Blog changes

To those who read and comment:

I am making some changes for at least the month of September – well, one primary change. Most posts in September will not be formatted to allow comments. I recognize we have assembled quite an outstanding group of regular readers and comments. However, I moderated nearly 100 comments during the 24 hour period from Saturday to Sunday. That many comments alone takes much time to read and moderate, but in addition, many commenters would like to hear responses from me that are very nuanced and require more time than I have. I have several writing, research and speaking projects coming in September that will not get done properly if I continue the blog in the same manner I have since I started it. So sadly, I must limit my time in administration – at least for now.

I will, however, continue posting. There is much news coming up this month so I hope you will check in regularly. I will have reports from the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference, the Exodus Regional Conference and some research news as well. I also have a guest post from Michael Bailey coming soon where I will open the forum again. And existing threads will remain open, although I may not be able to participate extensively. But overall, as much as I value the discussion, I must take some steps and this is one of them.

Paradoxically, I will open this post for comments but I may not get to approve them until later tomorrow.

31 thoughts on “Blog changes”

  1. I’m confused – someone said that Craig was not anti-gay and someone else said that he was against gay marriage. I’m curious which one of these is the truth?????

  2. Thanks Ann–and others who are praying as well. I haven’t heard from any of my brothers today…that means that she’s holding her own. They’ve promised an update by the weekend.

  3. Warren –

    “I do not like to give serious questions of policy an off the cuff response. For me it is not as simple as that.”

    I completely respect that…I’d rather you ignore such questions than answer them inaccurately. Your point makes sense.

  4. Jag – I am aware of the Family Scholars Blog and do look in on it now and then. But there is no input and you are correct it loses some of the immediacy. My issue is not that I want praise. I just cannot answer all the questions in the manner deserved. Of late, anyway there is no time. I think I would be fine to leave comments on if commenters could just register their views. I probably need to ignore more too. I hope to get to much of what was bothering some of you in the months to come but I do not like to give serious questions of policy an off the cuff response. For me it is not as simple as that.

  5. I posted a comment on the Mother Earth thread about my initial response to Wayne Besen’s intrusion into the thread. “Oh, look, it’s our ‘can we self-moderate’ test, already.” Not bad. (For the rest, see Mother Earth.)

    BTW: Prayers, please. Mom (back in PA) is down to 74 lbs and has pneumonia. How about ‘wisdom (and follow though) for my brothers to know when they need to be updating me’ and ‘wisdom (and peace) for me’ too. (The weight is scary but it helps to realize that mom’s IDEAL weight was only around 100 lbs.) Thanks!

  6. Eddy,

    That sounds good to me! I’m pretty open to (and usually respond well to) constructive criticism from my fellow bloggers πŸ™‚



  7. Jayhuck –

    You owed no one an explanation, and yet thank you for yours…regarding your public and more private apologies.

    “I have said on this blog and I have also said this to him in private, that I think he is a good and honorable man with the best of intentions.”

    As to this, I don’t think it is a requirement of a respectable contributor to vocalize positive thoughts about the moderator – otherwise, we might as well just say that the blog is only for those who “praise” the person. Hopefully, we don’t make personal attacks period…we keep our critiques professional – about the work, logic, perspective, consistency, etc… And in questioning a previous article, I think personally that’s what you did. People are responsible for the opinions they vocalize and the messages they promote. Myself included.

    You also stated:

    “I don’t know of any other evangelicals anywhere who would have an open forum like this and not censor it to death – especially regarding this topic.”

    There was a fantastic blog called Family Scholars Blog a while ago, but now post without the opportunity for comment. It used to have a variety of opinions from all sides and a very lively group…

    But, for similar reasons Warren has noted, have closed their comment section.

    I haven’t looked at the blog since.

  8. Someone else asked about banning, etc. Enough about that. No more comments on this.

    I would like to think it can just go without moderation and perhaps that is what I will come to. My problem is that in the past, it has gotten toxic. I am thinking out loud and so I do not have this well thought out as yet.

  9. Pam,

    No offense – but because I am banned – I personally resent the implication you have made.

  10. Re ‘site moderation’: I think a number of us have developed enough respect for one another that the ‘us and them’ lines can be crossed now and again. Awhile back, a ‘bible-basher’ kept detouring discussions with Bible quotes; I was encouraged when bloggers from both sides actively moderated through their comments. It happened again with Boris and, once again, I was encouraged.

    Hearing from both sides isn’t essential but it sure does make things easier. All of us are more likely to receive and accept correction from ‘one of our own’ rather than from ‘the others’. I’m not sure we’re there yet but I do have a stronger belief in the possibility.

