The movie the Book of Eli is a violent action thriller directed by the Hughes brothers; Albert and Allan – no relation to me.  It is not for the faint of heart.  Bloody severed heads and limbs flying is not really my cup of tea but I was intrigued by the curious theme about a anarchistic post-apocalyptic world where only one copy of the bible remains.   Eli, played by Denzel Washington, receives a message from above to find and to transport the one and only copy of the bible west across the American wasteland.  For 30 years he soldiers on, basically killing everyone that tries to stop him.  Ironically he ‘religiously’ reads the scriptures every night.  The world is in absolute chaos.  Violence and anarchy are the order of the day as the filthy nuclear war survivors will do whatever is necessary to survive.

What was really fascinating, for a movie coming out of Hollywood, was the notion that the educated few that remained in this chaotic world knew that the only real hope for mankind was the teachings of the bible.  The mix of violence and religiosity was a bit off-putting at first but it accomplished it’s goal.  It got me thinking about what the world would look like without the bible.  It would no doubt be a sorry place indeed.  Worse yet, we are already going down that path.

Last night I was listening to Michael Moore on Larry King say that those who oppose gay marriage are on the wrong side of the cultural momentum and it is just a matter of time before the issue is resolved the other way.  Unfortunately, he is 100% right.


The fact is most Christians let their bibles sit on the shelf all week long while they listen to the likes of Michael Moore, Larry King, Ellen Degeneres, Bill Maher, Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg.   Abraham Lincoln once said of the bible, “This Book is the greatest gift that God has given to man, without it we would not know right from wrong.” Truer words have never been spoken.  We are completely lost without it.  We so quickly take on the bankrupt values of our world.

Our culture is experiencing what I would call moral entropy.  Entropy is the second law of thermodynamics which states that in a closed system everything will move from a state of order to disorder.  Much like if you drop an ice cream cone on the sidewalk on a hot day it will take on a simpler and less ordered state.  It will never evolve into a higher more appetizing form.  Only with outside influences can something move from a chaotic state to an ordered one.   In Genesis 1 the earth was without form and void and God said, “Let there be light”.  God invaded the the disorder of the universe and brought structure and order.

With the decline of religion and the lessening of the church’s influence, our world is suffering from moral entropy.  Rampant divorce and remarriage, common law marriages, epidemic internet pornography use, legalized abortion and gay marriage, are all just symptoms of a greater problem.

In the Book of Eli evil-doers tried to eradicate every bible on the planet.  They knew that by doing so the world would degenerate into a chaotic cesspool that could be ruled by violence and despotism.   This is not merely the stuff of science fiction.   In the 18th century French atheist and philosopher Voltaire who, destroyed the faith of many people, boasted that within 100 years of his death, the Bible would disappear from the face of the earth. Voltaire died in 1778.  Fifty years after his death the Geneva Bible Society purchased the historic home of Voltaire and used his printing presses to print thousands of Bibles.   Jesus said, Heaven and earth will  pass away but my word will never pass away.”

The Good news is that God watches over His word.  If we were somehow down to our last copy of the bible, God would preserve it and it would make a come back with such force that whatever moral decline that had taken place would be reversed in a staggering display of  His providence.  God will once again look down and say, Let there be light.” We have seen it in our own day in China.  During the Cultural Revolution of 1949 Mao Tse Tung expelled all missionaries, imprisoned all pastors and burned every known bible.   The underground church guarded their remaining bibles with their very lives. They carefully separated out the pages and let believers share them one page at a time.  They devoured what the scripture said and instead of the church disappearing it has grown from 50-75 thousand to 50-70 million believers.  The church today is growing faster in China than any other nation on earth.

I am an optimist.  I see great hope for our world, but it all depends on Christian people beginning to live like our bible is the last copy left in the world and, that the future of the human race depends on it… because it does!

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16 Responses to THE BOOK OF ELI

  1. Lisa says:

    Absolutely behind you on this. I was curious about ‘Book of Eli’ as well, but my son said ‘Mom, the story line is great, but it’s pretty graphic’. It’s obviously a thinker. Haven’t brought myself to watch it yet, but I am glad to see your take on it, as well as your following commentary. Absolutely…”Treat your Bible as if it were the last one on earth”. Good advice for everyone. Love what you said about Voltaire’s desire to destroy the Word and predicting the end of Bibles in 100 years… AND THEN of course God does that wonderful thing he does by using a blatant in your face sinner to spread the gospel even further! Love it!Also, it is so true for so many, when the Bible sits on the shelf, and most people listen to Larry King, Ellen, Oprah…all week long, and to the minister on Sunday only a person has to really be careful who’s views they soak in more (saw that sermon, was good, thanks).
    Keep the faith, and God bless you and your Ministry.

