2018 Manifesto
Project BRAVE

As some of you are aware, I formally closed down Tekton as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2016. The reason I did this will be discussed later and elsewhere. However, the close-down fit well into plans I had anyway, and allowed me to begin a new ministry devoted to something I have had a heart for, for a long time: Bringing apologetics to the mission field.

I have continued to use the acronym BRAVE to reflect the various missions I will be involved in. However, not all of them are associated with the new ministry. As of now, Tekton remains as what is legally a personal pursuit; the new ministry, Apologetics Afield, will have no online presence other than a blog which may be found here. This blog announces specific projects of Apologetics Afield and specifies fundraising for those projects. It has not published, and will not publish, anything else or anywhere else.

In the list below, sections B and E will be supported by the mission of Apologetics Afield. The remainder are now formally personal pursuits, but are still part of the broader plan of personal ministry I pursue.

To support the B and E missions with a tax-deductible donation, please use this PayPal block:

To support the V mission, you can become a patron through Patreon.

To support the R and A missions, you can purchase items found linked below.

My missions are encapsulated by an acronym, BRAVE. Here is briefly what the acronym stands for:

  • Boot Camp Ministry
  • Readers' Ministry
  • Audio Ministry
  • Video Ministry
  • Educational Missions Ministry
    Boot Camp Ministry

    Is this a military ministry? No, it's a ministry to youth. My local ministry partner, Carey Roesel, came up with this idea.

    A growing trend exists for the enemies of Christianity to "evangelize" for their unbelief - and they are harvesting souls at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, Christian youth are particularly vulnerable, and they are chief targets of our spiritual foes.

    To address this problem, Carey and I have put together a program called the Apologetics Boot Camp for Youth. We have designed a "mascot" for the program: A cartoon soldier bearing the mark of the cross.

    The design of this program is explained in a brochure for pastors as follows:

    "With the Apologetics Boot Camp, we work with you as a pastor to design a program that meets your unique needs. We can meet in homes, in a church, or even in a public, outdoor venue like a camp. The number and schedule of meetings is ultimately up to you, but we will work with you to customize an experience that will be of the greatest help to you and to your youth."

    In practical terms, this means I'll teach on one or more of my subjects of expertise (the Resurrection, the reliability of the Bible, etc.) while Carey will teach on one or more of his (his speciality is intelligent design, as well as modern culture). We can also add in other guest experts as needed or available.

    A few years back we did some successful preliminary field tests with this program. An especially popular component was an "around the room" Q and A session, in which every youth was encouraged to ask their toughest question.

    This is one of the programs that will need support, because it will be out intention to offer this program to youth pastors at minimum or no cost. That means we'd have to pay for any materials or travel expenses. We'll also need to create promotional materials (brochures) to send out in order to publicize the program.

    For more on how this will be supported, see the "E" section below. It is a division of the new Apologetics Afield ministry.

    Readers' Ministry

    This is one of our "old" missions -- the production of e-books. I've committed to doing the research and writing needed to produce one of these about every two to four months.

    The next books ahead include revamps of portions of Shattering the Christ Myth, and volumes in the inerrancy encyclopedia series (covering the Old Testament). I'd also like to look at doing an e-book on "Jesus Only" teachers who think Paul is a false teacher.

    Under this category we'll also include all of our other writing activities: The Ticker and Christian CADRE blog, and freelance assignments I get from places like the Christian Research Journal.

    The E-Block has been formally closed down, although it will continue to offer previews of new ebooks to those who subscribed to it. The Tekton Ticker will continue to be used for 1) back E-Block postings over three years old; 2) 2) the fresh post now and then. I've also linked up with the Chistian CADRE where posts will be duplicated.

    The only expense for this writing is the same as it has always been -- the time needed to do it.

    Audio Ministry

    This mission is a fairly simple one: We'll be converting our e-books into audio versions, via Amazon's ACX program. This is an essential for the average Christian who is constantly "on the go" and who can only do their reading by popping a CD into a player in their car, and listening while driving to work.

    Here again, time is the only resource we need for this project category, and even then, much of the work will be done by readers who are hired via ACX for a share of the sales. I'll try to get at least one of these done a year; but I'll also only convert an ebook to audio if there seems to be a demand for it.

    Video Ministry

    This is also one of our returning missions. As of now, my YouTube channel, TektonTV, has over 670 videos. Our team of helpers for various tasks like voice work and background art has remained steady, and our subscriber base is now over 3600 (it was just under 3000 last year).

    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 770 videos on the TektonTV channel by this time next year.

    As a bonus, these videos can be used as teaching tools in the Youth Boot Camp.

    Educational Missions Ministry

    The cultivation of Christians requires, first, evangelism. It requires, second, discipleship. We are often excited about the first, but the second is sometimes laid by the wayside. This is shown by way of a mind-blowing question: How can people believe in the Word of God when their knowledge of what it says is so limited?

    To enact our mission of discipleship, we've devised two avenues of mission ministry, both with the cooperation of partner organizations.

    The first avenue is a home mission, directed towards Christians living here in America. The second avenue is a foreign mission, directed towards Christians living on the mission field. In partnership with other organizations, our new ministry, Apologetics Afield, will provide discipleship to Christians living in areas where Christianity is still a growing faith. We already have a partnership with an organization headquartered in Indonesia, for whom we have agreed to provide discipleship training at their college in Indonesia. However, for 2018, we have fixed a commitment to visit one of their American satellite churches in Philadelphia. More partnerships will be sought to further this mission, and we'll pursue them with groups like Campus Crusade, local churches, and missions organizations.

    It is this second aspect of the missions ministry that requires support. Like any missionaries, with organizations like Campus Crusade, it will mean travel expenses and basic support which must be raised by Apologetics Afield, from supporters.

    Budgetary Goals (B, E)

    What's this going to take in terms of time and money? As I noted last year, the B and E aspects of my mission develop each year, and I will tie fundraising into specific mission trips. As each trip is planned, we'll announce for specific fundraising needs that will cover the need for everything from travel to personnal expense. All of this will be done through Apologetics Afield. To meet the goals of Apologetics Afield for 2018, I have set up a special fundraiser for $4000 at the blog linked above.

    How You Can Help (R, A, V)

    In contrast, the R, A and V missions are now supported independently. The sale of these books and materials helps keep them going:

    And of course, I also get commissions when you buy books listed in our bibliographies. You can always help out by buying books through Amazon.

    You can also support the RAV missions by buying through Amazon Books and their "Smile" program, or by become a patron through Patreon.

    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 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.

    Thank you,