As you know, you have several choices for your membership on the blog – from the most popular Bronze level, where you can read all my posts with archives going back to 2012; to Silver, where you can do all that plus make and read members’ comments and questions, and my responses; to Gold, where you can do all that plus get audio versions of the posts; and up to Platinum.  The Platinum has some unusual benefits; I thought it might be helpful for me to spell them out, just in case you might be interested.

Here is how I described it recently in an email to those who have already taken the plunge.  .


Hello Platinum Blog Members!

Now that the dust has settled a bit on the launch of the new blog site, we are able to start moving ahead with some of our new initiatives – including the Platinum Premiums.

Here is the summary provided on the JOIN pages, with which you are no doubt familiar.  In this note I will give a bit more information and explain how the premiums will work, starting now!

This level is as high as it goes for those who want to give extra support to the work of the blog and the charities it supports.  At this level you will receive all of the benefits of Gold, and other significant ones.

You already have complete access to everything available on the blog: you can obviously read all the posts and consult all the archives going back to April 2012:  you can get a list of them by category; by month to month; or by a complete chronological sequence from beginning to end!  At the right side of any post, scroll to the bottom and you’ll see your archive options.  You can also; make comments;  read comments; get audio versions of all ongoing posts; and access archives of audio posts going back to the end of 2019.

Platinum members will be able to participate in a group internet meeting with me and other Platinum members once every three months, a specially designed webinar where we discuss issues of mutual interest and I answer questions.

I would like to set up our first meeting, and we will be sending out a Doodle Poll for you to indicate when you could come.  We obviously won’t be able to accommodate everyone’s schedule, but we will provide a number of options and will choose the one that most people could attend.  I will record the meeting so those who aren’t there will be able to see it.  The poll will be sent by my assistant Diane Pittman – so look for it!

The format:  We will do it on Zoom and the meeting will last for 75 minutes.   I will give a talk on a topic for maybe half that time, and then we will have a Q&A for the rest.

The topic: I will send out a short list of possible topics in advance, and will allow all platinum members to vote on which one they would prefer.  Again, majority rules.  Hey, we’re a democracy here!

Moreover, Platinum members will have the opportunity to submit potential posts for the blog.  I will publish one Platinum blog post each week (assuming there are enough of sufficient quality and relevant to the interests of the blog) to Platinum members.  And once a month I will choose one Platinum guest post for the entire blog, that is, for all members at every level.  Platinum members will be allowed to submit one potential post per month.

I am ready to start this NOW.  Well, next week.  Or whenever they start coming in.  There is a logistical issue that I haven’t figured out how to handle and would welcome your suggestions.  Suppose I get ten blog post submissions in a month, and choose, as I indicated, one a week.  That would mean six did not get chosen.  (And if I get 100, then 96 didn’t get chosen!)  That’s too bad and I don’t want any hurt feelings or resentments (“Hey, my post was WAY better than that one he chose!  And it took me two hours to write that thing!  I want my money back!  All the way from 2012!!!”).  But I’m not sure what to do about that.  It may be a problem, or it may not. And if it is a problem, it will be compounded with time, since presumably I’ll get more posts the next month.

SO: any bright ideas about how to deal with *that* one???

One idea I had would be to set up a three-person Platinum Selection Committee who would read all the posts that come in and make a decision by majority vote.  That way it wouldn’t just be my own prejudices and guesses about which ones would be best for our readers.  But if you have other ideas, let me know….

In addition, Platinum members will receive first priority for all blog events… 

Blog Events:  In a couple of days I am going to be announcing on the blog that I will be holding a fund raising webinar on December 12.  The Topic will be: “What Can We Really Know about the Birth of Jesus?” It will be limited to twelve people (so that it will be 12 on 12/12), and will go the highest bidders – similar to how we did earlier in the year (see 

… and will be awarded three Bronze level gift memberships to give out to whomever they choose.

To give gift memberships:  On the site, go click Help; then FAQs; then How Do I Give a Gift Subscription.  The final paragraph describes how you can do it without paying!

As a final benefit, I promise to hold all Platinum members near and dear to my heart.

OK, truth be told, everyone on the blog is near and dear to my heart.  I appreciate very much that you have wanted to be part of this venture, and hope you are finding it worth your while and investment.  If you want to invest even more by moving up to the Platinum level: fantastic!   If you’re happy with where you are: that’s fantastic too.   Our goal is to serve – and if we can do it better, let us know.