    Warning: I’ve got some ‘familial distractions’ (mom’s health) and will likely either post manically or be too distracted to post for a bit. Appears at the moment we’re on a posting binge. (Ironic timing…just got an incoming from one of my brothers. I don’t fear emails…it’s the phone call that usually brings the serious bad news. Later.)

  11. And on a lighter note….


    (Apologies to all, especially Jayhuck. While I do believe the things I said in my most recent post above, I don’t like the tone. We’re not face to face where such directness could be softened with a smile or change of inflection. In black and white, it’s a bit too much. Please accept my apologies.)

  12. Eddy,

    I fully realize that the way I expressed my shock, dismay and disappointment over the old news (new news to me) regarding Warren was inappropriate. I have apologized to the people on this blog and I have apologized to Warren in private – I’d really like to move on if that’s ok. And just to be clear about this, I don’t question Warren’s character. I have said on this blog and I have also said this to him in private, that I think he is a good and honorable man with the best of intentions. I don’t know of any other evangelicals anywhere who would have an open forum like this and not censor it to death – especially regarding this topic.

    That said, there are important and troubling issues I and several others have with this old/new news regarding Warren, but we can deal with them off this blog. That doesn’t mean they might not ever reappear in my comments, should they pertain to something we are talking about – but I will not purposefully try to derail a discussion with them again.

    As for having multiple “hall monitors”, I think its a good idea in theory, but extremely problematic in practice – only because there are no clear cut definitions for what is inappropriate or what might be considered “off topic” – if you can define these, good for you – I’m betting everyone has their own definitions. You would have to be extremely careful so that your good intentions didn’t have the opposite effect and stifle conversation. I can’t and wouldn’t even want to try this. I do think we all vaguely know where the lines are drawn as far as etiquette on this blog goes, and even if I’ve been blind to them in the past, I will work to do much better about paying attention to them in the future.

    You are right, I had no intention of being mean-spirited.

  13. Jayhuck,

    I don’t have any definite opinion about how Warren should run his blog as you suggested. My opinions have mostly to do with how YOU (and others) attempt to run it. Please consider this past weekend as an example. YOU discovered a bit of old news; it disturbed you so much that you brought it up NUMEROUS times on SEVERAL different threads despite the fact that it was not the topic of any of them. One statement of challenge on one thread would have been sufficient but you kept hammering. On the one thread, you went off-topic to go down this path even as the first commenter. Later, you simply went on to questioning (repeatedly) why we were discussing what we were.

    I honestly don’t think you meant to be mean-spirited or controlling but that IS the way you came across. My suggestions here were simply that moderating such comments shouldn’t just be left up to Warren (or to me in my self-appointed role of trying to keep the excesses in balance) but to all of us. Then, IF frustration is one of Warren’s motivations, perhaps we, as a blog community, can have some impact.

    I purposely used the example of Boris–even leaving your name out of the mix but I was not referring to any of the other bloggers who have posted in this thread. They have disagreed but not in a controlling or overly agressive way.

    I have not discussed this with Warren. I hold no position of influence here. I simply began to read the handwriting on the wall and realized that anyone in Warren’s position would eventually reach a point of frustration. I don’t even know if that’s a part of his motivation. It seems we’re all speculating on that one.

    Please remember that these are MY opinions. That’s all. If others agree, then perhaps we’ll do something about it. If not, then that’s okay too. I have survived being branded as ‘uptight’ before and will again.

  14. Eddy,

    I’m not exactly sure what you meant by everything you’ve written – I agree with you, Warren is a very patient man, and I also know you have definite opinion about the way Warren should run his blog – but I think its sometimes difficult to determine what exactly ON TOPIC is/means. I completely understand that you were probably referring to me and others in some of your statements, and I do realize I have gotten us off track on numerous occasions and I apologize for that.

    And how do we define “attack”? Can we not, as Jag did, call Warren on things that seem less-than-professional and truthful? Is that an “attack”? There are some very grey areas and nebulous definitions in what you talk about.

    But you have to take into consideration the fact that many topics involve issues that are directly and indirectly related – so staying on topic might involve us talking about things that are indirectly related to the topic at hand.

  15. Just for clarification…

    I heard Warren say that he was changing the format for the month of September MAYBE longer…but I don’t believe he’s pronounced an end to our unique family. Well, not yet anyway…

    He also said that existing threads will remain open. Maybe we can rendezvous on one or more existing threads and demonstrate that we’ve learned how to be civil (for more than a week).

