“Evan Almighty”

Good movie with a message.

On July 4th, we went to watch Evan Almighty. Though the movie has received mixed reviews and has not done very well at the box office we both enjoyed the movie and thought it was well done. It was a good movie with a good message.

Steve Carell, who play Evan in this sequel to Bruce Almighty, says about the movie in this USA Today article: “It’s about a guy having to make a leap of faith and he hopes others follow suit.” You can read more details about the movie, including the plot, at Wikipedia.

Here were a few things that struck us, in terms of the movie’s message …

Changing the world. The movie sent the message that the way to change the world is through Acts of Random Kindness (ARK).

Framing God’s actions in love. Scripture says, “God is love” (1 John 4.8). Because God is love, all of God’s actions are grounded in love, including his discipline and judgment. This was made clear in the conversation between “God” (Morgan Freeman), and Joan Baxter, Evan’s Wife (Lauren Graham). In this scene, “God,” a server in a restaurant, encounters Joan (Evan’s family was leaving him because they thought he was losing his mind), and tells her, “When someone prays for courage, do you think God gives them courage, or does he give them a moment to be courageous? When someone prays for the family to be closer, does he sprinkle around happiness, or does he give them an opportunity to be closer?” The conversation was meaningful to Joan because, toward the beginning of the movie, she mentioned she had prayed for their family to be closer. The conversation was a turning point for the family who returned to Evan’s side as he continued to build the modern-day ark in the face of increasing media attention and ridicule.

Following God. What do you do when God calls you to do something, especially something that seems out of the ordinary? How do you obey God when you know there’s going to be a high price — the loss of respect, your job, and maybe even your family? Of course, this comedy made the story even more bizarre by making Evan look like what Noah might have looked like millennia ago (i.e. robe, long white hair/beard, etc.), which in Noah’s day, would have looked pretty normal. But it can still be difficult to follow God’s leading sometimes. And this movie forces us to wrestle with that question.

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