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Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Not sure I am convinced this won't complicate the process, but let's give it a go.


Greg Bilbrey

Will really be glad to see discussion boards return as part of the Emergent site. While the blog format has some good qualities, I heartily agree that it can become an "unsafe" place. If I were a new Christian, non-Christian or just a sincere, searching Christian, I would have probably been scared off from the whole thing some time ago, just by the tone of some of the comments. Sometimes you can almost see the veins popping out of the writers' foreheads... Chill! God is good!

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

While I affirm my willingness to reserve judgment on whether this is a good move, after more thought, I am less keen on it than before.

I think this may be another example of how the abuse of freedom (ie. freedom to post anything here, even if it is inappropriate) leads to a well intentioned, but potentially limiting external control of freedom. There have been some very important and helpful dialogues that have developed here that started as initially negative, "unsafe" comments.

Might I suggest that you offer The Ooze option as an additional option, as opposed to a replacement of this space.

Additionally, the added navigation required counters the thing makes blogs so accessible- the ease at which the discussion can be reached and engaged.

Again, I am but one voice, but I thought I would throw my 2 cents in, even if it is after the fact.


Eric Mason

This from the guy who was just called a "dumb___" on this blog...I think it's a great idea. In fact I've already suggested the ooze to several people that were disappointed with the tangents and flaming on this board.

But don't get me wrong, I've loved some of the discussions. I just think a little decorum makes our discussions focused and productive.


Holli Adams

Thank you! I've been extremely saddened and disappointed in how many have used this blog to make hateful comments. I'm glad that emergent is so open to critique but many have gone overboard. I enjoy reading the posts on here but have not referred any friends or ministry leaders here because I fear they would think the comments are an expression of those involved in emergent...that we're just a bunch of whiney brats! I think the ooze will be an appropriate place for these discussions and the emergent blog an appropriate place for information.

Sivin Kit

I think it's a good move ... and will serve the "conversation" better :-)

Van S

I agree. I think it is a helpful step.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Alas, I am alone in my dissent. Woe is me! Just kidding. I guess I am (significantly) in the minority. Oh well, the sun shall still rise!



Ah, my Young Padawan, your move to the dark side has become complete. Control, control, control. The nature of a true cult. This way no one can interfere in the ear-tickling that goes on here. I leave you to your descent into madness and will soon forget about you. Emergent who? Oh yeah, that cult that broke out at the beginning of the Century. Yeah, they still have some adherents, but are mainly marginalized, since they have done the same to church that criticized the movement. I hear they're thinking about deifying Brian McLaren as the 9th Manifestation of Jesus soon. Slowly and surely those cults always form into the same beast, don't they?


this blog was lame anyways


emergent and dialogue DO NOT go together...emergent is just a few former youth pastors trying to make a new church that fashion after youth group...emergent is not about dialogue and conversation, but rather it is about these former youth pastors preaching and telling others how to experince God--
what a joke!

steve hollinghurst

I perfectly understand this move, i am often amazed at the way some people argue on this site. some of the above posts are good examples of this, not sesnsible engagement by people who disagree which i severly hope will not vanish under the new format but what seems to me at any rate to be unessecary name calling. this saddens me, how much could it be said of our church 'see how these christians love one another'?. unfortunately most christian web discussions end up needing moderating because of the way 'discussion' seems to end up, emergent is not alone here, in the UK (where i am) one site ended up running several discussion boards in order to allow those who wanted to flame everyone in sight to do so allowing others to steer well clear thanks to a strong health warning attached to that particular discussion. in my professional life i research mission and culture, a good number of religious groups have tried to use the interent for mission, most have failed. the exception? contemporaty paganism, why? cause on the whole when you go onto a Pagan site people don't flame you provided you offer your thoughts gently also. people on such sites are enabled to explore spirituality. sadly such an openess is rarely apparent on christian sites. so i wish emergent all the best in this, and hope that there will still be posts by those who are concerned about emergent as well as those who are supportive.

horney toad

what is a pagan?


while i agree with the sentiment behind this decision, i guess i'd like to officially join the minorities (i.e., jamie). as distasteful as some of the dialogue has been, it has been dialogue nonetheless. perhaps it's not the way any of the creators of this blog envisioned things as going, but sometimes things come to life in their very own way, and i don't think we should stunt that.

