Nolan Lebovitz is a filmmaker and a Rabbi. At one point in his life he made suspense thrillers. But, once becoming a father, he began to question his vocation. After deciding that he would rather do his part to make the world a better place, especially for his children, he entered seminary and became a Rabbi.
But that did not put an end to Lebovitz’ questions.
In a time in our country when products are being made overseas, jobs are rare, the economy is rocky, and politicians “debate” more than they govern, Lebovitz wonders if the answers to all of our problems can be found in the book of Genesis. Is it possible that an ancient manuscript could hold for us a roadmap to life? A roadmap to faith?
To Lebovitz, the answer is yes.
This is what he sets out to do in his documentary Roadmap Genesis. He goes to the streets asking everyday people about the book of Genesis, as well as interviewing a wide range of theologians, pastors, and rabbis. The guests include former Governor Mike Huckabee, Rabbi David Wolpe, Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Francis George, Alan Dershowitz, Erick Stakelbeck of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, and Ken Ham of the Creation Museum.
I appreciated that Lebovitz took the time to reach out to such a wide range of thinkers. Some many faith-based documentaries use their time to proof while those who disagree with them are wrong. Lebovitz, instead, uses his time and space in this film to put these different thinkers into a conversation about the first book of the Bible. By doing so, the viewer is given some space to hear all perspectives and come to their own conclusions.
Genesis is filled with so many themes and truths. It has been said that to understand the rest of the Bible, we must understand Genesis. Lebovitz adds to that if we want to understand and make the most out of life, we must understand Genesis. What is clear is that while the answers to all of our problems may lie in Genesis, one reading of the ancient text is not enough.
Many of the thinkers interviewed offer some unique perspectives and connections that are worth pondering. For example, Lebovitz makes the connection between what happened in the Tower of Babel narrative and what is happening in Congress today. There is a lot of conversation about creating order out of chaos. In addition, there is talk about being stewards of God’s creation. As human beings created in the image of God, we have a responsibility to be apart of the order of God’s creation instead of the chaos.
Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church offers a personal story about humanity contributing to the chaos. As a child he was the only African-American child in a music school. The class went on a field trip on a boat, but he and his family were not allowed on the boat because of their race.
This, and other issues of diversity, are justice related. As bearers of God’s image, we are called to be about this justice work.
Here is a clip:
This documentary would be great for a small group or youth group to watch and discuss. You can learn more about the film at its website roadmapgenesis.com.