Open Letter #40 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Robert Morgan: ECCLESIASTES discusses “the philosophical underpinnings of our age”

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After Life #1 Trailer

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I listened to this question and answer session at Harvard in 1992 on cassette tapes and was captivated with Ravi Zacharias. His responses were so much better than Kath’s responses to Tony in AFTER LIFE.

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

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Francis Schaeffer passed away on May 15, 1984 and on the 10th anniversary of that date I wrote many skeptics such as Carl Sagan and corresponded with them on the big questions covered by the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Kath: You are an atheist?

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Adrian Rogers on Evolution

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Ravi Zacharias  (March 26, 1946 – May 19, 2020) 

Francis Schaeffer (January 30, 1912 – May 15, 1984[1]

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I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and in 1992 I heard cassette tapes of Ravi Zacharias in all his brilliance in his sessions at Harvard and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton(1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes(1906-1999) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

 Adrian Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005) 

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Charles Darwin Autobiography


Francis Schaeffer “The Age of NONREASON”

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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 27, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 40th 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 want to share with you the testimony of Josh McDowell. I commend his book “Evidence that Demands the Verdict.” This Book was very influential to me when I was a teenager looking for evidence that dealt with the historical events discussed in the Bible. In fact, I went to about 100 rooms at the University I graduated from every morning for two weeks and wrote announcements on the chalkboards telling of Josh’s impending talks coming to our campus.

Some people do not interpret the Book of ECCLESIASTES the way I do but I think it is obvious that the words UNDER THE SUN are key and Solomon used this 29 times in this short book. 

In the article below STAYING HAPPY IN A HOLLOW WORLD on Ecclesiastes Robert Morgan also interprets ECCLESIASTES like I did. 

AFTER LIFE starts in episode 1 and we learn that Matt’s sister Lisa died of cancer six months earlier and he has taken it upon himself to try and drag his brother-in-law Tony Johnson out of Tony’s nihilism and help him to see that there is a reason to live. Some people may wonder where Matt should start.

As you know I am writing you a series of letters on Solomon’s efforts to find a meaning and purpose to life. Solomon tried to find a meaning and purpose to life UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes in all of the 6 “L” words and looked into  learning(1:16-18),laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).  

I don’t know if Matt took time to read Ecclesiastes but he did look in the same areas. He first suggests that Tony throw himself into his work, and Tony blows off that suggestion. Next Matt sets him up on a blind date and that turns out to not work at all. Matt next turns to inviting Tony to a comedy club and the comedian tells a joke about suicide and Tony ruins the whole evening for everybody.

In season two Matt invites Tony to a meditation class which includes some philosophy that he knows appeals to Tony and he tells Tony he may learn something. Unfortunately Tony has a horrible time. Finally Matt invites Tony to the pub for a drink and to visit some women with the goal of “banging some beaver” and that is a disaster too. 

In the Book of Ecclesiastes basically Solomon looked into the same 5 areas of learning(1:16-18),laughter, ladies,and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).  The area Solomon would add is luxuries which is really just a byproduct of a person’s labor usually. Now you can see why Solomon and Tony are really on the same pursuit. 

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.” 


STAYING HAPPY IN A HOLLOW WORLD

Ecclesiastes
Robert Morgan

This fall I’ve decided to depart from my usual approach in the pulpit—which is expositional—to bring a series of topical messages on how Christians are to relate to the popular culture.  How can we be in the world, but not of the world, as the Bible commands?  And this morning, I’d like to talk about the philosophical underpinnings of our age.  Our text is from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 1:
 
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:  “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of Vanities, all is vanity.”  What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?  One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever.  The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose.  The wind goes toward the south and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit.  All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again.  All things are full of labor; man cannot express it.  The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing.  That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
 
This rather dismal passage was written by a man who had turned away from God, and, as a result, had lost all sense of meaning and purpose in life.  He had lost the philosophical and theological underpinnings of life, and now nothing made sense to him.  Everything was empty.  He saw generations born and he saw them die.  He was the repetitious cycles of nature.  And he no longer understood what life was all about.  He found himself empty, and in his emptiness were the silent screams of despair.
 
