When The Restitution of Jesus Christ was published anonymously with my pseudonym, I held a contest on this website to guess my identity as its author. The contest lasted almost 14 months, and I gave clues, usually monthly. Below are the 18 clues I posted. On Monday, November 16, I posted my last clue. It subtly indicated that golf was my favorite sport. Until then, no one had guessed who I was. But early the next day, on Tuesday, there was a flurry of guesses. On Wednesday, Steve Noel was the first to guess my identity, and he told Dr. James White. (White had previously written some blogs on his website, accusing me of being "an apostate.") White then posted it on his website. Due to that post, in the closing hours that day several dozen websites posted the same. A total of about 200 websites announced it.
In establishing The Contest, I explained that the clues would be increasingly more informative. I also said that some of them would be designed to throw participants off the track, yet all clues would be truthful. I purposely gave that last clue thinking that some folks would then guess correctly, which happened prior to the White post. (I then authographed and sent two of my previously published books to all who entered The Contest, guessed right, and said they wanted a prize.) So, CONGRATULATIONS to the twelve winners who entered The Contest and guessed my identity. Here they are, listed in chronological order: Doug Ward (Tuesday, 11/16, at 11:05 AM), Ben Malik, Carlos, Centro Ebenezer, Steve Noel, Patick Biglane, Gene Dylewski, Bassam Zawadi, D. Gayle, Mike Roberts, Dean Furlong, and Ken Cook. Four winners lived overseas. The two autographed books that I sent them are Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient Philistia (1990) and Warrior from Heaven (2009).
Why did I end The Contest nearly two years prior to my announced date of September 29, 2011, the birthday of both me and Michael Servetus? In 2009, I developed a new, patent-pending book format for the publishing industry with the trademark Triangle Book (trianglebook.com). It has a built-in book stand due to three covers and wire binding. Since I wanted to publish The Restitution of Jesus Christ in this format, which I did, it was necessary for me to reveal my identity. The clues, below, are in bold print with bracketed explanation about them.
Contest Clues for Identifying Servetus the Evangelical
10/08 Very few people know the identity of Servetus the Evangelical. [Most of my closest friends didn't know.]
11/08 Servetus the Evangelical is a male citizen of the United States of America.
12/08 Servetus the Evangelical has been a born-again, Evangelical Christian all of his adult life. [Nearly all of my adult life my church home has been an evangelical Bible church.]
1/09 Servetus the evangelical started attending Sunday School in his youth. [At ages 5-13, I regularly attended Sunday School at the West Seattle Nazarene Church. My dear uncle, Glenn Butler, pastored it briefly.]
2/09 Servetus the Evangelical was born again when he was a teenager. [It happened when I was 13 years of age after our Sunday School class memorized ten verses in the New Testament.]
3/09 Servetus the Evangelical's Sunday School teacher led him to Christ. [Gordy, a student at the University of Washington, led me in private prayer to receive Jesus into my life as my "Lord and Savior."]
4/09 Servetus the Evangelical has been a serious Bible student since his teens. [At 18 years of age, during the semester break of my freshman year at the University of Houston, I attended a Campus Crusade for Christ retreat in which my new pastor, Bob Thieme, and Hal Lindsey were the two keynote speakers. That first evening I wound up in an allnight prayer vigil with eleven other male students and two Christian workers, one being Jim Hiskey who would become one of my very closest friends. Nothing like that has ever happened to me since. And I hadn't even prayed with people before that. So, I was nervous about the whole affair, yet very sincere about my involvement in it. During this prayer marathon, we students collectively agreed to choose some vocation for the kingdom of God that we promised to God to pursue for the rest of our lives. When it came my turn in this circle of prayer, I thought about how I had become intensely interested in Hal Lindsey's message delivered just hours earlier, which was about Bible prophecy. So, I promised God that I would be a serious student of Bible prophecy for the rest of my life. Guess what! It happened. I now have three books published on eschatology.]
5/09 Servetus the Evangelical was water baptized as an adult. [When I was about 30 years old, I told Jim Hiskey that I had never been water baptized and that I wanted to do so at our PGA Tour Bible Study. That had never been done before, and I'm not aware that has been done since. Of course, like most of the participants in this group, I also had a home church. But most of my closest Christian friends were my fellow pro golfers and their wives who regularly attended this group. So, Rik and Cindy Massengale and I were baptized at Palm Springs, California, during the week of the Bob Hope Desert Classic immediately following the Bible Study meeting. It was held in a private home, and Jim Hiskey and Mike Smith baptized us in the swimming pool there as the final activity of the group that evening.]
6/09 Servetus the Evangelical has a doctorate. [This is one of those clues I warned contestants about when I explained that some clues would be designed to throw people off the track in trying to guess my identity. North Park University awarded me an honorary doctorate in 2001 due to my literary accomplishments. I thought that due to this clue, some people would think I was a theology professor, and that is indeed what happened. My only professorship has been in the school of hard knocks--knocking that little white ball around the park, that is.]
