Announcing the 2012 "Back to School" Book Giveaway

In honor of this summer’s site redesign, and to promote the forum changes, SI is hosting a special book giveaway. Since it’s time for students everywhere to hit the books, we thought we’d call it the 2012 “Back to School” book giveaway. Before we spell out the prizes we are giving away and how you can win them, a bit about the forum.

Why does SI have a forum?

One reason is that SharperIron began as a forum. From day one, those who had a question to pose, a topic to discuss or a controversy to explore, could start a discussion (a.k.a “thread”) and invite the responses of others. That ability of users to start topics has been an important part of what makes SI unique: the content doesn’t all come from the top down. Users have the opportunity to help one another, whether that takes the form of testing your arguments, requesting prayer, looking for practical tips or getting help with a puzzling passage of Scripture.

This month we’re giving the forum a bit of a special emphasis by giving away some books to three randomly drawn winners. So if you’ve been thinking about starting a thread, it’s a great time to jump in.

Starting a conversation at SI is easy. Once you’ve registered here, just hover over Forum in the main menu, then select Start a discussion. From there, give your topic or question (or poll) a title, choose a forum, type up your post and hit Save. “Tags” are optional, and if you’re not sure which category your post fits in, just pick one. We can always move it if there’s a better place. It will still be easy to find from your My SI page.

You can keep track of what’s happening in a discussion by clicking Subscribe at the bottom of the first post.

The contest

The details of the giveaway are simple. You get your name added to our virtual hat for every discussion (or thread) you start this month (September). The only hitch is that your thread must have someone reply to it. This ensures it is actually a discussion that the community is interested in. Three winners will be randomly drawn from our “hat” at the end of the month.

The prizes

Now comes the fun part. What exactly can you win? Our three winners will each receive a copy of the following books.

  • The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Carl Trueman (compliments of Moody Press)
  • Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone by Carl Trueman (compliments of P&R Publishing)
  • The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments by Marty Machowski (compliments of New Growth Press)
  • The Adventures of Missionary Max (a three-part ebook) by Andrew Comings (compliments of the author)

As one who has benefited from many of the discussions in the SharperIron forum, I’m hopeful that this contest will encourage more of our readers to participate in the exchange. May open and thought-provoking discussions continue to find a place to thrive at this year and for many years to come.


[node:bio/bob-hayton body]

2028 reads

There are 4 Comments

wdlowry's picture

Am I the only one that thinks this arrangement will work quite well: I'll reply to your thread if you reply to mine? Smile

Seriously I doubt I will participate, because, frankly, I've almost given up on expecting any meaningful philosophical discussion to come out of forums. I know this is going to sound like Postman, but I think the bias of forums makes a logical flow of argumentation all but impossible. Forums tend to work better for things like technical Q&A.

Forums also allow a lot of people who shouldn't be contributing to have their say. I submit this comment as more than sufficient evidence to support my point.

Bob Hayton's picture

As to the loophole, we're a trusting bunch over here! Smile

Your negativity toward forums may have some basis, but if you spend some time on Sharper Iron, thanks to our great moderators and a carefully developed culture over the years, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

Aaron Blumer's picture


Why would a format that works well for technical discussion not work well for "philosophical" discussion?

In my experience, thoughtful discussion fails when a thread has more participants who want to judge or harangue than who want to think. We have a fair amount of thoughtful discussions here but they are not the ones attached to posts getting 2000 reads over two days.

I do think there is a bias/tilt in Internet interaction in general, though. It favors the immediate over the durable and so also favors the hot over the heavy (as in, weighty). Consequence: it takes a lot of work to pull things in the direction of substance vs. drama. There is a constant gravity toward drama.

So we keep working at that, sometimes with success, sometimes not.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

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