A Big Change at Jesus Creed

For about six months we have been in communication with a large website that has expressed an interest in hosting the Jesus Creed conversation. At first I had no interest, but I want to lay out for you today why we have made the decision to shift the site over to Beliefnet.com.
This is the header they’ve got ready to go:

Over the 3.5 years of hosting this blog I think we have established a way to communicate in a civil manner that is simply not found in many places in the Christian internet. We’d like to expand the community and we’d like to extend the kind of community we have here at Jesus Creed to the Beliefnet.com community. Furthermore, very few blogs have the mix of folks that we have — and we think moving to Beliefnet.com will not only expand the community but will give you — the Jesus Creed community — the opportunity to extend what we have done here to others.
No need to worry: the address will stay the same and it will be redirected from “www.jesuscreed.org” to the new address. So, you need not do anything to your link address.
Yes, we know change is not fun. In fact, we said no to Beliefnet.com for several months just because we like our color scheme and our community. Giving up that color scheme wasn’t easy for me, though it is the least important of what the blog is about. Furthermore, we didn’t want to “go corporate” and have ads, but we thought the expansion to new readers and the extension of this community to some new folks was more important than what the blog looked like. I think most of us have gotten used to ads, even though they can be annoying.
In essence, then, though the site will “look different” it will be the same community. I will be doing the same kinds of posts, the same kinds of series, and we’ll have guest bloggers and I hope we’ll have the same humor and the same internal ribbing of one another that we’ve had all along. I will continue to monitor all comments and have control over the conversations. That will not change.
As many of you know, Beliefnet.com is the biggest religious website in the world and we were honored they wanted to host this blog. By moving over to Beliefnet.com we will find ourselves engaging new folks, confronting new points of view, and take this civil conversation into a more public forum. Frankly, one of the most important considerations was whether or not our committed conversation partners would go with us. I’m convinced you will and I wouldn’t have thought of this had I not thought we could take this conversation to Beliefnet.com. I’ve talked to more than a dozen folks and almost everyone thought this was a good idea.
Let me explain something about this blog: it takes time. I get somewhere between 100 and 200 e-mails/comments per day and it is not always easy to keep up with it. On top of this, spammers are after us and I have to remove their attempts to get to the site. Beliefnet.com has more sophisticated stuff to counter this; they will provide technicians who look after this kind of thing, and it will save me time. Recently I spent the evening with a few people who helped me deal with someone who had hacked into this blog and messed up the capacity to upload images. Beliefnet.com has more sophisticated awareness of this sort of thing.
So, friends, I’m hoping you will join us on November 1st.
As always, I welcome your comments.

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  • Bummer.

  • 100% support your decision Scot.

  • Mike Mangold


  • Luke

    Fine by me. Essentially what you’re saying is that there’s really gonna be nothing different apart from the color scheme, it will have the same IP address, etc. How could anybody be upset about this? Good goin Scot

  • Wes

    Sounds great, Scot. I’m looking forward to it, and I totally dig the new banner. 🙂

  • Sounds good. Especially I like the thought of expanding the reader audience to include possibly nonChristian readers, readers from other faiths. But whatever is the case, we’ll not only watch, but seek to participate. Hopefully you won’t have to have a staff on board to deal with the volume that might come in, in time.

  • mariam

    I have eavesdropped on some interesting conversations at beliefnet. I have found this blog to really expand in terms of encouraging civil discourse of wide-ranging theological ideas in the 2 years or so I’ve been coming here. It seemed to start out as a place for moderate reform types but the audience has expanded to include a much wider range of Christianity and the topics seem to have expanded too. But belief.net attracts a REALLY broad audience and it may be a challenge to keep the same reasoned and civil level of discourse as we have consistently seen here. It will be interesting and I am looking forward to it.

  • Scot,
    I can certainly understand your desire to have administrative help with the technical details of the blog. You’ve done a terrific job so far. Like I’ve said before, folks at the ole One T are amazed that you have another job!
    I’m wondering what about this is a bummer to other folks?
    Maybe I should take a look at Beliefnet.com….

  • Christian News « The Baptist Beat

    […] Scott McKnight is Traveling to Beliefnet.com […]

  • Scot,
    While I emphatise with your need for administrative and technical help with your blog, I feel that moving to Beliefnet.com will remove the distinctive flavor of this blog which is yours and yours alone. It will never be the same as part of a large website.

