2010 Tekton Manifesto: Final Report
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Updated October 2010 with final reports.

The Next Book: In early-to-mid-2010, Tekton will send to print the manuscript of the third book in the Tekton Building Blocks series, which will be titled Defending the Resurrection (DTR). The title speaks for itself, but generally, expect it to collect nearly all of our relevant material on the Resurrection and update it as much as can be done.

I held the fundraiser for DTR in the first third of 2009, and that won't require any more support. But once it is sent to print, work will begin on the fourth book in the Building Blocks series, which will be on the subject of basic Christian doctrine. We'll look at things like the atonement, the Trinity, salvation and faith, and other basic doctrines. (Things like eschatology and TULIP will be reserved for later volumes.) It'll also consider variations of these doctrines within the cults and objections to them by critics of Christianity.

The fundraiser for this book will be held, starting in April or May, to meet the support need for the production of the book. I'll explain more on this and other specific funding needs below.

April 2010 update: Something interesting is happening with DTR. For the past few weeks, a good possibility has opened up that it may be taken by a publisher as part of a new line they're planning. As a result, I'm not going to include the printing fees for the next book in this year's fundraiser -- the associated funding to print DTR may not be needed and would be able to be applied to the next book instead. Work on the doctrine book will start late enough for the printing fees to be raised next year if needed; if all goes well that one may end up with the same publisher, as well as others. We shall see. In the meantime, the manuscript is basically done, waiting only for word on what I will do with it.

October 2010 final report: I ended up having to go to Xulon as before, and they did a great job, getting DTR out 60 days earlier than I expected. It's available here.

The Next Film: As noted in the 2009 report, we filmed the first instructional video two weeks ago (September 2009). I'd like to do one more this coming year as part of our test run. It'll be another "pagan copycat" subject, and as it turns out, it won't require any funding from the looks of it; another ministry has graciously volunteered production means, and I already have the props I need (or the ones I need will cost less than $20).

April 2010 update: The second test film was done on April 4 and is now in editing.

October 2010 final report: It's still in editing. I'll post it on my new YouTube channel when it is done.

Evangelism Materials. It is now time to produce Tekton's first evangelistic tract, per the 2009 manifesto (see that for details). The cost of this for printing will be about $500 and I plan to get it out by the middle of the year. If it goes over well, we'll do more.

April 2010 update: I'll start on this sometime this summer. The good news is that the cost will be less than expected -- more like $250.

October 2010 final report: It's done and available here.

Teaching Goals. The basic goals will be much the same as last year, keeping in mind that these are dependent on other people asking us to teach:

  • 2-3 engagements using subject matter from the Tekton Building Blocks books
  • Teaching 1-2 church training classes
  • 3-4 "apologetics boot camps" for youth, performed in coordination with my local ministry partner

In addition, I will plan on going to the 2010 ISCA conference in Dallas, Texas to present a paper, and will be seeking certification as an interfaith evangelism instructor from the North American Mission Board, with a concentration on Mormonism. At present I'm slated to fulfill a final requirement for the certification by teaching a seminar on Mormonism in January 2010.

April 2010 update: I went to ISCA last weekend, and did get the certificate to teach on Mormonism. The rest has been slow, other than one teaching session at my church. However, I'm setting up some seminars on Mormonism for October, and after the Southern Baptist Convention is over here in Orlando, I'll be knocking on some doors and getting a little more aggressive with some higher-ups in promotion.

October 2010 final report: Knocking on doors so far hasn't been productive -- no one answers yet. I'm trying some harder knocking.

Driving Programs. As part of raising the funds needed for these goals, we'll be doing the following projects:

  • Tekton E-Block: There will be somewhere between 12-15 issues this next year, including any special editions (such as the responses to Ehrman and Loftus). The regular issues will be smaller, and issued more frequently, but as a whole, there will probably be more overall content than the past year's issues.

    Since TAU didn't get much reaction, I've cut that off the main page (though the material is still up for those who participated) and will also be trying two new driving programs to raise funds:

  • Podcast: I've started looking into the mechanics of this to see if it is practicable. If I decide that it is, we'll have the first one by March, with subscriptions being offered beginning in the latter half of February.
  • Apologetics Study Bible: I took this down as part of the revamp, and will put it back up as a subscriber feature, only I plan to beef it up enormously by consulting as many commentaries and articles as I can. It'll take a while to do it all, maybe years. I'll start with the book of Galatians.

April 2010 update: The E-Block is still on target for at least 12 issues, and the Study Bible has been restarted, now with several books accessible. I looked into podcasting and decided it would not be feasible. No more info for final report.

Budgetary Goal

So there we are. Now we'll ask the $64 (or how ever many dollars) question: what's all this going to take in terms of time and money?

For 2010, Tekton is establishing a minimum annual support amount of $21775 in order to meet the above ministry goals.

Ministry Expenses

Let's get more specific as to where that's all going, then:

  • Book printing: $1000

    This is the physical production cost for the next book in the Building Block series on doctrine. Note: As noted above, we can now delete this expense.

  • Personnel: $18,500

    Yes, "personnel" means me, basically. This is to give me the time to do this work - the book, the E-Block, all of it. This also includes the inevitable taxes and Social Security that a yearly salary involves.

  • Fees: $325

    Tekton has to give a little slice every year to state and local authorities, including the libraries I use at the college and for services at the public library.

  • Supplies/post/server: $700

    All the rest, like Tekton's server space, postage, office supplies, and books.

  • Tract printing: $500 April 2010 Note: Now $250.
  • ISCA conference: $750 April 2010 Note: A generous reader helped with his, and it cost less than I expected.


April 2010 Note: In light of the above, our goal for this year's annual fundraiser will be $4,200.

How You Can Help

I realize we still have a hard economy going right now; but we have an ever harder spiritual crisis on our hands, and as my friend Carey likes to say, Tekton gives more "bang for the buck" than any comparable ministry. That said, I have made it very easy to support Tekton even in this hard economy (and it is all tax-deductible).

Subscribe to the E-Block: A mere $8 per year will go a long way here without a strain on your pocketbook. And they'll add up quickly in fulfillment of our modest goal. If every person who just read my article on Mithra every month signed up, I'd never have to do any more fundraising - ever.

Purchase materials: The sale of these books helps keep us going:

And of course, Tekton also gets commissions when you buy books listed in our bibliographies. You can always help out by buying books from Tekton through Amazon, and we have the whole site available on CD or download for a modest donation.

Donate: And of course, there are all the usual venues - subscriptions and direct donations. You'll get a free sub to the E-Block for this, too.

So it is that there's now a ball in your court in terms of deciding how much time I can spend on defense of the faith. As I have said before, despite what some Skeptics say. if I wanted money, I'd go back to being a professional librarian, where I'd make 2-3 times as much. Or I'd take one of a dozen or more jobs I'm qualified to take. I stay in ministry because I want and love to do it, because I see a need and because it is my calling. But I'll be plain: I can't keep the lights on without power, and I will gradually have to turn those lights out to survive unless the support goals are met. When I worked for one public library, and their budget was cut, my boss put it this way: "We'll just have to cut hours and services." The same principle applies here.

One more note: I still have to keep a side job going with the USDA to help keep things afloat. It eats up half a workday each weekday between January and mid-April. I'd like to turn that time over to Tekton at some point also. But for this year, the above is the story - and it's now in your hands to help turn it from fiction to reality.

Thank you,