Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Format for Praisegod Barebones

Starting January 1, I am implementing a change of direction for this blog, as follows.

Scheduled posts: Posts will be scheduled in advance by topic and author. I will publish the schedule semi-annually.

Guest authors: I will invite a select group of contributors to author the posts. Don't call me; I'll call you. ;-)

Delayed and moderated comments: After an author publishes a post, it will remain on the site without comment for one week. After that time, I will begin to release those comments that gain approval. The screening of comments will take place solely according to the following rules:

  • Comments that interact with the original post by contrasting it with the fully documented words of relevant historical sources will be permitted.
  • Comments that interact with the original post by presenting a well-reasoned critique of the logical development of the post's thesis will be permitted. Such comments should refer to specific wording of the original post as the basis of the critique. Where such critiques employ the material of other authors or other works by the same author, they should refer to specific wording and be fully documented.
  • Comments that interact with the original post by posing a question well-crafted to further the dialogue and bring forth more information will be permitted.
  • Foul and offensive language on the part of the comment author will not be permitted. Foul and offensive language will only be permitted in quotes of others if the inclusion of offensive material is necessary to the point being made. Anything that does not meet the tests of being substantive and well documented will not be permitted. This includes, among other things, spam.
  • If a comment is rejected, I may decide to make suggestions to its author as to how he or she might improve the comment (e.g., "You need to provide a citation for the quote that you give in paragraph two") and allow resubmission.

Here's my purpose: I'm trying to set up an online forum that approximates the experience of participating in a doctoral seminar. You need not have any academic degree to participate. Indeed, I see this as a way for people to experience something approximating the doctoral study experience without having to pay tuition or pass qualifying requirements. I want the blog to become a forum where people all come having actually prepared for a discussion that is well focused around a clearly defined topic. It is a rare and wonderful thing to enjoy dialogue among people who do indeed know what they are talking about. They may have different viewpoints, but when they share them they wind up sharing more than just opinion—they convey content.

For a while after January 1, at least, this will be the only format of material on this blog. I'm not committing to this format forever, because I don't believe that the "journal of personal opinion" function of a blog is completely without merit. I'm merely observing that there is no place in the entire Southern Baptist blog realm that creates the kind of careful, credible dialogue that I hope to achieve. The more "academic" blogs generally either allow a free-for-all in the comment stream or do not allow comments at all.


peter lumpkins said...


Great idea. With that, I am...


Todd Benkert said...

I think the format you propose has merit, but why not just start a second blog?

Dave Miller said...

You'd better quit your day job. Moderating a blog like that could eat some time.

Bart Barber said...



Bart Barber said...

Todd & Dave,

My answer to either of you relates to the other, so I'm lumping you together. Sorry!

I believe that the new blog format would actually take LESS time. It places some burden of preparation upon those who would comment. The mere fact of quality control upon comments and posts will, in my estimation, mean fewer posts and MANY fewer comments since some who like to comment don't much like to do the work to produce well researched comments (present company excepted, of course).

But, to ADD a blog like this without decreasing the workload associated with a conventional blog would indeed interfere with other necessary pursuits in my life.

Bart Barber said...

Chris Bonts,

You haven't commented here, but I hope that you'll read this. Your post is going to be the first one in this series. By "your post" I don't mean that you have to write it. I mean that the post that you have requested is going to be the first one in this series.

From the Middle East said...

Brother Bart,

This is a good idea... something to try out at the least. I do get tired of wading through silly comments to get to meat - half of the silly comments are usually mine ;^)

It will also challenge the core of our NOW! NOW! NOW! American mentality. I was with a mentor of mine this week and he made the comment that Americans need to slow down in their decision making. Wise counsel.

Peace to you,
From the Middle East

Groseys messages said...

Excellent... Down Under salutes you!

Anonymous said...

Will you allow the following references and documentation in your new format?

They all say
Everyone knows
The experts agree that
Denominational leaders have implied
Word on the street has it
The Bible says that somewhere
All Calvinists believe
That’s in Hezekiah 5:8
Bible scholars declare
No Bible scholars think that
A Semi-Arminian admitted that
I submit to you
The blog world contends
I read that somewhere on the internet
An anonymous commenter alleged
I got that from an email and it said it was verified by Snopes
A seminary professor actually said in class
I just don’t feel that God would…

Perhaps this can help in a doctoral seminar. Professional documentation from:
David R. Brumbelow

From the Middle East said...

How about adding to that list:

1. My momma said.
2. I once heard Joel say.

Dave Miller said...

Or,how about, "I'm rubber and you're glue!"

(Comments like mine are probably why the esteemed Dr. Barber is going to moderate comments from now on.)

CB Scott said...


Some questions:


Are you about to start a new denomination?

What about spontaneity?

What about freedom of expresion?

What if a person really needs to say some mean stuff?

What if a person really needs to say some nice stuff?

What about if a person wants to say some meaningless stuff?

What about if a person is lonely and just wants to say stuff to someone other than their dog or cat or chickens or even their wild geese?

What will a person do who wants to start wars and rumors of wars?

And lastly; What about Debbie? :-)


Bart Barber said...

Thanks, guys, for making it obvious to me that people with their wits about them understand precisely why I might want to do this.

As for CB's long list of questions, there is no need to worry. Anyone whose needs can no longer be fulfilled here at PGBB, I intend to redirect straight to CB's blog.

CB Scott said...

No Bart, Please don't.

I can't even read all of my emails now without having someone rate them G, PG, or R for language and threats of violence.:-)


Groseys messages said...

Brother CB,
Its good to be able to share with you in open and free discussion (thus endorsing Baptist's views on Liberty of Conscience) when others who require you to drink their cool aide refuse and villify your position.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Praise God, Barebones! This sounds interesting. I will look forward to seeing what transpires.

Like FTME, I often tire of wading through silly comments to get to the ones that actually address the topic (of course, I've never made any silly comments :-D ) Earlier today I was attempting to read the comments to Ben Stratton's post on strict communion at SBC Today, only to throw up my hands and decide I had better things to do than read irrelevant thoughts that did not address the subject.

As far as freedom of expression, blogs are not a country. If one wants to freely express himself or herself in blog format, he/she can get his/her own blog.

BTW, and not off-topic of course (since I don't do off-topic posts!) -- Bart, you need to start planning to attend the Sacred Harp Singing at Southwestern in January. It will be held Saturday, January 31, 2009. (Seriously, I had to wedge that in now since I wouldn't be able to after January 1st). See you there?

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Bart,

Good thinking sir,....sounds efficient.


Wayne Smith said...

Bart is removing His Blog from the Fly Way of all the wild geese here in North Texas.
Which unit do you visit here at the Va in Bonham. Their are 3 different units here.


Anonymous said...

Todd does bring a valid point; however, from my experience I believe you are following a wise course.

Two blogs would take more time and one of them would suffer.
The second blog would take time to setup and moderate whereas with one you can focus your energies upon it.

Moderating comments is very wise. With the purpose you have in mind, it is necessary to keep the post and comments on task.

Just make sure you cover that in your disclaimer in the sidebar so a first time visitor or someone who doesn't see this post will be aware of the comment policy.