Sunday, November 29, 2009

the writings of dr jon gold and the faithmaps discussion group

After being unavailable for the past three years, I'm very pleased today to be able to announce that the posts of the late Dr. Jon Gold - fully indexed - are again available to the public on the faithmaps discussion group.

In addition, all faithmaps discussion group posts are now available and searchable here.

On 1 September 2006, I posted my last moderator's message to the faithmaps discussion group on yahoogroups. I had decided to shut down the group and had announced that decision on 22 Aug. It was a controversial decision. The group was launched on 16 may 2001 (see the first post here) as an adjunct to the site. It grew to have over 325 registered members. There were several months where we ran over 1000 emails. It became an online community. It was not a church but church happened on faithmaps. Friendships started on that group. There was, yes, a lot of controversy but that was sort of built into the group's design as there were only two criteria of participation:

1 - an interest in "tools for navigating theology, leadership, discipleship and church
life in postmodernity," and

2 - mutual respect. On the latter, once a month we posted this message which detailed the group's expectations and consequences for disrespect.

But after five years I finally came to the point of realizing that I no longer had time to moderate the group properly and so shut down the group.

But when I did so something happened that I did not plan. Shutting down the group caused the archives to no longer be public. This was not my intention at all. I had wanted our public conversations to remain public for those who were interested in them.

One of our participants was a professional philosopher - Dr. Jon Gold - and I especially wanted his contributions to the group to remain public. He wrote with a vast knowledge and understanding of philosophy and theology combined with deep Christian conviction and so his posts were of particular significance. Making his writings again available to the public has been very important to me as Jon passed away on Friday 23 July 2003. In fact, I viewed Jon's contributions to our online community as so critical that even before he passed I had indexed his posts by subject. That index is available here. I had also gathered in a separate list books that Jon had either recommended in group or to me personally here.

So since 2006, from time to time, I've attempted various things to make the group's archives public. A few days ago, I succeeded.


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