Welcome to the September 30, CARM newsletter.
Tell a friend?
Have you told anyone about CARM? Maybe there is someone you know who might benefit from what CARM is offering. If you think about it, send them an email with the CARM address. Thanks
Weekly Teaching Time
Every Thursday evening I host a live discussion room on platlak.com. Paltalk is a free voice chat system that is quite good. Paltalk is full of Christians as well as non-Christians and the battles over truth are frequent. It is however, a good place to learn how to defend your faith. Anyway, if anyone is interested in you would like to check it out and join us for our weekly discussion, then go to paltalk, download the program, and join us on Thursday evenings.
Thinking of Radio
It has been on my heart for a while since being in the Boise, Idaho area, to do a weekly radio show. I've only done a little research on the cost and CARM cannot afford it now. But, the idea just won't go away and perhaps the Lord is moving me in that direction. The Boise Idaho area has about 400,000 people in it and there are a lot of Christian churches. Of course, there are plenty of Mormons (72% Mormon population) with a growing Jehovah's Witness population as well. I would like to be able to have a show where callers could ask questions and I could answer them. I've done this before on a different radio show and it was always lots of fun. So, if you feel led please pray for that opportunity. You never know what the Lord will provide.
Online CARM Schools
I assume that most of you on this e-mail list are aware of the two online schools provided by CARM. One school covers Christian Theology. You can sign up and systematically learn Christian doctrine. There are about 90 lessons with questions and answers provided. The second school in his on Christian Apologetics where you can systematically go through various false theologies and learn how to refute them. Each school costs $50 and the tuition is what helps keep CARM going and paying all the expenses. So you can kill two birds with one stone by signing up. You could get something valuable as well and support this Ministry. If you want to see a demo version of the schools, then go to http://www.carm.org/online.htm.
For the past two or three years I have been teaching on the Internet in voice chat rooms. During in these times I have had many debates and spontaneous discussions with Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, atheists, et cetera. I have covered a host of topics such as the Trinity, logic, the deity of Christ, justification by faith, and much much more. As a result CARM has many many hours of audio. Thanks to two people who are volunteering their time, we are in the process of preparing the audio recordings for distribution through CARM. I am not yet sure how we're going to distribute them because CARM gets around 27,000 to 30,000 visits weekly. If I were to put up audio files for download, it would quickly overrun the server bandwidth. So I am thinking of providing CD's and or DVD's with the audio discussion on them for sale the CARM web site. Of course, I would put up samples for people to listen to so they would know what they were getting. So, keep your ears in tune for that later.
PowerPoint add in
PowerPoint is a great presentation tool from Microsoft. One of the things that I would like to do is produce lessons through PowerPoint and insert audio over the various slides. Then, I would like to convert the PowerPoint presentations to flash since almost 100% of all computers have flash capability. This way I could provide lessons on a host of topics that could be downloaded and presented on for use in Bible studies, Sunday school, homes, homeschoolers, etc. It would take some work but it is one of the projects I'm looking into. Unfortunately, the good programs that convert PowerPoint to flash are not cheap. Decent programs that "do it right" range from $499-$699. If I'm going to produce something like this, it needs to be done properly. After all, we Christians should provide the best presentations we can. Think about it. Our society is highly oriented towards visual cues. Commercials, TV shows, movies, are all topnotch in their presentations and our society is accustomed to quality work. I think it is a problem in the Christian church when we produce mediocre to substandard presentations. We need to do the best we can and that is why I'm hoping to be able to purchase one of these programs (PresentationPro PowerConverter $499 or Articulate Presenter $499 standard and $699 pro). I don't have the money now, but if someone is interested in sponsoring the purchase, please let me know. As it stands I'm not quite ready to produce these presentations since I am finishing a book. But I do plan to do them and the longer I have the program the better I can get at using it.
The larger the scope of CARM, the the greater the possibility of a lawsuit. Therefore, if anyone out there would be interested in doing some pro bono consulting with CARM periodically, please let me know. Occasionally we have a question on what we should and should not do regarding copywrite, non-profit, etc. Nothing significant has happened nor do we expect anything too. I just want to be prepared. If interested, please contact carm at [email protected] Thanks.
Projects: book, catechism, marriage and family
I'm presently continuing to work on the book called The Garden (read chapter one) which is a witnessing tool aimed at unbelievers. The few people who have read the first couple chapters say that it is very engaging. Please pray for continuation and success of this endeavor (as well as for an editor).