  • jon

    I’m exited upon hearing this transition. The change is a big thing but non the less I believe it will do great in opening new avenues in conversations and the output of ideas.

  • Tim Gombis

    Hey Scot,
    Good on ya! Expanding the conversation is always a good thing!

  • Scott,
    I’ll be there.
    One question: for those of us who rely on RSS to keep up with blog posts, will the RSS feed be changing? If so, this needs to be communicated clearly and in advance.

  • Sorry, I meant “Scot”, of course…

  • Rob,
    If you type in “www.jesuscreed.org” it will get there. It “redirects” that address to the new one. But we’ll provide the new address when it is available.

  • Kyle

    The RSS feed will surely change to one of the beliefnet feeds. My biggest fear is that the content and community of the conversation will change. I fear the trolls that are rampant at beliefnet in the user comments. Simply having “orthodox faith” in the header will surely bring trolls. That’s okay though, Scot and most of us truly do represent orthodox faith (and some represent Orthodoxy), so hopefully we will be a light to the trolls!

  • Scot – I was talking about the RSS feed, not just the URL for the site itself. I guess someone at Beliefnet will need to give you the necessary information.

  • Kyle,
    We will be moderating comments; we do that all the time now and some comments don’t make it to the screen. I will keep the privilege of moderating comments.

  • Since I’ve followed your blog, I’ve been continually amazed at how you manage to post so much and respond to comments and e-mails. Honestly, I’m surprised you waited this long to make the change. Thanks for the warning, and congratulations.

  • Ed Gentry

    I’m very conflicted. I’ve come to value the content and dialog here on Jesus creed. But I’ve also very wary about the commercialization of Christianity. Our faith has in may places become simply another business which can easily become controlled by people who don’t even share our faith. Christian music, and christian book stores are excellent examples. I suppose blogs are next.
    I don’t know anything about beliefnet, so I’m not making an accusation about them. But just suppose that they sell their business to others who in an effort to drive more business start making demands about the content or the amount of advertising etc.

  • Scott,
    As long as you are able to moderate the comments in the way you do now, I think it will be a good thing. There used to be one site I would visit on beliefnet and the comments would get pretty ugly from both the theological left and right. With the broader audience you might find yourself busier at first addressing nasty comments from both the theological left and right who are not used to the civil discourse that has been a mainstay of Jesus Creed. Will be praying for you as you make this transition……

  • I have to be honest here; this worries me.
    I have reached a point where I read very few theology oriented blogs, not because there is not good information available, but because of very ‘un-jesus-like’ character of the comments. It seems like there is no room anymore for well-intentioned discourse or sincere disagreement.
    There were two blogs I liked very much (both hosted by beliefnet), but decided it would be best for me to quit reading because I would get frustrated by the uncharitable comments. In fact, Jesus Creed is one of the very few I read anymore just because of the level of civility in the discussion here.
    I understand the reasons for doing so, and hope for the best, but still, it worries me.

  • Jill

    I will follow you of course, but reading articles and blogs can be extremely distracting, even in you have the pop-ups blocks. Those ads float around on the articles themselves, which is why I try to avoid that place as often as possible. But I know it is a quality site which will broaden this web’s exposure. Good luck and let’s all pray about this exciting change.

  • I support your decision, even though I am sad to hear this.
    A couple thoughts –
    1) Techies will be familiar with Slashdot and Kur5hin. I was involved with Slashdot in the early/mid 90’s, before most people knew what “blogging” was.
    2) People who have maintained successful blogs have always stated that it is surprising the amount of work that goes into it. I believe them. I can’t even regularly post random thoughts in an orderly fashion for myself on my own blog, which is mostly me murmuring into the wind anyway. I am so, so grateful for the work that Scot puts into this blog. I benefit so much from it.
    4) Here’s the warning: More often than not, big blogs are pillaged and destroyed by trolls. Trolls ruin it for everyone. They change the nature of the discussion and drive away any transparant, honest discussion. Greater visibility will attract more interest from them. Hopefully beliefnet also has tools that will help make this job easier. It isn’t like none have ever visited here. This blog already has quite a bit of exposure, and Scot has helped shepherd the community quite well to date.
    Hopefully, it will be far more positive than negative. Again, a hearty thank you to Scot (and the community) for all your work. Here’s to the ongoing conversation!

