Open Letter #32 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Tony, “Here’s what’s what, humanity is a plague” How Ravi Zacharias (March 26, 1946- May 19, 2020) would respond!

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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:

Not, I mean he [Tony] dabbles with it [nihilism] but a lot of this stuff is like he is being provocative and he is trying to sort of hurt people. No, It is difficult to say. I don’t. The one thing he wants he can’t have so he is angry. He has to compromise. He had the perfect marriage and he doesn’t know how to act or feel anymore. He is confused. He is in pain. He is ill. He is probably ill you know. If you are not right in your [mind] then you are ill, and you can’t just step out of it. You know. You even know you are not normal or well, but what can you do? You don’t feel good. That will do. Did we get serious then? That won’t happen again!

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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 19th, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 32nd day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE. 

Ecclesiastes is about the meaningless of LIFE UNDER THE SUN. 

The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

In the first episode of AFTER LIFE in the first season Tony Johnson has embraced nihilism. He is rude to a gentleman in the park who points out that Tony’s dog Brandi is supposed to be on a leash and then he is abrupt with Pat the postman. In the next scene he curses at a little kid and then when he sees the headline that a 93 year old had been mugged he replies to a bystander that the lady wasn’t scarred for life because most of her life had already been lived. 

While entering the office Kath said “You are late.” Tony replies, “You are boring.” His boss Matt calls him into his office and Tony tells Matt, “If I become an a***hole, and I do and say what the f*** I want, for as long as I want, and then when it all gets too much, I can always kill myself. It’s like a superpower.” Matt replies that is the worst super power he had ever heard about. 

Matt tells Tony to tell the new girl Sandy all about the paper business and he turns to her and asserts, “Here’s what’s what, humanity is a plague. We’re a disgusting, narcissistic, selfish parasite, and the world would be a better place without us. It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves. I could do it now. Quite happily just go upstairs, jump off the roof, and make sure I landed on some c**t from accounts.”

Next Tony turns to Lenny and asks, “Do you want any more Donuts Fat Boy?” Next we hear that Tony is faithful to go see his aging father everyday and when he gets there he tells the nurse concerning his father, “If it was a dog we would put it down,” and this angers her. 

This is how the first episode opens up, but there is an abrupt change when Tony interviews an older man for the paper and he learns the man has just lost his wife. Tony wishes him a happy birthday and tells him that his interview will be in next week’s newspaper. 

In the beginning of episode 2 Tony encounters Anne who visits the gravesite of her husband Stanley every day and Tony strikes up a close friendship with her. 

Let me make two applications from this. First, Tony is a nihilist that has accepted the position that there is no point to living out his life because the world is an evil place that he only put up with when his beloved wife Lisa was here to help him through. 

Second, Tony does listen to those who have lost someone they loved and he feels they can have empathy for what he has been through. 

Ricky you are the writer and director of AFTER LIFE and I noticed that you set up Kath as the token Christian to confront Ricky’s atheism, and sadly she is pretty stupid. I wish you had included some comments from a intelligent person such as Ravi Zacharias. Ravi was a spiritual hero to me and he passed away today. Let me share something written about him from his daughter below, and tomorrow I will start giving you some responses that Ravi has given to the issues that you raise in AFTER LIFE: 

Ravi Zacharias, Now with Jesus

On January 4, my dad recited a stanza from this hymn from the late Richard Baxter (1615-1691): 

“Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.
If life be long, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short, yet why should I be sad
To welcome endless day?

Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before;
He that unto God’s kingdom comes
Must enter by this door.
Come Lord, when grace hath made me meet
Thy blessed face to see;
For if Thy work on earth be sweet
What will thy glory be!

Then I shall end my sad complaints
And weary sinful days,
And join with the triumphant saints
That sing my Savior’s praise.
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.”

None of us could have imagined just two months after reciting that last stanza that my dad would learn he had cancer and he would experience the realization of this more than 300-year-old hymn so soon. Today we affirm, as my dad recited and Baxter penned, “But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all, and I shall be with Him.” My dad, at 74, has “join[ed] with the triumphant saints that sing [his] Savior’s praise.” We who knew and loved him celebrate his life, and more importantly, his Savior.

