Tent Sale: Everything Must Go!
by Greg West
I started The Poached Egg over three years ago, on June 10th, 2010. It was born out of my God-given passion for apologetics and out of a desire to share that passion with others—in particular, believers who struggle with doubt as I once did, which as a young man, led me to nearly ten years of agnosticism and apathy towards spiritual matters—even though I had been raised in a strong Christian home and attended church three times a week up until about age twenty.
My journey back to faith had much to do with the problem of evil, objective truth and morality, and the ultimate meaninglessness of a life live without God—in other words, some of the basic arguments for Christianity and the existence of God that apologists had been using for centuries. I no idea what apologetics was at the time, but after recommitting my life to following Christ, I soon found out as God had instilled in me a desire to see if Christianity could stand up to the toughest scrutiny. After all, I did not want doubt to become an obstacle in my Christian walk as it had before, so I became a serious student of apologetics, which, in turn, has ultimately led me to starting The Poached Egg.
By early 2011, The Poached Egg (TPE) had grown from being a blog read by a handful of my family and friends to a readership of several hundred (now into the thousands) and was taking up an increasing amount of my time. I began to sense God leading me to leave my full time job and pursue doing TPE as a full time ministry. I was excited about this prospect, but as my wife and I were just getting by on our combined salary, I wanted God to ‘show me the money’ before I could take a step of faith of that nature. Needless to say God did not ‘show me the money’, but laid it even heavier on my heart to do it and trust him to take care of the rest.
For weeks I was afraid to share this with my wife, Brooke. The scenario I imagined went something like this: “Hi, honey! I know we’re just barely making it on our combined salaries, but God wants me to quit my job, and do TPE as a full time ministry—which I know brings in zero dollars, but he’s promised to take care of us.” The response I imagined getting was, well, you know… that look! You know the one I’m talking about—the look that says (without words), “Very nice, Dear, but you’re insane!”
When I finally got the courage to approach her about it her response was not even close to what I had imagined it would be. Without hesitation, her response was to tell me that God had been telling her the same thing and that I had her wholehearted support.
After some mutual prayer and consideration, the decision was made and I put in my two weeks notice at work. My boss’ first response was to offer me a raise which I turned down without so much of a, “How much?” What I did agree to was that the door would be open for future part-time work, which I still do today on a limited basis. I work mostly full time on TPE—to the tune of about 60 hours a week when I’m not working at my former full time job. I don’t get ‘work on demand,’ but they do call me up and ask me to help out on some of their bigger industrial jobs, which usually takes me out of town for a week or more at a time. During these times, I get further and further behind in the day to day tasks of running TPE and all that comes with it—the majority of which goes on behind the scenes—and believe me, there’s much more to it than simply posting links on a blog.
Other than the time spent away from my family (and TPE), I’m perfectly contented in doing ministry ‘tentmaker’ style, as the Apostle Paul did in the early years of his ministry, but to take TPE to the next level, the first step is being able to say goodbye to my former full time job once and for all—and for that, we’re asking for your help. For this to be accomplished, we have an immediate need to raise $1500 a month.
If 300 people were to commit to donating $5 a month, we would reach this goal and be able to move onto the next one, which would be bringing in my wife, who has ten plus years in office management, as a full time assistant which I am in dire need of! I know that there are many ministries and charities that need and deserve your financial support—and none of us can contribute to them all, but I’m asking you, that if you possibly can, to be the one to step up to the plate and consider donating at least $5 a month to help keep moving this ministry forward. It’s easy to do and you can do it right online HERE: Donate to TPE. You can choose to make a special donation or an ongoing monthly donation. I would encourage those who can to give more, but to those who think they can’t afford to give at all just let me say that five dollars is about the price of two or three cups of coffee—or just one if you get it at Starbucks.
To help encourage your giving, I could go on with a list of accomplishments, that through the grace of God has been achieved through TPE, but instead I’d like to take this opportunity to share a some of the thoughtful endorsements I’ve received from several of my colleagues:
Greg’s contribution to the on-line Christian apologetic community is invaluable. The Poached Egg (TPE) site functions an aggregator of the best content on the internet concerning Christian apologetics. The information is well organized, and by following TPE on Twitter or Facebook, it is easy to stay abreast of the trends and articles concerning apologetics. A secondary contribution that TPE provides is a sense of community among the apologists contributing material. In a day when the organized press is increasingly hostile to Christian values and ideals, the sense of community is important. TPE allows us keep track of what our colleagues are writing. It is encouraging to know that we are not alone. We have entered a time in Church history where many people (both churched and unchurched) are Biblically illiterate. If the Church is to heed the call to make disciples, we will have to be able to present reasonable arguments in defense of our beliefs. We need resources like TPE more than ever to assist us in the preparation that is vital for us to be successful in our mission. Greg has my financial support toward the continuance of his ministry with TPE. I have benefitted greatly from TPE and assume that others have also. I wish them continued blessings as they move forward with this vital ministry. – Mark McIntyre (blogger at Attempts at Honesty)
Greg West provides a valuable service for the Christian community with his website The Poached Egg. With so much content available online, it is easy for people to either be overwhelmed by it, or to remain entirely unaware of helpful resources. Greg’s work of content curation means that readers who are interested in apologetics can find consistently high-quality material for ministry, apologetics, and educational use. Furthermore, The Poached Egg helps to build community among Christian apologists, fostering a spirit of support and mutual encouragement in what is often a very challenging ministry field. Finally, Greg makes effective use of ‘apologetics in new media’ as he uses social media in effective ways to further the cause of Christ.” Thanks for all you do, Greg! – Dr. Holly Ordway (Chair, Department of Apologetics, Houston Baptist University; blogger at Hieropraxis; and author of, Not God’s Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith)
I cannot adequately say how much I appreciate what Greg has done in the service of Christian Apologetics. I am a pastor as well as a high school teacher at a Christian school, and I find myself increasingly saying, ‘Why don’t you check out the Poached Egg? It’s got a TON of resources.’ For all the work you do, Greg – thanks! – Anthony Weber (Pastor, teacher, blogger at Empires and Mangers and TC Apologetics and author of, Learning To Jump Again: A Memoir Of Grief And Hope)
The Poached Egg has been in invaluable resource both in my own ministry and in directing interested seekers and apologists to a wealth of resources. By consistently providing links to articles from a number of areas of interest for Christians, TPE has become one of the most important hub sites for Christian Apologetics. I have been blessed by Greg in a number of ways, and I am particularly appreciative of his efforts to share others’ works with his readership. When he links an article of mine, I am able to observe a notable spike in traffic for several days, along with numerous hits over the course of time as interested readers search his site. I highly recommend the resources he provides, and further commend his dedication to the field of apologetics and the service of the Kingdom.