so yeah, i'm all about adding a forum as an ADDENDUM, but getting rid of the conversation here just because it gets bad sometimes? i dunno . . .

poor boy

no no! you shouldn't get rid of this blog...if this discussion is shut of or banned then it just proves that emergent can't handle real dialogue...they have to control everything. This is something I'd expect from Communist Russia & China and Saddam....if emergent wants to join those ranks then I guess it's their decision, but for some reason i do not think they want to do that....why not let the conversation go where it might? What are you afraid of?


i thought tony jones wanted to "embrace the messy-ness" of lay theology, which - it seems to me - includes the blogosphere - what the hell? Again, another example of the utopians at emergent saying one thing and doing another - hypocrites


I cannot figure out why everyone that is against the addition of the bulletin board on the Ooze thinks it is about control? I am sure that anyone who wants to contribute to the conversation there will be just as welcome as they were here. The only way they are excluded is if they choose not to participate, and to blame that on Emergent is giving power to them that they do not possess. I don't see anything hypocritical about moving the conversation to another web presense.


"This is something I'd expect from Communist Russia & China and Saddam...."

hmm, sounds like somebody needs to switch to decaf. ;)

Seriously, you think moving comments from a blog to a message board is fascist?

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

James, while I agree with you that control isn't the main issue, it has been stated that TheOoze bulletin boards will more strictly moderate. I don't think they should abandon TheOoze option, but rather add it in addition to the commenting available here.

My biggest frustration, actually, is much more mundane. The appeal of blogging is the ease in which one can approach and interact with the content. I hang out at TheOoze, which is great, but it is FAR more cumbersome and will decrease my visits from daily+ to once a week at best.

I think that, perhaps, it might have been better for Emergent to ask bloggers for input, then make a decision. Not attacking or criticizing, but this space has become like a cafe hang-out for many of us. When the comment were shut off, it was like showing up to find that we could only look in the window, then cross the street to order.

Again, it isn't the end of the world and I will give it a go. Just my point of view, is all.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Eric Mason

Too Bad we can't keep a standard of good behavior amongst Christians...But then again...maybe that's the point. They will know us by how we love one another. When I was working at a fundamentalist church, evangelism was encouraged, and when we led someone to CHrist, they could get cleaned up and make their way to church. That's why I left. Messy people are what make up the church. Couldn't we just have a moderator on this site? Couldn't we just move off topic comments to a new page? Couldn't we...just get all these people cleaned up before we read their comments. Oh well. I still think the ooze is a good idea. Though...


"They will know us by how we love one another"

who is they? and why does it matter?

I think this thread is a good example of why this site should leave the comments on. Jaime is the only one with a brain around here. do you honestly think people are going to go to a lame discussion board on theooze? this thread is a good example of conversation, which i thought emergent was all about? do you think this kind of conversing will happen on the ooze? of course it won't. I agree with the facist communist china commentor...this is just another attempt at emergent to switch people off whom they don't agree with...emergent gets criticized and instead of stepping up to the plate and answering they take the easy out by turning off their website....wow! are babies running this website?

Tony Jones

These are interesting comments. While it may be true, Jackie, that Jamie is the only one with a brain around here, the idea of moving to a moderated message board is NOT to squelch conversation. The problem here has been that, often, conversation has been dominated by some agressively non-emergent voices who have left long and often abusive posts. Instead of enhancing dialogue, this has had a chilling effect on dialogue. Although some of you have waded through the morass to find the gems, we've heard from many people that they don't even look at the comments -- much less leave a comment -- anymore because it gives them a sick feeling in their stomach. That's what led us to this decision...at least for now...

Tony Jones

...again, we are not looking to quiet the non-emergent voices. I WANT THEM HERE. It's the abusive, anonymous commenters that I could do without. I'm sorry if some think that theooze's functionality is cumbersome, but it simply requires people to register, which adds a small level of accountability and is only a small hurdle to jump.

Tony Jones

...and one more thing. If you want to have a discussion on Brian's 3-part post -- even if you want to blast him -- why not comment on your own blog and have a trackback link?

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