Movie Review

The Genesis Code

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements and some innuendo.

Reviewed by: Darek Isaacs, Creation Ministries International
CHRISTIAN ANSWERS TEAM MEMBER

Not recommended
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults Family
Genre:
Christian Family Drama
Length:
_____
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
August 25, 2010
DVD: May 8, 2012
Copyright, America Saga Releasing click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, America Saga Releasing
Relevant Issues
Copyright, America Saga Releasing
Cancer and other human suffering

Where did cancer come from? Answer

How did bad things come about? Answer

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer

Bible’s accuracy

How do we know the Bible is true? Answer

When we say that the Bible is the Word of God, does that imply that it is completely accurate, or does it contain insignificant inaccuracies in details of history and science? Answer

How can the Bible be infallible if it is written by fallible humans? Answer

Answers to supposed Bible “contradictions” and puzzles

Is the Bible truth or tabloid? Answer

INTERNAL HARMONY—Answers to a skeptic’s questions about whether the Bible’s internal harmony is truly evidence of its divine inspiration—Read

Bible archaeology

Biblical prophecies

Genesis accuracy

What disturbing roadblocks are researchers discovering in attempting to prove evolutionary origins? Answer

Where did life come from? Is evolution really the best scientific answer? Answer

Can evolution be the source of life in all its complexity? Answer

What does the fossil record teach us about evolution? Answer

Does the DNA similarity between chimps and humans prove a common ancestry? Answer

Who’s who and what’s what in the world of “missing” links? Answer

Is there fossil evidence of “missing links” between humans and apes? Did ancient humans live millions of years ago? Answer

Creation SuperLibrary.com
Top choice for accurate, in-depth information on Creation/Evolution. The SuperLibrary is provided by a top team of experts from various respected creationist organizations who answer your questions on a wide variety of topics. Multilingual.

Featuring: Fred Dalton Thompson (Judge Hardin)—former U.S. Senator, TV and film star—“Die Hard 2,” “In the Line of Fire”

Ernest Borgnine (Carl Taylor)—Oscar® winner

Logan Bartholomew (Blake Truman)—“Love’s Abiding Joy”

more »
Director: Patrick Read Johnson, C. Thomas Howell
Producer: Genesis Productions, CK Pictures, Roger Garcia, Michael Shane Leighton, Michael W. Leighton
Distributor: America Saga Releasing

Big premise, big budget but a big mistake!

“The Genesis Code” is a full-featured film that pits the biblical six-day creation against the big bang theory of origins. In this contest, the viewer will notice that “The Genesis Code” never contemplates that the Bible should govern science; rather its presupposition is reversed. It is ‘science’ that is established as a seemingly inerrant source of ultimate truth.

However, science (and there are multiple definitions of what science, and even the ‘scientific method’, actually is anyway) can never be a standard of absolute truth. The sort of science with which most of us are familiar involves watching things happen (observation), and using repeatable experiments. Call it operational, or observational science if you like. But, when we try to understand events of the past, we are asking an historical question, which means that ultimately we have to use historical, not scientific, categories (see ‘It’s not science!’ and Naturalism, Origins and Operational Science). This doesn’t mean science can’t contribute to historical questions, but only that science can never provide us with the final answer. And the science involved in such things is a different sort of science—we can call it historical, forensic or even ‘origins science’.

That sort of science, which is what cosmology (the discipline that proposes ideas such as the ‘big bang’) is categorically placed in, involves a great deal of speculation, because it attempts to determine events of the past based upon fragments we have in the present. Events from the past cannot be directly observed [1] or experimented on, tested, or repeated in the same way as observational science can.

In fact, one expert has recently gone even further by claiming that cosmology is not even science, period! A recent article in the prestigious journal Science stated:

‘Cosmology may look like a science, but it isn’t a science,’ says James Gunn of Princeton University, co-founder of the Sloan survey. ‘A basic tenet of science is that you can do repeatable experiments, and you can’t do that in cosmology.’”[2]

This film attempts to win over unbelievers through argumentation in the name of ‘science’, or rather, commonly understood scientific principles. But it really uses origins science instead; this misleads viewers into thinking that a historical science like cosmology can determine such things.

The story is driven by a growing relationship between college hockey star, Blake Truman, who is an unbeliever, and a college news reporter, Kerry Wells, who is a professing Christian who interviews him.

