There’s no doubt in my mind that Kirk Cameron is a real hero. Anyone that is THAT on fire for the Lord is a real hero in my book, particularly if they hail from Hollywood!
This doesn’t mean, as is true of any person, Christian or otherwise, that he can’t sometimes become his own worst enemy, I suppose. His recent documentary Unstoppable was marketed as an amazing personal journey that was not to be missed, and Kirk certainly tackled a great question, the very question that, as he explains in the documentary, turns Christians into atheists, or worse, and it came on the heels of Kirk experiencing a devastating loss amongst a small group of devout Christian friends when a loving 15 year old boy finally died of cancer. With access to Liberty University’s new Cinematic Studies department and students, Kirk decided to tackle the question of how God can allow evil and suffering in the world, with a strong emphasis on the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, and Noah and the Flood, backed up with recreations of some of these stories with Kirk’s voice over. The problem is the same problem I run across with many Christian products – if it’s about God, it should be better, but it so often is not. The renditions of the stories of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel were – this is the only word that seems to fit the visuals I saw – “disturbing”. They looked like something out of a strange horror film, with Adam being born from mud, and Eve being taken from his side, and then being tempted by a humanoid serpent, and Cain’s murder of Abel being quite bloody and violent. Kirk talks about God’s role as all this drama unfolded, making skins to cover Adam and Eve before expelling them from paradise, or putting a mark on Cain to keep anyone else from murdering him, but allowing him to live. His point is that God showed compassion in all of this sin and misery to those who committed these crimes, but I don’t think he was clearly able to make his case for how God allows evil and suffering into the world.
Dinesh D’Souza tackled the same question in his book Godforsaken, and used for his catalyst the Anthropic principle of the fine tuned universe, and how there was really no other way God could have created the universe without making us in His image and giving us free will. I was very impressed with D’Souza’s argument and book, and that’s basically what I was expecting when I went to this movie. Instead, I got a rather meandering sermon, heightened with unsettling recreations of old biblical stories, and in the end, even the narrator says the question mark remains (though for him personally, it has changed into an exclamation point). With this film, audiences got a message from the mournful friend of a grieving family doing his best to make sense of a tragedy, but he wound up preaching only to the choir, and still did not provide a complete answer the question he tackled. If I were going to do the same thing, I would have tackled the issue from the same standpoint that Dinesh did, using the Anthropic principle. In my opinion, that’s the real key to answering that question! And aside from the live pre-show from Liberty University, the film clocked in at one hour tops. You’re not going to be able to answer such a question in an hour, no matter who you might have working behind the camera!
Still, even though the product may not be all we hoped it to be, the fact that an old Hollywood heartthrob is on fire for God and even attempting to make such a product is amazing and praise-worthy! I've seen Kirk Cameron listed on the internet as one of the top out-of-touch former Hollywood stars or has-beens (see links here, here, and here). Truthfully, he should wear such a moniker as a badge of honor, knowing the people and projects Hollywood chooses to embrace these days! What THEY label as out-of-touch and strange, the Christian heartland embraces. The truth is, as Kirk said in the live pre-show for his movie, Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with him. Even for a documentary that Kirk himself called simply his “personal journey” and that was, in all reality, a glorified church sermon, the Christians stood up for it and went to this live event in droves, which, according to this recent Facebook post, broke all kinds of records:
See the following links for more on Unstoppable: