What This Blog Is For: From Roger Olson
Some people who comment here seem not to understand the purpose of this blog. So this is for you—if you are at all ignorant of or confused about the purpose of this blog and why I do not approve all comments.
I started this blog off the Patheos platform and was then invited to join the Patheos family of bloggers. I did. So, first of all, Patheos’s rules govern what can and what cannot be said here.
I started this blog to have a public space to express my opinions mainly about evangelical Christian theology but also about Christian ethics. Occasionally I wander off those topics to express opinions about other matters.
I believe my “voice” among American evangelicals is different from what many people expect (from an American evangelical). I am not a fundamentalist or a member of any organization affiliated with the so-called “religious right.” I cannot be categorized in the usual categories that people think of when they think of “evangelicalism.”
And yet I have been an evangelical Christian my entire life and for all of my adult life have been intimately involved in American evangelicalism. I will give just one example. For years I was on the masthead of Christianity Today as a consulting and then contributing editor.
I welcome non-evangelicals and even non-Christians to ask questions in order better to understand evangelical Christianity, but I do not give commenters permission to use my blog to promote their own perspectives or agendas that are alien to evangelical Christianity. I regard this blog as a place for dialogue but not debate between incommensurate ideologies, worldviews, religious perspectives, etc.
I commonly simply delete comments that are not appropriate for this blog—especially ones that are hostile, ignorant (except to ask a question), uncivil, or that attempt to use my blog to promote the commenter’s alien worldview, philosophy, ideology, or religion.
Also, once I decide that a commenter is only here to heckle me I at least temporarily ban him or her. I don’t have time to be dragged into lengthy debates over minor matters such as when people seem only to want to quibble.
My time is limited and I would rather spend more of it being constructive than debating. Dialogue is fine; debate is not what this blog exists for.
I do NOT expect agreement; this is not an echo chamber. However, disagreement must be stated calmly and respectfully and reasons given. (But please keep your comments and questions brief and only one per day!)
Another purpose of this blog is for me to learn from readers. I enjoy reading informative and insightful commments. Again, however, I expect them to be brief and not attempts to misuse my blog to promote an alien (to evangelical Christian) worldview, life philosophy, theology.
I do not use my blog to offend people, but some of my opinions inevitably do offend some people. If that is your case, I advise you to not read my blog. Don’t expect me to be governed by your feelings.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, from here on I will simply delete any comment that misrepresents what I clearly said. I expect a fairly high level of ability to comprehend on the parts of my readers. Misunderstanding, however, is okay so long as it is not insulting or argumentative. However, when I see that a commenter is simply misrepresenting what I said in his or her response, I will simply delete the comment without further ado.
Thank you for understanding the purpose of my blog and adhering to its expectations and guidelines.