Go Against the Tide with an Oxford Thinker

John C. Lennox, Oxford professor of mathematics, is a throwback to a time when universities were full of intellectual scholars intent on uncovering knowledge, finding wisdom, and promoting academic freedom. Unlike many self-proclaimed intellectuals, or anointed celebrity experts, Lennox is neither condescending, nor afraid of questions. An everyman intellectual, his books such as God’s Undertaker and Gunning for God, have explored the intersection of religion and science, and why the two are not — and cannot be — separate realms. He has often debated the foremost minds of our day who disagree with him. In many ways, he is the heir to the legacy of another great Oxford thinker, C.S. Lewis.

The documentary, Against the Tide, hosted and narrated by Kevin Sorbo, traces Lennox’s intellectual journey. They explore the science and reason behind his beliefs. A humble, yet brilliant scholar and debater, he lays out evidence for a designed universe that defies naturalistic explanations. He also shows why his religious beliefs aren’t rooted in blind faith.

He goes into far more detail in his books, but Against the Tide is perfect introduction for seekers of truth and wisdom. If you are curious about the nature of the universe, and your place in it, Lennox is an excellent guide.

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Will we Falter Like Our Ancestors, or Heed Their Message?

The historical record shows that after the establishment of democracy a booming Athens was suffused with energy and creativity…Love of liberty was a value of cardinal importance, which the democracy fed and watered. It was the foundation for rational inquiry and free artistic expression…Small wonder that this fertile soil produced a flowering of extraordinary personalities, and great art and thought…[it was] a briefly opened window of opportunity…However, for the time that the fates allowed, Athens made the most of her chances. – Anthony Everitt, The Rise of Athens

That era of Greek civilization that produced so much — democratic government, philosophical thoughts of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, art and drama, science and spectacular architecture, and much more — was a relativity short period of roughly two centuries. Centered in the city-state of Athens, it isn’t easy to determine how so much in one place, in such a short period, came together and became a pillar of time to civilization. To this day, that one city, that one era, has influenced our world.

In reading Anthony Everitt’s history of Athens, I couldn’t help to see the parallels to the history of the United States. In nearly the same span of time, the United States has affected the world in much the same way. In all the fields of culture and science, thought and politics, making democracy more robust in the form of a democratic republic, both in its successes and failures, it has been most impactful on the world. Unfortunately, there are signs of the same paths that led to the premature ending of Athens’s golden era.

Endless wars. Neglecting the precepts of democracy and the responsibility of ensuring it endures. Government abuses of power, and they only care — or appear to — for people just enough to maintain that power. The fostering and fanning of division among people. All of which makes a country ripe for collapse either by nature or by man.

We are often arrogant in the viewing our ancestors. We think they could not possibly have anything to teach us. Quite to the contrary, they have been down this road, many, many times. They have given us all the answers to the test. If we fail, it is because we have chosen to fail.

This is why history is so important to study, and why the nefarious rather you did not.

Athens wasn’t the first to crumble, nor the last. We took much of what they created and made it better.

What a shame if, sometime in the future, someone looked around and said words much like this archbishop of Athens did in the late twelfth century:

You cannot look upon Athens without weeping. It is not just that she has lost her ancient glory: that was taken long ago…Everywhere you see walls stripped and demolished, houses razed to the ground, their sites ploughed under.

[It is] a God-forsaken hole.

Contact and connect with Darrick here. Get your copy of Among the Shadows and choose a side. Will it be on the side of Light? Or Darkness? Book 2, Awakening, coming soon.

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Be Sure Not to “Follow the Science” Over the Cliff

If any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education, the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after it are the patients of that power. [They will be] weaker, not stronger…a few hundreds of men [ruling] over billions upon billions of men. The final stage is come when Man…has obtained full control over himself. Human nature will be the last part of Nature to surrender to Man. – C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man , 1947

C.S. Lewis, best known for Narnia and books like Mere Christianity, was nearly prophetic in his warnings on what the abuse of science could become. Even the horrors of World War II and not cured people of turning science into a religion, or of the belief that humans could be altered and improved to the point of creating a new species. Here, in our own day, eugenics and transhumanism threaten once again to cross from helping humanity, to replacing us.

The Magician’s Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society is a collection of essays on C.S. Lewis’ thoughts and writings which are all more relevant today. They are warnings we should not ignore. Some of his works best expressing his insight not only include The Abolition of Man, but his sci-fi trilogy, collectively (and uncreatively) known as the Space Trilogy

Warnings from seventy-four years ago, about the abuse of science, its replacement by scientism or scientific materialism, as contemporary as if they were written today. Will our ignorance of the past, and distraction from the present, deliver us right over the edge?

