 800 telephone number is seen on the side of trucks delivering lumber outside Evan’s house?
10. God tells Evan that the flood will occur on September 22nd, at mid-day. According to Genesis 7:11, on what day did the flood begin?
11. When Evan asks his wife (Lauren Graham): “Do we have anything unleavened?” what food does she mention?
12. When God talks to Evan’s wife in the restaurant, what name tag is on his shirt?
13. God tells her: “You know the animals showed up in pairs. They stood by each other, side by side. Just like Noah and his family. Everybody entered the ark side by side.” According to Genesis, did all animals enter the ark in pairs?
14. How many questions does God ask her?
15. Evan asks him: “How much did you make off of all this land? You are destroying our national parks for profit!” Who?
16. Evan’s wife tells him: “Honey, maybe God didn’t mean a literal flood. Maybe he meant a flood of knowledge or emotion or awareness.” What’s her first name?
17. Evan asks God: “So you had nothing to do with the flood? Like where the ark landed exactly.” What is God’s reply?
18. After the floodwaters from the burst dam float Evan’s ark to Washington, D.C., what “arc” appears in the sky?
19. What bird is seen with a leaf in its mouth?
20. At the movie’s conclusion, God tells Evan: “It’s time. Do the dance.” What Bible book records: “There is a time for everything....and a time to dance”--Ecclesiastes, Esther or Ezekiel?
1. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”
“I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain/ Comin' down on a sunny day?”
When the crowd mocks Evan because the rain hasn’t come, an impatient Evan looks up and yells: “Is it too much to ask for a little precipitation?”
2. Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 6:10)
Refer to the online book “Noah’s Three Sons: Human History In Three Dimensions” by Arthur C. Custance.(http://www.custance.org/Library/Volume1/index.html)
3. "OK, I'm hanging up now."
On the album cover of U2’s “All That You Can't Leave Behind” (2000), J33-3 is visible on the airport gate-sign, signifying Jeremiah 33:3 [“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”] (http://www.fsf.nl/uploadafbeeldingen/ESAQDJAI)
Bono told Rolling Stone (January 18/01): “It was done like a piece of graffiti--It's known as 'God's telephone number'.”
4. 6:14 a.m. Only the first 3 letters [GEN] of GENERAL ELECTRIC are easily read on the clock. General Electric’s former slogan, ”We bring good things to life” can remind Christians of the Triune God bringing forth life during Creation Week. (eg. Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image…”)
Evan and his family live at 614 Oakwood Lane in Huntsville, Virginia; his license plate is GEN 614, and 614 is the telephone extension of his congressional assistant Rita.
Genesis 6:14 reads: “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” (KJV)
Henry Morris writes at (http://www.icr.org/article/21913/): “It may be surprising to learn that God’s instructions to Noah concerning the Ark’s design contain the first reference in the Bible to the great doctrine of atonement. The Hebrew word used here for pitch (kaphar) is the same word translated ‘atonement’ in many other places in the Old Testament.”
5. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” (Psalm 111:10)
God tells Evan’s wife: “I love that story--Noah and the ark. You know a lot of people miss the point of that story. They think it’s about God’s wrath and anger. They love it when God gets angry…Well, I think it’s a love story about believing in each other.”
Now compare with the Genesis account:
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
(Genesis 6: 5-8)
6. a policeman, pedestrian, and driver of the car behind Evan.
A theophany can be defined as “a manifestation or appearance of God to man.”
7. Alpha and Omega Hardware.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)
"Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:17b -18)
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:12-13)
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)
John Morris of (www.icr.org) writes: “The gross dimensions [of the Ark] are given in cubits: three hundred cubits long by fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. A cubit is usually thought to be the distance from a man's elbow to his fingertips, but it seemed to vary from one civilization to another. Estimates vary from 17.5 inches to 24 inches. For convenience, most use a conservative figure of 18 inches, making the Ark 450 feet by 75 feet by 45 feet. Even at that, it was a huge vessel, certainly big enough to carry two (or in some cases seven) of each "kind" of land-dwelling, air-breathing animal. Beyond these few details, nothing more is said of the Ark, other than that it was sufficient for the journey.”
