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Important notice
Since my BBS computer died in September 2005, and similar things have happen ed to most of the other computers linked using FTN (Fidonet technology networks), the information on this page is purely of historic interest.

I have left it here as it may be interesting to some as a chapter in the history of electronic communications.

Theological discussion forums

If you are interested in discussions with Christians of different backgrounds and traditions, to explore similarities and differences, to discover what common ground there is (if any), there are several electronic conferences for such discussions. They are available on the FamilyNet BBS network, and also as e-mail mailing lists for those who don't have access to a BBS.

  1. Philos
  2. Theology
  3. Christians and Society
  4. Theological Education
  5. Methodist, Orthodox, general religion and more

If theological discussions don't interest you, there are discussion forums on other topics:


There are several different ways of participating:

  1. FamilyNet bulletin board (BBS)
  2. Internet mailing list.

You may choose whichever way is easiest for you.

If you want to join by e-mail mailing list, there is a quick subscription list where you can click to join.

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This is the more general conference. It is for discussing the differences between Christians in a spirit of brotherly love (and/or sisterly and/or siblingly, if you prefer). The discussions can include differences of doctrine, worship, faith, practice or worldview. It's a good way of learning more about what other Christians believe and do. The conference is intended primarily for Christian discussions, rather than interreligious ones. Non-Christians may participate, but should bear this in mind. The main rules are: no off-topic messages and no flaming! There are other forums for interreligious discussins.

To join, click on the link and send the e-mail - that's it! [ | ]


The theology conference is for discussing any aspect of Christian theology, from any point of view. It is somewhat more academic and abstract than PHILOS, and there can be more vigorous debate, and it deals more specifically with doctrine, and with other aspects of the Christian faith as they relate to doctrine. Like PHILOS, however, there should be no flaming - that is, no personal attacks on other participants.

It is a good place to post theological papers and articles to stimulate discussion, or to ask questions on theological subjects.

To join, click on the link and send the e-mail - that's all you need to do! [ | ]

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Christians and society

This is for discussion of Christians in relation to society in the widest sense. It includes questions of Christian social ethics, Christianity and culture, church and state, church and politics, issues of justice, peace, reconciliation, intercultural encounter, Christianity and literature etc.

To join, just click on the links and send the message [ | }

There is also a conference for specific discussion of reconciliation and justice in situations of violent conflict. You can find out more on the Peacemakers conference page.

Theological Education

This is for discussions between people involved in theological education, including staff and students at theological seminaries, Bible colleges, or university faculties of theology.

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If you are interested in joining it, here's how:


If you have an Internet e-mail address, you can join the conferences by clicking on the subscribe button for the appropriate conference below.

To join or leave the conference, click on "Subscribe" or "Unsubscribe"
For discussing any aspect of Christian theology
Interdenominational discussions in a friendly and respectful atmosphere
Theological Education
Academic study of Christian mission - mission theology, methods etc
Christians & Society
Christianity and culture, politics, justice & peace issues, social ethics etc
Christian ministry in situations of violence and conflict, pacifism, militarism, conflict resolution, reconciliation etc.
New Religious Movements
Interdisciplinary academic discussion of new religious movements that have appeared in the last 200 years
Interfaith discussions. The religion conference is for learning about the beliefs and practices of other religions. It is not for proselytising or denouncing religions you disagree with, though if you present your own faith attractively enough, who knows...
The religion conference is a conference of OCNet
Orthodox Christianity
For discussing anything related to the Orthodox Christian faith, including Russian and Greek Orthodoxy, Orthodox theology, mission and church practices
The Orthodox conference is a conference of OCNet
For discussing anything connected with Methodism or the Methodist Church

If you have difficulty in subscribing or unsubscribing, send e-mail to explaining which conference is causing problems.

More information is available on the FamilyNet web page

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If you are within reasonable calling range of a FamilyNet BBS that carries the Theology, Philos and Christians and Society conferences, you can call the BBS to participate. This is a better way to participate, because BBS software allows you to address a message to a particular participant rather than the whole list. Others can still read or reply to it, but it makes it easier to see which messages are addressed to you.

Here are some FamilyNet BBSs you can call:

If a BBS has a Telnet facility, you may click on the Telnet address to access it from the Internet. This is sometimes slower than using a direct dial line, but it lets you log in to the BBS just like a dial-up user. If you have any difficulties, e-mail the sysop of the BBS concerned.

You may also log in directly to the FamilyNet HQ BBS from your web browser.
Just point your browser to:


You will see the BBS log-in screen. If it is your first call, click on "New user" and register. Then you will get the option to "Join conferences". Click on it and wait for the list to load. Then scroll down and mark of FAMILY THEOLOGY or FAMILY PHILOS or any of the other conferences you would like to join. Scroll to the end of the list and click on the button to join them.

You will then see the list of conferences you have joined - click on one of them to read and reply to messages, or enter new messages.

For more information on BBSs and how they can be used, you can check the following Web pages:

You may also search these web pages for other topics that interest you:

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This page maintained by
Steve Hayes

Created: 1998-07-13
Updated: 2006-05-27