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Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 11 2021 12:33 PM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):

Thankful for long ChristianDiscourse.net thread, which helped grow my faith belief.

There's just too much sprinkling of political and social issues on the ChristianDiscourse.net thread. Maybe, others like mixing it up. But I stay off these two topics because they only give me heartburn. 

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):

This and the other group that Rosie pointed out have just a couple of members. That is the negative. There is not much discussion. With what I have in mind, you don't need to be part of the group in order to participate. Anybody coming to this Forum can see the title of the thread and decide to participate or not. 

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):

Ad hominem attacks on ChristianDiscourse.net (& previous ChristianDiscourse.com) provide disincentive for Faithlife forum theological threads. Unfortunately attitudes in one thread tend to be carried over into others threads. Hence have desire for Faithlife Forums to continue focus on using Faithlife software and resources (with theological discussions happening elsewhere).

I agree mean people will be mean no matter where. [Btw, why should mean people dictate what others do?] But I think a lot of it could be due to political/social issues being discussed in that forum. Sticking to doctrines, I am assuming, will cut down random meanness.

 

Bottomline: I am still hoping Faithlife will allow posts with headings "Theological Discussion: ..."

Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 11:13 AM

Do we simply wait on Faithlife to answer this question or do we have to take this request elsewhere? 

Thanks

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 11:25 AM

1Cor10:31:

Do we simply wait on Faithlife to answer this question or do we have to take this request elsewhere? 

Thanks

I would think that seeing as this is primarily a volunteer led environment there is a fairly high chance that no Faithlife employee is taking note of this particular thread.

So, yes, I think that if you wish the forum rules to change then you will need to take the request elsewhere.

I would suggest that any request would, in the end, need Bob's approval, so an email to him directly would elicit a quick response. Bob has always responded to my emails very quickly. His email address is available on the Logos.com website I believe.

I must though let you know that I hope he says no. I like to trawl the forums and I can recall very few civil discussions about matters theological.

tootle pip

Mike

How to get logs and post them. (now tagging post-apocalyptic fiction as current affairs)

Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 2:13 PM

Mike Binks:

I would suggest that any request would, in the end, need Bob's approval, so an email to him directly would elicit a quick response. Bob has always responded to my emails very quickly. His email address is available on the Logos.com website I believe.

Thanks Mike. I just sent him one.

Mike Binks:

I must though let you know that I hope he says no. I like to trawl the forums and I can recall very few civil discussions about matters theological.

There are people who can't use Bible verses and logic to connect the dots to make a case for why a doctrine must be true. These people are most likely to be not civil because they only have opinions and not facts. Opinions need to be shouted in order to be heard. Facts can simply be stated and they will be heard.

Posts 80
Greg Dement | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 3:43 PM

Good thing Ireneous, Tertullian, Augustine and the likes were not restricted from lively theological discussions.  Despite the fact that there will always be people that are not respectful, civil, reasonable, articulate, etc that engage, they should not be given the power to be able to prevent theological discussions for all. As someone pointed out, it is rare anyone changes anyone else’s position. However, I can certainly say I learn much from studies of historical debates as well as contemporary ones (including some that did take place on this forum). My core beliefs have not changed but there are several points of theology where I have evolved over the years. Even on positions where my theological view has not wavered, there are many times I have gained a better understanding of other perspectives. I have also learned that leaning to heavily on being sesquipedalian does not always strengthen an argument, often simplicity is much more effective.

I am clear under current forum rules it is prohibited and I am not suggesting we circumvent the rules. I do hope that such a forum would at some point be accommodated.

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 4:27 PM

Greg Dement:

Good thing Ireneous, Tertullian, Augustine and the likes were not restricted from lively theological discussions.  Despite the fact that there will always be people that are not respectful, civil, reasonable, articulate, etc that engage, they should not be given the power to be able to prevent theological discussions for all. As someone pointed out, it is rare anyone changes anyone else’s position. However, I can certainly say I learn much from studies of historical debates as well as contemporary ones (including some that did take place on this forum). My core beliefs have not changed but there are several points of theology where I have evolved over the years. Even on positions where my theological view has not wavered, there are many times I have gained a better understanding of other perspectives. I have also learned that leaning to heavily on being sesquipedalian does not always strengthen an argument, often simplicity is much more effective.