Henry Morris writes in “The Genesis Record” that even if the most conservative estimate of the cubit is used (17.5 inches) the Ark would have been 438 feet long, 72.9 feet wide, and 43.8 feet high. Morris writes: "With the dimensions as calculated, the total volumetric capacity of the Ark was approximately 1,400,000 cubic feet, which is equal to the volumetric capacity of 522 standard livestock cars such as used on modern American railroads." (p. 181)
According to ((http://www.titanicmovie.com/us/home.html) the Titanic was 883 feet long, 92 feet wide, and 104 feet tall from keel to bridge, almost 35 feet of which was below the waterline. Thus the Titanic was about twice as long as Noah's Ark, but both vessels were close to the same width. However, the Titanic was about 2.5 times as tall as Noah's Ark.
8. 8 lots. According to Genesis, 8 people entered the ark: “Noah and his sons, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons…” (Genesis 7:13)
In the Bible the number 8 is associated with the beginning of a new era (http://vic.australis.com.au/hazz/number008.html)
Evan’s realtor is Eve Adams (Molly Shannon), a play on Adam and Eve.
9. 800-GO-4-WOOD, a reference to gopher wood. Paul S. Taylor writes: “Most modern English versions of the Bible translate it as ‘cypress’. This is probably incorrect and is really only a guess supported by very weak evidence.” (http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/gopherwood.html)
10. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Cheshvan/Heshvan is the second month of the Hebrew civil calendar and eighth month of the Jewish sacred calendar; equivalent to October-November. Cheshvan is also called Chodesh Bul, from the Hebrew word Mabul, "the flood".
In 2006, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (5767), began September 22nd at sunset. Rosh Hashanah is observed the first and second day of Tishri--the first month of the Hebrew civil calendar and seventh month of the Jewish sacred calendar; equivalent to September-October.
11. Evan: “Do we have anything unleavened?”
Joan: “Yeah, we do. It’s in the back, next to the frankincense and myrrh. We have a nifty name for it in this century. It’s called pita.”
(Exodus 12:17-18) "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.”
Frankincense and myrrh were two of the gifts the Magi presented to the child Jesus.
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
Dr. Paul L. Maier writes: (http://www.mtio.com/articles/bissar41.htm)
“The gifts they presented are usually interpreted symbolically. Gold, a royal gift, signified Jesus' kingship. Frankincense, a fragrant gum resin burned as incense, denoted his future priesthood. This substance consisted of small whitish beads or chunks that were ground into powder and that gave off an odor like balsam when burned. The third gift, myrrh, called smyrna in Greek, was an aromatic orange-colored resin from the small, thorny trees of the Commiphora family. Myrrh was expensive and much esteemed for use in perfumes, anointing oil, medicine, and embalming. That, years later, the crucified Jesus was offered wine mixed with myrrh as a palliative (Mark 15:23) and was also buried with the substance (John 19:39) renders this gift of the Magi predictive enough.”
12. Al Mighty. The first mention of “Almighty” in the Bible is when God appeared to Abram.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1)
13. No. “Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.” (Genesis 7:2-3)
God: “You want to change the world, son. So do I.”
God: “Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience, or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunity to be courageous? If someone prays for family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
15. Congressman Long (John Goodman). Evan also tells Long to repent.
Reverend John Stott, rector emeritus at All Souls Church (London, England) writes: “First, we will avoid the deification of nature. This is the mistake of pantheists, who identify the creator with his creation; of animists, who populate the natural world with spirits; and of the New Age's Gaia movement, which attributes to nature its own self-contained, self-regulating and self-perpetuating mechanisms. But all such confusions are derogatory to the creator.”