-J.W. Wartick (MA in progress, Christian Apologetics, Biola University, blogger at Always Have a Reason)
The Poached Egg is by far the most influential Christian apologetics ministry on the internet, reaching the ends of the earth spreading the reasons for the Christian faith, edifying believers and providing intellectually powerful reasons for the truth of Christianity to unbelievers. – Arthur Khachatryan (Apologist, blogger at Cold and Lonely Truth and author of, Cold and Lonely Truth: The Beckoning of God’s Reality in an Age of Rationalization)
Greg West and his blog The Poached Egg is doing the apologetics community a wonderful service. Greg has posted several of our articles on TPE and it has caused a readership that I could have never attained on my own. TPE offers a wealth of information to both the seeker and the Christian. Greg works so hard to make sure his site has the best content and that it is up to date. Once again, the TPE is blessing to so many people and doing a tremendous service for the Body of Christ. – Eric Chabot (Director, Ratio Christi, The Ohio State University)
I consider Greg West’s “The Poached Egg” to be one of the best apologetics blogs of all time. Greg has the ability to grasp the essence of an issue and address it in a deep, thoughtful, balanced and readable way. Highly educational! Highly recommended!
– Dr. Edgar Andrews (BSc, PhD, DSc, FIP, FIMMM, CEng, CPhys. Emeritus Professor of Materials Science, University of London, UK, and author of Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything)
The Poached Egg performs the vital function of communicating truth in an accessible manner that informs without dumbing down and challenges without antagonizing. A great resource for Christians and skeptics alike. There is no apologetics web site quite like it, which reflects Greg West’s God-given discernment and wisdom and Greg’s desire to provide answers to those who doubt. – Stephen McAndrew (Attorney, Apologist, Ratio Christi Chapter Director, blogger at Songs of a Semi-Free Man, and author of Why It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe If It’s Not True: Is There Absolute Truth?)
The Poached Egg is doing great things to draw laymen and others to an interest in apologetics. Greg knows how to trigger the “share” instinct behind all the traffic TPE drives back to the sources of the easily digestible quotes and articles he features. The way Greg’s website is laid out pot-luck style with creative graphics and delivers something for every sort of seeker who will land at his site. I still get traffic for my blog post “Why is Apologetics So Important?” now and then that he featured over a year ago. I also enjoy TPE’s occasional ‘Humor Break’—Greg has a great sense of humor, and he is a great encourager too, always offering positive feedback to bloggers who share their posts on the site. He is proof that apologetics, even as intensely as it is needed, is fun! I pray the Lord launches his ministry into full time, and I’m excited to watching it grow! I know that as his ministry grows, the whole field of apologetics will grow right along with it as a direct result, and that God will use Greg and The Poached Egg to His glory to equip believers and draw doubters into the Kingdom. – Maryann Spikes (Writer, apologist, blogger at Ichthus 77, and editor of the Christian Apologetics Alliance blog)
Writing a recommendation for The Poached Egg is like writing a recommendation for bacon. It’s obviously amazing, and nobody can deny it. I’ve been following TPE for a couple of years and it’s one of the best finds I’ve come across pertaining to Apologetics. TPE always links to thought provoking, well written, and consistently quality blogs, articles, resources, quotes, and websites, not to mention their own articles and resources on the website itself. I’ve only been blogging a short time, and TPE has been a huge supporter and I honestly can’t thank them enough. They help aspiring apologists with steady encouragement and invaluable resources. Greg operates TPE with integrity and class, and I can’t recommend his ministry enough! – Chad Miller (Apologist and blogger at the Christian Apologetics Alliance)
I want to say how valuable Greg’s the Poached Egg is on two levels: one, as an aggregator of information, one of the best go-to places on the Internet for a wide range of solid Christian thinking. To me it’s also an encouragement. I appreciate it when TPE links my articles there—it boosts traffic very noticeably, which indicates they’ve got a good amount of readership. Two, I also appreciate seeing others’ articles there—to learn from and to remind me I’m part of a living community of people with similar concerns. – Tom Gilson (Apologist, strategic planner at Campus Crusade for Christ, strategist and writer at BreakPoint, blogger at Thinking Christian, and co-author of True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenge of Atheism)
I very much appreciate these endorsements, our contributors, and all of our visitors and regular readers. I hope that you will please prayerfully consider joining others in supporting us financially so that we may continue to expand the ministry of The Poached Egg.