One of the big stories in the news this week has been the revelations being published about Princess Diana by her former butler.   The London newspaper, the Telegraph, said this week in a column:  “The sheer emptiness of Princess Diana’s life also rings achingly true.  When Burrell sees her for the last time, it is on a trip to the Kensington Waterstone’s (book store) to pick up half a dozen books on spirituality, psychology and healing to pass the long hours on her mini-break with Dodi Fayed.”  Princess Diana was arguably the most famous woman in the world, admired by people in every nation.  But at the end of her life she was sending out for books on spirituality, psychology, and healing to try to make sense of what life is all about.
 
Recently I read something that a popular writer named Kathe Koja said.  She claimed that the inner despair and emptiness of the human heart is at the core of every novel she has ever written.  She spoke of “a black hole” (that) is at the heart of every novel… the emptiness we each carry close to our hearts, the emptiness of being alive in a world that doesn’t care.  And the way we fill that Freudian hole, well, that’s the novel.”
 
When asked about that statement in an interview recently, she said, “Everyone is cored by that existential void, the deep hole in the heart that cries for radiance; our entire consumer culture is predicated on the belief that, if you stuff enough things down that hole, you can finally satisfy it into silence.  That has never been the case.  Nor does creativity, sex, art, or even love fill that hole.”
 
Several years ago while traveling in Brazil, I saw graffiti scrawled across a building, written in Portuguese.  I asked my guide what it said, and these were the words:  “We are beautiful drunkards, comets wandering alone, looking at the stars, waiting for a future that doesn’t come.”
           
It reminds me of the words of the philosopher Bertrand Russellwho wrote in his autobiography, “What else is there to make life tolerable?  We stand on the shore of an ocean, crying to the night and the emptiness; sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness.  But it is the voice of one drowning; and in a moment the silence returns.”

Photo of Bertrand Russell


 
Well, here in Ecclesiastes, the writer, Solomon, has turned away from God and is searching in other places for answers for the meaning of life.  But he was disappointed and disillusioned at every point.  In chapter 1, he tries education, but he finds that it’s a chasing after the wind.  In chapter 2, he tries pleasure but that also proves meaningless.  He turns to alcohol, then to materialism, building a palatial home for himself.  He institutes great public works, achieving fame and renown.  But nothing filled his heart, because he had rejected the God of the Bible.
 
The French physicist Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ.”
 
I don’t think anyone illustrates this better than the German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.  He was born in Saxony, in Germany in 1844.  His father and his grandfather were both German Lutheran ministers.  His father suffered a mental collapse and died when Nietzsche was young, about five years old.  As a result, he was raised by a house full of “holy” women, as they have been called by biographers:  his mother and grandmother, two aunts, and a younger sister. 
 
At age 13, Nietzsche was sent off to boarding school, and by the age of 18, he was doubting his faith.  At 19, he went to the University of Bonn to study theology and to prepare himself, despite his doubts, to follow in his father’s footsteps into the Lutheran ministry.  While at Bonn, he joined a fraternity and began drinking with his fellows.  It was also about that time that Nietzsche visited a brothel in Germany, in Cologne, and became infected with syphilis. 
 
During those days, too, Nietzsche was tremendously influenced by the philosophy of pessimism articulated by Arthur Schopenhauer.  When he enrolled in Leipzig University, Nietzsche was physically frail and sick, mentally alert and brilliant, and philosophically moving further and further from Christianity.
 
During these years, he also became acquainted with the composer Richard Wagner, who was one of the most twisted ego-maniacs who has ever lived.  Nietzsche was drawn into his world.  And at age 24, Friedrich Nietzsche was invited to teach at the University of Basel in Switzerland, not all that far from Wagner’s home on the shores of Lake Lucerne.  There he began taking long walks during which he formulated his philosophy.  He articulated his “Will to Power,” and his philosophy about a coming “superman,” and especially his thoughts about the death of God.  Perhaps his most famous parable along those lines is called The Madman. 
           