  • in #24, that is supposed to be kuro5hin
    (an early geekish blog)

  • What Hugh (#22) said.
    Still, there is Isaiah 54:2, “…lengthen your cords; strengthen your stakes” to think about.
    There is also Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, says the LORD.”
    Don’t go getting all exegetical and hermeneutical on me, Scot, I know this chapter was written under different circumstances to a different group of Eikons at a different time and a different place and probably has no possible application to you, here and now, today. 🙂
    I do hope you reserve the right to extricate yourself from beliefnet.com if it turns out not to be your cup of tea, er, coffee after all.
    Blessings. Whither thou goest, I will go.

  • I am an avid reader and occasionally put my mite in. Indeed this blog is one of the most eikon civilized forums out there. There is no shying away from issues, it’s very engaging and unafraid to confront with past and current streams of thinking….
    As much as I share with very much liking Scots personality in this quasi-noncommercialized-organic/underground I see the wisdom in expanding the conversation for many others. I truly think that there will be many who will be blessed by this move. Others who have never heard of this jesuscreed community and others that have yet to enter a circle of Christocentric engagement of theology and life.
    Death & Resurrection

  • T

    Good move, Scot. You had me at “saves [you] time” and “more public forum.” I know the latter poses challenges as well as opportunities, but how can this be a missional blog if we’re not willing to take that risk? I’m glad you’re putting this blog on a stand.

  • Andie

    Scot, I will read no matter what because of the way the Lord has used you and others on this blog to help me grow up in Christ. BUT, I have the same reservations as others. I just love civilized collegial ‘non-commercial’ atmosphere of this blog, and I have come to evaluate all my reads in context of this one. I have yet to find another one where the love of Christ is as evident as it is among our fellowship on this blog.
    All that said, I trust your judgment and certainly want your workload to be eased. Scot, I will support you all the way, of course.

  • Scott Eaton

    Scot, I absolutely support you in this and will follow you to beliefnet. This blog is a great source of spiritual benefit and blessing to me. But I share the concerns of the others here. Will the blog retain its “broad,” yet “evangelical” flavor? Will truly civil dialogue ensue?
    I guess we shall see.

  • Scot,
    Julie and I are “with you” on this move. 🙂 I am concerned, too, though that grace-grinders will pillage JESUS CREED at its new home. That means your moderating time may jump even as your solving techy stuff is relieved.
    J & J

  • interesting.
    I echo others in the fear that this will fall prey to the same issues other Beliefnet blogs have – great content, but the comments are so full of trolls that no conversation is possible. It’s hard to balance diversity even with moderation, I’m interested to see what the effect will be on this blog.

  • I understand, especially regarding the time element and the need for technical support. I’ll follow you over there.

  • Clay Knick

    I am a long time reader of Jesus Creed and I think
    that this is great. Getting your thoughts, reviews,
    and the like out to many more people is a real plus.
    I read this blog each day. You’ve been a blessing to
    my life and ministry!

  • Ouch. I really can’t stand Beliefnet. It’s troll heaven. I feel relatively safe discussing controversial things here. Sure, it’s still public, but there’s a sense of organic context and community.
    OTOH, hopefully getting onto Beliefnet will put the moderate / progressive evangelical view more into the mainstream, which is a good thing, I guess.

  • Andie, (#29)
    “I have yet to find another one where the love of Christ is as evident as it is among our fellowship on this blog.”
    The one other blog that I would compare to it is:

  • Diane

    I haven’t blogged at Beliefnet but have found their information on Judaism and Christianity to be, let us say charitably, “limited” and “blindered.”
    I also have to say I don’t like the idea of going to the “mall” to find Jesus Creed (or Jesus Christ). I prefer the small cafe on Main Street, independently owned and operated. Isn’t the “megachurch,” be it cyber or physical, what we want to move away from as we rethink how we live out our faith? Sure the megachurch “reaches more people.” Is it a numbers game?
    I worry about the consolidation of the net into a few big players. I love the proliferation of small blogs and the chance to meet a small group of dedicated people. I don’t read newspaper blogss that go up to 200 and 300 and 500 comments, because it’s too overwhelming, and in the end, too random and impersonal.
    I hear you that maintaining this site is hard, and I appreciate the gift of your hard work, which is a blessing beyon meausre. But life is hard and sometimes things are worth doing the hard way. Look what happened when we moved from family farms to agribusiness. We have cheap food but less nutrition.
    Ease and money are enticements that lure all of us, especially in these hard times. (I don’t know if you are making money from this, but have to imagine that may be the case.) My faith, Scot, is that if this blog begins to warp, that you of all people will have the strength of character to pull it out of Beliefnet and reestablish it on Main Street. I also have faith that many of we regulars who have our own modest blogs will continue the conversation and spread the word regardless of what happens here. I will continue to talk to Ted and Peggy and others, because the relationships I’ve established here are the most important part of this journey.