Unfortunately, history often repeats itself. Because we let it.

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Europe’s Lost Civilization

For centuries, people have marveled and wondered at Stonehenge. Who built it and for what purpose? Yet, Stonehenge is only one of thousands of monolithic structures across Europe. Across many regions, over thousands of miles, do they share a common culture? Is there some ancient and lost people or tradition that began raising stones? And for what purpose?

Many reasons for the stone circles and similar creations have been put forth. Burials, religious and cultural ceremonies, or astronomical observatories. Perhaps the most intriguing possibility is some of these sites may have been used to send messages and preserve information.

Were they passing down history to their own people, or did they have a message for us?

The more these structures are studied, the more I am convinced a large slice of history is missing. A forgotten people, supposedly primitive, raised difficult monuments. Perhaps they weren’t as unadvanced as we thought. Recent decades have seen history rewritten as we learn not all stone age people were a step away from cavemen. There is still much we need to learn.

If you want to explore this lost world further, start with Standing with Stones, a documentary by the Prehistory Guys. Then try the two part Secrets of the Stone Age. For even more fascinating exploration, dive into The Memory Code and Stonehenge Complete.

Something amazing happened across Europe and the British Isles in a time lost to us. We could be only a turn of a shovel away from remembering what has been long forgotten.

Contact and connect with Darrick here. Watch for newsletter sign-up coming soon. Get your copy of Among the Shadows and find another purpose of Stonehenge. Will it lead you to Light? Or Darkness?

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History Speaks, We Don’t Listen

“The evangelists of freedom did all they could to sound the alarm amidst a fog of competing narratives, confusion, propaganda, and misinformation.” – Robert Lyman


I read Robert Lyman’s Under a Darkening Sky the other day about Americans living in Europe before WWII, who tried to warn all what was coming. Darkening Sky presents two lessons from history:

One, don’t ignore the lone voices in the wilderness just because they are not anointed by the mainstream. Second, when a country’s population and leadership are so completely divided, it doesn’t take much of a disaster (manmade or natural) to initiate their collapse (as France learned).

It’s like the past gave us all the answers to the test, and yet we keep failing.

Categories: History, Modern History | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Writer? So why aren’t you Writing?

This is the second in a series on marketing.

When writers start learning about how to reach their audience, they are told to build a platform across multiple channels to reach their audience. Then they get frustrated when no one appears to be paying attention to their posts, so they stop posting.

Big mistake.

Even if you aren’t a writer, but especially if you are, you must keep putting yourself out there. I’m tired of the word “content,” but content is exactly what you need to be producing. You must do this whether or not anyone is reading at all.

Think about it. How many television shows barely made it through their first seasons before they got noticed and became runaway successes? I can think of a few like Seinfeld and Everyone Loves Raymond. How many were canceled only to be reborn because the supporters — and writers — didn’t stop working the system? Star Trek, anyone? How many authors started out unnoticed only to become successful a couple of books later? What if they had given up after the first or second book?

No one may be reading your first attempts, but no one will ever read what you have to say if it never exists.

Realize you are competing for attention among millions of other people. Nathan Berry writes (via Russell Brunson’s Traffic Secrets), “There is so much content being produced that we can’t possibly discover it all. So we wait for the best to float to the surface after time. If step one in building an audience is to create great content, step two is to endure long enough to get noticed.”

Each social media platform is idealized for different types of posts, lengths of posts, and frequency. The first decision you must make is which social media outlets best suit your style and output. You don’t need to be everywhere, and to do so will just eat up valuable time. A regular website should be your primary home. This is where all your information can be found, your longer musings, and all other sites are a gateway back to the homeland. Then figure out which handful of other sites can benefit your brand. They may become more active as far as posts go, but have somewhere substantial as your foundation.

So how often should you write on your internet platforms? Some recommend every day. I think it depends on the type of site: Your main page should be at least once or twice a week. Sites like Facebook or MeWe, four times. Instagram, also four. I don’t like sites like Twitter or Gab for authors. Too short and flippant. Also realize I am talking about your author sites. Keep personal stuff on personal pages. While your home website is a better place for expanded content, if you find yourself posting quite a bit on non-author\writing topics, start another dedicated page. Most sites allow you to write multiple posts and save them for later, or specify a predetermined time to publish. This lets you write multiple posts in one sitting and have days or weeks of content ready to go.