Nietzsche said that a madman appeared in the marketplace one morning, holding a lighted lantern in the bright daylight.  He startled everyone by crying, “I’m looking for God!  I’m looking for God!”  The people made fun of him.  They said, “Do you think God got lost?  Do you think he’s hiding?”  But the madman jumped into the middle of the people, his eyes wild with alarm.  He said, “Where is God?  I’ll tell you where he is.  We have killed him—you and I.  All of us are his murderers.  We have cut ourselves off from God as though we had unchained the earth from the sun, and we are wobbling out of control, plunging backward, sideward, forward, in all directions.  We’re becoming cold and dark and empty.  Don’t you feel it?”
           
And then Nietzsche asked a profound question:  How shall we, the murderers of all murderers, comfort ourselves?  Nietzsche was saying that in removing God from our civilization, our life, and our philosophy, we were removing our source of comfort.  We were stripping ourselves of hope and peace.  We were crossing what another philosopher, Francis Schaeffer, would later call the line of despair.
           
Nietzsche understood that when you abandon Christianity, you lose all basis for moral absolutes.  You lose all basis for eternal life.  You lose all basis for inner peace.  But he thought that after an initial time of chaos and despair, his God-is-dead philosophy would pave the way for a great superman to come and take charge of the human race, someone who could lead humanity to its zenith.
           
What happened to Nietzsche?  The insanity he predicted for the world eventually came upon himself.  His health deteriorated so much that he had to resign from teaching, and he wandered here and there through southern Europe, seeking emotional and physical healing.  He was unknown and unread at that time, a virtual homeless philosopher, wandering around, writing brilliant philosophy, living a sick and sad life.
 
In January 1889, while walking down a street in Turin, Italy, he collapsed and flung his arms around the neck of a horse that had just been whipped by its driver.  Nietzsche was helped to his room, and rapidly went insane.  No one knows for certain the reason.  Most biographers attribute it to his syphilis.  But perhaps it was nudged on by a philosophy that rejected God and Christianity, and which, of followed to its logical conclusions, led to absolute and utter despair.
 
Most historians say that Nietzsche’s philosophy not only contributed to his personal insanity; it contributed to the insanity of the Nazi Holocaust; and the superman he predicted for the world was personified in the person of one of his greatest disciples—Adolf Hitler.
           
Ravi Zacharias in his book Can Man Live Without God? wrote, “There is nothing in history to match the dire ends to which humanity can be led by following a political and social philosophy that consciously and absolutely excludes God.”
           
He adds, “I, for one, see Nietzsche’s life and death as a blueprint for where we are headed inexorably as a nation.”
 
William Lane Craig, a brilliant Christian philosopher and apologist, put it this way:  “Modern man thought that when he had gotten rid of God, he had freed himself from all that repressed and stifled him.  Instead, he discovered that in killing God, he had also killed himself.”
 
The reason is because only Christianity provides a comprehensive explanation for the reality of death and a satisfying answer for the problem of death; and only Christianity has authenticated its message about death by providing a leader who actually rose from the tomb.  The world has never found another answer to death; and therefore death is the death of philosophy.  All non-Christian belief systems crash and burn when they come to the subject of death.
           
I’ve never read a better summation of this than Craig’s.  He states with terrible eloquence the logical implications of rejecting Christianity.  He wrote:
 
 I realize I am going to die, and forever cease to exist.  My life is just a momentary transition out of oblivion into oblivion.  And the universe, too, faces death.
 Scientists tell us that the universe is expanding, and everything in it is growing farther and farther apart.  As it does so, it grows colder and colder, and its energy is used up.  Eventually all the stars will burn out and all matter will collapse into dead stars and black holes.  There will be no light at all; there will be no heat; there will be no life; only the corpses of dead stars and galaxies, ever expanding into the endless darkness and the cold recesses of space — a universe in ruins.  The entire universe marches irreversibly toward its grave.  So not only is the life of each individual person doomed; the entire human race is doomed.  The universe is plunging toward inevitable extinction — death is written throughout its structure.  There is no escape.  There is no hope. 
 
Look at it from another perspective:  Scientists say that the universe originated in an explosion called the “Big Bang” about 15 billion years ago.  Suppose the Big Bang had never occurred.  Suppose the universe had never existed.  What ultimate difference would it make?  The universe is doomed to die anyway.  In the end it makes no difference whether the universe ever existed or not.  Therefore, it is without ultimate significance.
 
