Monday, August 9, 2010

the book of Eli

Enjoyed this movie a few weeks ago...

It has a ton of violence-- and salty language (although appropriate for the bad guys), but that's about it. If you don't mind graphic violence, then I can recommend it; if not, move along-- nothing to see here!

From Brian Godawa's review of it as his blog (hat tip: CRJ) who points to

"...a couple shots at the end seemed to be an intentional multicultural nod to Islam that seemed to work against the Christian exclusivism of the Bible: When Eli is transferring the text of the Bible to the good guys, he shaves all his hair off and dresses in what appears to be a Muslim garb. And then, the Bible that is printed is placed on a bookshelf right between a Tanakh and a Quran with other religious books, as if to say the Bible is one among other religious documents needed for civilization, including the Quran."

I'm not so sure. At the least, I think the ending is less clear than that-- and perhaps purposefully so, to promote exactly this sort of reflection.

Godawa does not bring up Mormonism. But the transmission of the book by Eli at the end-- word-for-word and in a sense, divinely inspired-- could speak to the supposed transmission process of divine revelation in both Joseph Smith's Mormon books and Muhammad's Koran.

But if one takes Eli's transmission to be a combination of spiritual disciplines and divine inspiration, then it is wholly (and beautifully) consistent with the manner in which the Christian scriptures were revealed to man through Holy Spirit.

The other key consideration is what one does with God's remarkable providence and sovereignty in bringing the Bible back to life in the movie-- a resurrection of sorts. The clear message of the movie seems to be that the Bible is, in fact, different-- and that God wants to make sure that it ends up on the shelf, where natural/man-made religions can get, easily enough, on their own.


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