7/09 Some people call Servetus the Evangelical "The Professor." [It's because I'm somewhat cerebral, inquisitive, and that that supposedly is unusual for professional athletes. I won't argue whether pro golfers are athletes, though I will argue that Tiger Woods is. Plus, in my 20s I wore some ugly, black, horn-rimmed glasses that made me look professor-like until I started wearing contact lenses in 1973. My very close friend and fellow Tour pro golfer Babe Hiskey was the first to start calling me "the professor" way back then.]
8/09 You may have seen Servetus the Evangelical on television. [Since I was a fulltime professional golfer on the regular PGA TOUR and its Champions Tour for 30 years, I was on national televsion hundreds of times. Here, again, was a clue intended to draw contestants off the fairway and into a hazard. I was going to add to this clue "talking about the historical Jesus." That would have been true, since I have spoken about my faith in Jesus on television. People surely would have thought that this clue indicated that I was some well known scholar who was an authority on historical Jesus studies. But I thought that was a little too much and decided against it.]
9/09 Servetus the Evangelical has been a professional instructor. [Here is another clue that would make people think I was a theology professor. During my interim period of nine years between competeing fulltime on the regular PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour, in the mid and late 1980s, I conducted several of my own private golf schools in various places in the U.S. Most of them were a part of our Christian golf ministry called Golf Fellowship that Jim Hiskey, Tom Flory, and I were establishing around the country. So, I was indeed a professional instructor during that time and consider myself to have been a golf swing analyst all of my pro golf career.]
10/09 Millions of people have known Servetus the Evangelical by his given name. [That is due to my professional golf career. Again, I thought some misguided folks might think I was some world-reknown biblical scholar.]
10/18/09 The meaning of Servetus the Evangelical's given name is embedded cryptically in the preface of his book. [On p. xviii in the preface of my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ, I state, "I claim my right as a freeman in Christ ... to critique the church doctrine of the Trinity." My name Kermit is Celtic (and Irish) and means "free man." It certainly fits me theologically.]
10/26/09 A very famous Evangelical endorsed one of Servetus the Evangelical's books. [Evangelist Billy Graham and Dick Halverson, Chaplain to the U.S. Senate, endorsed my book The Gospels Interwoven.]
11/2/09 Servetus the Evangelical has been associated with the moon. [Due to my unusual name, Kermit Zarley, Bob Hope nicknamed me "the Pro from the Moon." It happened in my first year on the Tour when the world's #1 comedian interviewed me and Jack Nicklaus together on national television at the Bob Hope Desert Classic, in Palm Springs, California. Hope said to Nicklaus, "Kermit Zarley! With a name like that he must be the pro from the moon." That really stuck with the media and fans.]
11/9/09 Michael Servetus and Servetus the Evangelical have the same birthday. Is that divine providence? [My son Michael was my regular caddy throughout most of my career on the Champions Tour. He saw firsthand how I endured some rejection from my close Christian friends who knew of my christological change. So, he started suggesting that I publish my book on Christology under a psuedonym. Without knowing this, a very close friend of mine soon suggested likewise. That got me wondering if God was speaking to me. Months later, I decided to do it. And I soon thought of, and decided on, it being Servetus and titling my book similar to the title of his last book. About five months later, I was surprised to learn that Michael Servetus and I had the same birthdate. Not only that, my 70th birthday was the 500th anniversary of Michael Servetus' birthday--September 29, 2011. Is that divine providence?]
11/16/09 The total number of these clues is a clue to Servetus the Evangelical's favorite game. This is the last clue. [18 clues, 18 holes in golf. Until this clue, no one had guessed right. I thought surely we will get some winners with this one, and we did.]
Some Guesses We Got
Prof. Ben Witherington III; Dr. Gary R. Habermas; Evangelist Jimmy Swaggert; a Hypostatic Union consisting of Prof. James White (Alpha and Omega Ministries) and Sean Finnegan (Truth Matters) in one body; Prof. Bart Erhman; Edward Fudge; Hank Hannegraff (The Bible Answer Man); Prof. Gordon Fee, Prof. Colin Brown; radio broadcaster Harold Camping, Evangelist Benny Hinn, Prof. James Tabor, bestselling author Tony Campolo, comedian Eddie Murphy, Pastor Charles Swindoll, Prof. Scot McKnight, Richard Mouw, Lou Ruggiero, Mike Licona, Peter Enns, Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. Charles Ryrie, Kermit Zarley, Prof. Daniel B. Wallace, pro golfer Wally Armstrong, Dr. I.N. Cognito, Pastor John Hagee, Dr. Jack van Impe, Pator Rick Warren, Dr. Gregory K. Beale, Dr. Philip Graham Ryken, bestselling author Brian McClaren, Jack Kuykendall, and Rumplestiltskin.
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Copyright 2011 by Servetus the Evangelical. All rights reserved.