For my "Theology and Pop Culture" class at Fuller our assignment is to review a show, movie, song or celebrity. I chose to review a new TV show called "Eli Stone":
Can God use a lawyer in San Francisco? According to the new show on ABC, God can-even if the lawyer doesn't believe.
I watched the first three episodes of Eli Stone recently (you can watch the shows on line). The show's premise is that God sends a prophet to every generation. In this case, He's chosen a lawyer, named Eli Stone (played by Johnny Lee Miller), to do His bidding. How does God communicate with this young attorney who doesn't believe in Him? Through visions and sounds. Eli's first experience is hearing George Michael sing the line, "you've got to have faith" from the song "Faith."
What Eli sees, hears and experiences things are actually clues from God regarding Eli's next assignment. The clues turn out to be about cases he's supposed to take on-which result in justice for the poor, needy or disadvantaged.
So is Eli a prophet? During one episode, when Eli is standing on a mountain cliff in his vision, but on the railing of his high-rise apartment in real life, we learn that Eli has an inoperable tumor that "accounts" for his "hallucinations." Eli just wants all the sights and sounds to stop.
On the urging of his assistant, he visits a Chinese acupuncturist, Dr. Chen (James Saito). It turns out that the doctor is a full-blooded American with a degree in philosophy who practices acupuncture and chooses to sport the accent to add to the mystique. Eli tells him what's happening and asks him to fix it. However, Dr. Chen believes Eli might be a prophet despite Eli's lack of faith. Dr. Chen assures Eli that he does believe in God, after all, he says, "you believe in right and wrong, justice, fairness and love. That is God." He also points to a sunset and says, "that's God."
Eli isn't convinced. Dr. Chen tells him that everything has two explanations, one scientific, the other divine. It depends on how you look at it.