Tuesday, October 30, 2007

RIP - Board of Declaration

In the past, I would occasionally mention having some debate or another on Fuller's "Board of Declaration," which was a bulletin board intended to be an open forum to discuss important issues. Unfortunately, as I noted during most of those posts, the discussions would cross out of the bounds of civility, and into vitriol. As a result, I finally decided to stop posting, a decision I think the rest of the seminary had already made long before I did, since it was already at the time getting only a few people to post, and definitely generated so much more heat than light that few of my friends even bothered to see what was being put on the Board anymore.

So, perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised last week to notice that the Board is no longer located where it has been for most of the past ten years (perhaps longer, but this is the only amount of time for which I can personally account). It's possible that it's been quietly moved to another location, but I expect that it's gone completely. Indeed, given that we're now more than a month into the new academic year, it's probably been gone for many weeks now, and I've only just noticed.

On one hand, I grieve the loss of any venue of communication whereby people are allowed to discuss matters that are important to them. On the other, it seems clear that the Board had become obsolete at best, and an embarrassment at worst. Perhaps the purpose that the Board originally fulfilled has been replaced by blogs like this one. I know that this blog has certainly become a more viable venue for me, personally. A blog, theoretically, can have a far greater reach than a physical board, although I expect that I probably have fewer individual readers for any given post than I had see one of my Board of Declaration posts over the time in which one was available. What's more, the Board of Declaration had a very focused audience: the Fuller seminary community, whereas my blog has readers that may not be at all similar to each other in theological outlook or political viewpoint (not that Fuller is all that homogenous, but it's certainly more so than the Internet!).

Still, I came to not notice the Board while it was still around, so I expect I won't grieve its passing too heavily.

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