Open Letter #24 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Viktor Frankl wrote, “Without meaning, nothing else matters. With meaning, everything else falls into place!” Ravi Zacharias (March 26, 1946- May 19, 2020) found that to be true after a failed suicide attempt!

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After Life #1 Trailer

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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Ricky Gervais plays bereaved husband Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE 

Tony and his wife Lisa who died 6 months ago of cancer

(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

May 11, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 24th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to pass along Ravi Zacharias’ testimony of surviving a suicide attempt like Tony was thinking of and then I wanted to pass along some evidence that indicates the Bible is historically accurate. Finally I wanted to pass along Francis Schaeffer’s comments on Solomon’s search for meaning in ECCLESIASTES which is the only pessimistic book in the Bible because Solomon limits himself to life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture. 


Tony 
I guess a good day is when I don’t go around, wanting to shoot random strangers in the face and then turn the gun to myself.

Article ByRavi Zacharias

I have shared that my mother once brought an astrologer to our house to read our palms and tell us our future. Examining my hands, the soothsayer confidently pronounced that I would not travel far or much in my life. “That’s what the lines on your hand tell me. There is no future for you abroad.”

I was deeply disappointed to hear this, but oh, how mistaken he was! After 45 years of spanning the globe and speaking in countless countries, I am persuaded that God alone, the Grand Weaver, knows our future and knits our lives. He has brought lasting change not only in my own life but in my family as well. Sometimes this has happened seemingly instantaneously; hearing Jesus’s words in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live,” literally brought me from the brink of death in a hospital room to new life. Other times, such as in the remarkable conversion of my father years later, many seeds were planted prior, but the change was no less profound.

I recall, too, that I was never much of a reader growing up, preferring to watch movies or discuss issues with people. I very rarely picked up a book out of interest. But then one evening in my late teens, and a few months since coming to Christ on a bed of suicide, I walked out the back door of our house and saw something lying on top of the garbage heap in the alley. As I looked closer, I saw it was a book with no cover—an old, tattered copy of a volume I realized my dad must have thrown out.

Curious, I picked it up and read the title page: The Epistle to the RomansA Commentary by a man named W. H. Griffith Thomas. I had no idea who this author was, but my hunger was so fierce that I immediately opened it and began to read. Over the next few days, I devoured that book—of all things, a Bible commentary! It became a treasure, and I still have the tattered copy of that commentary in my possession.

Just like that, I was plunged into a world I’d never known—the world of reading. One of the first volumes I was presented with was The Cross and the Switchblade, an amazing story of the conversion of Nicky Cruz the gang leader and of the work God was doing in the lives of such young people through the ministry of David Wilkerson. I loved the book so much that I began seeking out biographies. I lapped up the stories of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army; David Brainerd, the missionary to American Indians; and, most intriguing of all to me, C. T. Studd, the English cricketer who gave up everything to become a missionary. Studd had been the captain of Cambridge’s cricket team, had turned down an opportunity to play for his country, and even refused his family inheritance—all to help take the gospel into China and India.

As I read about these inspiring lives, the old adage became true for me: “Fire begets fire.” The standards these Christians set by their examples raised the bar for me. Though I later learned, as I grew in my faith, that these saintly lives weren’t as perfect as their biographers made them out to be, the basic truths were undoubtedly in place, and their examples stoked my consciousness as to what the Christian life could be.

For the first time, I felt my mind being stretched—and I loved it. I realized that thinking could be fun, and with that simple realization I was sent headlong into the lifelong discipline of reading.

I also cannot say enough about the significance of the role that Youth for Christ (YFC) played in those early days of my conversion. On the day that I tried to take my life, it was these friends who prayed for me. A man named Fred David—sent, I would discover only recently, by YFC Asia director John Teibe, another gift from God—brought a Bible to my hospital room (and, by proxy, the words that breathed eternal life into my broken body). Both before and after my suicide attempt, they showed me that I meant something and that God loved me as an individual. It was my relationships at YFC that gave me hope of coming back to a caring group. And it was they who, as time passed, gave me opportunities for leadership.

So there it all was, the unlikely strands that came together, weaving the small patch of fabric that was my conversion: a soft-spoken man who drew me to the message of truth, a group waiting to share the love of Christ with me in my time of greatest need, a Bible brought to my mother for me, and a passage of Scripture that sprouted in the moisture of God’s sovereign grace. It all came together for me in the hospital room, but Youth for Christ is where those seeds were sown. I had now found a new home in my faith—and I could say I was finally home.

Saul Perlmutter comments:

“There are so many places we could go with that same information that I am not sure it nails the case of is there apurpose that is written in the universe.” 


