Hard Times and Using the Blog for Charity

Some people – maybe a lot of people – don’t think it’s the right time for a good sense of humor.  I have the opposite view.  I think very hard times are the best times.  But I’ll never be as good at it as my dad.

When he was on his death bed in 1989, cancer metastasized flippin’ everywhere, he could barely get out of bed.  I was with him in the hospital.  He needed to use the toilet and insisted ...

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More Free Memberships to the Blog Available

These are trying times.  But here is a bit of good news, especially for those having a tough go of it.  Thanks to the incredible ongoing generosity of members of the blog, there are still a limited number of free one-year memberships available.   These have been donated for a single purpose: to allow those who cannot afford the annual membership fee to participate on the blog for a year.   I will assign these memberships strictly on the honor system: if ...

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Heaven and Hell Pre-order Offer: Still Valid!!

Pre-order your Heaven and Hell!  So to speak.

Despite the current crisis, my new book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife will still be available on March 31 — less than two weeks! Want a great deal on it?  Have more time on your hands than you anticipated?  If you pre-order the book you can (still) get an unusually substantial discount on any of my courses from The Great Courses.

This would be a very good time indeed ...

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Thanks to those who volunteered!

Many thanks to everyone who volunteered to help out with the transition to the new blog site.  The response was overwhelming.   I now have more than I need and have contacted them about further instructions.  But there will almost certainly be more needs down the line, as we try to grow this thing and develop more outreach.  When that happens, I will let you know about other opportunities to help out.

Speaking of outreach: if you know anyone who is interested ...

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You Lost Me On Hello. A Plea for Expertise

For the past several weeks we have seen more than ever why we need experts.  It is absolutely fine to have uninformed opinions.  We all have thousands of them.   But we should no mistake our uninformed opinions for knowledge.  And real knowledge takes expertise, and expertise takes years and years of training and hard work.  It doesn’t come from watching the news or reading a few articles and then making up your mind.  Since we ourselves cannot be expert in ...

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I Need a Volunteer!

As some/many/all? of you know, we are getting ready to relaunch the blog with a completely new rebuild that Steven Ray, my able and talented assistant for all these years, has designed — after he had come up with the original one eight years ago.  He has been keeping the old one going with bailing wire and duct tape.  The new one looks *great*.  We hope to roll it out soon.   And I’ll explain it all to you even sooner, ...

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Smithsonian

Those of you who were planning to go have probably been notified, but in any event: The Smithsonian lectures on Heaven and Hell scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday March 14) have now been cancelled.

Keep safe!

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Lecture Cancellations and Non-Cancellations (so far)

I hope all of you are well and staying away from viruses.  As it turns out, just now I’m reading On the Beach, a fantastic 1957 novel set in 1963 about what happens “after the war,” when the northern hemisphere has destroyed itself with a massive nuclear exchange, and the people of Melbourne are waiting as the radiation cloud is slowly heading their way over the course of months, with nothing to stop it.  (I’m reading novels like this, and ...

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Intimate Relationships: Nonbelievers and Believers

Over the past couple of months I’ve received maybe seven or eight emails from readers – some on the blog and others not – about marriage (two in the past 24 hours).  Not about what the New Testament says about marriage, but about what these emailers should do with *their* marriage.     Each of these was married to someone who was a faithful, committed, religiously conservative Christian of one kind or another (evangelical, Catholic, Mormon), but the emailer had, a while ...

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Authors and the Fiasco of Book Tours

With the advent of social media, author book tours have more or less gone the way of the stegosaurus.  Some authors do them, but mainly only the celebrities, Hilary or David Sedaris.  And you might be surprised to know that most authors think their demise is a very good thing.  A book tour sounds exotic – at least it always did to me:  “An Eleven-City National Book Tour!!!”  How good can it get?  Well, actually, it can get a lot ...

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