I am clear under current forum rules it is prohibited and I am not suggesting we circumvent the rules. I do hope that such a forum would at some point be accommodated.

There is an entire Internet to debate on. FL recognizes that people of different religious beliefs come here to discuss the software and resources without someone else attacking them. If they want to bring back a dedicated site for debate, that’s their call. But I’d rather not see that here.

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Posts 80
Greg Dement | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 4:55 PM

I understand and respect your opinion. To be clear I am not in any way suggesting it permeate throughout all threads. I get that there are many that want no part of it and should be “safe” from it. I guess what I was hoping for is a link to a specific thread/forum for theological discussions from FL Community site. I know there are sites all over the internet but the richness of knowledge from this group is unique and is something I wish could be utilized for those wishing to. It would be something you would proactively enter and know you are entering.

Posts 1182
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 5:10 PM

Greg Dement:

I understand and respect your opinion. To be clear I am not in any way suggesting it permeate throughout all threads. I get that there are many that want no part of it and should be “safe” from it. I guess what I was hoping for is a link to a specific thread/forum for theological discussions from FL Community site. I know there are sites all over the internet but the richness of knowledge from this group is unique and is something I wish could be utilized for those wishing to. It would be something you would proactively enter and know you are entering.

I would be more favorable to that, of course.

My concern is whether the rivalries and the like could be contained. Bad feelings could carry over into the rest of the non-debate section and people could be harassed. its something I’ve seen when I was a moderator on a forum over ten years ago on a site that had a debate and non-debate section.

I would be interested in seeing suggestions there. It’s possible that technology and expertise has made my concerns obsolete.

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Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 5:32 PM

David Wanat:

There is an entire Internet to debate on....I’d rather not see that here.

David: You are free not to enter threads starting with the phrase "Theological Discussion:" But why would you want to prevent others from learning? You don't have to protect others; people coming here are big boys and girls, and can take care of themselves.  People know when they enter the thread "Theological Discussion:" that they will encounter differences of opinion. If they don't like it, they don't need to ever enter the thread again. As a financial economist, I want to say "let the market do its job." I can say that such threads automatically shut down if there is too much fireworks because demand for such threads would go down.

Your comment brings back bad memories. During COVID last year, some parents of the swim club my girl is part of didn't want the club to restart swimming. Nobody forced their children to attend practice, but they still didn't want the club to restart practice. I find it hard to understand this one-size-fits-all perspective. Why do we think that whatever is good for us must be good for everyone? As long as my freedom doesn't impinge on your freedom, why can't I have my freedom to benefit from engaging in theological discussion?

Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 5:34 PM

Greg Dement:

I guess what I was hoping for is a link to a specific thread/forum for theological discussions from FL Community site. I know there are sites all over the internet but the richness of knowledge from this group is unique and is something I wish could be utilized for those wishing to. It would be something you would proactively enter and know you are entering.

Hi Greg, a separate website has not worked in the past. People seem to visit the Forum the most, and you want to capitalize on the intellectual capital that comes to this Forum. That is why I suggested that the heading should start with the phrase "Theological Discussion:" 

People like David Wanat who don't want anything to do with theological discussions, don't have to enter such threads. That way, people want to be safe can stay safe. Others, who don't care for the safety of their theological viewpoints can wade into the waters to see what other fishes are swimming in the pond. 

 

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 5:35 PM

1Cor10:31:

David Wanat:

There is an entire Internet to debate on....I’d rather not see that here.

David: You are free not to enter threads starting with the phrase "Theological Discussion:" But why would you want to prevent others from learning? You don't have to protect others; people coming here are big boys and girls, and can take care of themselves.  People know when they enter the thread "Theological Discussion:" that they will encounter differences of opinion. If they don't like it, they don't need to ever enter the thread again. As a financial economist, I want to say "let the market do its job." I can say that such threads automatically shut down if there is too much fireworks because demand for such threads would go down.

Your comment brings back bad memories. During COVID last year, some parents of the swim club my girl is part of didn't want the club to restart swimming. Nobody forced their children to attend practice, but they still didn't want the club to restart practice. I find it hard to understand this one-size-fits-all perspective. Why do we think that whatever is good for us must be good for everyone? As long as my freedom doesn't impinge on your freedom, why can't I have my freedom to benefit from engaging in theological discussion?

