The Book of Eli review

Just saw The Book of Eli tonight.  Wow.  Spoiler Alert: if you are still planning on seeing it and don’t want to have it ruined for you, stop reading now!

Since God began to touch my life in a much more dramatic way about 10 years ago (you can read about it here), I have been very interested in the possibility of having a relationship with God where He leads on a moment-by-moment basis.   I have read accounts of trying to live this way by those who have gone before us like Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubauch.  I have experimented trying to live this way, with some great successes but with a lot of forgetfulness and distraction.

By the end of this film, I realized that this is what the movie is about.   The movie portrays Eli as a holy warrior of God who owns the last surviving copy of the Bible in a post-nuclear war society.  His mission is to take the Bible to the west, as God leads him.  But of course along the way he runs into numerous threats arising from the ‘every man for himself’ post-war anarchy.  A major surprise in the ending reveals that Eli is blind.  And yet during the film you would never guess that.  He does things that not only require vision, but amazingly sharp vision, like shooting a bird in flight with a bow and arrow.   I came to what I believe is the only possible conclusion:  Eli was so led by God on a moment by moment basis that he could actually carry out his mission, from conversation to combat, being directed by the Holy Spirit rather than using his natural vision.   His early comment in the movie that he “walked by faith and not by sight” all of the sudden took on whole new significance.

So as with any good movie, the question it surfaces is much bigger than the movie.  It’s one thing to write a move script about a guy who does it, but can we do it in real life?  Can we live a moment-by-moment dependent relationship with God through the Holy Spirit?  As Frank Laubach would say, “I choose to make the rest of my life an experiment in answering this question.”

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