It’s a cruel fact of life that the film industry rarely makes the sequels it should and almost always makes the sequels that even the fans of the original hardly wanted to see. Think about it. The studios have never given more than lip service (if that) to another “Serenity,” “Master and Commander,” “Buckaroo Banzai” (it’s a good movie — get over it) and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Instead, we get “The Quickening,” “Book of Shadows,” “The Whole Ten Yards” and — shudder — “Grown Ups 2.”
That’s been the case since before time began, but in these last days, the peculiar syndrome that apparently afflicts most big-budget film producers has developed two new symptoms. Basically, since “The Lord of the Rings” made a kajillion dollars, everyone wants to make trilogies, and since “Avatar” made a kajillion, bamillion dollars, everyone wants to make their trilogy in 3-D (because it’s a proven fact that if making a kajillion dollars is good, making a kajillion dollars while forcing your viewers to wear silly, practically pointless glasses for two hours is better).
Of course, the good industrious folks who toil away at Creation Today and Answers in Genesis are far removed from the machinations of Hollywood, but unfortunately, it appears they’ve caught the same destructive disease. Because, well… this.
Yep, “Genesis, in 3D.” Now, I don’t know for sure how much Ray Comfort — mastermind of the nauseatingly bad, gospel-damaging film “Evolution vs. God” — is involved with this project. He is quoted in the trailer praising the film, along with his sidekick, Kirk Cameron. So that’s something. But even if Banana Ray isn’t directly involved (which is the only way I would feel comfortable calling this movie a true sequel to “Evolution vs. God”), “G3D” still comes from the same worldview (Genesis is literal and evolution is evil), targets the same audiences (anti-evolutionists and their children), gives the middle finger to the same audiences (those who like science), and has the same misguided mission (more on that in a bit), so it’s — at the very least — a spiritual successor to the “EvG” franchise.
We don’t know all that much about “G3D” just yet. We know that it’s a 3-D animated film (everyone knows that truth is best conveyed in the form of computer animation) and that they’re planning a trilogy (hence, my intro). We know it’s being produced by Creation Today, the rebranded offshoot of Kent Hovind’s Creation Science Evangelism, run by Hovind’s son and heir to his good name, Eric. We know that it will feature pterodactyls (extinct for the past 150 million years) flying above a forest that has lions in it and plesiosaurs (extinct for the past 65 million years) frolicking in the sea with modern orcas.
We know that Answers in Genesis’ roster of apologists are involved, and that Ken Ham himself is serving as a spokesman for the project and is featured prominently in the trailer. This is marginally interesting, since AiG once had major beef with the views and approach of Hovind Junior’s daddy. I certainly hope this collaboration isn’t a sign that AiG is “compromising” on its beliefs. It is a slippery slope, after all. First, zip lines, and now this? What’s next? Joining forces with theistic evolutionists to actually share the gospel, rather than devoting millions of dollars worth of time, resources and talent toward a message that has nothing to do with salvation?!
It’s a scary thought.
Look, let me be honest for a second. I know this film is going to be nothing more than an hour or so of poorly rendered choir preaching, with a factual basis that makes “The Avengers” look like a “Nova” documentary. And I get no pleasure from helping these jokers promote their movie, especially just before they launch a big crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. (For the record, I don’t know how much they’re asking for and I don’t really care. But I do hope Christians would donate their money to fighting hunger, poverty and disease rather than this.)
However, before True Christians™ everywhere start falling over themselves to endorse this schlock, I felt someone had to take a firm stand and call “Genesis in 3D” what it is: a thoroughly UNBIBLICAL attempt at evangelism, which makes an utter mockery of the gospel of Jesus.
I’ll tell you exactly what I mean. About 1:45 into the trailer, K-Ham says this, “What we need to do is to make sure we start right at the very beginning, in Genesis, answer the skeptical questions that are causing people to doubt that that book is true, to help them understand that the history is true — that’s why the gospel based on that history is true.”
As a Christian, I think statements like this are incredibly foolish and irresponsible. Oh, and just plain wrong. Guys, hear me on this: The historicity of Genesis is not the reason that the gospel is true. The gospel is true because Jesus is risen and he lives.
That is the mainstream theological view, anyway, and it’s certainly the one I adhere to, since the Bible’s pretty clear on the matter: “The Holy Spirit proved by a powerful act that Jesus our Lord is the Son of God because He was raised from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Paul goes on to write in Romans 4, “God will make us right with himself the same way he did Abraham, if we put our trust in God who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Jesus died for our sins. He was raised from the dead to make us right with God.” And let’s not forget the inverse of these declarations, which is reiterated more than once in 1 Corinthians 15: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. … And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
Nothing about dinosaurs in there, people. So K-Ham is wrong. But why is what he said irresponsible? Why does it make me want to bash my head into a wall? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because his statement, rather than placing the standard for the gospel where it belongs (on the Resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s ability to convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment), declares that the truth of the gospel rises and falls based on the scientific evidence (which, by the way, shows beyond any reasonable doubt that K-Ham’s fantastical view of the history of the world is absurdly incorrect).
And so, the main message of “G3D” is that all one must do to disprove the gospel is demonstrate that the universe is more than 6,000 years old. Surely, even those who think that Genesis is meant to be read as literal history can agree with me that that’s a terrible idea. It’s the Jesus of the gaps once again. It is, in fact, a message every believer (True Christian™ or otherwise) should reject.
I can only pray that they will.