Pilgrimtozion, in post #85 notes that the 'controversial topics' seem to get all the attention, to which Vhayes asked in post #86, "Why do you think this happens?". I know she asked this to Pilgrim, but I'll add my answer anyway. The obvious and unfortunate answer (at least to me anyway) is 'human nature'. It's easy to be drawn to a car wreck and not be able to look away. In the same way, alot of people are drawn toward controversy. In some cases, who needs a Bible/scriptural topic when one an look into a contro thread and try to rip someone (who's views don't align with you/me) apart. I admit I'm a guilty party in this. Can it change? Yes. Will it change? I don't know...............it could, but as long as there is an argument to be made, flame wars, unfortunatly, will continue to happen.
Scruffy Kid made some excellent points in post #87. People are passionate, sometimes extreme in/about their views whether it's politics, sports, movies, favorite flavor of Mountain Dew.......................and being that this is a Bible forum, theological, doctrinal, scriptual, etc. In view of these differences, our 'tone and tenor' can become sharp. I don't have an answer as to how to change this, but, I agree with point 4 in Scruffy's post.
One thing I was thinking of that could draw people into a Bible focused thread/topic could be something like SEEKING's 'Questions on' threads in GiC. Cupofmilk and myself participate in the thread, and JDS has also joined us, and SEEKING comes up with a set of questions or fill in the blanks. It's not an in depth study, but it makes one read the chapter of whatever book we are in in order to answer the questions. While anyone can participate (and I hope more people do), maybe before the next session, make an announcement in that forum about what the next/new study will be about and invite others to join.
Or another possibility would be to get a core group together and do a study on a book or topic in the Bible where this group 'meets' once a week or through-out the week to discuss what they learned about a book chapter or topic.
While in either example, questions/differences on interpetation, doctrine, theology would probably arise, the 'leader' of the study could make a determination as to how much debate to allow..........making the study as discussion oriented as possible rather than debate oriented. I don't know if that's possible, but one never knows. Again, inbetween study sessions, invite others to join.
I think if members/lurkers of this forum see a commited core group of people participating in 'study groups' here, showing accountability within the group, some may be willing to join these groups, participate in other Bible related threads, and even start their own threads/groups.
I don't know................just something I was thinking of this morning. Sometimes I scare myself when I think.............weird things can happen when I do.