All in all, we’re just another brick in the wall

About a year ago, under the title Toward a Christianity of Common Sense, I published a 16-point articulation of a Christian theology that, to me, makes sense. I only (if carefully, with input on it from the best pastors, theologians, and Christian layperson I know) wrote it because I couldn’t find anything like it.

The response to the document was such that I felt a moral obligation to start at least some kind of online group, or collective, or something, where people could do whatever they wanted around it.

So I put out a little online call asking if anyone wanted to volunteer to help do anything like that. Web guru (and creator of this site) Dan Wilkinson came forward to design a superb forum for what by then we were calling ThruWay Christians; Leslie Marbach (who later suffered the terrible tragedy I wrote about in The Frost and Freedom of Death) volunteered to manage the forum (with the help of a superb crew of volunteer moderators); and Liza Salazar donated her considerable talents to designing the TWC logo you see above. (Since then Lisa has also designed four of my e-book covers).

And we were off!

The response to the forum was great!

But after awhile people sort of basically quit posting there. I have no idea why. The thing looked and functioned as well or better than any online forum I’ve seen. For about four months the response to it was superb—and then it just petered out.

Honestly, I didn’t care. I never visited the thing; my motto about ThruWay Christians has always been: “Whatever.” If it needs me to make it fly, I’m happy to let it crash. I’ve about as much interest in becoming a religious leader as I do in wearing a chicken suit and waving to passing cars outside a Chick-fil-A.

So then we shut the forum down. (Although it was so beautiful, and early on so many people left such amazing stuff there, that before taking it offline Dan, in his wisdom, saved the entire site. And I still own the domain thruwaychristians.com, so perhaps in the future … ?)

Anyway, to keep it all short: ThruWay Christians are now Unfundamentalist Christians. You can read a bit about the change here.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Wendy Young Callaway via Facebook

    I actually just recently joined the Thruway Christians page, can’t wait to see all the great posts from the new admins :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    and feel free to post your own stuff there, Wendy! Thanks!

  • Joy

    Kenyan love to you John! I hope the crack team of admin people get on it!It’s too much of a good thing to lose :-)

  • Mindy

    Up and running and links are showing up – yay!!!

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

    I woke up this morning to a very pleasant surprise. Of course I’ve never been disappointed in the work you do or the projects you allow us to participate in.

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    I was sad to see the forum go. I like being a forum-ite but I’ve never been a fan of things like Facebook for some reason. I never joined – it reminded me too much of LiveJournal, which I had bad experiences on. I’m not that “friendly.” As for the forum, I posted robustly, then tapered off when I realized I was the only one posting there and that I was being my bizarre self – got embarassed for being my bizarre self and worried no one was responding because I was scaring everyone and ultimately saw “Oh, the forum is disbanding. Poo.” Happily went to posting my bizarre philosophical and quasi-theological musings on my blog, which no one reads anyway. And being a pain here.

    • LSS

      i meant to go read your stories and i missed them now the forum is closed. are they on your blog, too?

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        Yep.

        http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com

        You’ll have to search beneath random rants and raves now. I’ve been gushing about my favorite videogame series lately, so my “real work” is buried under that, but it’s there.

        • LSS

          Yeah after i asked i went and found it. And found the subscription button finally. I always resolve to read people’s blogs and then forget to. … That would be the ADD side i guess.

  • Brian Erickson via Facebook

    Yay, brilliant! And yes, we can take another fb forum if it means refreshment to our souls. Thank you as always John.

  • Richard W. Fitch

    OK! Looks like I have become one of The Twelve. I’ll do my best not to end up as one the of the Ten Lost Tribes. ;-)

  • Christine McQueen

    John, feel free to add me as an admin.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    Can of worms, meet can opener.

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

    Wait, I didn’t know that you were going to hunt me down and kill me.

    I knew I should have kept using the pseudonym. Dang …

    Oh, well … at least I live in New … uhhh … never mind. But it’s a far way away from California, so I think you’ll have a hard time finding me. ; -)

    Anyway, John, I think it’s a great idea. We’ll see what happens from here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dianne-McManus/1644467554 Dianne McManus via Facebook

    I had the same thing happen..would not let me post, but I could comment on the admins. comments…oh well..still a great page!!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      try again?