  • Scot… I’m with you and think ultimately it will be a good thing (based on all that you outlined). I (and many) are thankful for your ministry through this blog. Thanks!

  • I think everyone before me has listed down the pro and cons. As for me, I’m still quietly eavesdropping and occasionally say hello and a few more words 🙂 and I will continue to do so from afar …

  • I’ll certainly keep following it. I’m going to be interested to see if the character of the discussion changes. I love the mixture right now within the conversation, allowing me as a pastor to get into academic discussions about these topics with people who generally push me. I appreciate the desire to bring both the considerate character of this blog and the insights shared hear to a wider audience. I sincerely hope this blog can continue to be a light to othes and a treat for those of us who love such deep theological conversations.
    Thanks for your continued hard work!

  • There’s some really important clarity here: Yes, we are concerned about “trolls” (to use a word I learned this morning) and if the trolls take over, we’ll be back right here as we have always been.
    One thing I’m committed to here is civility. No civility, no blog for me.

  • JWT

    The only thing I would point out is that threads are much more difficult to follow on beliefnet blogs. Comments can easily escalate into many HUNDREDS on any one thread. I suppose adding more people to the conversation is a good thing but keep in mind you will be adding ALOT MORE!! Blessings…

  • I don’t think you have to worry about everyone moving with you — one url is as good as another.
    But the comments at beliefnet are not like here. I hope it doesn’t get out of control. This is the most civil site on the net; I’d hate to lost that.
    My two cents — reject that header; it’s too trendy. Shoot for something more timeless.

  • JWT

    Follow up question…showing my blogospheric ignorance…can someone define the “troll” concept for me? I frequent a ton of blogs in various parts of the theological spectrum but I have never encountered that?

  • Rob

    I’m sorry to see this happen, but you have to do what you think is best Scot. I feel like we are going to lose our civil and open (nothing prevents people from coming here, just like nothing prevents people from going to beliefnet) organic community by coming under “corporate”. Just my thoughts.

  • I think its a bummer for 3 reasons…
    1. I just cant see how a site like Beliefnet is going to be less work – its going to be more. I think you’re going to have waaay more moderation to do.
    2. One of the cool things I like about Jesus Creed at present is that we talk about big ideas, sometimes even using big words. If you are attracting a more mainstream audience, I think you’ll get a lot more pleas of “can we please use smaller words”
    3. The ads make it difficult. When an ad is on the page, part of my brain is trying to block it out, while also trying to attend to the material on the page. I dont know if this is true for anyone else, but reading in that kind of environment is much less enjoyable.

  • Andie

    Scot, I feel like our comments have become a big downer, and that wasn’t my intention when I made my comments. Nevertheless, they sound that way. I’m sorry that I didn’t spend more time in my original comments to share my hopes that this move will bless many others the way it has me.
    Everyone is sharing worries, and I certainly understand that, but I’m going to try to rally myself and encourage the troops here to direct our hopes toward God doing a wonderful work with this.
    I’m not meaning to sound like I’m chastising, if this comment did; I just got a little bummed after reading all the comments to this point and decided to relay that sense.

  • While I share the concerns of others about having to update my RSS feed (which almost certainly won’t be covered on your end by making sure the URL is forwarded), and of the trolling becoming too much to handle, I look forward to seeing this new development and how it all works out.
    I think the right word is “congratulations!” 🙂

  • A lot of talk about trolls. It seems to me that it’s just as much OUR (the current JC readers’) responsibilty to deal with them as it is Scot’s, Beliefnet’s or anyone else’s. Let’s all make sure that Jesus Creed keeps the same tone, while expanding its readership.
    Even trolls are capable of being redeemed, right?

  • My 2 Cents

    Just so they don’t censure you. Oh, there I go with my conspiracy theory personality. I hear your reasons. No problem for this reader. I like the expression of others who also indicate that we are as much responsible for the tone of the community here at the Creed.