In their first interaction, we learn that Kerry is a virgin, a Christian, and a pastor’s daughter. Blake, however, is not a Christian, not sexually pure, and not interested in Christianity. Nevertheless, none of this seemingly bothers Kerry, who has an obvious romantic interest in him. From a biblical perspective this would be an unequal yoking of a believer with a non-believer (2 Corinthians 6:14). The producers do attempt to briefly block the maturation of this relationship by demonstrating the worldview conflict between the two, but it is not convincing. The interaction between the two is clearly flirtatious and a romantic climax seems certain.

Obviously, for evangelical believers this is something which should not be entertained and it may have been an early indication that the producers maintained a low view of Scripture, which was not isolated to the Bible’s teaching on origins.

Even though there is a social plot of young love, the impetus of the movie is about the struggle between the six days of Genesis and the assumed 15.75 (approximate) billion-year age of the universe. Kerry’s father, who is a pastor of a local church, seemingly provides the spiritual leadership for the plot. However, as the senior pastor, one would expect that he would be skilled at defending the faith. Sadly, he forfeits his position of authority by stating that Genesis is a hard book to understand.

Ignorance of the truth is one matter, but this pastor is portrayed as intellectually capable and even as an apt debater. In one scene, Kerry’s guidance counselor confronts him on the existence of absolute truth, and he defends its existence in the face of the counselor’s postmodern assertions. Sadly, though, whatever his source for absolute truth is, it’s obviously not the plain reading of the biblical text.

Therefore, the character who should be the best apologist seems to abdicate that position of authority early on. If he is not confident that the Bible is able to be understood, then how can he possibly persuade the unbeliever?

The pastor’s stance here provides the viewer with a clue that the plain reading of the biblical text is going to be challenged. In the film’s attempt to appeal to some perceived scientific rationale and ‘reason’, all the producers really accomplished was to make an argument that the Bible does not mean what it says. Genesis, at face value, is not a hard book to understand. However, if one believes in a 15.75 billion-year-old universe, then Genesis is a hard book to believe.

The attempt to merge secular belief with biblical belief is triggered when Kerry is trying to tell Blake that prayer works, and the Bible can be trusted. He responds, and says “Prove that science and Genesis are not in conflict, and I’ll reconsider.”

This is not only a challenge from boy to girl, it is the modus operandi of the movie, which is, if the Bible can be proven to agree with science, then it must be worth believing because it matches man’s conclusions. But the Christian’s thinking should be the reverse—we should only accept man’s conclusions when they agree with the inerrant revelation we find in Scripture.

However, Kerry accepts the task to prove that the Bible and big-bang science are compatible, and she involves her skeptical brother Mark, who is portrayed as a genius-level physics student. In the scientific climax of the film, he gives a presentation to the main cast of characters, where he asks the rhetorical question, is science right or the Bible? He then answers, “Both are absolutely correct.”

This creates further confusion for the viewer because it fails to even mention that while there is only one biblical creation account, there are many competing big bang accounts, even today. So which big bang idea is correct, and which one are we supposed to hang our theological hat on? And what happens when the big bang ideas change again, or if it is abandoned (and there are hundreds of non-Christian scientists claiming it should be—see Secular scientists blast the big bang); is our understanding of the Bible supposed to change then, too?

Furthermore, the film ignores the many practicing scientists who believe in biblical creation who practice in the area of real operational science, and whose scientific conclusions stand in sharp disagreement with big-bang origins. Never once did the movie seek to clarify these issues.

Mark’s subsequent speech contains the assertion that all matter within our entire universe was contained in a point of singularity no bigger than the size of a mustard seed. Using the mustard seed as metaphor for the big bang is appropriate. Indeed, it would take matchless faith to believe the entire universe was contained in something as small as that.

His revelation is the invocation of the idea of time dilation where time ticks faster at some places than it does at others. This interjects Einstein’s general theory of relativity into the film which suggests that time depends on acceleration and mass. Therefore, the passage of time would be relative to circumstance. Interestingly, creation cosmologies also invoke the relativistic nature of time itself to explain how we can see light from distant stars if the earth is only 6,000 years old as measured by our clocks. See the section in our Astronomy and Astrophysics Q&A: How can we see light from stars millions of light years away?

The movie explains that at the big bang, there was the exponential expansion of the universe, which caused the passage of time to be different from God’s cosmic position, than it is from man’s position. Therefore, the film’s argument was that the six-day creation of Genesis was a real six days, but only from God’s perspective whereas, from earth’s/man’s perspective the six days have been manifested as 15.75 billion years. Since the Bible says God inhabits eternity, one would presume that time (as we understand it in our 3-dimensional universe) is not applicable to God. He is outside of our time and not bound by the time/space universe that He created (although He chooses to interact in it). ‘Our’ time began with the creation of the universe. So, in reality, there are no ‘days from God’s perspective’ as such. So whenever the Bible talks about days, or any segment of time, that has to be time as man would experience it. So it is meaningless to talk about ‘God’s days’.

