Eli by Bill Myers Eli 
by Bill Myers

Paperback - 352 pages 
August 1, 2000
Zondervan Publishing House
ISBN: 0310218039

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From the back cover:

What if Jesus had not come until today?  Who wouldfollow him?  Who would kill him?

A fiery car crash hurls TV journalist Conrad Davis into another world exactlylike ours except for one detail — Jesus Christ did not come 2,000 years ago,but today.

Starting with angels heralding a birth in the back of a motel laundry room,the skeptical Davis watches the gospel unfold in today's society as a Messiah inT-shirt and blue jeans heals, raises people from the dead, and speaks suchstartling truths that he captures the heart of a nation.

But the young man's actions and his criticism of the religious establishmentearn him enemies as ruthless as they are powerful.

An intense and thought-provoking novel, Eli strips away religioustradition to present Jesus fresh and unvarnished. With gripping immediacy, BillMyers weaves a story whose truth will refresh your faith.


This is fiction, nothing more.  It's merely an attempt to examine someissues and to get us thinking about others. It is certainly no substitute forthe real thing. Those familiar with my fiction know that I believestorytelling's greatest strength lies in its ability to stir up our thoughts. Byputting the gospel in a contemporary setting, I've moved Christ out of mycomfort zone and put him back in my face where he can test me, challenge me, andencourage me.  By stripping away the historical and cultural trappings thatI hide behind to insulate myself from his truths, I allow him to become more ofthe radical life-changer he was the first time I encountered him.

Unfortunately, the attempt also brings with it some failures. First, byremoving the rich Jewish heritage of the gospel, I've deprived the story of muchof its depth. There were times, for instance, when I wanted to elaborate on thehundreds of Old Testament prophecies and symbolism that speak of Christ, butthis novel was not the forum for that.

Still, that failure and others only underline the fact that this is merely anappetizer.  For those who haven't yet enjoyed the feast, don't waste timehere — go to the real banquet. Read the book that most of antiquity and today'sscholars still insist is the greatest piece of writing in human history. If it's been an while since you cracked open a Bible, or if you've never reallyexplored it, start off with the gospel of John. In one sense, it's the easiest,in another, the most profound.

And since I'm in a confessional mood, there's another shortcoming you need tobe aware of as you read this novel.  To accurately portray a world in whichChrist has not yet come would be to create a society so dark and ugly that it'sdoubtful any of us would recognize it, let alone relate to it. To do so wouldhave again defeated my purposes. So, I didn't. If you're interested in theimpact Jesus Christ has had upon our society, Kennedy and Newcombe's book, WhatIf Jesus Had Never Been Born, gives interesting insights on how differentour society would be today if Jesus had not come.

A final note. Scripture makes it clear that the Christ would come as a manborn of woman only once. It states that his second coming will not be like hisfirst. The first was the meek servant who washed our feet and died for ourfailures. According to Scripture, the second time he comes it will be as aconquering King.  In fact, Jesus himself warned that if someone born intoour world today claimed to be the Christ (even with accompanying miracles) hewould be a counterfeit, the antichrist prophesied long ago. According to JesusChrist, when he appears the next time it will be from the heavens, accompaniedby the glory of God.



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