  • JWT –
    A troll has several different meanings, but the general concept is someone who posts a comment simply to be inflammatory. They are not concerned with actually having a conversation, simply stating their point. At times, this is reflected in that every post they make takes some trail back to a particular peeve or issue. Other times, trolls will make comment after comment to simply derail the conversation. I think the image of a troll is a picture of someone who lurks in the dark, seeking to cause destruction and not really knowing or being known. Hope that helps.

  • Karl

    I’m disappointed. My concern is that the overall high level of discourse and unusual civility will be compromised. I understand the reasons it is easier to move to Beliefnet, and I’ll keep checking in regularly as long as the blog remains basically the same in terms of comment quality and civil tone. But if/when that changes, I’ll sadly decide to come by less frequently.

  • JWT (and Scot, if you just learned about trolls today),
    This link might be helpful to you in understanding the whole troll issue. It is a very distressing thing, indeed:

  • Fantastic decision, the message needs to be shared in a much bigger community and beliefnet.com is the best.

  • Tom

    I understand, and will go with the flow. I commend you to God’s grace and pray that this would most of all be an expanding opportunity for the kingdom of God. These are difficult, but important times we live in.

  • Scot,
    I read all of your blog posts through my RSS reader. I only venture onto your site if I want to leave a comment. The primary difference between your feed and the feeds I’ve seen on Beliefnet is that you offer the full feed (thus allowing me to read your blog from within my reader) and Beliefnet requires you to visit their site in order to read the entire blog.
    Is there any chance that your blog will continue to offer the full post content in the RSS feed instead of just the standard Beliefnet teaser?
    Or does anyone know how view the full post content when a site only offers a teaser?

  • BeckyR

    If the number of comments go up, it will be hard to read all of them and thus have a “conversation.” And I share the concern about trolls. Best thing would be to ignore them and get on with the civil convo. Engage a troll and all you do is encourage them and get even more troll substance in the comments.

  • RJS

    John has a good point.
    Because I travel a fair bit I often read the full content, comments and posts, off-line, downloaded when I have a connection.
    I can even get the full post using Atom Feed on a mobile device.

  • Richard

    Will we still get the occasional post on the Bears and the Cubs? If those have to go it could be a deal breaker for me 😉
    Seriously, one of the features that keep me coming back to this blog is the combination of serious, true-to-life, theology and the glimpses into Scot’s life and interests (such as sports, family, students, etc). I find such posts to be just as helpful as the rest.
    Thanks for all you do, brother.

  • Anyone who ever read “Three Billy Goats Gruff” should know what a troll is. A troll lives under a bridge and tries to impede the progress of anyone or anything that wants to cross the bridge. A lurker (someone who reads but doesn’t comment) is not a troll. More trolls (people who make lewd, crude, and intentionally rude comments on blogs just because they can) ought to think seriously about becoming lurkers.
    On a side note), and speaking of bridges, people in Michigan (John Frye, are you listening?) often are divided into Youpers and Trolls. The Youpers (U.P.’ers) live on the Upper Peninsula. The Trolls live “under the bridge” — the bridge being the one that spans the Straits of Macinac that divides the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan. But not always, apparently. Last Sunday afternoon I met a woman from Michigan, and when I asked, “Are you a Youper or a Troll?” she had no idea what I was talking about.
    The best thing to do when a troll comments inappropriately on a blog or bulletin board is just ignore it. Answering trolls only encourages them. Feed them a pork chop and they’ll go away.
    I am not a troll, even though this comment is somewhat off-topic.

  • I see that Becky made that point even while I was in the process of making it myself.

  • I’ve always thought of “troll” in this context not as the mythological ugly creature, but as someone who “trolls” for arguments the way a fisherman “trolls” for fish. The fisherman throws a lure behind the boat and plows through the school hoping something will bite. Same with a forum troll — they throw out their pet bombs hoping someone will jump into the argument.
    Another comment, if I may Scot: I wonder if anyone else feels a little dissed as a community member by this? Imagine a pastor saying to the congregation, without any prior discussion, “I’m moving this church from the suburbs to the city; hope you can join us.” Ok, this community isn’t anything like a church, and a blog publisher has the right to do what he likes with his content, but still… isn’t the whole Jesus Creed idea about building community?

