Monday, January 26, 2009

Theology Talk forum

I would like to announce the creation of the Theology Talk forum.

This is an experimental forum, conceived for the purpose of establishing a "neutral zone" for discussion of our theological similarities and differences.

The problem with blogs
Blogs are great for articles but don't naturally allow for free-flowing dialog. This is because most blogs, by nature, are tightly connected to a specific author's/group's point-of-view so only a few people at best can actually create new articles/topics. This isn't intrinsically bad, but it is often at odds with the normal dynamic of human interaction.

The following factors can cause discussion on blogs to become scattered and/or constrained. Participants are forced to either...
[*]rigidly adhere to a specific topic
[*]"hijack" the comments of an article as spin-off discussion naturally ensues
[*]create an article on their own blog and try to direct the branch discussion to their own blog. This can be especially problematic when the person/group who wants to talk about a new aspect that arises is on a blog that won't allow them to post a link to their own blog for whatever reason, probably because of some known strong disagreement.
[*]carry out the side conversation over e-mail
These things are deterrents to the "natural" discussion that some participants desire.

The proposed solution: A forum
The forum isn't intended to replace our individual blogs, but a forum has a number of advantages that supplement our blogs. The main benefit of a forum is that all the related information, even spin-off discussions, are close-at-hand rather than scattered about a dozen or more different blogs.
[*]any user, not just the admin or a short list of contributors, can create topics of interest at any time.
[*]allow for more free form discussion while also remaining coherent and consistent
[*]better reflect the community rather than an individual or small group

These things make for an environment that is more favorable to natural discussion.

The rules are few, simple, and are intended to foster an environment for open discussion of theology -- similarities and differences -- without concern for being banned or censored simply because we disagree with one another, even sharply.

The rules (subject to change as needed)
[*]you can use any account name you like, but we want to be able to refer to each other by name in the forum so use your real name in your posts. This is to maintain a sense of personal accountability.
[*]no fake accounts, and only one account per person.
[*]no spam.
[*]no profanity.
[*]nothing sexually explicit.
[*]nothing illegal.

All are welcome, please come to Theology Talk forum., register an account, and start/join a discussion about whatever theology is on your mind.


  1. I can't get it to accept a user name. :(


  2. Hey kev, thanks for trying. What user name are you entering? Kevin?

  3. I tried several Kevl Kev_OnMyWalk Kev_TCC


  4. Hey Kev, I did find an error in the registration module that was causing it to reject perfectly legit user names. I fixed that and tried your account again, you should have a confirmation e-mail any minute now that includes your initial password. I used your .com address, hope that's okay. You can change your account's address and pick a new password in your profile if you'd like.

  5. You can also change your username too, I removed the "account name has to be your real name" restriction, Rachel didn't think much of it since people like Michelle, Colin, and yourself have Nick's that we all know so there's no good reason to prevent their use. I just want people to know each other by name -- seems more personable, and accountable as well.

  6. Stephen,

    I am so thankful that you did this. I registered... waiting for a email notification for a half-hour at this point.

    THANK YOU! (That's not yelling, that's my relief.)

  7. Hi Michele, thanks for the note. I checked the mail logs and it showed that your mail server was rejecting mail from my server. I tweaked some settings on my end to make your mail server happy and now it appears to have been accepted. Let me know if you still haven't received it by morning. G'night.

  8. Hi Rachel. Danny here again. I wanted to bring up the Client-Patron issue one more time. When you discuss this with people, are you careful to point out that what God expects of us in return as clients affects rewards only? J.P. Holding of course uses Client-Patron relations as possibly supporting NOSAS (he isn't too sure), as does David de Silva. NOSAS (Insecurity) is obviously unacceptable (1 Thess 5:10, Heb 10:10-14). Honor and Shame fits right in with gaining rewards (honor) and loss of rewards (shame - 1 John 2:28). God bestowed eternal security as a gracious patron (Heb 10:10-14). But those who once-for-all sanctified clients who turned back to Judaism in the same chapter could expect fiery loss of reward (Heb 10:29-39).

  9. Bro. Stephen,

    I'm hungry! Hungry for some new posts here at TLOR! God Bless y'all!