Don’t be spammy. No one wants endless “buy my book” ads. This is the old way of doing things. Document your process. Detail your passions. Tell your Story. You convince readers to buy your book by not telling them to buy it. Rather, show them why your Story is so amazing. I once had someone try to sell me a product by giving me all the stats and figures — technobabble. I understand all that, but tell me why you are compelled to use that product. How did it change you? As an author, you tell amazing stories. Show people the path into your Story and why it will change them.

As Virginia Woolf wrote, “…in order to make you understand, to give you my life, I must tell you a story.”

Contact and connect with Darrick here. Watch for newsletter sign-up coming soon. Get your copy of Among the Shadows and choose a side. Will it be on the side of Light? Or Darkness?

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Patrick: Son of Ireland

Slave, soldier, lover, hero, saint,—his life mirrored the cataclysmic world into which he was born. His memory will outlast the ages.

St. Patrick’s Day comes and goes every year with its parties and parades, yet very few spend any time getting to know the holiday’s namesake. Why is one man, centuries later, so remembered?

This is where Stephen Lawhead’s novel, Patrick: Son of Ireland, paints a vivid picture of Patrick’s world long lost to us. It is true what little we know of Patrick comes from a few surviving writings by his hand, and from others passing down traditions. Lawhead uses this framework to fill in the details of Patrick’s slavery in Ireland which shapes his life to come. We also witness his escape back to Britain, and in Lawhead’s version, travels to Rome. Everything in Lawhead’s vision of Patrick’s life is detailed and plausible, transporting readers to these ancient eras. You will travel the stark contrasts of Celtic Ireland to the fading glory of late imperial Rome. We don’t get to see Patrick’s triumphant transformation of Ireland — we know that part of the story. This is the origin story on how he became that saint, that legend.

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Want a Free Book?

This is the first in a series on marketing.

That got your attention. Everyone likes free stuff, but authors hate giving away their work. I saw one writer get visibly upset when she saw me give away a book. I get it. Writing is hard work and most authors want to make a living telling stories. However, when you are just starting out, you need to invest in marketing your book.

Giving away free stuff is Marketing 101.

How many times has a retailer lured you in with BOGO offers or deeply discounted products (“loss leaders”)? They do it all the time, every day. It’s hard to see your book as a product, but you’re on the hunt for readers, right? Readers are your customer, and your book is your product.

I’m not saying you should give away all your books for free all the time. It should be part of an overall marketing plan. Free book contests. Donate them to local libraries. Have you ever see those little community book exchanges in parks and other locations? Keep copies in your car. You never know when the opportunity may arrive to give out your book, free or otherwise.

Running sales, just as all other businesses do, should also be part of your plans. Once you have multiple books published, deeply discounting the first — or making it free — gives a no-risk invitation to new readers.

Giving away your books shouldn’t be the only freebie in your arsenal. Think about what other free content you can give out such as excerpts of your books, or short stories set in the same storyverse. Consider putting these together in a low cost book format (paper or electronic) and give them out at events or on-line even to those who haven’t bought your book (especially to people who haven’t bought your book).

As authors, we don’t see ourselves merely as a business, or our readers as customers. We are looking for a deeper connection (and we will get into all that in future posts). Ultimately, getting your book out there requires a business mindset.

Most importantly, keep telling stories. Don’t stop until you Find Your Purpose, Find Your Story.

Contact and connect with Darrick here. Watch for newsletter sign-up coming soon. Get your copy of Among the Shadows and choose a side. Will it be on the side of Light? Or Darkness?

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A Republic at Risk

When the 1776 Commission was created to produce the The 1776 Report, the normal mindless, partisan politics ensued. The report couldn’t possibly be of importance and was ignored and deleted. So I, unlike many others, decided to actually read it. Here, quoted from the report, is what it was fundamentally about:

The core assertion of the Declaration [of Independence], and the basis of the founders’ political thought, is that “all men are created equal.”

[This] does not mean that all human beings are equal in wisdom, courage, or any of the other virtues and talents that God and nature distribute unevenly among the human race. It means rather that human beings are equal in the sense that they are not by nature divided into castes, with natural rulers and ruled.

Natural equality requires not only the consent of the governed but also the recognition of fundamental human rights…as well as the fundamental duty or obligation of all to respect the rights of others. These rights are found in nature and are not created by man or government; rather, men create governments to secure natural rights. Indeed, the very purpose of government is to secure these rights, which exist independently of government, whether government recognizes them or not.

…the Ninth Amendment [establishes] that the Bill of Rights was a selective and not an exclusive list; that is, the mere fact that a right is not mentioned in the Bill of Rights is neither proof nor evidence that it does not exist.

