|‘Acts of God’ tackles difficult question of pain and suffering|
|Written by DeWayne Hamby|
|Tuesday, 11 March 2014 01:47 PM America/New_York|
Former Southeast Christian pastor Bob Russell calls his new movie ‘very realistic and heavy’
Four intertwined stories tackle the question of God and human suffering in the Acts of God movie (9781939622181, $14.99, April 15), featuring nationally known pastor and speaker Bob Russell. In the film, seven people are pulled together unexpectedly through a terrible accident and their honest struggle as they ask God why it happened.
“The concept originated with City on a Hill Productions in Louisville, [Ky.],” Russell told Christian Retailing. “They have done so much great work and Trinity Broadcasting approached them [saying] that they would like to have a movie about why God permits so much suffering in the world. City on a Hill then approached me and asked if I would work with them on this.”
Russell, who also plays a part in the movie, uses the story of Joseph in teaching DVDs and a companion book coming from Moody Publishers to explore the topic of suffering. He’s quick to point out the movie should not be thought of as “entertainment,” but that he hopes it will provide some comfort to those who have experienced pain.
“This is a very realistic and heavy film,” he said. “It’s not just a feel-good or hokey movie. People going through suffering don’t need a theological [discourse]. They need personal touch. They need to know they’re not alone, that someone else came out the other side and still believes in God.”
The film was screened in theaters prior to its DVD debut, and reactions have been positive.
“People have come out of the movie and they say ‘Thank you, I had a son who was killed in an auto accident,’ ” Russell said. “It is so real and so down to earth I think it’s going to help people.”
Besides giving solace to those who have experienced suffering and are dealing with questions of faith, Russell said the film’s other purpose is to give Christians “ammunition” for defending their faith.
“The number-one question nonbelievers have is, ‘If there is a God, why is there suffering?’ ” he said. “Some churches are reluctant to deal with this because they don’t have all the answers, and this movie doesn’t have all the answers. But we have to believe that God’s Word is true, and God’s Word will prevail.”
Acts of God tops off a full line of ministry resources released in February. The components—a small group study, participant’s guide and pastor’s kit—may be used individually or together in a campaign.