It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about. Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done. He perpetually marveled that God took a seventeen-year-old skeptic, defeated in hopelessness and unbelief, and called him into a life of glorious hope and belief in the truth of Scripture—a message he would carry across the globe for 48 years. 

His thoughts and conversations in recent years and his final weeks were saturated with gratitude for this team of evangelists, apologists, and staff that he called family: RZIM—Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He spoke of our evangelists’ tender hearts and their love for people. Some have said my dad blazed a trail when he began commending the Christian faith and addressing life’s great questions of meaning nearly five decades ago. As one friend dear to him remarked, he has also paved that path, desiring that his teammates around the world would continue so untold millions might know the same Jesus he faithfully served—the one he now sees face-to-face. 

My dad’s humility, grace, tenderness for people, and above all love for the Lord are forever imprinted on my mind, my heart, and my life. His love for our family will be impossible to replace until we join him in heaven one day. Ravi and Margie just celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. My mother was entirely committed to my dad’s calling and to this ministry, believing God called them together. I cannot recall even one moment when I saw her commitment to this calling weaken, because she always placed unwavering trust in the God who called them and in His purposes. We experienced God’s kindness and faithfulness in so many ways as we felt Him journeying with us in bringing my dad home. For this we are at peace and filled with deep gratitude to God for the innumerable expressions of His love. Naomi, Nathan, and I are deeply grateful for your continuing prayers for our mother, Margie, and the many expressions of love you have shown to her and to us. 

Soon our family will gather for a graveside service. In the days ahead we will provide details for a public memorial service to be held in Atlanta and streamed around the world.

The Gospel of John records these words of Jesus: “Because I live, you also will live” (14:19)—seven words that changed the trajectory of Ravi Zacharias’s life some 57 years ago. It is a verse etched on his grandmother’s grave stone and will be etched on his too. Today my beautiful father is more alive than he has ever been. We thank God for him and recommit our lives to sharing this truth with all who will hear, until He calls us to our eternal home. 

With deep love and gratitude, and on behalf of Margie, Naomi, and Nathan,

Sarah Davis


The Meaning of Life

January 10, 2019 by Michael Weltin

The Meaning of LifePurposeEcclesiastes


This week we’re beginning a new sermon series on the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes can simply be translated as “the preacher” or “the teacher.” It’s literal meaning in Hebrew is “one who convenes or addresses an assembly.” The book of Job focuses on wisdom on suffering, Psalms on wisdom in your relationship with God, Proverbs on wisdom on your relationships with one another and Song of Songs/Solomon on wisdom in love and marriage. Ecclesiastes is a Biblical wisdom book focusing on wisdom regarding the meaning of life.

The book of Ecclesiastes begins looking at life “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Life “under the sun” is a life without God. A life without God is found to be ultimately meaningless. “Vanity of vanities says the Preacher, vanities of vanities, all is vanity!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). King Solomon as the preacher explores throughout the book the main things you seek to find meaning in your life and ultimately finds they’re meaningless, a chasing after the wind if there’s no God.

Solomon pursues finding meaning “under the sun” in wisdom, wine, women, work, wealth, time, suffering, youth and more. Since death comes to all, all his pursuits are found to be vanity or meaninglessness. All things “under the sun” are but a transient breath and are forgotten, a vain chasing after the wind.

Throughout the book Solomon starts to bring in the knowledge of God and ends the book telling you to “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). He says the end of the matter is this, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Since there is a God, since God will judge all things, then all things really do matter! Death is not the end, God is eternal, you have an eternal soul and you have an eternal destiny. One day you’ll stand before God himself, your youth, your work, your suffering, your pleasures, your wealth and your faith will all matter.

Ravi Zacharias in his book, Can Man Live Without God summarizes four things for true meaning in life, Truth, Wonder, Love and Security. Truth without love is brutality, Wonder without truth is illusion, Love without Security is fleeting, Security without Love is empty. None of these alone can bring lasting meaning. It is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh that brings all of these together. Jesus is the truth, His word is a light that sets you free. Jesus is wonder, He is the eternal God in the flesh. Jesus is love, He gave his life for you to forgive your sin. Jesus is security, He is risen and gives eternal life to all who believe in Him. John says, “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent” (John 17:3).

