Religion, Spirituality, and an Insider’s View of Planet Perry

I grew up a “PK” – a Pastor’s Kid.

Insiders know that Pastor’s Kids are usually rowdy, rebellious, rambunctious. I was no exception.

Not sure what it is, but people pile a lot of expectations on PK’s. PK’s live in the public spotlight to some degree and there’s a lot of pressure to preserve dad’s reputation.

Again, I was no exception. In fact there were times when I got dad in hot water with his superiors. In one particular case I was the fall guy for the outcome of a political contest that had nothing to do with me whatsoever. But I digress.

Some may be tempted to say, “Oh well of course Perry’s a Christian, he inherited it from his parents” but those who know PK’s know that there’s no escaping a trial by fire. Sooner or later you must find out if faith makes sense for you. As I shall describe below, I’ve put faith on the anvil and pounded on it as hard as I know how.

My faith is an integral part of who I am and what I do in business. St. James said, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” I take this very seriously. I bristle at those who recruit people to become information marketers based on the promise that it’s ‘easy’ or that it ‘has high profit margins’ or whatever else.

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First and foremost, teaching people is a stewardship to be carried out with care. It is a very significant responsibility. Customers are, first and foremost, people who are made in God’s image. So they should respected and treated with care. We make mistakes here at our company, but we do try.

This page is a gateway to some of my articles and projects. But there are other things I want to tell you about as well.

Putting Faith to the Test

When I was in my late 20’s I was reaching the end of a very long, desolate road as an Amway Pink Koolaid drinker. A torrent of negative information was circulating all over the Internet. I felt like I wasn’t getting straight answers about the nature of the tools business and the way the money was handled.

I decided to put up a website that invited “qualified people” (Direct Distributors and above) to answer these questions anonymously. I received all the replies personally and to make a long story short, Amway did not survive that scrutiny. Not even close. In time it became clear to me that there was only one legitimate side to the story and Amway was not really a legitimate business.

A few years later my brother’s faith hit the skids. This was very disturbing to me both because we’re very close and because he has a Master’s degree in Theology from one of the most rigorous Christian seminaries in the country. He was pressing me with deep questions but he didn’t seem interested in sticking around for the answers. Meanwhile he was dragging me with him.

I needed a punching bag.

So I did what I’d done before, with Amway – I went online. I put up a website, and wrote an Autoresponder series. Since every single reply to every email went right back to me, I figured if there was anybody out there who could punch a hole in Christianity, I would eventually find them.

During the next several years I probably answered 5,000 to 10,000 emails covering seemingly every objection to Christianity that anyone could ever think of. And please understand, some of these people argued with fierce passion. I exchanged emails with a columnist from a large atheist website that eventually turned into a 100+ page WORD document. As the doc got passed back and forth, we used all sorts of colors and fonts just so we could tell who was talking.

There were times when I was seriously concerned that the skeptics would end up with the other hand. But in time, every time, I found that the skeptics had less evidence to support their {beliefs}{faith} than I had to support mine.

Having been through that now, I think Christian faith is philosophically, morally, intellectually and scientifically rock solid. Doesn’t mean I agree with everyone out there who is a Christian. And it doesn’t mean I haven’t adjusted my views on a whole number of things, based on the many conversations I’ve had.

What that means is, I think that it is perfectly reasonable to believe that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit, that God spoke through prophets like Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Samuel and that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate. And that Jesus really did physically rise from the dead 2000 years ago.

Jesus stepped into the world and split time in half, BC and AD. He is the most loved, most hated, most controversial, most studied, most reviled person in human history.

Exactly what one should expect if God were to become man.

You will find numerous articles on the CoffeeHouse Theology site regarding these claims.

Another very significant project is Evolution 2.0. This was also inspired by my brother, in a somewhat different way. It was born in an argument we had one day about evolution while we were riding around in a Chinese bus.

I have never had any particular problem with the idea of evolution. And many Christians, especially Catholics, have no problem with it either. But my brother almost succeeded in convincing me that evolution was driven by randomness. And that is a much more profound possibility.

He claimed that all you needed was natural selection to clean everything up and you could explain everything we see in the living world by random accident alone. No need for God.

His arguments were quite convincing. This was very, very disturbing to me. Wow, could we all be here purely as a result of random chance? What if this could be true?

As I researched this question, I found that most of the books and articles were just terrible. They did not have the elegance and simplicity that I had come to expect from 20 years of engineering experience.

I found the answer I was looking for in Information Theory. The result is a now-famous talk called “If You Can Read This, I Can Prove God Exists” and to the extent science can prove anything, the existence of the genetic code is proof that living things are designed.

A few months after I published it, a debate erupted on the world’s largest Atheist website, Infidels, and as of this writing, this talk may be the longest-contested single lecture or article on the subject of the Origin of Life on the entire Internet. It’s the longest running, most viewed thread on Infidels and no one has punched a hole in my argument so far. I don’t think they ever will; I think that it is fundamentally correct.

You can read a summary of that debate, the major objections and my answers, and see all the relevant links here.

The question of where the information in DNA came from is one of the most interesting questions in all of science. I now offer a multi-million dollar technology prize for Origin Of Information at Perhaps this will be solved in our lifetime. If so, the universe will turn out to be even more amazing than we already thought it was.

In 2015, BenBella published my book Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design. This is a deep-dive into the untold story of evolution, the story neither ‘side’ is telling you. Get three free chapters here. It took me six years to write it – it’s the toughest project I’ve ever tackled – but if you read this book, you’ll never see the hand at the end of your arm the same way.

You will find many articles on the Evolution 2.0 Blog as well as a very active discussion with people from all over the world. You’ll find a testable hypothesis for intelligent design as well as support for evolution being a highly mathematical, engineered process. (Not unlike the evolution, of, say, your own Google ads.) You’ll find online debates as well as recordings of my lectures at Lucent Technologies, with 120 communication engineers in the room.

Evolution is not in any sense driven by random accident. It’s driven by intelligence.

Some other articles you may find interesting:

There are three final thoughts I would like to leave you with:

I would like you to consider that the wonders and comforts of the modern world were made possible by three things:

  1. The idea that wealth is created by knowledge and wisdom, not merely fought over and divided up by thieves. That there is an unlimited supply, i.e. alchemy. As Paul Zane Pilzer explains, this was originally a religious idea and I think this is the very foundation of business.
  2. The idea that all men are created equal, which originated with St. Paul 2000 years ago. It led to the eradication of slavery and the advent of citizen-driven government. More on this here.
  3. The idea that the entire cosmos is orderly and measurable, which has Biblical origin ~2500 years ago. This eventually led to the rise of modern science. More on this here.
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Enjoy your journey through my world of faith, science, reason, business and history.

Perry Marshall