  • BTW, I think my etymology of “troll” is correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

  • dopderbeck,
    That’s a tough one to take, brother. Yes, I did think of this over and over but didn’t want it to become a public discussion as if it were a “vote” of some sort. So, I chatted with some, weighed the options…
    and, by the way, I’m hoping you’ll join us at Beliefnet.com.

  • Love the new banner look and feel. I think they capture JesusCreed well man.

  • “Ignore them and they go away” just doesn’t work – not if you have a community dedicated to honest and open conversation. In my opinion, if trolls are not moderated out by a person or people in control of the board, they will take over and ruin the conversation. The conversation becomes all about gamesmanship, not about honest wrestling with various viewpoints. I base this claim on being involved in various forums for over ten years. I have seen some boards successfully stay on-mission while others are shipwrecked.
    The good news is that Scot already actively maintains this board. He is going to be accused repeatedly of being intolerant and authoritarian. He probably already gets those accusations as it is. Get into a shouting match with trolls, you lose every time. My opinion is you have to block them. If they can’t start arguments and get people riled up, they will go someplace else.
    If comments could have a big troll icon on them when someone is just messing around or is just out to debate for the sake of debating, then everyone could ignore them. But trolls masquerade as real people. And when one leaves, another takes its place. They are bent on mischief and without “adult supervision” they tear the place up. Again, the good news is that Scot has already been dealing with this. The best case scenario is that it is just more of the same, except with improved tools for him to use.
    And, better case scenario is that still more people are welcomed into the community to the benefit of everyone.

  • My take on this is: this is your blog, we are your guests, and if you in your wisdom have decided that this a good thing, go for it. You will monitor the comments, that will not change. This is your blog, not your life, it shoudl not become a burden. I will be there. When does this move take place? If you have already said when, well then there you… I missed it.

  • Ohhhh yeah, November 1st. It helps to read the whole thing. What do you know…

  • RJS

    You know folks – we’ve had many trolls on this site over the years. When they get obnoxious they are placed on the “moderate” list. Usually they go away. When comments don’t appear immediately and outlandish statements are banned, they go away. Those who are not really trolls modify their approach and converse.
    The job may get bigger on Beliefnet – but it will not really change.

  • Taylor

    It’s hard to find a balanced, civilised approach like this site/community. How could I stop now?

  • Rob

    To me, as I mentioned earlier, trolls isn’t a concern. With Scot moderating, it will be civil. My biggest concern is that I feel like we’re selling out to “corporate” Christianity. I’m not sure why moving to Beliefnet would introduce more readers to the site? Both sites have no restrictions about who comments on them. People who are averse to these types of conversations are not likely to read them here or there. Unless I’m missing something?

  • Elizabeth Chapin

    “zap body fat and boost libido fast” ad on beliefnet. I am conflicted. Do you get to moderate the ads?

  • Elizabeth,
    I thought you might be kidding. I just looked over at some of the beliefnet blogs, and sadly, it doesnt seem you are…ads for wrinkle cremes, weight loss, blah blah. Lots of moving and flashing things.
    Scot, its your site, and you can do whatever you want…but I wonder if there is a different way to remain here? Could we take up a collection to buy you some of that fancy software that helps manage the blog easier??

  • Dana Ames

    Scot, I trust your judgment to make good decisions; you’ve done so so far. I’ll be here or there, wherever you are.

  • Dirk

    Scot, moving to a bigger website has some advantages and some disadvantages, which other readers have pointed out before me. Your post makes clear you have thought very well about this, therefor I fully support your decision.
    After all, colour schemes and (trollish) comments are not the things that make a good blog, it’s the content (which happens to be very good and well-balanced IMHO)
    I too would like to read a short time in advance about RSS feeds moving

  • Tom

    Since we’re going with mythology, the problem with the trolls on the internet is that they have this magical ability to change form. I hope there is some way to counteract the dark magic.

