I am taking executive privilege today with this posting.  It is a big day, not for the blog, but for me personally.  To my shock and amazement, today is my 60th birthday.  60 years.  How did this happen???  I’m glad it did, but still, I’m just askin’.

So I want to use the occasion to make a shameless appeal.   I had a big birthday bash two nights ago, with friends and family flying in from such far-flung places as California and New Hampshire.  It was a terrific time, a friend from high school, friends from graduate school, friends I know professionally, friends who once-upon-a-time were my students, friends from my department, my daughter and son and son-in-law,  my granddaughters.  It was an amazing time.

I made one request of everyone (in addition to the request to come to a party to enjoy good food, very good drink, and fantastic company): No presents!

A couple of people stretched the rule a bit, and gave me a present.   They wrote a check for the Bart Ehrman Foundation (i.e., the foundation supported by the blog).  This was the best birthday present I could imagine.

And so my shameless appeal.   If any of you who read the blog is inclined to make me a very happy fellow here on the day I celebrate my 60th year on the planet, I would ask for you to make a donation.

As most of you know, the entire point of doing the blog (from my point of view, if from no one else’s) is to raise money for charities that I very much believe in.   All of the charities (see more below) deal with issues of dire need, principally hunger and homelessness among those who are most vulnerable in our world.

Last year the blog raised $78,000 for charity; that was an increase of nearly $20k over the previous year.  I would LOVE to have the blog hit six figures.  It probably will eventually, but I really want it to happen sooner instead of later.  It is *possible* for that to happen this year, if donations can go up.   On the whole, membership is up, but donations have fallen off a bit and they need to catch up.  Will you consider giving something?  I would be forever grateful, and it would make the nicest birthday present I could possibly ask for.

Any amount would be entirely welcome.  All you have to do is click the DONATE link on the landing page and go from there.  Please think about it!  Or even better, don’t think about donating.  Just donate!!!

All the money– every dime – goes to very good and important causes.   Here, for those of you who don’t know, are the causes to which the blog is committed:

Two of the charities are local:

  • The Urban Ministries of Durham, which is the most amazing local charity I know of. It not only has a soup kitchen and a clothing pantry and a homeless shelter in my community, but it actually works to end homelessness by training and getting homeless people into full-time employment and permanent housing.  And it actually *works*.  They succeed.  They are amazing.
  • The Foodbank of Eastern North Carolina, which does astounding things feeding the hungry in my part of the world – one of my major personal charitable interests.

Two are international, and so well known that I don’t need to say much about them:

  • CARE, one of the world’s great relief agencies
  • Doctor’s without Borders, which continues to inspire us by the selfless sacrifice its workers make for the good of others.

So that’s today’s birthday appeal.  Tomorrow I return to the secondary purpose of the blog, to discuss matters of importance to those interested in the New Testament, the historical Jesus, the history of early Christianity, and related topics.  But for now, consider the main purpose of the blog and if you are able, consider making a donation.