      • Yas

        Hello Mr. Shore,

        I’ve enjoyed reading the posts on your website – whether or not I agree with everything you said :-) I have a question that might seem silly but I’m going to ask anyway.

        Do you think/believe it is actually possible for believers to simply believe in God , to accept God’s love for us, and to heed God’s command for us to love one another (thereby genuinely respecting people and not murdering them, calling them obscene/derogatory names/”colorful” slurs, acting on prejudices/stereotypes, practicing discrimination or segregation, judging/thinking we are better than others, etc.)? Essentially, do you think/believe if we (believers and/or non-believers) “die unto our selves,” life can be lived with peace? The reason I ask this is because in reading comments from your various posts, I have seen so much hatred from reading responses (particularly to the gay issue) from individuals (I have no idea what their faith/political stances are but that doesn’t matter) and I ask myself, is this really necessary? I may not agree with you Mr. Shore on several things and vice versa if you knew me, but I would not want to throw hateful sentiments your way (or towards others) because where would that get me personally?

        I know we are all human and we are not perfect, but being someone who has had several deaths in the immediate family and amongst friends in less than 10 years (deaths caused by hate crime, freak car accidents, freak accident, natural disaster), I’m conscious (actually, hyper-conscious which is extremely annoying sometimes) that my life really is extremely short, especially in comparison to eternity (who knows what the hell that’ll be about) .

        Because I realized that I may not have the privilege of dying on a death bed, I figured I might as well start loving God and honoring God by changing .00001% of my behavior towards people. Trust me when I say I was an extremely hateful/ugly person with not much love left in my heart for anyone until the last death occurred – I hit rock bottom after that. I eventually woke up and saw life as a gift and an opportunity to respect those whom I want to sincerely disrespect and even verbally dehumanize. These days, I am shocked to say that I am sincerely able to offer respect and compassion towards most people I meet, even the ones whom I really disagree with or the ones who have the courage to say inappropriate remarks to my face as it relates to my dark hue (yes, these things still happen in the 21st c.). I am constantly challenged not to judge others (along with a minimum of 25 other sins I absolutely love to commit on a daily basis) and I can’t stand it because I really do like to think I’m perfect!

        Attempting to die unto one’s self sucks – absolutely sucks. I’m reconsidering this Jesus thing as I write this. I realized this Man was seriously abnormal (in a good way) and the love he possessed was clearly supernatural because there is no way in hell I can love like he did, not even if I was promised 100 years on this earth. All that to say, I don’t believe folks should virtually hold hands and sing some lady gaga song (cumbaya is sooo 1970) when sharing their thoughts – just wondering how can those of us (myself included) who believe in a non-discriminating and all-loving God play out hate when commenting on posts? Trust me Mr. Shore, there are some hateful sentiments I’d like to express (the fact that it’s in my head is just wrong lol) but I’m not sure what sort of contribution that will have to humanity – it would be like offering empty calories for critical thinking and spiritual nourishment. If I disagree with something you or someone else says, is it being “loving” to share a response that clearly has an attitude, is offensive and engrossed in hateful sentiments? Or, is it OK because I can pray for forgiveness later (or not)?

        Help,

        y.

  • LSS

    Just about 5 mins ago i tried to share a link onto the thruway christians page but was told i don’t have permissions to.

    Maybe misunderstanding what you wrote above.

    I think it could be nice if anybody could post but mods could delete anything that needed deleting. But i guess that would be a lot of work considering how many people come to your blog just to make unpleasantries, i think they would maybe come there, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.shore1 John Shore via Facebook

    This is so weird. I’m showing everybody has full permission to post anything. Let me see if I can figure out what’s going on…

  • Roger

    Looks like the new strategy is working! Good on you to come up with the solution.

  • http://ingridspeak.wordpress.com Ingrid

    John, that’s genius! Nothing profound for me to add or say… Great idea!


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