It is good to see that thousands of people are reading the excerpts of my blog posts, either on the blog or on my facebook page.   I intentionally cut these excerpts off part way through, usually before I get to the most interesting and important part.  My hope is that people reading a bit of what I have to say will want then to go on and read all of what I have to say.  To do that, they (you) need to join the blog itself.   Some people inspired by these excerpts have taken the plunge.   I want to urge the rest of you to do so as well.

I post five or six times a week on the blog – usually six.  The posts are normally 800-1100 words long.   Some of them are about things that I’m thinking or writing about, or that I think are timely, interesting, or significant; others of them are in response to questions that I get.   Virtually all of them have to do with the New Testament and the history of early Christianity, from about the time of Jesus to about the time of the Council of Nicea – say 1 – 325 CE.  Hence the name of the blog: Christianity in Antiquity (the CIA).

I mean for the posts to be informative, and I try to be responsive to questions/responses that I get.   I get usually 15-20 comments a day; I allow almost all of them to go through (over 9300 of them since we started this thing in April 2012), and if they require a reply from me, I give it.  So the blog is interactive.

The blog does cost some money to join, but not a lot, and it all goes – every penny of it goes – to charities dealing with hunger and homelessness.  It costs only $24.95 for a year’s subscription.   When you think about it over the long term, that’s not much – about two bucks a month, for posts about six times a week, at about 1000 words per post.  You do the math.  It’s very good value for the money.   (You can also do a trial membership for $7.95 for three months or $3.95 for one)

The reason I started the blog in the first place, and am so committed to it virtually every day, is precisely so that I can raise money for important humanitarian work.   Hunger and homelessness are two of our most crushing social issues, ones that all of us should be concerned with.   For very little money you can contribute to a very good cause, and get such a huge benefit to boot.   I would very much like to double my readership on the blog, and so to double the amount of money I raise for the charities I support (you can see what charities I support, and why, by searching the posts for “charities” (it’s a post called “What Charities Does the Blog Support,” [sensibly enough] from April 20, 2012).

If you don’t belong yet to the blog – JOIN!!!   Really, it’s not much money – but when lots of people join, it turns into a huge amount.   And it makes good things happen for people who are in desperate need.  And you get something very good out of it yourself, in addition to the pleasure of knowing you’ve done something good.   For those of you who do belong to the blog: may your tribe increase!    In fact you can *make* it increase by urging your family members, friends, associates, colleagues, and anyone else join the blog as well.   You can also help by making a donation, of any amount; donations are completely tax deductible.

If anyone has any concerns about the blog or any suggestions to make it better, feel free to let me know!