…year-end fundraising time!
For those of you who don’t know, this forum is paid for and maintained by BioLogos so that you can have a place to discuss topics in the science and faith intersection that you like to ponder. This year, our campaign is centered around the gracious dialogue we seek to model, and I found this so fitting for the Forum, as it is the place people can come to embody a gracious community.
Oftentimes, topics in this category are not up for discussion, because verbalizing doubt, asking questions, or even desiring to learn more can be frowned upon by certain faith communities or leaders. But at BioLogos, we believe if everyone can take part in a gracious dialogue together, we can further seek to understand what is important to each one of us and demonstrate our unity in Christ by genuinely engaging with each other’s ideas and being willing and open to new perspectives.
Putting gracious dialogue into action can be difficult, and that is why this Forum exists, with volunteer moderators who love this conversation as much as you, to help guide us all in the way of grace when we interact with each other.
It is no inexpensive endeavor to keep this afloat for you for a small nonprofit. Transparently, there is a near-constant discussion about whether or not it’s “worth it” to continue to have this space. If the existence of the Forum and its community is important to you, we ask you to consider a donation to BioLogos this year.
We cannot do this work without your help. Your gift can have a long-lasting impact on the lives of people who find their way to the Forum and to BioLogos, who find comfort in people who also raise questions, love God and/or science, and want to see a world where people can embrace it all harmoniously.
Think about how you felt the first time finding the Forum. Was it relief? Respite? Joy? Confusion? We’d love to hear your experience. Please share in this thread! Consider this the annual “why I like being here” post.
When I started at BioLogos in 2013 as the Content Manager for the website, one of my first significant decisions was to shut down the Forum. We had done some statistical analysis of how many of the posts were made by a very few number of people, and we decided (at my urging) that it just wasn’t worth it. I wrote a post about that and that we’d be closing it down in a week.
Well, that didn’t go very well. The comments came flooding in about how important and rare a discussion space like this is. And two days later, we reversed the decision and kept the Forum open. Its success has been due primarily to our volunteer moderators who spend hours and hours interacting with posters and keeping things civil.
I’m not going to lie, we still occasionally ask ourselves whether this space is a good use of time and money. But so far we’ve concluded that it is. It would help that case to hear from many of you about how you use the Forum and why it is important (and it wouldn’t hurt if those of you who are able would contribute to our year-end fund raising!).
It’s definitely worth keeping the forum going. Having found an online community of believers who are dedicated to taking both the Bible and scientific disciplines seriously, and most importantly know what they are talking about, has been a massive encouragement. It’s certainly helped to clear up a lot of confusion in my own mind about the subject over the past few years.
One suggestion: have you tried shopping around for better deals for your Discourse hosting? Is self hosting an option?
I think the forum is really good. I have learned a lot about Biology from the scientists here, and the discussions about Theology are generally edifying.
The forum needs to be moderated. At this point I would like to give a BIG shout out to the @moderators. Without your excellent work, a forum like this wouldn’t be possible. I hope BioLogos recognizes the moderators in some way. As we have seen, some of the threads are taken over by someone “preaching” their views from Mount Sinai, and that becomes tiresome. I see many participants reply with well thought content, displaying the fruits of the Spirit in the process. There are other threads that have contained good faith debate. Those are much appreciated. Thank you.
I enjoy hopping in the threads on and off. I think that it’s mostly beneficial for random people studying it out who pops in and asks a question and gets a wide range of responses for a few days.
I’m a Christian, but not a scientist. I have not been plagued by the questions of evolution, but I know people who are, and I am from a church background that usually ends up at YEC, because they can’t make anything else fit theologically. I appreciate hearing from people who have gone through these questions for themselves and are willing to talk (well) about them. I’m always impressed at the work that a good number of individuals have put in on their own to understand their faith and in the light of the scientific (and other) challenges they must deal with.
I am grateful for an opportunity to talk to other Christians, scientists or not, as well as non-Christians about matters of faith away from pure denominationalism. I’ve looked at some other fora, and I haven’t found anything like this one. So, even though Biologos’s mission is related to science and Christian faith, the forum serves wider purposes as well.
Regarding the Discourse platform, I a constantly frustrated by it’s lack of accessibility features or compatability with those on my Ipad and PC. I am not severely visually impaired, but the day is coming. Discourse does not play well at all with screen reading softwares, and reading their wiki, I’ve seen my experience confirmed. This means that the forum is nearly unusable to a great many people.
In spite of the software, the forum is a very valuable service.
I think the forum has a lot of value but I try to take a step back because sometimes it does feel like the same 10 people, myself included, hashing over the same ideas. Also, some of my interests in Biblical criticism don’t always align with the purpose for this website (Science and Faith). I also bow out of most discussions much more quickly than some. After saying what I believe and hashing it back and forth a few times I see little need to keep going hundreds or thousands of posts into a subject.
I am put off by the responses to new members that show up to ask question at times. The responses sometimes come off as defensive and appear rude to me. A person comes with a question. Maybe they are a “hostile atheist” but we don’t know any of that coming in and it is unbecoming. If I am a member of a forum I feel I should treat it as a home to a degree. I go out of my way to make new people coming to my home for the first time feel extra welcome.
At any rate, I sometimes wonder if a restricted place where only certain biologos staff/official personal could respond to a new post or question might be better. Other times a new poster receives a wealth of replies and solid information from people posting so it’s a mixed bag.