  • Karl

    If Scott plans to moderate the blog with the same degree of dedication and care that he has done here – I do wonder if the increased rate of posting at Beliefnet (and the almost certain significant increase in number of people who either don’t know or don’t care about the civility in which discussion takes place on the Jesus Creed board), won’t overall result in his working more on this blog rather than less?
    I’m sure that’s something you’ve thought about, Scott. But I wonder if you aren’t just trading dealing with spammers here, for dealing with many more trolls and other antagonistic posters on Beliefnet.
    My concern about a lowered level of dialogue remains also. There is thoughtful, quality commentary in many of the actual articles on Beliefnet. But perusing the comments and looking at those ads mentioned above, Beliefnet feels more like the fast food station in Wal-Mart, while this blog has felt like a cozy community-owned cafe that has its own community-shaped culture. Maybe rather than the McDonalds in Wal-Mart, the Starbucks in Barnes and Noble is a more fair analogy to Beliefnet, I don’t know. I’d still prefer the locally owned coffee shop with its own community based culture over the corporately created ambience of the B&N Starbucks. I hate the fact that this sounds snobbish. But the level of discourse here is one of the reasons I come, and if in order to find one thought provoking comment I have to wade through multiple posts that don’t follow the basic rules of logic or show an awareness of how to make a point cogently while trying to ignore obnoxious advertisements, then I’ll probably come less often.

  • Eugene

    I am looking for some idea and stumble upon your posting 🙂 decide to wish you Thanks. Eugene

  • Patrick

    I admit I dread the change a little, too, but if this community can model a civil exchange of views for others to join, and it relieves Scot of some of the work, then the risk is worth it.

  • Sue Van Stelle

    I agree that the ads on BeliefNet are dorky, but I just want to say:
    Remember all the stories in the Bible of God’s children ending up in “alien” situations? Abraham & Sarah in Canaan, Moses in Egypt, Joseph in Egypt, Daniel and his 3 friends in Babylon, Esther in Persia, the Church in a Roman-occupied world…
    I am confident that this blog can retain its God-bathed identity and head out. It might not be comfortable, but it might be a God thing.

  • Daryl

    I agree with RJS #69: the moderation that Scot uses already helps deal with trolls. Scot, I imagine your job moderating comments will only increase with the move though. I’ve been an avid JesusCreed reader for about two years now; thanks for all the hard work you do, and for the continued hard work you will be putting in through this transition.

  • Brian

    Bob (#60),
    To correct the spelling, those of us above da bridge are Yoopers. Glad to see you are aware of the larger semantic range of “troll.” You betcha.

  • cas

    I like the idea of growing the Jesus Creed community, however I am already disinclined to comment on other beliefnet blogs that I read, especially now that Fox Entertainment Group owns the site.
    It’ll be interesting …

  • Scot–will look forward to seeing your new blog. Sounds like a very good opportunity as this blog continues to grow.

  • Josh

    Wow. I guess for me, I am just really surprised. After taking a look at beliefnet especially. And now I am sort of sad. Some of the content on beliefnet is really strange to me. (like calling on arch angel michael for peace or calming of fear?) Maybe it is just me, I just am really going to miss this atmosphere for sure. I know that I will give it a try, but getting past the popping up of windows, and the ads will no doubt wear on me quickly.
    I do wish the very best for you Scot, and have always been encouraged in my relationship with the Lord through you. I just don’t know that bigger is always better, at least for me.

  • Someone earlier up the chain said it best… This is your blog, and we are your guests. I’m sure if the site brings in new guests who get too rowdy and stay for too long, you’ll have the wisdom to know what to do.
    I am amazed at the time you must already spend writing, monitoring, and maintaining it. I’m not upset by the change because I trust your motives for moving it. I’m sure you feel far more attached to it than we ever could, so if you think it’s a good thing, I’ll follow. If you decide it’s not a good thing, I’ll follow you back here. 🙂

  • Great. Good for you.

  • Scot,
    I appreciate the huge effort you put into this blog – and truly hope that the move to Beliefnet.com will alleviate some of that pressure. That being said, I echo concerns about the comment spam and flame wars that seem to break out regularly there.
    Regardless, I’ll keep reading.

  • Rick in Tx

    I don’t want to sound negative. I have concerns that are shared by others. But I will stay and participate and pray that you are guided by wisdom, Scot, as you observe what things change and what things don’t and how well it is working for you.

  • Daniel S

    Good move Scot. I’m looking forward for the new discussion topics as this move will open the window wider for dialogue with Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox, and the whole gamut of world religions.

  • GregF

    I always thought that Beliefnet.com was kind of an “I’m OK, you’re OK; lets not make waves, we all believe in God, kumbye’ya sort of a place.” (But, I must admit that my opinion is based on only brief visits to the place.)
    I totally understand the administrative reasons for moving there, but I wonder what the long term effect will be. This thought comes to mind: It’s hard to remember that our original intent was to drain the swamp when we are up to our butt in aligators.
    Best of luck to you.

