1. It’s a good place. Make it better and we’ll like you.
2. New people are welcome, but I would appreciate it if you would ask yourself this question: Will I really post regularly? I mean, regularly enough that we will get to know you? If not, skip it and go to the IM Forum or something.
3. Persons requesting to be added to the blog will be asked to submit a personal/theological/vocational bio to me. You also can expect to wait a few days to get on.
4. If you are a legalist or a sensitive type, you are probably not going to be very happy here, because there is a lot of humor, ranting and skewering of various targets, so if you are looking for the typical Christian discussion area, I would move on. Seriously.
4a. If you are looking for a bombing range, move on. If you are convinced of your intellect and want to prove it, move on. If you don’t have the time to READ other posts and then respond to the POSTER in a way that honors the person above your disagreement, then you won’t be posting here. I will drop you. Without guilt.
5. All points of view are hanging around here somewhere, so if sounds like it’s all a bunch of men or Calvinists or Republicans or worship traditionalists or ______________ or Oprah fans (!!) don’t be fooled and post something you’ll regret. There is actually quite a bit of diversity on here. Baptists. Pentecostals. Catholics. The uncategorized. The unwashed.
6. People really do read this. I mean LOTS of people, so before you post it, think about it. Lurkers often write me. If you get edited, it’s really about the younger readers, not the rest of us.
7. People’s feelings can get hurt (though we might hate to admit it.) And it usually happens because you are immaturely upset that someone holds a different opinion than you, or you forget that discussing opinions doesn’t involve making personal judgments about people you only know on the other side of a monitor. It’s conversation, not sport.
8. Sarcasm should be signaled by “(JN)”. It’s a long story. Humor by (SW)
9. Though we begin with an assumption that anyone’s profession of Christianity is true, denials of essential tenets of the Christian faith- such as those affirmed in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds- will certainly cause discussion and analysis in the bar. If you apply a label to yourself, expect to be scrutinized based on the expectations that people have about that label. If you dispute their expectations with panache, your contribution to Tavern life will be appreciated. If you don’t dispute their expectations, but agree that you’re not meeting them, and insist that the label applies, you’re being silly, and you will be taunted. Only Scott is allowed to be silly, although Jim can occasionally be silly as a side-effect of his bitter invective and abject cynicism. Bart may seem silly at times, but please don’t say it to his face, unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences.
10. Please do a reasonably brief bio on yourself when you start posting regularly, and post it under the “Profiles” Category. If there is something we need to know in under to not run you over, please tell us. I mean, if you are a midget, and you don’t mind the risk that midget jokes will one day appear on the blog, then keep it a secret. But if your short status is an emotional issue with you and could cause hard feelings, please let us know. Either at the beginning, or when appropriate.
11. We do not categorize every post, but there are some categories. Check them out. Ask what they mean if you are unclear.
12. When you join, listing an email address is helpful. It appears on the blog as an icon, no no spam.
13. It ranges from the serious to the trivial, sometimes the really serious and sometimes the extremely trivial. If you assume it will always be one thing or another, you will be wrong.
13a. We can be a “Look at my cat!” blog for short periods of time.
14. I’m no prude, but keep the language and humor pg-13 please. It’s mostly boys and we tend to act like it.
15. Try to start posts with the name of the person to whom you are responding. (And it’s MATTHEW, not Matt.) If you have a nickname you prefer, tell us and we’ll use it.
16. If you make a statement of reality or fact, it is perfectly fair- and not rude- to ask you to produce some credible evidence that backs you up. That is particularly appropriate when claims about individuals are made. Ex: Luther and Calvin believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Ken said it, I asked for references. He came up with them. I was wrong. Imagine that.
17. If you are a liberal or a big fan of TBN or overly enamored of your own opinions and expertise it may occasionally get ugly, and if you read the stuff on Internetmonk.com you won’t be surprised at what may be said. (If you haven’t read Internet Monk, you might do so before falling into the fray. We welcome all points of view, but it can get pretty lively.)
18. Don’t take the occasional alcohol discussion too seriously.
19. THIS RULE ON HOLD!: We cannot discuss the War Between the States. We’ve proven it, so remember, I warned you.
20. Please be careful with MT when posting pictures, sounds or wild html tricks. I will delete all pictures within 24 hours unless I don’t.
21. If you post through w.bloggar, it generates an automatic title. This won’t appear on the main page, but will appear in archives (at this point.)
22. If you’re involved in a topic, you must respond in some way to questions directed specifically to you, or drop the topic. You may not continue to discuss the topic at hand while ignoring direct questions.
23. If you don’t post for a month, I will probably take you off the list. Just write me and I’ll put you back. (Ask Rob…really!) If I drop you for vulgarity or rule 4a, just go ahead and be offended now and get it over with.
24. There are some points of view so offensive even I don’t want to listen to them. (Racism, etc.) So if you become so obnoxious no one wants to post anymore, I’ll show you the door, but I’ll warn you first. Maybe.
25. Don’t ask so many questions that the sheer number of them prevents any serious discussion.
26. Don’t hound or taunt people. I mean, if you ask a question and get an answer twice, experience suggests its time to move on. If it amazes you that someone gives you the same stupid answer twice, then just be amazed.
27. Members of BHT are encouraged to use the e-mail directory to admonish one another. IOW, if you have a gripe about someone else, tell them, not just me. Lurkers- that goes for you to.
28. Don’t sell anything on here unless you ask me and I say OK.
29. If you really liked the Left Behind Books, I am happy for you. Really. But that’s just one example of things lots of people are into that I’m really not into, so be forewarned. Others: Jabez. TBN. Revivals. Invitationalism. CCM. P&W.
30. Really long posts are tolerated. But there are limits to the human attention span, and many readers will not read long posts. After a while they conclude you have nothing interesting to say.
31. Don’t repeat yourself unless your mind is going and you can’t help it.
32. One word: Spelling. OK- I know I’m not perfect, but try, OK? (And if you need to point out someone’s recurrent spelling errors, do it by e-mail. Public embarrassment is a turn-off.)
33. We’ve covered some topics so many times that a new discussion may be a non-starter. It’s a hazard of being around here for too long. Don’t expect the long time residents to want to ride every horse you bring in.
34. There are a number of dead horses at the BHT at any time. Ask someone for a current rundown.
35. The BHT has a troll blog. Since it is full of racist comments and other offensive language, please do not mention it in any posts. Starve the troll, iow.
36. yada yada yada
37. READ the blog. If you write but don’t read, it will become irritating.
38. Constant negative posting makes you a pain.
39. If you know a lot more about something than the rest of us, then carry your knowledge with some grace and humility.
40. ALL links from, ALL quotes from and any comments about the BHT or its fellows (and their blogs) taken from the sites listed are prohibited at the BHT. This does NOT mean these blogs cannot be mentioned or topics at these blogs discussed, but ALL links from and ALL quotes from these blogs and any comments CONCERNING THE BHT or its MEMBERS (and their blogs) are prohibited. [Fide-O, Triablogue, Centuri0n, Pyromaniacs, Alpha and Omega Ministries, EmergentNo, Doxoblogy]