Printed from http://tektonics.org/2pt3.php
Final Update: October 2014
In 2013, we announced a major overhaul to the website, in which we would install a new user-friendly template, and rework articles for more efficient reading. There have been a couple of hiccups in that process, but as of the posting of this manifesto, we are also posting the first step of that revamp, which is our new front page. Revamping of material within the site will follow.
Beyond that, we will continue to produce more unique resources in 2014. The basic budgetary need will increase for reasons to be explained below. Please consider the following and help us make these projects a reality that will touch the lives of those in need of information to defend and understand their faith.
The Next Books: Our next Kindle e-book is currently in process: A quick look at claims that Christmas is a pagan holiday. After that, I'll be doing a book on conspiracy theories, and one on slavery and the Bible (though maybe not in that order). The reader may note that we're turning towards more narrow topics with a more popular focus. The reason for that will be explained in the next entry, as well as further below.
The scope of these projects is varied. The Christmas item is short and will be done by November, for a December 1 release. The conspiracy theory item will take at least until spring. The slavery item will likely not be ready until late 2014. Since these are Kindle books, it will not cost anything to produce, save where I may have to purchase some used books for research. They will otherwise add nothing to the 2014 budget needs.
Update, 1/2014: The Christmas e-book came out and did fairly well. The conspiracy theory book should be out before the end of January. I've also added, to the slavery project, some new projects: A list of questions on apologetics answered for Christian parents; a reply to Bart Ehrman's next book; a book on Easter traditions, and for later, a sort of encyclopedia answering Bible problem claims.
Update, 4/2014: The conspriacy theory book, questions book, and Easter book are out, as is a reply to a Skeptic's take on the Resurrection. The Ehrman book is being worked on -- it may be too short to warrant an e-book, and may end up in the E-Block only. I also squeezed in one on the blood moons lunacy. The slavery book is in progress and will take a while since I need to work on getting resources. I have added an e-book responding to Norman Geisler's Jesus Quest to my list of projects.
Update 10/2014: The Ehrman book did end up not being worth addressing, but the one replying to Geisler, Defining Inerrancy, has been a success. I've also done one on how to have a career in apologetics and started ome on the evidence for Jesus.
Film Projects. As of now, Tekton's YouTube channel, TektonTV, has 359 videos. Our team of helpers for various tasks like voice work and background art has also continued to grow, and our subscriber base now tops 1690, a growth rate of higher than 65% since last year.
January 2014: We now have 383 videos, and over 1830 subscribers.
April 2014: Now up to 407 videos, and nearly 2100 subscribers.
B>October 2014: Now up to 459 videos and 2350 subscribers.
YouTube is a creative wasteland that is currently dominated, in this subject area, by people who are virulent fundamentalist atheists. There are very few rational Christians there; the most popular Christians there hold to some very peculiar ideas (like 9/11 conspiracy theories). This is a place we need to stake a firm claim to, as it will undoubtedly continue to grow in popularity. My goal now is to have at least 450 videos on the TektonTV channel by this time next year -- if not many more.
The good news again -- no extra cost to Tekton, other than for art supplies so I can do my animation.
Under this heading, we also have some new projects. I have already started a process of converting my earlier e-book, Hitler's Christianity, into a DVD, and will do the same with the e-book on Christmas issues. I already have a willing distributor once the DVDs are complete.
January 2014: Progress continues on the Hitler DVD, which I want to have ready my March 30 at the latest. I also got a small start on a DVD version of the Christmas e-book.
April 2014: The Hitler DVD is done and out. I am now working on one on the "blood moons" craze, which I hope to have out soon.
October 2014: I finished the Blood Moons DVD, but production has stalled on the distributor's end. I may find some other use for it.
For 2014 we'll continue with these older programs:
- E-Block. The sixth volume of the E-Block will have at least 8 regular issues.
- Blogs I have essentially dropped the Forge blog as a recurring feature, though I will use it for the odd purpose now and then. The Tekton Ticker has also been scaled back, so that it will now be used for 1) back E-Block postings over three years old; 2) book reviews; 3) the occassional fresh post.
Now then -- what's this going to take in terms of time and money?
For 2013-14, Tekton is establishing a minimum annual support amount of $24,000 in order to meet the above ministry goals.
January 2014: There's a fair chance I may be able to lower this a bit by next update.
April 2014: That chance is still up in the air.
Let's get more specific as to where that's all going, then:
- Personnel: $22860
Yes, "personnel" means me, basically. This is to give me the time to do this work. This has gone up for an unpleasant reason that's been hovering over us as a possibility for a couple of years now, but finally "landed" this very month.
Before now, my wife's job had been a stable one with the State of Florida, with excellent health insurance. Just this past month, Florida's governor, Rick Scott, has turned her job (and that of other state workers in the same field) over to a private company. (See link at bottom for a news story on this.) She kept a job with the private company, but the result is a substantial net cut in her pay, due to extra expense for health insurance. (Update: It wasn't as much as we thought, but costs have still gone up.) For the present, it will be on my end to make up for that. That is also why I have now included some popular issue projects like the Hitler and Christmas e-books and DVDs which can be sold for support. It also means I will be spending less time on things like TheologyWeb exchanges that simply don't pay the bills.
- Fees: $220
Tekton has to give a little slice every year to state and local authorities.
- Internet access: $420
This appears here as though a new item, though in essence it isn't. My Internet access was formerly rolled into my expense for home phone and cable, so I just paid for it personally. An upgrade to my service has allowed me to divide it off monetarily.
- Supplies/postage/server: $500
All the rest, like Tekton's server space, postage, office supplies, and books.
- Open line item: $??
Tekton’s guest writer, Nick Peters, currently a college student, continues work on his own fledgling ministry. We’re leaving an open line item in our budget for anyone who wants to contribute to his efforts. Right now any support will go towards any joint projects he’ll work with us on. (For example, he and his wife have done voice work for some of our films.)
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.
Purchase materials: The sale of these books and materials helps keep us going:
- The Impossible Faith
- Shattering the Christ Myth
- Trusting the New Testament
- The Mormon Defenders -- I took this off Amazon now since they charge too much to keep it on. From now on they are ordered from Tekton directly.
- Defending the Resurrection
- What in Hell is Going On?
- The Atonement Contextualized
- The Direct Application New Testament
- Hitler's Christianity
- Know Your Enemy: Annotated and Corrected -- a response to a "conspiracy theory" project. Also available in a form that is not a direct response, as Jesus Was a Mushroom and Other Lies You Won't Believe.
- Christmas is Pagan and Other Myths
- Affirming Jesus' Resurrection: Breaking the Black Box -- a response to Komarnitsky's Doubting Jesus' Resurrection
- Easter is Pagan and Other Fables
- Blood Moons Lunacy
- Christian Answers to This Generation's Questions
- Intellitracts -- our evangelistic helps.
- Hitler's Christianity DVD (from The Apologetics Group)
I should note for the record that Amazon Books and Xulon Press will not pay royalties directly to the ministry because of the way the tax system works. I have asked them to do so, but they say it cannot be done that way. So effectively, I am only able to accept payments from them as royalties paid to me personally, and they report it to the IRS as income to me, and so I pay taxes on those royalties. However, your purchase will still help the ministry's efforts because it means I can draw less on the ministry's resources.
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. (Note: If your gift is designated for Nick Peters, please indicate this in a message box for PayPal which appears at the bottom of the final "Send Money" page.)
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.