  • I love beliefnet. BUT… you may seriously need to bring someone else into to patrol the comments. They can be really, really brutal and many people have left blogs they actually loved because they cannot deal with the comments. Which is bad. One piece of advice, if I may: be a dictator about comments. Don’t assume that the freedom of an open conversation trumps maintaining the tone you’d like to keep. Just as an example, I used to be a regular reader/commenter on the Crunchy Cons blog there, but left because I got tired of comments which were made with the appearance of civility and even claims to science, but which had at their core racist ideology. Since they didn’t come right out and use derogatory words or blatant “black people are evil” phrasing, the blogger felt he needed to leave them up. Really, I think the whole blog would have been better off if he had been willing to say, “this does not contribute anything useful to the sort of conversation we’re about so I’m taking it down for that reason alone.” Freedom of speech means you cannot be prevented from saying anything you want. It does not mean you are entitled to have your words posted where ever you want them to be. It’s your blog – be the dictator!
    Like I said, I do love beliefnet and they do a great job of bringing good conversations to a wider audience. But I too hope you have retained the right to pull out if it doesn’t work out.

  • Mick

    My first impressions after waiting 24 hours to post is unsettled. Tho I’m not a big contributor, I’m an loyal reader. Tere may be some commercial advantages to moving in this direction, and possibly some outreach benefits, I’m concerned the spirit of the Jesus Creed will diminish.

  • Awesome Scot. Beliefnet is good people; Patton Dodd is awesome. I look forward to the expanded opportunities!

  • My 2 Cents

    I think I will feel like a Blue Parakeet in that new blogosphere!

  • mariam

    I echo a little bit what Rebecca says about not being afraid to use a heavier hand to moderate, and maybe even calling in reinforcements, but I think as a community we can help as well. First I think we all need to take a deep breath when we see comments that offend us and to bite our tongue a bit rather than come in like the Cavalry. I’ve been guilty of not thinking of the consequences before hitting Submit as much as anybody and I will try harder. We tend to know something about each other here and we have a history so I think we tend to make allowances most of the time. I almost always disagree with some regular posters here (as I am sure they almost always disagree with me) but as time has worn on I find that I am less likely to see red when they post something I strongly disagree with, and more likely to try and understand where they are coming from. Sometimes I pass on the urge to get involved with the discussion because I know I just can’t do so without offending or being offended (as in the discussion on abortion). We will need to be ever mindful that the world is watching and that we need to model empathy, compassion and patience. It will be a good opportunity to practise our Jesus Creed skills.

  • I can’t believe that I, a sometimes-professional editor, actually employed ‘awesome’ twice in my comment above. It’s been one of those days…

  • …like I was mentionin’ a couple of days ago, I recon we just need to introduce Beliefnet.com folks to the One T Saloon real up-front-like … and be sure to have lots of deputies stoppin’ by to remind folks of the Rule of the Jesus Creeders, eh? 8)

  • Lukas McKnight


  • …couldn’t resist the 100th comment….

  • Random Acts of Linkage #83 : Subversive Influence

    […] Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed is moving to beliefnet — thankfully, Scot says no changes to content (or the url). […]

  • Just jumpin’ in on the Beliefnet thing being all supportive, and know this helps especially on the tech support thing. But definitely the group sentiment is right here… how similar the community feels is gonna depend on comment moderation etc.
    I really do think if this whole community travels over with you, and enforces our standards of civility together, we can crowd out (in the helpful loving sense of it – heh) potential problem people (trolls).

  • Doug Allen

    I’m late in learning of the change. First, thank you Scot for the 3 years that I’ve been a lucker and sometime participant. I never could figure out how you had the time to moderate. If what some say is true, moderation may be even more difficult at beliefnet.com? I’ve been here about three years I think. Here’s what I appreciate-
    1. the emphasis on the Jesus creed itself.
    2. the civility
    3. the level of discourse and expertise
    4. the fascinating and educational discussions which many feel so strongly about, but are pretty much unrelated to my own spiritual journey and simple-minded faith. Sadly, I fear they’re often a detour from the Jesus creed.
    From what others have written, perhaps I’ll be joined by other religious liberals and go from being perhaps the most liberal here to being one of the more conservative, as I am at the UU church.
    See you all at beliefnet.com tomorrow.