by Matt Slick
- Debate in Madison, Wisconsin - On April 12, 2014, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, I debated Dan Barker on "Does God exist?" If you are interested in my opening statement, please see it here. About a week and a half before the debate I went to a chiropractor for the first time because I've been having some back difficulties. I guess I never recovered from the long plane flight back from the Philippines. Anyway, my chiropractor did not adjust me. He just had me stretch to see what my range of motion was. Twenty-four hours later I could hardly walk. After some x-rays, it turns out that I have a deformed L4 vertebra with a possible fracture of L5 - probably from a serious car accident when I was younger. My back was ready to go bad. I mention this because it plays a bit of a roll in my trip out to Madison, Wisconsin. This is what happened.
The debate was scheduled for Saturday evening at 7 PM, so my plan was to fly out with a friend of mine, Marc, so that we could do video work Friday evening and Saturday before the debate. He was to meet me there since he was flying from Seattle. So, on Friday I headed to the airport here at Boise only to discover that the flight was canceled. That meant I would have to stay overnight in Minneapolis, Minnesota due to the reroute. Okay, well I guess that's what I had to do. I waited for my second flight out of Boise -- only to find out that it was delayed. Great! I eventually arrived in Minneapolis at my hotel and got to bed late because of the delay. After about six hours of sleep I took a very early shuttle to the airport. To my surprise, my flight was canceled. Yep, cancelled! They rescheduled me for another flight - which also ended up being delayed. So, this meant I had a lot of time to walk back and forth between canceled and rescheduled flights in the airport. My back was killing me at this point and so I hustled, limping and dragging, all the way to my next flight on the opposite side of the airport - which I missed by four minutes because my flight was delayed! For real! So, I had to walk all the way back to the other side to catch another flight. I couldn't find a people transport person anywhere and my back was spasming. Anyway, I waiting and finally hobbled to the flight and made it to Madison, Wisconsin at 4:02 - three hours before the debate. No time to prep. After heading to the hotel, getting changed, and hurrying over to the debate venue, everything seemed okay...
Once the debate started, I began my 20 minute opening, and within two minutes I suddenly was having great difficulty talking. For some reason it seemed as though my throat was super dry and I started to cough, and when I would speak my voice would disappear. I apologized to the audience and took numerous drinks of water and was even given a lozenge by the moderator. Mark immediately got on a prayer chain via his smartphone and within a half hour I could speak again. I thought the debate went well from then on, and I do not believe that my opponent was able to answer the argument raised for the existence of God. The debate will be released later.
The next day I got up very early to go to airport and lo and behold, my flight was canceled. All I could do was laugh. Nevertheless, after a rescheduled flight I finally ended up in Salt Lake City with only one more leg to go to get home here in Boise. About a half hour before the flight left they came overhead and said it was delayed. But of course. It wasn't delayed that long, but when I finally got home what a relief it was. Wow...
- Carlos Garbiras in Columbia - Carlos has been working very hard translating CARM into Spanish at miapic.com. The site is now averaging around 9,000 page views a day. That is excellent. Recently, he was asked to go to Cuba (June 14 to June 28) and teach many of the pastors there. They contacted him and told him that there is an increasing number of false teachers who are infiltrating the Cuban island. They want Carlos to go over and establish a School of Apologetics. He would teach out of the school that I developed a few years ago. We think it's a great idea and wanted to let you know so you could have the opportunity both to support that effort financially and prayerfully. If you are interested in supporting Carlos trip to Cuba (the whole thing will cost around $1600), then please go to CARM and click on the partner link on the homepage. You can put a note in there saying it is for the Cuba trip and/or you can email us designating that you want the money for that reason.
- David Brito - David lives in São Paulo, Brazil. In the past he's worked with us translating various articles into Portuguese. His job situation has changed, and we have a possible opportunity to have him work with CARM in order to do more translations. Again, if you have a heart for the people of Brazil where Christianity is exploding (as are some cults), then please go to the partner link and support David. What we hope to do is raise enough funds to have him work full-time.
- Togrul Szadd - Togrul has been doing translations for CARM for a few years. He is now finally graduating from college with his bachelors degree in business (there are no Christian degrees in Muslim countries) and is ready to start full-time with CARM doing Turkish, Russian, and Arabic. All he is asking for full-time support is $400 a month, but I would like to give him $500 a month so he doesn't have to "barely make it." CARM is committed to supporting him because he is an incredibly valuable person who can reach thousands of people for the Gospel. $500 a month is not much. Yet again, if you want to support that please go to the partner link.
- Homeschooling videos - A couple of weeks ago I went to Portland, Oregon and did some filming with Brian Ray, an expert on homeschooling. In another week I'm going back there to do more filming with another expert on homeschooling named Gregg Harris. Then, a few weeks after that we hope to assemble a panel discussion on homeschooling with moms and dads who have actually done it and are still doing it. In all, it should be an informative series. We're in the early stages of development, but we hope to have something ready by the end of the year.
- CARM Redesign - I thought I would let you know that the CARM redesign we were on the verge of releasing about four months ago turned out to be no good. The problem was that the code was not upgradable, which would mean that the CARM site would become more vulnerable to security problems. When we tried an update to the system, it broke several things. So, we got a Christian programmer who volunteered to take a look and he filled us in on the problems. But, praise God he is also working to redesign the site - from the ground up. He's a very skilled programmer, and we hope to have it finished in a couple of months. Upgrading CARM has been a two-year project and at almost every step we have been met with one problem after another. We will keep trying. If you're wondering why we need an upgrade, it is to integrate new features and to provide new security as the old system that we are using is coming to end-of-life support. Also, CARM is such a large site that managing it requires more advanced technology, and that is why we are trying to upgrade.
- Israel Trip - We are heading to Israel next year for a Bible lands tour. I did it last year and was thoroughly satisfied with how great the trip was. We went to the seven churches of revelation in Turkey, a surprisingly pleasant extension. When we got to Israel, we had the great privilege of seeing so many of the things that are mentioned in the Bible. I am most definitely looking forward to going back. If you'd like to join us, just go to http://carm.org/2015-israel-tour. It is an awesome trip.
- Got suggestions? - Do you have any suggestions for CARM? We want to know what you think. Please help us out by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit suggestions. Now is the time since we are in the redesign process of CARM, and as we make plans, we want to improve in areas which will matter to CARM's readers.