Is it time for "all" of us to review our place in these forums?

Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,774

We've recently received step-back posts from Wolfgang and CM, who in them offered the reasons at least for the time being they are backing away from these forums. I am increasingly concerned that there will/should be no CD forums for those two or others to come back to in the not-too-distant future.

By my count, prior to this new thread, in the last month CD has received just 23 posts, an average of less than one per day. Those 23 posts were made to just two threads: Three posts to the thread in which CM made his announcement, and the other 20 posts to the Christology-based discussion in "Jesus ? "Not God" ? Savior ?" Further, of the 23 posts, 17 were created by @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus and me in the Christology thread.

Those data points mean that in the last month, CD has received posts to exactly one thread that is in-keeping with CD's mission to be a "go-to place for respectful online theological discussion," a thread whose content is overwhelmingly the product of just two posters.

It seems to me that CD is withering away into a PM service accessed by @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus and me, which in my view is neither a good thing nor what CD is intended for. Responses? Ideas?


  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 486

    I think both the current forum and the one that preceded this one suffered from the lack moderators. The whole concept that the individual members will somehow moderate themselves and the forums when their paradigms and theologies differ greatly is simply wishful thinking at best and at worse naive. Both forums spiraled down into repetitious and almost word-of-word identical debates (and diatribe). I think this is a great part of the issue that lead to a number of members jumping ship.

    Another issue in my opinion is that more people are interested in watching debates than in participate in them. And, as I mentioned in the first paragraph the lack of moderation is part of what cause debates to sometimes turn into mud fights.

  • @Bill_Coley wrote: It seems to me that CD is withering away into a PM service accessed by @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus and me, which in my view is neither a good thing nor what CD is intended for. Responses? Ideas?

    Noticed view count of thread Jesus ? "Not God" ? Savior ? increasing reflects @Mitchell "Another issue in my opinion is that more people are interested in watching debates than in participate in them." Lack of references to other CD threads implies this discussion has a degree of originality (along with consuming many hours of my time on a variety of days for prayer and study, which had affected timing for many of my replies). Thankful for Holy Spirit opening up my Bible three times recently to different verses, which were relevant to discussion (and my personal growth).

    One idea for more CD discussions is starter threads: e.g. News & Current Events lacks SOGI (with belief that sees itself more important than God & the Bible), which could adversely impact every CD participant. For Bible questions, thread Jesus ? "Not God" ? Savior ? has several more views than How do you justify violence as a Christian? and a lot less than The Kingdom of God

    Lord willing, later this year, my participation in the Logos Bible Software forums => includes a ten year anniversary (so missed out on older Logos/Libronix news group discussions). Prior to CD creation by Faithlife (and its demise) and CD setup by Jan, do remember a number of Logos forum mud fights, which includes some personal foot in mouth oops 🤒😰 Caveat: a number of moderation attempts in the Logos forums (reply deletion OR lock thread) were followed by mud fight intensifying in new threads, which included angry comments about moderation action plus more about mud fight issue.

    To me in the Logos Bible Software forums, MVP means Many Volunteer Posts (albeit a number of mud fights used other meanings).

    Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life includes in the first chapter:

    Scholar Luke Timothy Johnson notes that many first-century documents show a cultural habit of referring to one’s opponents with harsh epithets such as “hypocrites,” “blind,” or “demon-possessed.” By our standards, every debate sounds overcharged and full of slander. When you hear John the Baptist calling his listeners a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 3:7), and Paul wishing that his opponents would emasculate themselves (Galatians 5:12), their comments should be heard in this light. Within its wider cultural setting, the New Testament’s rebukes don’t sound quite so harsh.13

    The Jews were strongly divided over Jesus in the New Testament, and this within-the-family debate became heated. But it wasn’t until centuries later when the church became overwhelmingly Gentile that the New Testament was understood as being hostile toward Jews as a whole. This has strongly contributed to anti-Semitism over the ages, and for many Christians has led to a disinterest in the Jewish setting of the Bible and our faith.

    I was hardly aware of this attitude myself until a stunning encounter I had before my first study trip in Israel. I was chatting with a neighbor down the block and mentioned my upcoming travels. Since he was active in his church, I thought he might be interested. But he grimaced and blurted out, “Why on earth would you want to go there? Those Jews never did nothing good, except give us Jesus.”14

    Wouldn’t that be enough?

    13 See Luke Timothy Johnson, “The New Testament’s Anti-Jewish Slander and the Conventions of Ancient Polemic,” Journal of Biblical Literature 108 (1989): 419–41.

    14 It’s hard to overstate the persecution that Jews have suffered over the ages because of this attitude. Christians are largely unaware that the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian pogroms, and even the Holocaust were all outgrowths of Christian hostility toward Jews for not believing that Jesus was the Messiah. Unfortunately, as historian Edward Flannery has noted, “The pages Jews have memorized have been torn from our histories of the Christian era” (The Anguish of the Jews [New York: Macmillan, 1965], xi).

    This book is written by an evangelical Christian Gentile for a Christian audience. To any Jewish readers, I sincerely apologize for my neighbor’s offensive comment.

    Lois Tverberg and Ray Vander Laan, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012).

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,572

    Lack of moderation, lack of a general agreement of what is or is not Christian are both problems.

  • JanJan Posts: 275

    Sorry about the lack of responsiveness. My moderator activity has largely been limited to the necessary ongoing spam deletion.

    I don't actually believe that there needs to be constant growth and/or activity for a forum to be successful. If there's nothing or very little to talk about for a while, then there's no need to force discussions. Just take a break. Some members might actually enjoy that. And once there's something new to talk about, a new discussion can take place (as long as enough members have email alerts enabled).

    I'm sure that once Presidential elections are coming up again, there will be plenty to discuss again - if not before.

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