Among my other projects I hope to do, finishing a book called The Crucible is on the list as well. This is something that I have been working on for a couple of years. It is a dialogue based book. The Internet is so pervasive and the youth of today use chat text programs constantly. The book is written in that format and it covers the type of subjects that Christians are challenged with in secular school. In fact, statistically 72% of Christians who are raised in the Christian home and go to church on a regular basis lose their faith within two years after attending a secular college. Therefore, I'm writing this book called The Crucible about a Christian named John who goes to a secular college to get a degree. On the campus is a room called The Crucible where once a week anyone can present any philosophical position. John goes to The Crucible on the first night and ends up discussing atheism with the atheist presenter. Of course, he systematically, and politely, dismantles the atheist position. The next week John attends The Crucible where an evolutionist is presenting evolution. The next week relativism, followed by psychology, philosophy, etc. The book is aimed at answering the major objections to the Christian faith that Christians will face in secular college but are not equipped to handle. It is a demanding endeavor but it is worth the effort.
I am also working on other projects: marriage and family, and a family catechism. The first section will deal with Christian marriage, problem resolution, the role of the mother, the father, training children, etc. The second project "family catechism" will be a series of free downloadable lessons that are designed to be read (along with the Bible) at the dinner table by the parents. Its purpose is to teach the children from early age through the teen years about the basis of Christianity, other religious systems, and even evolution. They are age-appropriate and tied to Scripture.
I got the idea through my own family since we have regular devotions after dinner and that is where I teach my children the basics of Christianity. I also teach them about Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, atheism, evolution, so that when they are ready to go to a secular school, they are prepared. It is easy to do especially when it is done on a regular basis over several years.
How do I do it all?
You may be wondering how it is time able to do all these projects. It's actually very simple. I spend about 60% of my time on one project and the other 40% divided up among upcoming and/or other minor projects. When I'm done with the single large project, I jump into one of the other projects I'm working on and then add something else to do. This way I don't get over worked on a single project and I am able to do a variety of things. I type around 80 words a minute and use a speech recognition program frequently as well. Add to that too sophisticated Bible programs, two 19 inch LCD monitors hooked up to a very fast computer, and you can see that I'm able to get a great deal of work done. So, pray for my stamina and that I will hear the voice of the Lord as he directs me to do that which he has called me to do.
Need a staff: someone to raise support and move to Boise, ID.
CARM depends upon your giving in order to continue. I am not quite full-time with CARM yet. I have a part-time 20 hours a week job and I write and research for CARM an additional 50 hours a week. So, I work 70 hours each week and have been doing this for years. It is tiring. I desperately want to do CARM full-time for two reasons: first, to be able to spend more time with my family. Second, to facilitate acquiring a staff in order to produce more material.
I have the passion, the experience (25 years in apologetics), and the education (Masters of Divinity). But, I cannot do it all on my own. Please consider supporting CARM with $5 a month. It is easy to do and it does help a great deal. If interested, please sign up here.
Pray for this ministry
CARM needs your prayers. I write and research for the entire CARM website and it can be quite challenging. Please pray for me. CARM is a front lines ministry and I need the prayer. Really!
Please remember to check out www.carmpedia.com. It is a free online encyclopedia that any Christian can add to. It seems a little daunting when you first try to write something, but you can get the hang of it easily. It has the potential of being a good repository of Christian information written by Christians. Please check it out and consider writing an article or two. Of course, we review them and sometimes make suggestions. But we welcome any support we can get.
What would you like to see in this newsletter?
Please let me know what you'd like to see in the CARM newsletter. Basically, it has been a place where I have kept in contact with those who are interested in what's going on with CARM. It isn't a place for deep exposition. But if there is something that you'd like to see, questions you'd like addressed about this Ministry, etc., please let me know. Just e-mail me at [email protected] Thanks.
EMAILS FROM READERS
I wanted to introduce you to Diane. She is a great asset to CARM. Besides my wife and myself, she does more to keep CARM going than anyone else. She is located in New Jersey and she oversees the CARM discussion boards http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/dc/dcboard.php and more than 6000 members. Diane and I are in regular phone contact and she is overseeing the audio editing, board moderators, and a few other things. She's a great asset to CARM and I'm letting you know about her because not only has she been extremely dedicated to this Ministry for several years, but she also needs are prayers. Anyone who works with CARM inevitably comes under spiritual attack. At the present she isn't under such an attack but she has been. I figured it was about time to let people know that CARM has dedicated people who volunteer time to it so that you can pray for her as well.
Responses to Newsletter
Over 500 people responded to the last newsletter to let me know they were reading it. Out of about 17,000 on the list about 3% responded. That is pretty good. Thanks.