Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Does The Book of Eli have a Christian message?

I just finished watching The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington.  I was intrigued by this movie and was excited because Plugged In Online called this, “perhaps, the most explicitly Christian film I've seen come out of the secular film industry since The Passion of the Christ.”  There were numerous other reviews that spoke of its Christian message.

If I were judging this movie simply based upon story and acting then it is a phenomenal film.  Denzel Washington is, in my opinion, one of the best actors of our day.  I am not sure I have ever seen a Denzel film that I did not like.  The story line and a few of the twists in the end also make for a great story. 

However, this is NOT a Christian film or even a Christian message.  I’m not just simply straining gnats here.  Apparently Eli has the entire Bible memorized.  That’s awesome.  But he misses the message.  In his opinion the message of the Bible is, “Do good to others above yourself”. 

There is absolutely no mention of Jesus.  No mention of redemption in Christ.  The Bible is seen as a great book.  But in the end it is placed alongside other great books of faith like the Torah, Koran, etc.  The view of Christ and the Scriptures is the typical secular view of what it means to be a Christian. 

Don’t get me wrong we can learn a ton from Eli.  His passion for the Scriptures is wonderful.  His single-minded devotion to doing what “the voice” told him is compelling.  We can learn much from this man.  But he does not proclaim a risen Christ.  So, I’m shocked and a little disturbed that respected Christian reviewers can say this movie is Christian.  Eli could have been walking around with the Three Little Pigs and it wouldn’t have changed the film (okay maybe that’s a reach). 

If you want to know the message of the book of Eli read this interview by the Hughes Brothers, and tell me that this is not the message proclaimed instead of Christ and Him crucified. 

So, in sum.  The movies good to watch it’s just not the gospel or anything close.


  1. Yea, I saw this film heavily advertised on one of our colleagues sites with the implication that it was a Christian film. I had my doubts after watching the trailer.

    It's interesting though, if a film is filled with scripture and gospel, people say it's preachy, but if it's subtle, they say it doesn't qualify as a christian film.

    I haven't seen it yet, so I'll suspend judgement, but I thought your reveiw was good enough to tell me we don't need to sell Eli at

  2. Great review, Mike, although I've come to expect no less. Let your light continue to shine, brother.



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