Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 19, 2013

The Book of Eli

The-Book-of-Eli“The Book of Eli” is a fascinating movie about a man named Eli, played by Denzel Washington, who has the only remaining copy of the Bible in a post-apocalyptic world. Eli is determined to take this sole copy of the Bible to the west coast where a group of survivors is working to rescue, restore, and preserve any remaining copies of art, music, and literature for the benefit of future generations.

Eli’s nemesis is a man named Carnegie who desperately wants the book of Eli for himself. This local warlord relentlessly pursues Eli, mortally wounds him, and finally takes the book from him. The loss of the book prompts a conversation between a young woman named Solara and Eli, whom she has grown to admire and respect.

Solara: I didn’t think you’d ever give up the book, I thought it was too important to you.
Eli: It was, I was carrying and reading it everyday, got so caught up in protecting it, I forgot to live by what I’d learnt from it.
Solara: And what’s that?
Eli: To do more for others than you do for yourself.

Eli’s words to Solara are worth consideration. The Bible itself teaches that we must do more than hear or read its message. We must, in fact, live it out.

In his 1859 essay entitled “On Liberty,” British philosopher John Stuart Mill observed that Christians seemed to have the ability to say wonderful things without actually believing them. According to Mill, Christians easily parroted the words of Christ — words like, blessed are the poor; it’s better to give than to receive; judge not, lest you be judged; love your neighbor as yourself.

Mill concluded, “The sayings of Christ co-exist positively in their minds, producing hardly any effect beyond what is caused by mere listening to words so amiable and bland.” Mill’s words are painful to read. But, that is what happens when, like Eli, we fail to practice what we have learned from the pages of Scripture. It’s not enough to have the Bible in your hands or in your head if its truths never change your heart and lead you to love God and love others. Eli figured that out before the end of the movie. May we do the same.


  1. mmmm…amen my brother!… Maybe thats why its “easier said than done”! 🙂

  2. I saw this Movie almost two years ago and had the strangest afternoon of my life! There were only five people in the Movie that afternoon and my Friend and I went to see it for I had seen it but I wanted her to see it. I found it so fascinating. As we as Girls went to Bathroom after the Movie one of the Women from the Theater entered the Bathroom and I was telling my friend about how terrible it would be without God’s word here to guide us! Then the lady told me a story of her Daughter’s drug suicide and that she was raising her Grandchild but she had a experience where one afternoon she came home and She saw something that told her daughter was ok and in Heaven that she was taken care of by Jesus. The reason this was so momentous was for the lady I brought to the Movie her daughter had committed Suicide because of drugs. We all cried and prayed inside the Girls bathroom that day and my Friend has now become so close to word and all because God placed us at a Movie about his word. I never knew or saw the Lady again and sometimes I almost think she was like a messenger sent from God for my Friend. Could it just be happenstance? I choose to believe that was a little miracle I saw happen before my very eyes. Others can choose the way they want to see it! I know prayers were answered for a friend’s peace with a situation.

    • Thanks for sharing, Sharon. Great story. God is so good to give us a little wink exactly when we need it most.

  3. Great thoughts, Omar, I was fascinated by the movie and found it strangely interesting that at the end of the movie the Bible was placed on the shelf right next to the Koran

    • I had not noticed that, Gil. Thanks for pointing it out.

  4. Great quote from a great movie. There is a lot to analyze in that film. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Yes, indeed, there are lots of other great lines in that movie and lots to consider. Thanks for commenting, Jason.

  5. Beautiful! Hope never forget it.

    • Gracias, Carlos. Me gustaría estar en El Salvador con usted esta semana para perforar un pozo de agua. Voy a orar por usted y su equipo durante toda la semana.

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