Without God everything is meaningless. Thanks be to God who sent Jesus who turns everything around. With God everything is truly meaningful!

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Quote from Dr. Aaron Ciechanover: 

YOU DON’T THEN BELIEVE IN ANY KIND OF AFTERLIFE THEN OR CONSCIOUSNESS OR GOD? “My Israeli purse contains a certificate from the Israeli organ organization that says if I die they can take all the organs give them to whoever they want, I don’t believe in anything that is beyond life… Once we are born we are going to die. Nevertheless, I am a strong religious Jew. Maybe religious Jews will not accept what I am saying…Maybe they feel different about God and the services and prayer and obedience, For me it is a cultural thing.”

When It Comes to the Meaning of Life, the Question is Not “What”, But “Why”

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I’ve written before about the importance of recognizing the role of the Creator in determining life’s purpose, but as a non-believer, I had little problem determining the purpose of my life. As a man who rejected God’s existence, I was comfortable assigning meaning to my life. What was the purpose of life? Well, for me, it was to live nobly and enforce the laws as a police officer, to be a faithful husband to my wife and a good father for my kids. I had no problem answering the “what” question. I failed to recognize, however, that the more important questions did not begin with “what”. When it comes to the meaning of life, the most important questions begin with “why”.

Why is it noble to enforce the law and be a good husband and father? Why is my standard of good and evil the correct standard? Why do I think my ideas about purpose and meaning are important or honorable in the first place? Are my ideas about purpose and meaning simply a matter of opinion, or do I think I’m living a life that is objectively valuable and meaningful? I first discovered the importance of these “why” questions as I became saturated in the subcultures of our society. As a patrol officer, a member of the gang detail and then a member of the career criminal team, I found that the offenders I investigated had no problem assigning meaning to their lives; these folks lived contentedly within the purposes they had constructed for themselves. The gangsters I worked with for two years lived within a world of values and mores that were quite different from my own. Their goals and desires were influenced by their status within the gang and this status was achieved as they rejected much of what I valued in my own life. The more they misbehaved, the more stature they achieved within their own group. They definitely had their own ideas related to purpose and meaning, and they retained these values throughout their lives, both in and out of custody.

As a police officer, I rejected the values held by the people I arrested. I disagreed dramatically with their definitions related to the purpose of life. But why did I think my beliefs related to purpose were more valid than theirs? If everyone gets to assign their own meaning, who are we to judge those who select an evil (or even benignly contrary) purpose? Why should we even think anything is good or bad related to life’s meaning? There are gang neighborhoods in Los Angeles County in which people are living with an idea of purpose and meaning that is very different than my own. Are they wrong about the meaning of life? If so, why? Some would say it simply comes down to whether or not any harm is being done to others; if someone’s purpose in life involves harming others, we ought to be able to appropriately judge that purpose as misguided and wrong.

But I bet you would attempt to re-direct your son or daughter if they told you they decided the purpose of their life was to watch Hulu and Netflix all day. Even though this behavior would have no negative impact on the lives of others, I think you would invest some time trying to convince them to adopt a “better” or more productive purpose for their lives. But why should they listen to you? Why should they come to believe that your ideas about purpose and meaning are more valid than their own? Why isn’t the meaning they’ve chosen for themselves good enough? Why should they accept what you have to say in the first place? It’s a times like these, when we find ourselves evaluating two competing ideas about meaning and purpose that we confront the impotence of our subjective choices. If there is no transcendent, objective meaning to our lives, it’s all really a matter of opinion. If that’s the case, good luck trying to get your kids to stop watching videos. If, however, we have been designed by a Creator God for a purpose that transcends our own limited desire and perspective, we can begin to help our kids understand that we are arguing for more than an opinion. When we address the “why” questions, the “what” questions are much easier to answer and defend.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

Comment or Subscribe to J. Warn


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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