The Genesis Code’s assertion on time dilation seems to be based on Dr. Gerald Schroeder’s theories, (although the movie does not state this), and these have significant scientific problems. The time dilation that is proposed in the movie suggests the cosmic clock ticking at the ‘edge’ of our universe would register only days, while the clocks on earth would register billions of years. However, this is the exact opposite of what general relativity suggests (see this critique of Schroeder’s views).

[Editor’s note: This statement is valid provided that we assume the universe has, among other things, a unique center and an edge, and our galaxy lies somewhere near that center, as in modern creationist models that use general relativity and time dilation in regard to the travel time of light (see Starlight and time—a further breakthrough). Schroeder was likely assuming the opposite, as standard Big Bang cosmology does, i.e., that the universe is unbounded (no center and no edge). Recent observations are more consistent with our galaxy being in a very special place, somewhere near a unique center, and are also consistent with a bounded universe. See J.G. Hartnett, K. Hirano, Galaxy redshift abundance periodicity from Fourier analysis of number counter N(z) using SDSS and 2dF GRS galaxy surveys, Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 318, no. 1 & 2, p. 13–24, 2008; J.G. Hartnett, ‘Where are we in the universe’ JoC, 24(2), p. 105–107, 2010.]

Nevertheless, Mark introduces the concept of POT, which stands for passage of time. He redefines the six creation days as six POTs. Each POT encompasses a different amount of earth time, but each is applicable to its corresponding day within the creation week. The six days are then partitioned into the 15.75 billion years of Big Bang ideology.

Therefore, using time dilation, “The Genesis Code” claims to solve the problem between the Bible’s six-day account and the movie’s account of 15.75 billion years. But this claim of congruity is deeply flawed.

“The Genesis Code” ignores the obvious points of conflict between the secular and biblical account of creation. To assume that Genesis is only about six days is vastly incomplete. There are key events within each day which are recorded. It is these events that the Genesis Code also dramatically changes. The biblical account is an orderly record of created matter, light, and life forms without any death, disease and suffering—which contradicts the secular order in which things came to be. The Bible clearly portrays a creation where all creatures including humanity were in harmony with each other and with God. Then, at the sin of Adam, recorded in Genesis 3, sin and death plagued the previously good creation.

However, the Genesis Code POTs contain many supposed mass extinctions (mass death) before the coming of Adam, the entrance of sin and, subsequently, death. Since fossils show things like violence, disease (many cancerous tumors, for instance). Thus things like suffering and cancer, for instance, are all part of the world that God describes as being all “very good” (!).

Therefore, this effort to reconcile the six days of Genesis with big bang ideology significantly fails at a theological level.

Rather, “The Genesis Code”, by way of cut-and-paste theology, has accused God for causing the suffering of creation before any sin had ruined the world. “The Genesis Code” would have us believe that God originally created with disease, suffering and death as an integral part of life on Earth.

This compromise of not recognizing sin as being the cause of all death and disease rears its ugly head within the subplot of the film when Blake’s mother is stricken with cancer. This trauma for Blake, as he has to consider the possibility that she will be taken off life support, will hit home for scores of viewers. For many non-believers, a major stumbling block is how to reconcile death and suffering with the biblical idea of a loving God.

The Bible, when taken at its word, is able to explain that the original sin of Adam is what caused death and suffering to God’s good creation (Gen. 3). The Bible sees death as the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:26), and that Jesus Christ is a savior who offers eternal life in a kingdom that will never end (Luke 1:33, John 6:40), who came to overturn the death that Adam wrought (Romans 5:12–21).

A film marketed as a Christian movie, which purposefully undertakes the issue of dealing with disease and death, would be expected to address the origin of such. However, due to the theological position of “The Genesis Code”, the blame for all death lies squarely at the feet of God, not the sin of man. It plays into the hands of many who disparage the idea of a benevolent loving Creator.

The slippery slope of compromise continues when Blake finally prays and brings the social plot to its climax. His prayer was meant to be a victory for Christianity after Blake saw that the Bible allegedly agreed with secular science through Mark’s presentation.

However, his prayer is not of repentance, but a request of healing for his mother. It cannot go without saying that not once, to my recollection, did the movie ever mention Jesus. Nevertheless, after this prayer Kerry and Blake finally kiss, which was the inevitable romantic encounter, and was highly symbolic of Blake’s acceptance into Christianity.