The same is true for the human race.  Mankind is a doomed race in a dying universe.  Because the human race will eventually cease to exist, it makes no ultimate difference whether it ever did exist.  Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same.  The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.
 
And the same is true for each individual person.  The contributions of the scientist to the advance of human knowledge, the researches of the doctor to alleviate pain and suffering, the efforts of the diplomat to secure peace in the world, the sacrifices of good men everywhere to better the lot of the human race — all these come to nothing.  In the end they don’t make one bit of difference, not one bit.  Each person’s life is therefore without ultimate significance.  And because our lives are ultimately meaningless, the activities we fill our lives with are also meaningless.  The long hours spent in study at the university, our jobs, our interests, our friendships — all these are, in the final analysis, utterly meaningless.  This is the horror of modern man; because he ends in nothing, he is nothing.

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Francis Schaeffer


 
One of the great Christian minds of the 20th century wasFrancis Schaeffer.  As a young man he grew up in a liberal church and was heading toward agnosticism or atheism.  But then he discovered the Word of God, and as he read the Bible he compared the answers he found there with the questions he was reading in his philosophy books.   He became a Christian and years later wrote a book entitled He Is There and He Is Not Silent.  In that book, he said:
 
There is no other sufficient philosophical answer.  You can search through university philosophy, underground philosophy, filling station philosophy —it does not matter which—there is no other sufficient philosophical answer to existence.  There is only one philosophy, one religion, that fills this need in all the world’s thought, whether the East, the West, the ancient, the modern, the new, the old.  Only one fills the philosophical need of existence, of being, and it is the Judaeo-Christian God—not just an abstract concept, but rather that this God is really there.  He really exists.  It is not that this is the best answer to existence; it is the only answer.  That is why we may hold our Christianity with intellectual integrity.
 
Schaeffer goes on to say that what when you abandon God and Jesus Christ, you cross a frightening and ultimate line of despair.  That, he says, is where our post-modern world is now living—below the line of despair.
           
If there is no God, there is nothing but despair.  If there is no Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  Perhaps that is why there is so much alcoholism in our society today, and such rampant drug dependence
.  That’s why we flooded by sexual images, and why the entertainment industry is such a global phenomenon.  That’s why the movie box-office is such a symbol of our weekends, and why we want 500 channels on our television cable.  Modern humanity can live with neither itself nor its despair, so it drowns itself in diversions.

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But the diversions don’t provide real, spiritual satisfaction, and that’s why non-Christian world views make it impossible to live both consistently and happily.  Bertrand Russell, for example, admitted that life without God is absurd; but he said we have no choice but to put a good face to it.  He claimed we must build our lives on the firm foundation of unyielding despair.  We must recognize life’s absurdity, and then love one another.

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If you really live a life consistent with that philosophy, happiness is impossible.  If you live happily, it is because you are inconsistent.  The anti-theistic worldview has build-in logical contradictions and existential inadequacies that ultimately make it philosophically unlivable.  Without Christ, “a philosophy of meaninglessness is an unavoidable consequence.”   The Apostle Paul said that if Christ hasn’t risen from the dead, we are to be pitied, we are of all men most miserable.
           
“But,” the Apostle Paul continued, “Christ has risen from the dead and has become the firstfruits of those who sleep.”  There is a philosophy that satisfies the soul.  There is a theology that strengthens the heart.  There is a Gospel!  There is Good News!
           
Solomon ended Ecclesiastes by declaring there is an answer to meaninglessness and despair.  After searching all the philosophies and speculations and pursuits of mankind, he came to this conclusion:  “Fear God and keep his commands, for this is the whole duty of man.”
           
One of the reasons we believe Christianity is true is because, in the final analysis, all other philosophies, if followed to their logical ends, lead to chaos and irrationality.  Only Christianity gives meaning to life.  Only with theism in general and Christianity in particular can one be both consistent and happy.  As the Psalmist said 3000 years ago, “My soul finds rest in God alone”  (Psalm 62:1).
           