“…Second, we must avoid the opposite extreme, which is the exploitation of nature. Just as we must not treat nature obsequiously as if it were God, we must not behave towards it arrogantly as if we were God. Genesis 1 has been unjustly blamed for environmental irresponsibility. It is true that God commissioned the human race to ‘have dominion over’ the Earth and to ‘subdue it’ (Genesis 1:26-28, NRSV), and these two Hebrew verbs are forceful. It would be absurd, however, to imagine that he who created the Earth then handed it over to us to destroy it. No, the dominion God has given us is a responsible stewardship, not a destructive domination.”
“The third and correct relationship between human beings and nature is that of co-operation with God….God planted the garden, but then put Adam in it ‘to work it and take care of it’ (Genesis 2:15).” (p. 5)
“Towards A Biblical Approach to Creation” by Reverend Dave Bookless
16. Joan, a subtle reference to Joan of Arc (1412-1431), a national heroine of France who said she had visions from God which told her to recover her homeland from the English.
Was the flood of Noah’s day a literal, historical event? There are various viewpoints: eg. myth, a local or regional flood, or global flood.
“Why Christians Should Believe in a Global Flood” by Henry Morris (http://www.icr.org/article/842/)
Andrew A. Snelling writes: (http://www.icr.org/article/3338/) “Jesus spoke of the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17:26-27), recognizing Noah as a literal man who lived. He spoke of Noah and his family entering the Ark and the Flood coming and taking them all away. So Jesus recognized the Flood, the Ark, and Genesis 7 describing those events as real history.”
17. “I gave you a little shove at the end. Sue me.”
According to Genesis 8:4, the ark landed on the mountains of Ararat.
“By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.” (Genesis 8:13-15)
18. a rainbow--an arc of spectral colors [red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet] that appears in the sky opposite the sun as a result of the refractive dispersion of sunlight in drops of rain or mist.
Genesis 9:12-16: And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
19. a dove. At the beginning of the film a dove follows Evan’s Hummer. At the end of the film the dove perches with a leaf in its mouth.
He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. (Genesis 8:10-12)
“See the bird with the leaf in her mouth/ After the flood all the colours came out/ It was a beautiful day” – U2, “Beautiful Day”
20. Ecclesiates (3:1, 4)
King David danced before the Lord wearing a linen ephod (2 Samuel 6:14). Jeff Stoltzfus of Club Worship (www.clubworship.org) comments: "David would be the most likely to show up at a rave.” (http://www.youthspecialties.com/articles/topics/outreach/dancing_b4.php)
Flood Film Project
The Flood of Noah and the Flood of Gilgamesh
The Resource for Answering the Critics of Noah's Ark
Evan Almighty [official site]
On the Great Flood of Noah
Evan Almighty [Trailer]
Noah’s Ark Questions and Answers
Carell says of giraffes: “…there's, like, this soulful quality to their face…”
Evan Almighty [AOL]
Noah’s Flood Questions and Answers
The Biblical Flood
Evan Almighty [MovieWeb]
Interview with Steve Carell
Interview with director Tom Shadyac
Visual Overview [16 frames]
Did critics miss the boat?
“Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study” by John Woodmorappe (Institute for Creation Research, 1996) (http://www.rae.org/noah.html)
“The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings” by Henry M. Morris (Baker Book House, 1990)
Copyright 2007 by David Buckna. THE POP GOSPEL. All rights reserved. Used
by permission. Buckna reads email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Freelancer David Buckna produces -- THE POP GOSPEL -- a column that communicates Judeo-Christian truth to the postmodern culture using a Q & A format. Since December 2002, THE POP GOSPEL has been an occasional feature in the Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta, Canada). Questions are gleaned from movies, television, music, literature, current events and other aspects of pop culture: Star Trek, Rock Music, Harry Potter, Calvin & Hobbes, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Matrix, Art Masterpieces, Classic TV, Christmas, The 10 Deadly Sins, Dr. Seuss, Survivor, The Wizard of Oz, Johnny Cash, The Passion of the Christ, The Simpsons, and many others. Buckna's previous quizzes for ANS can be found at the ANS Search Archive page, searching for buckna.