Actor Kirk Cameron, known to many as heartthrob Mike Seaver in the ’80s sitcom “Growing Pains,” is planning a special, one-night-only event designed to answer perhaps humanity’s most painful question: “If God is good, why does He allow suffering?”
On Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET and tape delayed at 7:00 p.m. MT /8:00 p.m. PT, Cameron’s new film, “Unstoppable,” will be broadcast into over 700 theaters nationwide from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., along with music from guests Warren Barfield, whose song “Love is Not a Fight” was featured in the film “Fireproof,” and former “American Idol” contestant and Grammy-nominated recording artist Mandisa.
“It’s a question everyone asks,” Cameron told WND. “I mean, you go down to the local atheist academy or skeptics club and they’re asking the question of people of faith, ‘If God is good, where is He in Syria right now? Who’s side is He on? Why are there shootings in school classrooms? Where is God in the hospital room where the 6-year-old girl is struggling with cancer and her parents are on their knees praying?”
Yet Cameron told WND “Unstoppable” was prompted by something directly personal – the death of a young friend about the same age as the character Cameron once played on TV.
“My friend Matthew, 15 years old, died of cancer this year,” Cameron said, “and on my way to his funeral, I found myself asking this big question, which has shredded people’s faith for thousands of years. And I wanted to answer it, not only for myself, but to offer some insights – through what I discovered – to others who are asking the same questions.
“It’s an incredibly personal look at a very personal, yet universal problem,” he continued. “It’s a raw, transparent visual journal as I wrestle through the big questions, ‘Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering? Why do bad things happen to good people?’”
Watch a trailer for the film below:
Now the Dove Foundation has awarded "Unstoppable" it's highest, five-out-of-five rating and praised the film as "a movie that families everywhere need to see!"
"Kirk Cameron's film is an amazing look at the origins of suffering," writes Dove reviewer Edwin L. Carpenter. "The likable Cameron shows a real sincerity as he visits a family that lost a teen son to death.
"But despair gives way to hope as Cameron reminds the viewer that God is a God who is for us and is always with us," Carpenter continues. "This film courageously tackles the difficult topic of suffering and does a more than commendable job. We see that God is a God that we can trust. Don't miss 'Unstoppable'!"
But can a movie, WND asked Cameron, really provide a satisfactory answer to such a deep and personally painful question?
"There is a satisfactory answer that has always been available, and it's found in the Holy Scriptures," Cameron answered. "All I'm trying to do is take that message and present it in a way that I believe it has not been presented before. I'm portraying Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel and Noah as real, historical people, which I believe they were, and the same God that drove those people to deeper faith in tragedy is the same God who will carry you and me there in ours.
"'Unstoppable' takes you on a narrative journey," he continued, "putting you in the human car driving down the biblical road throughout history, and you see tragedy and suffering are signposts all along that road. They're always there, and somehow God is using those to direct and guide humanity to the destination, which is the ultimate glory of God and the good of those who love Him."
So is this the kind of film, WND asked Cameron, for believers in Christ to invite their unbelieving friends?
"Abolutely! Yes, bring 'em!" Cameron said. "In 'Monumental,' I went on a journey to England and Holland and around the country to discover some historical facts and put them in perspective. That was not a movie 'for the church' only; it was for anyone who wants to understand the 'secret sauce' recipe that made our country unique. Like it or not, believe it or not, this is what they thought, this is what they did.
"Same thing here with 'Unstoppable,'" he said. "You may or may not believe in God. Sometimes tragedy brings people to their knees where they cry out to God, and other times tragedy sends people running in the opposite direction. [It happens to] people inside the church and outside the church on both ends of the spectrum, people who are looking to God for answers and people who are giving God the Heisman [stiff arm], they don't want answers, they just want an excuse to get away from Him. This movie is going to speak to both.
"It's not a churchy looking or sounding movie at all," Cameron said, "in fact, I've had some folks bristle a little at some of the realistic scenes shown in there, and it doesn't have that powdered doughnut filter that softens and sanitizes everything."
And what, WND asked, does Cameron hope will be the result of seeing "Unstoppable"?
His answer was tied to the title of the film itself: "I hope that people who have genuine questions about God and suffering will walk out of the movie theater, saying, 'It's true, it's true; God is here, He has not abandoned me. He loves me, and He has a purpose for my pain. This is not an accident, this did not take God by surprise, this is not just some random fallout. God does not do random, He is a god of purpose. And His purpose is unstoppable.'"