A review: Book of Eli

How limited we are if we rely only on our own understanding. Being evidence based in my thinking - this can be a difficult concept to keep at the forefront of my being. If I cannot see, touch, and understand something - I am apt to disregard or throw it away. I have at times found solace in the fact that years ago we would have rejected understandings that are now common in science and that our empirical abilities change. I accept that the divine is constant. Remembering that our minds are so limited in their capacity is dualistic. Clearly, people profess faith in ways that we do not understand. But the concern becomes framing our own faith in the context of self alone.

I have been wrestling lately with my own understanding of God in a more profound way than I have in my lifetime. I have become so disillusioned with the commercial nature of modern religion. As has been mentioned by one of the characters in O Brother Where Art Thou?, “there are vast amounts of money to be made in the service of God Almighty." I have danced with something resembling mysticism. Accepting that there is divinity about us but attracted to the rejection of man's interpretation of just about anything having to do with God.

On occasion, I'll take a mental health break and go see a movie and generally clear my head for a few hours. I took in Book of Eli last night. It was an excellent movie and one that - albeit fictional - got me thinking and reflecting on my own weakness and lack of faith. For those who can find any reason to reject the underlying message in the film (including the apparent conflict with turn the other cheek and slaughter the wolves when it is appropriate), I'll defer to others and simply say - consistent with my comments here - to focus on that narrow issue misses the point.

It is not enough to look at the weakness and failures of others and accept that mankind is so devoid of good that we might as well also live recklessly. It is not enough to look at the failure of so many church bodies to recognize that the essence of God does not dwell in structures and predictable financial interests, that there is so much more to true faith than tertiary adherence for social reasons.

Washington's character, in fiction, exhibits a level of faith that I think many of us wish we had. And his character reminds us that there will be wolves at the door. And perhaps even that sometimes we will be forced to defend ourselves and others.

I found myself thinking and praying that God would show me his path. It was no coincidence that I came home and did some reading before falling asleep in 2 Peter. In this text, Peter is speaking of false teachers and prophets. How they mesmerize the weak and feeble minded with their big words and attractive philosophies. I had to wonder if I have been weak and feeble minded. In my requirement of understanding everything that I adhere to, I have rejected much of faith. But something deeply buried within me, akin to a flame - flickers when I can surrender enough to turn my face to God. When I give up the stubborn requirement that I be able to understand everything.


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