In other words, the Declaration of Independence is a statement of the ancient belief that human rights are innate and exist whether or not any particular government thinks otherwise. These were the founding principles of the United States, all of which used to be taught in schools. That was a primary purpose of schools after all. The report writes:

Education in civics, history, and literature holds the central place in the well-being of both students and communities. For republican government, citizens with such an education are essential. The knowledge of human nature and unalienable rights — understanding what it means to be human — brings deeper perspective to public affairs, for the simple reason that educated citizens will take encouragement or warning from our past in order to navigate the present.

When the lessons of the past are ignored, the truth of natural rights ignored, and politicians try to undo or work around checks and balances of power, this is cause for great concern. When these cancers began to eat away at a republic, often hidden behind movements and catchphrases that hide the decay, one day people wake up wondering how their government moved into tyranny. History, however, tells us how easy governments can fail:

Republicanism is an ancient form of government, but one uncommon throughout history, in part because of its fragility, which has tended to make republics short-lived. Contemporary Americans tend to forget how historically rare republicanism has been, in part because of the success of republicanism in our time…

We only need to look to that famous republic, the Roman one, and its slide into tyranny, and the warnings it has left us. Edward Watts in Mortal Republic writes:

A republic is not an organism. It has no natural life span. It lives or dies solely on the basis of choices made by those in charge of its custody…The [Roman] Republic could have been saved. These men, and many others less famous as they, chose not to save it…When citizens take the health and durability of their republic for granted, that republic is at risk.

The 1776 Report wasn’t a partisan document; it was a warning. As Daniel Webster wrote, if the American experiment fails, “there will be anarchy throughout the world.”

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Defend Your Rights or Lose Them

In what is a disturbing trend, private companies, journalists, and the government, have joined together in the censorship of speech, sharing of information, and academic freedom. A growing number of voices are recognizing the danger and speaking out. Here is a small sampling from recent weeks.

In In Big Tech world: The Journalist as Censor, Hit Man, and Snitch:

A new and rapidly growing journalistic “beat” has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance. It is half adolescent and half malevolent. Its primary objectives are control, censorship, and the destruction of reputations for fun and power. Though its epicenter is the largest corporate media outlets, it is the very antithesis of journalism.

– Glenn Greenwald

From GameStop Was A Warning: Elites Are Weaponizing Censorship To Keep Outsiders Out:

If there is a Big Lie in American politics right now, it is the idea that censorship of social media is necessary to save democracy…The last thing that the rulers want to see when they look down is a teeming throng in the Square. And nobody benefits more than the rulers from malleable censorship rules that are easily weaponized to restrict, disrupt, or disband the Square.

What the insiders fear is not the end of democracy, but the end of their control over it, and the loss of the benefits they extract from it. Ultimately, the battle over speech is just one aspect of a broader war for power amid a growing political realignment that is not Left versus Right, but rather insider versus outsider. Thanks to social media, the outsiders are threatening to replace who’s in the Tower, and the insiders have never been more scared.

– David Sacks

Orwell’s 1984 and Today reports:

Totalitarianism will never win in the end—but it can win long enough to destroy a civilization. That is what is ultimately at stake in the fight we are in. We can see today the totalitarian impulse among powerful forces in our politics and culture. We can see it in the rise and imposition of doublethink, and we can see it in the increasing attempt to rewrite our history.

– Larry P. Arnn

From Congress Escalates Pressure On Tech Giants To Censor More, Threatening The First Amendment:

The power to control the flow of information and the boundaries of permissible speech is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. It is a power as intoxicating as it is menacing. When it comes to the internet, our primary means of communicating with one another, that power nominally rests in the hands of private corporations in Silicon Valley.

– Glenn Greenwald

And in Why Are People Celebrating Free Speech Crackdowns?

It is really disheartening to see how people are so inward-looking at only supporting of voices of those who agree with them, rather than recognizing the country that our founders envisioned for all of us…this is something I take to heart in a very deep way like every other service member that we take an oath to uphold our constitution, to support and defend it, which supports including the freedom of speech of every single person in this country, whether we agree with that speech or not. Whether that speech offends us or not.

– Tulsi Gabbard

Realize if you support the suppression of people you disagree with, then you have set the precedent and given power to politicians and companies. The power to suppress and silence you. It always happens. It already has.

So many naïve people will wake up someday and be surprised when their beliefs are banned, their voices silenced. The wielders of power will simply say, “You gave us the power to do so. You supported us even when we quit hiding our intentions.”

Will people snap out of their childish thinking, or choose not to awaken until the nightmare becomes real?

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