These days, discussion has become more important than ever to Southern Baptists, as controversies and theological issues abound. The internet, and especially the popularity of blogs, has greatly multiplied the avenues available for such discussion; however, blog discussions tend to be fractured, are limited by those “in control,” and are generally less than satisfying. Having seen the limitations on discussions of real interest on many blogs, where lengthy comments are frowned upon, and where the few determine the topics for the many, we decided it was time to do something different — to empower the readership to post articles, drive the discussions, and turn this blog into an open forum.
A Blog as a Discussion Forum?
This is not your average blog! It is an open discussion forum that uses a blog medium. Once you get familiar with composing posts using the WordPress post editor (you may also simply email your articles to me and I will post them for you), you may find that the blog medium is simpler and more convenient than the usual discussion forum medium. Discussion forums usually separate the posts into subforums based on category, such as having a theology subforum and a “general” subforum, etc. Many sites even break it down further, with, for example, the theology subforum being separated into 4 or 5 subcategories. But the trade-off is that their posts are separated, and you must go to the appropriate subforum to find a particular post. With the blog medium of SBC Open Forum, an article can be posted in as many different categories, and with as many tags, as the author (you) desires. All posts will list under the “home” page. But the other categories will be automatically assigned to the menu at the top of the screen, so that all articles posted in the “theology” category can be listed together by selecting “theology” on the category menu. It will work the same for any category. As for tags, one may click on a particular tag in the “Tags” menu on the side bar, such as “salvation,” and all the messages tagged with “salvation” will appear in a list.
How it Works
Anyone may comment, submitting a name and email address. Every Southern Baptist is welcome to post articles (or, new “discussions”). You can do this either by emailing an article to contribute, or by emailing a request to become a registered author/user (to firstname.lastname@example.org). Once we get your email, we will email a WordPress invitation for you to contribute to SBC Open Forum. After you accept that invitation, you will be added as an author, and can post new articles directly without needing to email them. Of course, any articles to be posted here are subject to the guidelines below.
Treat this as a discussion forum. The blog format means that only the latest article (lead post in a discussion) will be on top, and the articles will move down according to the chronological order of when the discussion was first posted. The comments are not nested, but are scrolled single-file, chronologically. There is no recommended limit to the length of comments or of articles. Academic papers are welcome as well.
While it is our goal for this forum to be as free as possible, what is posted must be within reason and Christian decorum. The administrators and moderators reserve the right to arbitrarily decide what is decent and proper, and will delete posts or comments where we deem appropriate. Just to be clear, spam and selling of products are not appropriate; obscene material is not appropriate; personal attacks are not appropriate; and anything disparaging of the SBC is not appropriate. Any users who habitually or egregiously post inappropriate comments or articles will be banned. This is a Christian, rated-G, family-friendly forum, and we will tolerate nothing else. This is also a forum for Southern Baptists, so we expect that posted articles will be of a nature generally agreeable to Baptists.
Within these reasonable parameters, we encourage you to use this as your discussion forum for whatever may be of interest to Southern Baptists.
As you can see, there’s a new format here at SBC Open Forum! On the home page, there are now two side bars on the right. The first contains the RSS feeds for organizational sites and group blogs, listing the two (or more) latest posts from each. The second side bar contains the RSS feeds for individual blogs, listing the latest post from each. I’ve chosen those blogs that seem to me to be of greatest interest to Southern Baptists, and I realize the lists are not yet complete—more to come. The RSS feeds are automatically updated as new posts are published. Although the area for displaying SBC Open Forum posts has been reduced on the home page, the area expands when any post is selected by clicking on the title or on “Continue reading“. Additionally, the blog feeds are replaced by Recent Comment feeds for SBC Open Forum whenever a post is selected for reading.
As part of the new aggregator format, some posts are selected each day from around the web, and “reblogged” here.
The full responsibility for anything written in this forum falls on the writer alone.
The SBC Open Forum is not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, except to the extent that the management and participants are individually affiliated as members of SBC churches. As such, the SBC Open Forum is not an official web site of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Email may be sent to:
About the Management
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a member of a Southern Baptist church in Ohio, a husband to one wife of 30 years, and a father of two.
Although I have an agenda like most writers on the web, this Open Forum has no agenda except what the participants bring to it — and anyone may participate. My personal views carry no more weight on this forum than those of anyone else.
I’m a layman writing from a realist perspective, similar to what one finds in the Baptist, A. H. Strong. As one who believes in the inerrancy of Scripture, I am an uncompromising believer in a recent creation by divine fiat. I affirm unconditional election, and my Baptist Centrism puts me right down the middle of the spectrum, and right at home in the SBC. I also blog at KenHamrick.com.
I can be reached by email at: email@example.com.
I am also a servant of the Lord Jesus, a member of a SBC church, and a husband to my wife for, uh 33 years. [I had to do the math (-:]
I agree with Ken on a lot of things, and disagree with him on some others.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a 5 point Calvinist that learned my ‘Calvinism’ from the Bible, so I differ from the mainstream guys in various interesting ways.