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
           
He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”  (John 10:10).
           
He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even if he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25).
           
He said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).
           
If you’ve never had a personal experience with Jesus Christ, why not follow the evidence where it leads—to the foot of Calvary’s Cross.  Commit your life to Jesus Christ.  Place your faith in his shed blood and glorious resurrection.  For these things are written, said John, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31).

JOSH MCDOWELL
There is a principle of law that says that a witness may give testimony only about matters for which he or she has had personal experience. “I saw that the light was red” is competent and admissible testimony; “I heard him say the light was red,” with some exceptions, is not. The law favors and values eyewitnesses, people who give their own accounts of what they have actually seen and experienced. Moreover, there is something about the report of a personal experience that is difficult to challenge or deny. One may attempt on cross-examination to prove the witness who saw the red light was color blind or perhaps biased, but a healthy and disinterested witness who says the light was red is a significant obstacle to proving it was green.
This principle holds true out of court as well. Personal testimony of personal experience is both compelling and difficult to challenge. If Tom were to tell you that he caught a ten-pound largemouth bass yesterday, you would probably judge the veracity of his story based on what you knew of his reputation for truthfulness. On the other hand, if he said he was walking on water at the time he caught the fish, you might question his sanity. But what if you knew Tom to be a perfectly sane and scrupulously honest person? And what if several other honest and sane people told you they had witnessed the event? This is not unlike the predicament faced by skeptics who hear the accounts of people who have found Jesus. Billions of sane and honest people have reported a truly incredible

story, the story of passing from death to life, of being lost and then found, of being blind and then seeing. There are billions of eyewitnesses to the life-changing power of the gospel. And many were once skeptics themselves. One such former skeptic is Josh McDowell, a man whose personal testimony is both compelling and difficult to challenge. This successful author and international speaker, who is clearly a sane and honest man, reports that a miracle occurred in his life and that he is now a new creature because of Jesus Christ. The good news is that you too can share in this miracle. Having considered the evidence in support of the Christian faith, we invite you now to consider these closing words of our final eyewitness to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.
A SKEPTIC’S QUEST: JOSH MCDOWELL’S TESTIMONY
Thomas Aquinas wrote, “There is within every soul a thirst for happiness and meaning.” As a teenager, I exemplified that statement. I wanted to be happy and to find meaning for my life. I wanted the answers to three basic questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? I would estimate that 90 percent of people age forty and younger cannot answer those three questions. But I was thirsty to know what life was about. So as a young student, I started looking for answers.
Where I was brought up, everyone seemed to be into religion. I thought maybe I would find my answers in being religious, so I started attending church. I went to church morning, afternoon, and evening. But I felt worse inside church than I did outside. I was brought up on a farm in Michigan, and most farmers are very practical. My dad, who was a farmer, taught me, “If something doesn’t work, chuck it.” So I chucked religion.
Then I thought that education might have the answers to my quest for happiness and meaning, so I enrolled in a university. What a disappointment! You can find a lot of things at a university, but enrolling there to find truth and meaning in life is virtually a lost cause.
I was by far the most unpopular student among the faculty of the first university I attended. I used to buttonhole professors in their offices, seeking the answers to my questions. When they saw me coming, they would turn out the lights, pull down the shades, and lock the door so they wouldn’t have to talk to me. I soon realized that the university didn’t have the answers I was seeking. Faculty members and my fellow students had just as many problems, frustrations, and unanswered questions about life as I did. A few years ago I saw a student walking around campus with a sign on his back: “Don’t follow me. I’m lost.” That is how everyone in the university seemed to me. Education was not the answer.
Prestige must be the way to go, I decided. It just seemed right to find a noble cause, give yourself to it, and become well known. The people with the most prestige in the university were the student leaders, who also controlled the purse strings. So I ran for various student offices and got elected. It was great to know everyone on campus, make

