On CAPC: Will ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Fear The Fantastical?

Even if you assume Exodus is fictitious, why avoid the most fantastical parts of the story?
E. Stephen Burnett | Dec 5, 2014 | 1 comment |

Count them: only one wall of water. Far less epic than the biblical two.

Today at Christ and Pop Culture I reluctantly share a likely annoyance with one aspect of the upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings.

The Ridley Scott-directed biblical epic, starring Christian Bale as Moses, releases Dec. 12. I’m not worried about changes from Book to film. Every film, even The Ten Commandments that most Christians laud, does that. After all:

When Christians grumble about films before they release—especially if they spread rumors about the director’s intentions or the film adaptation—they risk committing the sin of slander. At Christ and Pop Culture, I even wrote “Exodus: Gods, Kings, and Evangelical Headcanon” on why Christians shouldn’t pull the same nonsense about Exodus: Gods and Kings that we pulled about Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.


The first film trailer showed a rather spectacular wall-of-water image. The second trailer showed a river-sized torrent rushing in upon the fleeing/fighting Egyptian army. But why no finished visual-effects shot of the actual parting? Apparently it’s because this film won’t show an actual parting of the Red Sea. And suddenly I find myself less interested in Exodus.

[…] Even if a skeptical filmmaker assumes the Exodus account is fictitious, why be embarrassed by the most fantastical parts of the story?

Imagine the producers of the Harry Potter film series saying they love the tale of a boy gone to wizarding school, but all that wand-waving charm-casting is too unrealistic. And a sports game played on flying broomsticks? Irrational. Add a scientific explanation: The Bludgers are pulled by an array of magnets hidden in the stands and the Golden Snitch is a tiny robotic drone. Players make their brooms “fly” like Fred Flintstone makes his car roll.

Read more at Christ and Pop Culture: Will ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Fear the Fantastical?

E. Stephen Burnett is coauthor of a nonfiction book about parenting and popular culture (title TBA), to release spring 2020 from New Growth Press. He also explores biblical truth and fantastic stories as editor in chief of Lorehaven Magazine and writer at Speculative Faith. He has also written for Christianity Today and Christ and Pop Culture. He and his wife, Lacy, live in the Austin area and serve as members of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

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D. M. Dutcher

Well, he did a similar thing with his Robin Hood movie. It’s more his style to do realistic, historical films. Can’t really be annoyed with that. I’m surprised people were expecting otherwise, to be honest.