Tonight I saw “The Book of Eli” and left with a full smattering of conviction and deep thought that refuses to escape my heart. I know this may sound a bit wacky, but I need you to bear with me through this explanation.

This post is NOT a movie review, but a little context is important, so we will offer a quick summary.

My Convictions from “The Book of Eli”

I left the movie feeling very challenged and with these prayers:

  • Please forgive me for not taking your words / gift of the Bible as seriously and deeply as I should
  • Please give me faith in You when I doubt the Bible’s purity and legitimacy
  • Please build in me an unquenchable thirst for consuming your Word
  • Please give me the gift of scripture memorization so Your words can flow from me and point to You
  • Please convict me to bring the Bible into my marriage more so I can grow in my love for you and my wife

“The Book of Eli” Summary

“Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.”

Yes, this I am talking about a rated R :::gasp::: film, and Jesus still loves me (pardon the scintilla of sarcasm). This film is rated R for a few reasons: a collection of ~12 F-bombs, a couple “GD”s, and quite a bit of graphic violence. “The Book of Eli” is set in a post-apocalyptic future of sort… and let’s face it, there will be a heck-of-a-lot more cursing and violence than was shown in this 2 hour movie.

Our few sentence summary will definitely not do the movie justice, so go ahead and head on over to our friends at ChristianAnswers.net for a more comprehensive plot summary and review.  If you enjoy the magic of cinema, do not read the full review at ChristianAnswers.net or the sectioned excerpt below… however, you’ll surely live regardless.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  MOVIE SPOILERS BELOW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The story follows Eli as walks “West” through a post-nuclear-holocaust Earth, carrying a book, which we relatively quickly find out is the last known copy of the Bible, which he will protect at any cost. During this time, the world is dark, water / food are scarce, education is non-existent, the landscape is barren, and barbaric people roam the Earth doing anything possible to survive.

Along the way he is confronted by groups of violent and illiterate savages who are trying find the book per their leader’s orders, killing as needed. The leader of the goons, Carnegie, can read and has an insatiable desire to apprehend the book because he knows “it is the ultimate weapon with the power to control people”. He wants to use it for evil purposes. Eli has a ninja-like ability for self preservation, which he only uses to kill the antagonists as a last resort when confronted.

We later find out God spoke to Eli 30 years ago and told him where to uncover the last copy of the Bible and to “go West” with promises of protection and provision. He diligently reads the Bible everyday during his journey. The leader of the bad guys eventually takes the book and shoots Eli.

With the help of a friend, non-fatally shot Eli makes it “West” to San Francisco, where a group of people have taken over Alcatraz as a formidable storage facility for collecting cultural artifacts (books, paintings, music, etc), and are almost done building a printing press. The big twist comes when the leader’s “engineer” picks the Bible’s lock to open a New King James version, written in Braille, which he has no way of reading. We now know Eli has journeyed as a blind man, and his diligence studying his Braille Bible results in him reciting the book to a transcriber before he dies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  MOVIE SPOILERS COMPLETE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Bible in Your Life and Marriage

All Christians go through phases where they are challenged by the validity and legitimacy of the Bible, written with human hands, as the literal Word of God. We will not explore that discussion here (plenty for another day).

Unequivocally, while my faith is stretched at times with this, I absolutely believe the Bible is the LITERAL Word of God, given as a gift to humanity for learning about God’s heart and Christ. I also personally believe this is foundational to “being a Christian”. However, we will not explore that either.

Let’s be honest, most Christians do not make Bible reading a priority in their lives, much less their marriages. We usually try to slide in little reading as we are dozing off at night, maybe once or twice a week. Perhaps the husband or wife reads alone, but rarely to couples read together.

So often we say we desire to “hear from God”, expect (or at least silently hoping) the clouds will part and booming voice from the heavens will answer our questions (or justify our decisions)  or provide exact direction, with GPS precision, on where we should go. God sometimes works like that, but that is not a part of my testimony. If you desire to “hear God’s voice”, open your Bible and read His words as he speaks them, as they are spoken through His people, and as they come out of the mouth of Jesus Christ.

If we really believe the Bible is God’s word, that means every single word in it is spoken from the Creator of the Universe to your heart. How would your life look differently if you believed that and lived your life accordingly? Your life and marriage WILL be transformed by reading scripture.

Reading the Bible is Simple… It Really Is!

You do not have to be a Bible scholar to understand the Bible. If you desire, you can purchase / use a Bible with explanatory footnotes and read them together as well.

The follow-up here is extremely easy… men, go to your wife and say “Honey, I would like to start reading the Bible with you”. Sit together and pray that God will lead and speak to your hearts. Open your Bible to Matthew, and read together. Read a verse, a chapter, or more. Rinse and repeat.

Scriptural References

2 Timothy 3:16-17 … All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reprorf, for correction, and for training in righteousness, the the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Dueteronomy 8:3 … Yes, he humped you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unkown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouoth of the Lord.”

Psalm 119:9-11 … How can a young man keeep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Matthew 4:2-4 … After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Jesus answered, it is written: man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

James 1:22 … Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Hebrews 4:12 … For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

John 17:15-17 … My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world. even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Discussion Questions

  1. Is Bible reading a part of your marriage? If not, why? Are you scared, anxious, feel inadequate, etc?
  2. What needs to change about your average day so you can prioritize time reading the Bible with your spouse?
  3. How would your life and marriage look if you really believe the Bible is the Word of God?