Just a quick note (and perhaps an explanation for newcomers) to the progress on marrying my newly-approved (by the IRS) non-profit to everything I do online. Many readers are new or will have missed my post back in December 2015 explaining this. Here’s a brief summary, followed by my update.
First, miqlat is a Hebrew term that means “haven, refuge.” In simplest terms, I intend MIQLAT to be a haven for folks who want two things: (1) serious biblical content that is unfiltered by tradition and denominational quibbling), and (2) to network with like-minded people so they can support ministries they care about– ministries that aren’t mingling their work with politics (denominational or secular), celebrity culture, and building their own fiefdoms. Basically, it aims to free me to provide content (and grow that content, eventually to including other content producers who are keenly aware of the need to read and understand Scripture in its own context — i.e., what I’ve laid out in The Unseen Realm) and then help my audience support ministry (or get support for their ministry). The former (content) is what people will see online the most. The second is more boots on the ground. In my original post back in December 2015 announcing MIQLAT), I put it this way:
Ultimately, though, I think of MIQLAT in much wider, far-reaching terms. My life’s goal is to write books and produce the equivalent of a seminary education in video. (My idea of what seminary should do, at least academically, is quite different than what happens now—in part because of what follows). I’d like millions of words and hundreds of hours video to exist on a thumb drive to just give away someday. Why? Because I think the day is approaching (faster than I used to think) where the serious Church will not be able to function publicly.
If you follow my work, you know I’m not a “wacky, capital-C conspiracist.” I deal with reality and what can be documented. I care about data, not speculation. I don’t equate my imagination with factual reality. It’s certainly “documentable” that we’re living at a time when points of doctrine or exegesis are already being labeled as hate speech. It’s not hard to see how preaching the exclusivity of the gospel and refusing to turn biblical theology into something culturally palatable being lumped into that. Political correctness is strangling the freedom to tell the truth. I’ve seen polls from reliable agencies that do that sort of thing reveal that a startlingly high percentage of the population thinks freedom of speech and religion should be curtailed. It would be easy for a hostile federal government to deny a Christian college or seminary the ability to accept student loans—which would torpedo most of the institutions in those categories in short order. The same goes for churches and their tax-exempt status. I don’t see circumstances getting better. We live in a post-Christian culture and we need to face up to it. And the answer isn’t politics. Believers need to ask themselves a serious question: If we didn’t have buildings, budgets, paid staff, nurseries, etc., how would the believing community do what the Lord has commanded it to do? Believe it or not, in the future we’re going to need to function in an environment of intolerance. That means teaching and training in “off the radar” ways. All this may be decades away, but it’s wise to be thinking of what that would mean now.
For my part, what I can do for the believing community is produce content. Without getting into the specifics of my own story, I believe that’s why I’m alive. It’s helped me be willing to take the consequences of caring only about the text. I turn 53 soon, so I figure I have 20-25 years to be seriously productive (Lord willing). That’s where MIQLAT comes in.
A few weeks ago, I described some things in progress. Here’s the latest:
1. YouTube Channels and video production – YouTube channels (here, here, and here) are growing in subscribers. I posted the videos from the Unseen Realm conference in Missouri and the first three lessons of “Divine Council 101” on the Naked Bible Channel since our last update. I now have a feel for what I am able to do with respect to video with the time I have at present. I can produce one video a week, and have those plotted out for the rest of the year. The only thing that would get in the way would be travel. The plans include video series for the PaleoBabble and UFO Religions channels.
2. Planned website changes – This is ongoing but as yet (naturally) unseen. I can tell you all this at this point: the artwork for the present site will change. It’s a necessary part of branding and consistency.
3. The PEERANORMAL Podcast – This new podcast is now real. The first episode is available, though I am waiting to announce it here. That should happen in the next couple of days. I’m just waiting on approval from iTunes for the subscription feed.
4. Writing Projects (for sure) – This too has become clearer. Here is my hope for what I will accomplish this year (again, given my limited time). The plan is to …
Produce two small group items (still haven’t decided on whether “Sunday School Shouldn’t Be Forever” as the series title. I’ve gotten some other suggestions that I really like. The two series will be “The Truth about Interpreting Bible Prophecy: Everybody Cheats” and “Baptism: Everyone Disagrees Because Denominations Like it That Way.” I hope to produce these by year’s end.
I’ll also be working on two books. Those need to be done by Thanksgiving (see below). The working titles are:
1) “Subduing Hermon: The Sin of the Watchers and New Testament Theology” – This is not the follow-up volume to Unseen Realm. It’s an academic treatment on how the Enochian story is the backdrop for a number of passages in the New Testament.
2) “Following the Magi: Astro-Theology and Biblical Prophecy” – This one is an academic treatment of astral religion in the biblical worldview, along with a critique of its abuse in popular biblical prophecy teaching.
5. Starting the third novel – If I can get the above done by Thanksgiving, I plan to start on the third novel by year’s end. The goal with that would be a release by Christmas 2017.
I’m not sure I can do all this in 2016. I think it’s possible, but I’m not sure. If people give to MIQLAT, I’d have no doubt, since it would free up my time (see the original MIQLAT post). Right now (this will change when the new website launches), the only way folks can contribute to MIQLAT is at this link on the Naked Bible Podcast. Basically, if all the weekly listeners to the Naked Bible Podcast gave $10 a week, it would happen.
Occasionally, MIQLAT will launch funding campaigns for the ministries of others. That’s also underway.