    LOL! I used to dream of doing that secretly…having just 2 or 3 people ‘hide out’ on another thread and keep on discussing while the ‘agenda folks’ play games with the current thread. Site meter on the sidebar gives it away, though. Y’know, for us, that could be a good thing. I plan to check the “Most Recently Commented” topics for any signs of life πŸ™‚

    JAG made some excellent points about how this blog ought to be able to moderate itself. I was personally encouraged when a few people stepped up recently to confront Boris. But, the thing is, he was way OVER the line. What about those that are simply just pushing it–all the time? Those who purposely miss the point of a blogger from ‘the other side’…those who feel compelled to ‘reinterpret’ what someone has just labored to say clearly? What about those who demand Warren personally answer some charge or explain some statement…usually completely off the current discussion? Would enough of us step up to the plate so that moderating wouldn’t be just one person’s burden?

    Warren has been good about screening personal attacks that bloggers make against other bloggers but what about the verbal (written) attacks directed against him? (LOL! He’s got WAY MORE patience than I can even imagine.) Even if we weren’t in total agreement with Warren on the ‘attack’ issue, couldn’t we try to quench the attack rather than fan it?

    BTW: Other sites I’ve visited are good for a new topic every week or so…what’s the average here? I’m guessing around a dozen or more a week! Thanks, again, Warren. Prayers for wisdom, strength and direction coming your way.

    See you in the M.R.C.! (LOL! Wouldn’t it be fun to plug a favorite topic into the archive search and then meet there and actually discuss it???) (And, if the derailers show up we simply say, “Look, this thread has been dead for 4 months now. WE brought it back to life and WE are going to continue discussing. If you care to join us, great…as long as you know that we’re planning to stay focussed.”)

  16. Dr. Throckmorton,

    I will be sending you good thoughts – thank you for all you do.


    FUNNY comments!

    To everyone,

    I have found new friends here and look forward to continuing our conversations – take care and thank you for the substantial talks we have had – they have meant a lot to me.

  17. Sorry the group is getting busted up.

    If this is the end you guys rock!

    See ya


    Never bet against the environment 😎

  18. Warren,

    I understand – best of luck on your projects. This comes at a good time for me as well, and I HAVE been neglecting XGW πŸ˜‰

    Anyway – I’ll check in when time allows. I’m assuming you’ll open this blog back up in October?

  19. Too bad you cannot clone your mind.

    But then once cloned, it is no longer yours.

    Question [which won’t be answered anyway], what if one of us created a subsidiary blog, which that person would moderate [with their own value set of course]. That moderation could be nearly unbounded, allowing most anything.

    Oh well….

  20. I think it is unfortunate that you feel you cannot let the culture of readers and responders monitor one another. I actually felt that many of the discussions have progressed nicely, showing a culture who will talk amongst themselves, debate honestly and openly, answer criticisms with a fair amount of respect (with a few exceptions), and learn from one another.

    Most blogs find that once their comments are closed, their readership wanes. People can find this information in many places, but the benefit of this blog has always been, for me, that I can get perspectives that I will not encounter regularly – and learn from them.

    Anyway, unfortunate turn of events – the felt necessity of monitoring, and the closing of comments to people who were learning to have a dialogue. Hmm..I thought that’s what you were after all along, that kind of community. Guess not.

  21. Do you mean that I’ll actually have to get around to household chores in the evenings instead of waxing poetic here? I’m glad for September timing though…the blog has been conflicting with a regular evening walk and exercise program. So I’ll get that back on track and perhaps blog at a slightly reduced rate when the forum format returns.

    And, gee, 100 comments in a 24-hour period…I recall few new names in the discussion mix. That seems to indicate that some of us “Top Commenters” may be “Over the Top Commenters”. Perhaps when the forum format resumes, we can be a bit more mindful of the joys of site moderation and limit the number of our responses.

    Suggested ‘comment cut’ areas:

    Simply don’t post anything that starts with ‘and one more thing…’

    Resist replying to questions or posts that are directed to someone other than you…

    Before pressing ‘Submit Comment’ scroll back to actual topic, if your comment has little or no connection to actual topic, do not submit. (If it’s priceless, copy and paste it into a Word doc and bring it back when it’s on topic…)

    If someone derails the topic try not to respond. Responding only reinforces bad behavior.

    Consider setting a limit on the number of times per day you post.

    (I plan to post these by my monitor as a gentle reminder.)

    My best to you Warren as you keep abreast of the many tasks of your September. It sounds like you’ll be providing some interesting reading. I’ll be here.

Comments are closed.