This interview was conducted by Debbie Holloway at Crosswalk.com.
We are so excited to talk to you about Unstoppable. Why don’t you start off by telling us the basic premise of the movie? Is it a film? Is it a documentary?
Kirk Cameron: Unstoppable: it’s a little difficult to really drop into a category of documentary or movie. It’s a film that plays more like a visual diary or journal. Ultimately, I’m trying to tackle a question that wrecks people’s faith, and is probably one of the top five questions in the world: Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?
And this film really attempts to take you up to Heaven’s balcony and give you a perspective from the Garden of Eden, through to the formation of Israel, through the Crucifixion, and ultimately the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70.
To give you a picture of the whole story from Heaven’s perspective, and hope that we can gain some context for pain and suffering that helps it make sense in our narrow view that we live in right now.
You mention our ‘narrow view.’ When I watched the trailer for the movie, I got to thinking about the Bible, and how the Bible deals with pain and suffering. By the time we get to the New Testament, we find a ‘warfare worldview,’ where people recognize that God battles Satan, and there is Good versus Evil. In the New Testament, there isn’t as much a question of “Where is God?” Or “Why does evil exist?” It’s more like, “Well, evil exists and God battles evil.”
Why do you think our culture has grown to a place where we wrestle with that so much, even though in the Bible we see that there is a war between Good versus Evil in the world? I’d like to hear your opinion on that.
KC: That’s a really good question. You know, many people who read the New Testament have this view of the Old Testament that somehow because certain ancient Jewish customs no longer apply (i.e., we’re no longer in an era where we are forbidden to eat shrimp, or plant two kinds of seeds in the same garden, or mix two different types of fabric) that the Old Testament is somehow irrelevant.
A real study of the Old Testament is what gives you context for what we read in the New Testament.
Jesus is called the Last Adam, which is an obvious reference to the first Adam—and that’s Adam in the Garden where you find the serpent, the ‘serpent of old’ spoken about in Revelation. And so, understanding both Testaments together as one book that God wrote begins to fill in the story of Good and Evil, and where pain and tragedy fit into God’s plan for restoring his world.
Without getting into too theologically deep waters, I guess the simple answer for why people struggle with evil is because evil is painful. Evil is difficult.
And not just evil people, but also what some people call ‘natural evil,’ like tornadoes and hurricanes, or things like cancer. Things that seem to be outside people’s control and only under the control of God.
Then of course, that begs the question … is God in control of those things? And if he is, why doesn’t he stop them if he could? And this is the big question.