important decisions, and spend the university’s money doing what I wanted to do. But the thrill soon wore off as with everything else I had tried.
Every Monday morning I woke with a headache because of the night before. My attitude was, Here we go again, another five boring days . Happiness for me revolved around my three party nights a week: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then the whole boring cycle started over again. I felt so frustrated, even desperate. My goal was to find my identity and purpose in life, but everything I tried left me empty, without answers.
About that time I noticed a small group of people on campus—eight students and two faculty—and there was something different about them. They seemed to know where they were going in life. And they had a quality I deeply admire in people: conviction.
But there was something more about this group that caught my attention. Love. These students and professors not only loved each other, they loved and cared for people outside their group. They didn’t just talk about love; they got involved in loving others. It was something totally foreign to me, and I wanted it. So I decided to make friends with this group of people.
About two weeks later, I was sitting at a table in the student union talking with some members of this group. Soon the conversation turned to the topic of God. I was pretty insecure about this subject, so I put on a big front to cover it up. I leaned back in my chair acting like I couldn’t care less. “Christianity, ha!” I blustered. “That’s for the weaklings, not the intellectuals.” Down deep, I really wanted what they had. But with my pride and my position in the university, I didn’t want them to know that I wanted what they had. Then I turned to one of the girls in the group and said, “Tell me, what changed your lives? Why are you so different from the other students and faculty?”
She looked me straight in the eye and said two words I never expected to hear in an intelligent discussion on a university campus: “Jesus Christ.”
“Jesus Christ?” I snapped. “Don’t give me that kind of garbage. I’m fed up with religion, the Bible, and the church.”
She quickly shot back, “I didn’t say ‘religion.’ I said ‘Jesus Christ.’ ”
Taken aback by the girl’s courage and conviction, I apologized for my attitude. “But I’m sick and tired of religion and religious people,” I added. “I don’t want anything to do with it.”
Then my new friends issued a challenge I couldn’t believe. They challenged me, a pre-law student, to examine intellectually the claim that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. I thought it was a joke. These Christians were so dumb. How could something as flimsy as Christianity stand up to an intellectual examination? So I scoffed at their challenge.

But they didn’t let up. They kept challenging me day after day, and finally they backed me into the corner. I became so irritated at their insistence that I finally accepted their challenge, not to prove anything but to refute them. I decided to write a book that would make an intellectual joke of Christianity. So I left the university and traveled throughout the United States and Europe to seek the evidence that Christianity was a sham.
One day I was sitting in a library in London, England, and I sensed a voice within me say, “Josh, you don’t have a leg to stand on.” I immediately suppressed it. But just about every day after that I heard that inner voice. The more I researched, the more I heard that voice. I returned to the United States and to the university, but I couldn’t sleep at night. I would go to bed at ten o’clock and lie awake until four in the morning trying to refute the overwhelming evidence that Jesus Christ is God’s Son.
I began to realize that I was being intellectually dishonest. My mind told me that the claims of Christ were indeed true, but my will was being pulled in another direction. I had placed so much emphasis on finding the truth, but I wasn’t willing to follow it once I saw it. I had sensed Christ’s personal challenge to me in Revelation 3:20 : “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” But becoming a Christian seemed so ego shattering to me. I couldn’t think of a faster way to ruin my good times.
I knew I had to resolve this inner conflict because it was driving me crazy. I had always considered myself an open-minded person, so I decided to put Christ’s claims to the supreme test. One night at home in Union City, Michigan, at the end of my second year at the university, I became a Christian. Someone may say, “How do you know you became a Christian?” I was there! I got alone with a Christian friend, and I prayed four things that established my relationship with God.
First, I said, “Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me.” I realized that if I were the only person on earth, Christ would have still died for me. You may think the irrefutable intellectual evidence brought me to Christ, but the evidence was only God’s way of getting his foot in the door of my life. What brought me to Christ was the realization that he loved me enough to die for me.
Second, I said, “I confess that I am a sinner.” No one had to tell me that. I knew there were things in my life that were incompatible with a holy, just, righteous God. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” ( 1 John 1:9 ). So I said, “Lord, forgive me.”
Third, I said, “Right now, in the best way I know how, I open the door of my life and I place my trust in you as Savior and Lord. Take over the control of my life. Change me from the inside out. Make me the type of person you created me to be.”
The last thing I prayed was, “Thank you for coming into my life.”

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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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