Open Letter #66 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Did Tony’s whole world have to collapse after Lisa’s Death? Tim Keller “If you believe the Gospel and all its remarkable claims about Jesus and what he has done for you and who you are in him, then nothing that happens in this world can actually get at your identity”

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

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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

June 22, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 66th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE. 

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). 

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

The new emphasis in the beginning of season 2 is the paranormal. Episode 1 in season two starts off with Tony going to a yoga session with Matt and it turns out to be a disaster. Next at a person wants to tell the newspaper how he got raped by the spirit of Liberace. Of course, we can’t leave our Kath who brings up the paranormal and the idea that she can tell when an angel enters a room.  

Why do so many people throughout the world believe in God and an afterlife? Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). 

Even Tony seems to feel this in episode 4 of the first season of AFTER LIFE when Tony talks about being with his wife in the future.

Matt: Tony that doesn’t even make sense. You are a rational man. You don’t even believe in an afterlife. 

Tony: I know she is nowhere. Alright. But get this through your head. I would rather be no where with her then somewhere without her. 

Ricky Gervais plays bereaved husband Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE


Tony’s whole world collapsed when his wife died and it is admirable that Tony has such a good marriage, but if your self image is wrapped up in someone else then your world will self-destruct if that person dies. Take a look at Tim Keller’s story below comparing JIM and SAM: 

A New Motivation

This is neither the traditional nor the modern way with the self. Ordinary moralistic religion operates on this principle:
“I live a good and moral life; therefore God accepts me.” Gospel Christianity operates in the opposite way: “God accepts me
unconditionally in Jesus Christ; therefore I live a good and moral life.” In the first case you live a good life out of the hope of a reward, with all the insecurity and self-doubts that go with it.
Will you ever be good enough for the reward? How will you
know if you are, and how will you keep it up even if you are? In
the Christian approach the motivation is one not of fear but of
grateful joy. You live to please and resemble the one who saved
you at infinite cost to himself by going to the cross. You serve him not in order to coerce him to love you but because he already does.
Now, for example, you pursue your career not to get a
self and achieve self-worth. You do it to serve God and the
common good.
 Your work is still part of your identity, as are your family, your nationality, and so on. But they are all relieved
of the terrible burden of being the ultimate source of your self and value. 
They no longer can distort your life as they do when
they are forced into that role. They are, as it were, demoted to
being just good things. Work is no longer something you use
desperately to feel good about yourself. It becomes just another
good gift from God that you can use to serve others. The internal
psychological and motivational dynamics of the personality are
profoundly transformed by faith in Christ.
Some years ago there were two young men attending my
church, exploring Christianity and also trying to make it in
acting. I’ll call them Sam and Jim. Sam was moving toward faith
in Christ while Jim was moving away. 
As Jesus became more real
to Sam, he stopped looking to his stage career as the measure of
his worth. Then Sam and Jim found themselves auditioning for
the same role.
 It was a very big part in a very big production. If 

either of them had gotten the job, it would have propelled him to
great heights.
So they performed at the audition, but neither of them
was chosen. They both were turned down. Jim, the one whom
most people would have considered the more self-confident,
was simply devastated, while Sam was just disappointed. Sam
went out and got a job in business, and after that he kept one
foot in acting. 
Over the years he became very active in the
church and was reasonably successful in business.
Opportunities for stage or screen acting occurred occasionally,
but he engaged in them only as an avocation. His life thrived.
Jim, however, went into a tailspin. He was angry at himself and
the industry and left acting altogether, but he hated any other
job he took. He seldom remained in a job for more than a year,
drifting from place to place.
What happened? Originally, both men had acting as the
core of their identity. It was the main factor in their self-regard.
But then Sam had an identity shift. Acting became a good thing
but not an ultimate thing. 
His love of the stage was not evicted
from his life, but its stranglehold on his self-image and worth
was broken. It became part of who he was but not the essence of
who he was. That’s why the rejection of not getting the role
could not get at his identity. It was safe, impervious, hidden in
Jesus Christ (Colossians 3: 1–3). Jim, however, had a highly
vulnerable modern identity. His failure was an ax blow to his
psychological tree. The rejection went right to the root of what
made him feel he counted, what made him significant.

If you believe the Gospel and all its remarkable claims
about Jesus and what he has done for you and who you are in
him, then nothing that happens in this world can actually get at
your identity. 
Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to
believe this. Consider what a sweeping difference it would make.

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Francis Schaeffer comments on ECCLESIASTES below:

Ecclesiastes 9:7-12

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, (DOES IT SOUND OPTIMISTIC? NOW COMES THE BACKLASH) all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

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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Francis Schaeffer THE AGE of FRAGMENTATION

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