Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I know it is a while since this one came out, but Diane and I went to see The Book of Eli last night. The thing is, we can go out to the theater and pay a total of three bucks rather than twenty. And, once the movie gets going, we hardly notice that the theater is not quite as nice.

The Book of Eli, starring Denzel, is about a man in a Post-Apocalyptic world who was led by God to the last Bible in the world and told to take it out west. The movie mainly deals with his trying to protect it from a creepy leader of a gang of bullies that wants the book so he can find the right words to dominate even more people.

The movie does bring up some interesting thoughts and ideas about living in a culture that has primarily "lost" the Bible (with the older generations having a memory of it, and the younger being totally clueless) and the power the words within have, but I will deal with a different issue for a moment.

I have heard some speculate that the movie would not play well with a religious audience, due to the level of violence. Granted, the violence is disturbing and brutal. And, thankfully, I don't think it is God's will that we go around hacking one another to bits and blowing holes through people and that sort of thing. But, there have been and are times when warriors are needed to fight on behalf of those that can't, against those that want to take what does not belong to them.

The Bible does have numerous examples of men that did this. Here are some of the exploits of a few of David's (the same David that chopped off Goliath's head with his own sword) men from 2 Samuel 23:

- Josheb-Basshebeth...raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter(whether he was alone or with his men, I do not know).

- Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated, but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.

Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel's troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.

- Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed...

- Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear.

I appreciated some of the issues that the Book of Eli brought up, including the ones I mentioned. It might be surprising that in a kind of God-Fearing-Mad-Max-Movie you would be asked to face thoughts about what would happen in a world where the scripture was lost, what would lead people to want to get rid of it and the power of the words within. But then, I suppose good art always leads us to face deeper thoughts.

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