  2. Sally says:

    Well said Pastor Mark! We need a revolution of back to bible reading while we still can. We may one day find ourseles in the same situation the Chinese found themselves in during the cultural revolution; especially if we the church remain silent on the social issues that are slowly eroding away our rights and freedoms. Being “politically correct” has prevented the church from standing up and speaking out on issues of morality. It is time for us, the church, to be the change that Canada needs.

  3. Victoria says:

    Well I am still trying to get through Exodus…it is very long!
    We also read passages form the bible every Sunday,people from our congregation that have good clear reading voices,read to us. So we are learning everyday in our house. I do think it is good to refer to our bible when teaching our children how to make better choices in life.It keeps thing simple and “back to basics”.
    I bet you could find an answer to any question in there!
    Christmas is coming and I want to read from the bible to my kids about why this day is special…where should I start?

  4. Tamara says:

    Victoria, speaking as a passionate lover of reading the Bible, I’d recommend setting Exodus aside (you’re right, it IS long, and not terribly exciting after the first half), and instead reading ‘Acts’ or one of the gospels… I personally think ‘John’ is probably the best read to prep for Christmas, if that’s specifically what you’re looking for. I think if a person is going to only ever read one book in the Bible, that should probably be the one. ‘Isaiah’ is breath-takingly beautiful, and you’ll find large chunks of Christmas songs, like Handel’s Messiah, come straight from that book. Happy reading!

  5. Tamara says:

    John doesn’t even deal with Jesus’ birth… but he does a stunning job of telling the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. That, to me, is the point of Christmas… not the baby in a manger!

  6. Victoria says:

    Thank you for the recommendations, I was a little bit depressed after reading about all the plagues that God placed upon Egypt.

    I caught an auction show on cable last week that had some interesting items for sale. One item a was a vampire killing kit from the 1800’s complete with crucifix,prayer books,wooden stakes,silver bullets,and holy water,ect. It sold for $14,000.\

    The next item was a Episcopalian prayer book from the first Episcopalian church EVER,and it only got $4000!

    This book was sold to a private collector and will sit in his personal library….

    don’t you think that it would be better for the church to keep this and put it in a museum or for students of theology to study it? I was shocked.

    if they had Vampire killing kits back then…

    don’t you think what they were hunting might have a SHRED of truth to it?!

  7. Evelyn Bennett says:

    The only way this world will ever improve with a positive outlook we must focus on the scripture in 1 Samuel 16. God focuses on the heart and not on outward appearances.

    Only the heart can speak the truth.

  8. Victoria says:

    O child of God, guard well your life
    From anything that stains the heart;
    Forsake those things that soil the mind—
    Your Father wants you set apart. —Fasick

  9. Karen L says:

    Good for you for sticking with the whole movie Mark, I would have walked out because of all of the violence. Now I know what it was (is) about. I didn’t give the movie a second thought/look because of the violence. I have said before, that violence shouldn’t become our entertainment.

    I don’t understand why movies always associate violence with the Bible…

  10. Delia says:

    I thought the movie was awesome! I wanted to see it, because I was curious about the name, (why would Hollywood put a movie out about the bible??) and didn’t research it, so I didn’t know the plot even when I watched it. But when it was over, my husband and I were like, WOW.. that was cool!
    And what you were saying about people just leaving their Bibles on shelves all week, also true. I once listened to a sermon where the pastor said that being a christian isn’t just going to church on sundays. Much like a plant, you can’t have it in the sunlight on Sundays and then leave it in a drawer the rest of the week – it’ll die… so true, and yet, so many of us do that.
    As far as Bibles becoming obsolete, I don’t know. Here in Canada you have to go to a specialty store to buy a bible that can run upwards of $50! The last Bible I bought came from a Walmart Supercenter in Fargo, ND. Think I paid $14 (that was 4 years ago).. but I couldn’t get over how cheap the Bibles were at Walmart!!
    There’s my 2 cents.. God Bless you Pastor Mark!

  11. Victoria says:

    I also wonder why there is a bible in EVERY hotel room……..does any one know the story behind this? Share?

    AND the good news is that at the dollar store,
    they now sell Bibles for $2!
    Pass it on,and happy reading!

  12. Wren says:

    Victoria, Search Gideons on googlle.

  13. Jane says:

    Since satan couldn’t get rid of our Bibles through persecution he’s now trying through corruption. The changes made in most of the new translations either change content or leave it out. I am surprised at how many Ministers have no problem with this. Billy Graham even endorsed “The Message” though not for study. You can leave books out of your reading and study time, but if you do you will never fully understand your bible.

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