1. I didn't get enough people to express interest for what I was actually "offering" [see description below]. Some thought it would be an evangelistic seminar, some wanted to get information to use on a spouse or a non-Christian friend, some wanted to just ask questions, some wanted just to fellowship.
2. Many people offered to 'round people up' for a such a seminar, but my intent was for those already familiar with the Tank, its approach, and those already engaged at its level of research and analysis.
3. Most people suggested that there would be TONS of folks who would like to attend one of these, but based on the few responses I got (out of 500-600 visitors per day), I can only assume that I would need to 'advertise' and 'publicize' such an event. This would require a budget of funds and time that I clearly do not have.
4. the Spring dates were precluded by a forced house-moving on my part...My landlord decided to sell the house I was renting and gave us 30 days notice to vacate (after 2.5 years there), so I have been consumed by that until literally today [mar 8th].
So, I don't know if/how to take it forward...to develop the material is a major undertaking in itself (forcing me to accelerate a great deal of research and thinking, on some very tuff issues), and maybe I should just stick to my knitting...
I would very much appreciate it if those of you interested would continue to pray about it--it 'felt so right' when I got the idea for it and put together the agenda, that I suspect there might be a "germ of providence" in there somewhere (smile).
Someone (a Christian leader) suggested to me last year that I should start having regional "tank-gatherings"...His suggestion was something like a conference, 2-3 day, with various tracks of sessions and outside speakers and such...I got fatigued thinking about it...
BUT I have thought a little more about a one-day, hotel meeting room type of session...local in the Silicon Valley area (at first), where I could give updates and "state/directions of my research" presentations to people who were interested...Mostly where my research is at, on some topic I have NOT written up yet and am still brooding over...alot of thinking aloud stuff...Something like a Saturday session 8-6, with just me as the presenter and Q&A and handouts...costs would be simply for the meeting room, handouts, maybe a breakfast and lunch sandwich tray (requiring pre-reg, obviously). related expenses....if people were interested in this, perhaps I could have them in different places, say Silicon Valley, LA, Boston, NYC, Chicago, ?...[LATE BREAKING NEWS: I have a business trip to Sydney Australia, and could probably stay over for a seminar on May 27th, if I can get enough people interested and some logistics help there.] I would obviously need logistics help in cities other than my own, but I have enough frequent flier miles to do a couple of trips to see if this is of value...
Let's see, here is a first-cut agenda for such a Saturday meeting (maybe even the first one), but subject to change:
Lunch (sandwich buffet, eat at the tables)
Resources recommendations: "Books I use the most"
1:00- 2:30 NT research topic: propaganda, genre, and the use of miracle stories in the gospels
2.30- 3.00 (break/non-browser cookies)
Theological research topic: various biblical images of hell
4.00- 4.45 Philosophical research/discussion topic: epistemology and trust in others
4.45- 5.20 Q & A: on recent Tank articles, practical matters, method
5.35- 6.00 Optional prayer time, for those who would stay
6.00 Vacate the room
What we could try to do is like what they do at some med-schools: tape these presentations/discussions and have volunteers transcribe them for dissemination at the Tank site...
I suppose I would need to do the exact same content in each city the first year, and then change the content at the beginning of the next year and repeat the process...
I guess I need to get some indication of your interest in such a session (raise your hand--I can see you from here, smile)...first in Silicon Valley (San Jose or Palo Alto, probably), probably in late March/2000...what do you think?