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The man on the plus sign

"The man on the plus sign" Continued...

Issue: "Hurtling toward havoc," Aug. 1, 2009

LAND: When Muslims come to America and get out of New York City and Washington and go into the real country and see people who are actually religious, it stuns them. I've talked to some Cuban Christians who are very ambivalent about the ending of the embargo, because they say that if the embargo ends, a lot of what will come into their country from America will be very harmful to their families and their faith. . . . We do need to do a better job. We desperately need Christians to engage the media.

Talking with Woody Allen

By Marvin Olasky

LAND: I'm a Woody Allen fan. Woody Allen movies come to Nashville three weeks after they're released, and they stay there for one week at one theater, so all of us who like Woody Allen know each other. I think people will be watching Woody Allen films a hundred years from now to figure out how a particularly influential subset of American culture lived and what they were like in the late 20th and early 21st century. Woody asks all the right questions; he just doesn't have any answers. His central question is, "If God doesn't exist, what meaning does life have?"

METAXAS: In a number of his movies it's as if it's the gospel without the ending. He makes you see that life without God is agony, it's undoable.

WORLD: If you were sitting next to Woody Allen on a plane, what would you say to him?

METAXAS: I have to somehow figure out how to connect with him. . . . If you come across as morally superior, that's unbiblical, that's wrong, it's a lie, so you're confused. But also you'll push the person away. You've got to find a point of connection, otherwise they won't hear you. If you walk around New York you might see someone, semi-homeless, almost always from out of town, with a hat and a Bible "preaching the word" on the street. Nine times out of 10 they are not preaching the Word any more than Satan was when he was quoting the Bible to Jesus in the wilderness. The words are not magic. Some people will respond, "The word of God will not return void," and yes, the capital-w Word of God, the Logos, will not return void-but the words of the Bible can certainly return void unless they're anointed by the Holy Spirit. Many people think that if they just spew out Scripture or something that people are hearing them, but it's not true. Jesus never did that. He always connected with everyone around him.

LAND: I would say make a connection with him as a person. I would start with his movies and tell him how much his movies had meant to me and spoken to me as a human being. It's very clear that he's a very vulnerable man; he does have no hope, and he's very disturbed by having no hope.

METAXAS: He should be, but there are a lot of people who just float through life. The thing about somebody like Woody Allen is that he has thought this through and he sees the bleakness of it. A lot of people haven't thought it through; they're not logical. Logic is good.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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