Peter Atkins comments:

“I think a lot of theology is grappling with phantoms. So theologians have invented this almost self-consistent subject which has no contact with physical reality at all. And they invent all sorts of questions which they then taunt humanity with . One of them is cosmic purpose. They say ‘there must be a purpose; you and your science can’t explain it.’ And typical of theologians, they don’t respect the power of the human intellect anyway. And they infer that no one will ever understand it; it is ineffable; God’s purpose cannot be discerned. And of course that’s – those are fine words, but utterly meaningless–why should the thing have a purpose?” –Peter Atkins, world-reknowned Oxford professor of chemistry (NOW BACK TO PREVIOUS ARTICLE BY Ravi Zacharias)

Along with everyone else, I wondered how such a turnaround could have taken place, and so swiftly. The key was that now I looked at life through a window of meaning. And that was the one thing I had been desperately longing for: meaning. Now everything in my life was packed with it: my studies had meaning, my family had meaning, my friendships had meaning, my sports had meaning.

All the things I had thought were the causes of my despair—my failing studies, my senseless wandering, my hopelessness—had actually been the results of my despair. The Austrian concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “Without meaning, nothing else matters. With meaning, everything else falls into place.” If you can’t see the why, you cannot live for the what. And as soon as I was able to answer the “why,” even my failures began to make sense.

The rapid changes taking place in me daily were beyond my power to describe. Yet, from everything I had learned in my life with Christ, I knew that He had not just changed what I did but what I wanted to do. One day, I had been a creature of despair, irresponsibility, and failure. Then I became a creature of hope, diligent and accomplished in the things to which I set my hand. To me, the reversal was staggering. Nobody fully understood the dramatic transformation on the inside. This was the work of God.

It was also a huge paradigm shift for me to suddenly see life—my own and others’—through the eyes of God. For years, I had looked at life the way a kid might work through a puzzling, new toy, taking it apart but not knowing how to put it back together again. He wonders, “What makes this thing tick?” So he takes a screwdriver and tries to unpack it, but with each piece he removes, it makes less sense.

Only Jesus could legitimately explain the multifarious strands of human personality locked within me. He could explain my emotional life, my actions, and my reactions. He could explain why I longed for human touch, and why it was actually the touch of soul that I was ultimately after. Without Christ, I still would have the gnawing undercurrent that had run through everything in my life and that had led me to the tragic choice that very nearly brought me to an end.

Jesus wasn’t just the best option to me; He was the only option. He provided the skin of reason to the flesh and bones of reality. His answers to life’s questions were both unique and true. No one else answered the deepest questions of the soul the way He did. And because Christianity was true, it was emotionally experienced. There was no greater example of this than my own life.

The story of my early days was that only God’s grace could have brought about this new life for me. This was a new DNA, a new birth. There simply was no other explanation. The songwriter George Wade Robinson said it well:

Heav’n above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green! Something lives in every hueChristless eyes have never seen; Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, Flow’rs with deeper beauties shine, Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.


This article appears in the 25.4 edition of our award-winning magazine, Just Thinking. Click the button below to download a PDF of this edition

Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”—a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10). But here’s the problem:

Step 2 – People are sinful and separated from God.

We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23). The good news?

Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!

Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives! “Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

Step 4 – Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:

“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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Francis Schaeffer comments on Ecclesiastes.
Ecclesiastes 7:11-12

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Solomon when at work takes off his hat and he stands by the grave of man and he says, “ALAS. ALAS. ALAS.”

But interestingly enough the story of Ecclesiastes does not end its message here because in two places in the New Testament it is picked up and carried along and put in its proper perspective.

Luke 12:16-21

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax,eat, drink, be merry.”’ [ALMOST EVERYONE WHO HAS PROCEEDED HERE HAS FELT CERTAINLY THAT JESUS IS DELIBERATELY REFERRING TO SOLOMON’S SOLUTION.]20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Christ here points out the reason for the failure of the logic that is involved. He points out why it fails in logic and then why it fails in reality. This view of Solomon must end in failure philosophically and also in emotional desperation.

We are not made to live in the shortened environment of UNDER THE SUN in this life only!!! Neither are we made to live only in the environment of a bare concept of afterlife [ignoring trying to make this life better]. We are made to live in the environment of a God who exists and who is the judge. This is the difference and that is what Jesus is setting forth here.

I Corinthians 15:32

32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

There is no doubt here he is reaching back to Solomon again and he is just saying if there isn’t a resurrection of the dead then let’s just follow Solomon and let’s just eat and drink for tomorrow we die!!!! If there isn’t this full structure [including the resurrection of the dead] then just have the courage to follow Solomon and we can eat and drink because tomorrow we die and that is all we have. If the full structure isn’t there then pick up the cup and drink it dry! You can say it a different way in the 20th century: If the full structure is not there then go ahead and be an EXISTENTIALIST, but don’t cheat. Drink the cup to the end. Drink it dry! That is what Paul says. Paul  the educated man. Paul the man who knew his Greek philosophy. Paul the man who understood Solomon and the dilemma. Paul said it one way or the other. There is no room for a middle ground. IF CHRISTIANS AREN’T RAISED FROM THE DEAD THEN SOLOMON IS RIGHT IN ECCLESIASTES, BUT ONLY THEN. But if he is right then you should accept all of Solomon’s despair and his conclusions. 


The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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Adrian Rogers on Evolution

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Charles Darwin Autobiography

Francis Schaeffer “The Age of NONREASON”

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