See my last comment. I’ve been a moderator on a forum where people carried their feuds off of the limited debate section and drove a lot of people away by their antics.

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Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 5:47 PM

David Wanat:

See my last comment. I’ve been a moderator on a forum where people carried their feuds off of the limited debate section and drove a lot of people away by their antics.

I've been on this Forum only for a short time. And I already know who doesn't like whom! It is not theological discussions, therefore, that are responsible for these tensions between people. Usually, tensions arise when people think that they are not being treated fairly.  That is why I find it hard to believe that people will take issue with others who have different theological leanings. 

My favorite colleague is a staunch Catholic and we've had numerous discussions on rituals that Protestants frown upon. These theological discussions have never come between us. We work on research papers together and he is one of my favorite coauthors. Maybe, I am an outlier. 

Posts 1182
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 6:17 PM

1Cor10:31:

David Wanat:

See my last comment. I’ve been a moderator on a forum where people carried their feuds off of the limited debate section and drove a lot of people away by their antics.

I've been on this Forum only for a short time. And I already know who doesn't like whom! It is not theological discussions, therefore, that are responsible for these tensions between people. Usually, tensions arise when people think that they are not being treated fairly.  That is why I find it hard to believe that people will take issue with others who have different theological leanings. 

My favorite colleague is a staunch Catholic and we've had numerous discussions on rituals that Protestants frown upon. These theological discussions have never come between us. We work on research papers together and he is one of my favorite coauthors. Maybe, I am an outlier. 

Picture it this way: imagine somebody misinterpreted a comment you made, breaks the rules, gets warned. Then you’re commenting on a non-debate post. This person starts picking a fight with you, disrupting the threads you post on. I’m not talking trolls here. Just people who can’t let it go.  Now imagine more of these antics by multiple people. You don’t need two people fighting with each other to cause this problem. Just individual.

Now, you can have a lot of moderators to keep this under control. But is FL able to do that level of moderation? Or would they rather have their resources used elsewhere? And then, if the moderators ban someone, you can be sure that person’s supporters will accuse them of bias.

You might say “we’re all adults here.” But I’m talking about adults on theology forums. Adults who feel the need to pick apart their opponent’s post line by line and accuse them of “heresy.”

That happens a lot in debate forums and I doubt FL wants to deal with it.

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Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 6:30 PM

David Wanat:

Picture it this way: imagine somebody misinterpreted a comment you made, breaks the rules, gets warned. Then you’re commenting on a non-debate post. This person starts picking a fight with you, disrupting the threads you post on. I’m not talking trolls here. Just people who can’t let it go.  Now imagine more of these antics by multiple people. You don’t need two people fighting with each other to cause this problem. Just individual.

Now, you can have a lot of moderators to keep this under control. But is FL able to do that level of moderation? Or would they rather have their resources used elsewhere? And then, if the moderators ban someone, you can be sure that person’s supporters will accuse them of bias.

You might say “we’re all adults here.” But I’m talking about adults on theology forums. Adults who feel the need to pick apart their opponent’s post line by line and accuse them of “heresy.”

That happens a lot in debate forums and I doubt FL wants to deal with it.

David: Allowing threads that explicitly allow for theological discussion does not cause spillovers. Spillovers of the type you mention are already happening. Thus, I don't see allowing threads that explicitly mention "Theological Discussion" to be a unique source of such disruptive spillovers.

In a forum of this size, 5% of the people, almost by definition, will fall in the left tail. And they are always going to be a pain for others. Why should the 5% dictate what the other 95% enjoy?

As with any decision, there are benefits and costs. In your estimate, costs outweigh benefits. In my estimate, benefits outweigh costs!

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 6:37 PM

1Cor10:31:

David Wanat:

Picture it this way: imagine somebody misinterpreted a comment you made, breaks the rules, gets warned. Then you’re commenting on a non-debate post. This person starts picking a fight with you, disrupting the threads you post on. I’m not talking trolls here. Just people who can’t let it go.  Now imagine more of these antics by multiple people. You don’t need two people fighting with each other to cause this problem. Just individual.