A problem here is that Blake was offered an implied inclusion into Christianity without any evidence of repentance in the face of the cross. A prayer of repentance and a prayer request are not the same thing.

Blake’s prayer is answered, and his mother is miraculously healed. But the underlying problem of suffering and death is never addressed. God doesn’t always affirmatively answer prayers for healing, and for 2,000 years, Christians who worship the Christ who defeated death have themselves died. This is a problem for those who don’t have a biblical view of Creation and the Fall.

The spiritual wrap-up of “The Genesis Code” comes through a professor and the pastor. The professor professes to believe in theistic evolution, and the pastor, after listening to his son’s presentation on POT, comments that man has finally “evolved” enough to understand God’s meaning.

But a stronger misrepresentation of God is difficult to imagine. God did not write with the pen of a jester when He said “days.” He did not wear a cloak of ambiguity when He said man’s sin caused death in creation (Romans 5:12, Romans 8:20). He did not encrypt His divine Word that would need to be cracked by physicists thousands of years, and billions of souls, after the fact.

“The Genesis Code” is meant to be an apologetic for the Christian faith. It wears the attire of Christianity, but due to compromise, it teaches as doctrine things that are totally foreign to the Christianity that is based on the ‘big picture’ of creation, the fall, and the cross. And even though it’s a film about Christianity, it doesn’t present any of the vital elements of the Gospel. Sadly, despite this fact, many Christian organizations have endorsed this film. I can’t say this surprises me. In fact, I expected it. Much of our modern Church simply has lost discernment and has adopted an idea, by and large, that the Gospel must change to meet the changes of modern society. But that is a flawed belief. God is never-changing.

So, rather than being a good apologetic for the Christian faith, it is more likely to steer people away from the faith, because it answers the ‘problem’ of the Bible versus science by saying that the Bible does not mean what it says. It’s not rocket science to therefore conclude that if this is true other parts must have the same problem. Do we need special ‘codes’ to explain the feeding of the five thousand, or the Resurrection, simply because man’s view of science says that such things cannot happen?

When Christianity fails to observe scriptural authority and avoids repentance of sin, it no longer is Christianity rather it is Christianism, which steers clear of the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

References

  1. The obvious caveat here involves certain astronomical events, like an exploding supernova, in that it takes time for light to reach us from them, so we are observing events from the past. But see the quote in the very next paragraph about cosmology overall. Return to text.
  2. Science, 317:1850, 2007. See also Hartnett, J., “Cosmology is not even astrophysics”: Dark matter: a big bang fudge factor, December 3, 2008. Return to text.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—The Fourth Commandment is the only one that tells us to “remember”. It was obvious that God knew His people would one day have an issue with this. The point to remember was not just the Sabbath day, but the point of creation and the Creator.

For nearly all of Christian history, we have seen religious leaders manipulating science. However, in the past two centuries, Christians have crumbled in their belief and ceded ground to secular views of science. Today we see the resurgence of science proving creation and the existence of a Creator. I see this as evidence the Spirit is moving. Now is the time for discussions on creation and science to take center stage.

more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tim, age 43 (USA)
Positive—My family and I went to see the film and left very impressed. The acting, writing and directing was, in my opinion, something that this genre has never seen before. I, also, think that this film is a great way to get non-believers interested in discussions about the story of Genesis. When ever I am debating with a person who does not have God in their life, it seems that they always bring up dinosaurs and the lack of mention of them in the Bible. This film does not answer that question but instead makes you think of all that we do not know about the way God’s creation operates. I think that this movie is a new twist to an old saying, Beware of the scientist who discredits the church and beware of the church who discredits the scientist. I think everyone who is going to see this film should bring a friend that does not consider themselves a Christian. I believe this film can stimulate conversation and maybe lighten their hearts toward the way of the Lord.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Corey Daniels, age 22 (USA)
Positive——This is a great movie whose purpose is to validate God’s word. Its main characters are students at a secular college/university. Kerry Wells is a journalist for the school, and she interviews their star hockey player Blake Truman. Kerry is a Pastor’s daughter who is strong in her Christian faith, while Blake is a skeptic who criticizes her. The movie goes on to depict the challenges Kerry goes through (successfully I must add) and how God shields her and uses her for His purposes.