Now, you can have a lot of moderators to keep this under control. But is FL able to do that level of moderation? Or would they rather have their resources used elsewhere? And then, if the moderators ban someone, you can be sure that person’s supporters will accuse them of bias.

You might say “we’re all adults here.” But I’m talking about adults on theology forums. Adults who feel the need to pick apart their opponent’s post line by line and accuse them of “heresy.”

That happens a lot in debate forums and I doubt FL wants to deal with it.

David: Allowing threads that explicitly allow for theological discussion does not cause spillovers. Spillovers of the type you mention are already happening. Thus, I don't see allowing threads that explicitly mention "Theological Discussion" to be a unique source of such disruptive spillovers.

In a forum of this size, 5% of the people, almost by definition, will fall in the left tail. And they are always going to be a pain for others. Why should the 5% dictate what the other 95% enjoy?

As with any decision, there are benefits and costs. In your estimate, costs outweigh benefits. In my estimate, benefits outweigh costs!

You‘re free to disagree with me of course. I won’t be offended. But I suspect FL won’t want to deal with it.

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Posts 80
Greg Dement | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 6:49 PM

If FL chooses not to, so be it. Until then I will advocate for it on occasion. Another way to look at it is I see the issues you mention are happening as it is anyway, aren’t they? Perhaps an outlet to allow them to do it can also help cleanse the forum‘s regular threads from it. Anyone who follows someone onto other threads to pick a fight and starts disrupting other threads….is a “troll”.

As mentioned earlier, maybe could be a link from FL to an outside site setup for this purpose with all necessary disclaimers and warnings to protect FL.  Some people against it have waded past the forum guidelines on this to varying levels under current setup anyway. Not singling anyone out, just a general observation.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 7:04 PM

1Cor10:31:
In a forum of this size, 5% of the people, almost by definition, will fall in the left tail. And they are always going to be a pain for others. Why should the 5% dictate what the other 95% enjoy?

If you had a longer history in these forums, you could remember when it took only two people to make the forums so obnoxious as to drive others from them - one was a "rebellious" child, the other a mentally unstable self-promoter. Both have been out of action for many years. There was a third person who harassed a forum member to the point that Faithlife had to add a block to the Faithlife message account of the recipient. Given that we already have a handful of people who don't believe the guidelines apply to them, why would Faithlife want to risk the progress that has been made over the last decade? We have passed the tipping point where the vast majority of forum posters understand the basic politeness required by the guidelines. Most of the exceptions are new forum members from a relatively isolated environment -- they are used to interactions only with people who share their basic world view. It takes only a simple reference to the guidelines to bring these people into the forum standards Slightly more difficult are those people who are sufficiently isolated socially that they use offensive language without understanding that it is offensive. Some are willing to change their understanding of the word ... others, well let's just say they hold a strong attachment to a cultic understanding of a word.

Or put in simple terms, it takes less than 5% bad apples to ruin a crate.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 80
Joseph Sollenberger | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 17 2021 5:53 AM

The 5% of the population creating difficulty keeps appearing in many contexts. It would be interesting to study how that estimate came about, but from my decades service in education, it feels about correct. It is interesting how this "5%" creates a great preponderance of the rules in any organization. I don't believe there is any simple solution based on my experience. 

—Joseph

Joseph F. Sollenberger, Jr.

Posts 114
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 17 2021 10:16 AM

Mike Binks:

I would suggest that any request would, in the end, need Bob's approval, so an email to him directly would elicit a quick response. Bob has always responded to my emails very quickly. His email address is available on the Logos.com website I believe.

1Cor10:31:

Thanks Mike. I just sent him one.

 

Mike Binks:

I must though let you know that I hope he says no. I like to trawl the forums and I can recall very few civil discussions about matters theological.

I just got a polite response from Bob. "No" is the answer.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 17 2021 12:59 PM

1Cor10:31:

Mike Binks:

I must though let you know that I hope he says no. I like to trawl the forums and I can recall very few civil discussions about matters theological.

I just got a polite response from Bob. "No" is the answer.

Thankful for "No" answer. Thankful for current forum focus on using Faithlife Corporation software and resources.

Thankful for some people where we can engage in intense theological discussion (iron sharpens iron) while remaining friends Big Smile

Keep Smiling Smile

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