Kerry’s brother is a brilliant young Christian scientist whose friends depict and explain in great detail (scenes 9 and 10) how the 6 days of Creation in the book of Genesis are not in conflict with any Science, but how time dilation and the Cosmic clock measured time differently then than now. This explains why God uses the simple word “day” even though if measured by today’s clocks the days lasted millions of years. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5

—Jose Landrau, age 40 (USA)
Negative
Negative—First, I will say that the plot was solid, the script was top notch, the filmmaking itself was edging on B class (which in this genre is a compliment), and the acting was the best by far of any Christian movie I’ve seen. There are elements that could be critiqued, but, overall, it made me care about the characters and believe them, while also providing me the quintessential gamut of emotional connection that makes going to the movies fun. However…

We just saw this film tonight, and I regret taking my 8th grade son. Although he has been homeschooled and presented with the Biblical account of creation as fact and studied Answers in Genesis materials, he was confused and wrongly excited about this movie. While the scientific ride taken in the film is well crafted and enthusiastically presented, it fails to pass muster on several accounts Biblically.

Instead of making an insanely long review, I’ll leave you with this list:

No mention of Jesus—the Fall, redemption, etc.

Assumes death was part of creation before the Fall

Creates a crafty, time-warping twist on age-old “day is like a thousand years” concept by saying somehow it wasn’t a bunch of years, but it was. God was right, but so are we. No.

Uses theory of time dilation to prove the wrong point. TD helps to explain distant starlight, not length of days or age of the universe.

We were unimpressed and irritated by the pastor and professor’s lines admonishing viewer as arrogant if they critique the movie’s premise or disagree with the [lack of] importance of young earth theory. In the end, I left feeling as though the movie’s goal was to force a view on me and make me feel stupid or arrogant if I disagree, which was the great irony of the film. The writers/producers themselves perpetrated what the “villain” of the film was mocked for attempting.

I, sadly, cannot recommend this film for believers or non-believers. It could have been rescued with a clear Gospel message, but the producers took more of an implied “all roads that lead to God are ok” approach which is not Biblical. It is confusing at best, and potentially damaging to those whose footing in creation apologetics is unsure.

***Spoiler Alert*** The lead character, in the end, seems to embrace the idea of God, but salvation was never explained to him, and it cannot be inferred that he got saved. Therefore, the kiss and implied future relationship between the lead character and the Christian girl also flies in the face of Scripture which is clear about being unequally yolked.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mikayla, age 37 (USA)
Negative—Our family went to see “The Genesis Code” last Friday night. Although we found it to be entertaining, we were disappointed in the Biblical accuracy. It sparked a lot of good conversation, but we were not in agreement with several themes.

The first issue that we noted is that the Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through on man, and death through sin…” This says that sin came to the world through Adam’s sin and because of this, death. So, if Adam didn’t appear on the earth for billions of years, did all the animals that God created prior to Adam live for billions of years? In Exodus 20:11, God said “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

God was using this as an example to the Children of Israel to show them what they should do. They were to work and rest the same time frame that He did.

Another theme that disappointed us was the relationship between Blake and Kerry. The kiss they shared at the end of the movie said their relationship was headed somewhere. But didn’t it matter that Kerry was a Christian and Blake was not? We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and that should start with dating.

Lastly, was the scene at the end where everyone is now one happy family. It appears that Professor Campbell is happy that “everyone is really ok”. While the movie does end with the first chapter of Genesis, it still makes it appear that you can really believe whatever is good for you. I picture God seeing this movie and shaking his head and saying, “But I AM. I didn’t need billions of years. I created the earth just like I said I did.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Phil, age 47 (USA)
Negative—The review said that saying all of what the universe consists of was in something so small as a grain mustard seed could not happen, but I see something far more dangerous, as this statement in the film was just one more piece of sheep’s clothing this film had on. Remember, a white lie is still a lie, and we see many in this film. It does not matter how much we believe in Jesus Christ, IF we have not trusted HIM for full payment for our sin. Not one prayer by this so called “reverent” included “In the name of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.

If one is firmly planted on the Solid Rock, they would not be so easily shaken off that rock, not even by a academic counselor who was so entrenched in her own beliefs that she could not see the double standard she applied to her student. I have rated this as a negative, because all it takes is for a small amount of leaven to leaven the whole loaf, and there is a lot of leaven in this film.

Remember, also, that Satan does not mind people being religious, but he sure does hate the CROSS! I would have loved to see some of the Christians take a stand and tell some of those who were not something like, I do not know how to answer your questions about the scientific part of things, BUT I do know that the moment I trusted Jesus Christ for salvation, I was changed completely and then go on to tell about the wonderful saving and healing work of our LORD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Pastor Ken, age 65 (USA)