I want to use the following source for a question.

Liu, Q. (2007). ON A PARADOX OF CHRISTIAN LOVE. Journal Of Religious Ethics, 35(4), 681-694. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9795.2007.00326.x

The author compares and contrasts loving God and loving his or her neighbor. Although the two greatest commands have inspired Christians to do many humanitarian acts for Christians and non-Christians alike, the author argues that they may also pose a paradox, because, he argues, only by loving God at greater importance than loving the neighbor can allow the Christian to successfully distinguish neighborly love from other (non-Christian) religions. Therefore, I think the source would be adequate enough to be used as support for my answer to a particular question, because that question asks when would it be appropriate for the Christian to hate a person.

Although the question may sound like a truth-seeking question, I think it can be answered with proper academic sources.

Broadly speaking, is this website exclusively limited to denominational opinions, or are some academics' opinions allowed to enter?

  • I was just reading some Augustine last night that slightly covered this topic. Augustine believed that persecuting the non-christian was acceptable, but believed that it was out of love, in hopes to convert them and bring them to God, where the non-Christian persecuted the Christian and others out of want for power, land, etc.
    – user3961
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 20:22
  • @fredsbend I think that would fit well under the "paradox of Christian love".
    – Double U
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 21:26

2 Answers 2


Your question does not have to be doctrinally framed but it still must be framed in order to be non-truth-seeking.

It is reasonable that a question about the book you mention might be on topic. However any answer to a question of truth is a de facto statement of truth, even with scholarly support.

"What critiques have Protestant authorities levied against the author's interpretation of this OT passage in the context of the neighborly love?" is an on topic and non-truth-seeking question.

"According to Liu, how does ____ exemplify neighborly love?" is also on-topic.

"What does Liu mean when he says that ________ " is borderline, but can be demonstrated to be on-topic if the source text includes enough commentary to support an argument or commentary from a reviewer supports it. Otherwise, if it implies a requirement for interpretation by the answerer, then it is a truth-question.

On the other hand, the question "Should a Christian really love God most?" is a truth-based question unless it is scoped to a topic, even with support from Liu.

I once asked a question about a nun-spokeswoman's comment on an NPR show that was a truth question as asked, since it was "what did she mean by..." which could only be answered in a verifiable manner by an explaination from the source herself. Fortunately, the answerer was able to get a statement from her directly concerning her comment, so the question remained open.

In summary, questions must ask for answers that can be factually supported, and answers must provide appropriate factual support.


I think you should be able to ask those kinds of questions.

Then again, I also think this is a good question. It's obvious (to me at least) that the answer is in the natural moral law, but because of the rules that seem to dictate moral relativism on this site (that all Christians should oppose in their hearts) you can't ask that here.

I think answers to questions about certain books should come as critiques of that book from within the framework that the book was asked. I should be able to ask about "The Lamb's Supper" by Scott Hahn and not have to specify a doctrinal framework and answers that are deeply critical of everything the guy has ever written or his entire existence are not acceptable answers. It should be more of a peer-review sort of thing and if there's nobody here smart enough to answer, we leave it unanswered until there is.

This is about you getting the knowledge you're seeking, not about us telling you what knowledge you seek!

  • I'm totally down with reviewing books and even ancient works. Two rules: 1) The Scripture is off limits to reviews and critiques 2) You must state you religious position with at least a subscript footnote. But what exactly are you supporting here. I'm a little confused.
    – user3961
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 20:25
  • @fredsbend What do you mean the scripture is off-limits to reviews and critiques? Are you replying to Peter Turner's post or mine? So, do you mean that people should also find an academic's religious background/affiliation?
    – Double U
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 17:19
  • @Anonymous Peter seems to be saying that we should allow book reviews. We should disallow the Scripture because that would fall under personal interpretation. When critiquing something that you might have a biased opinion on, you should always state where you are coming from.
    – user3961
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 17:31
  • @fredsbend So... that just means I'd have to find the author's or the academic institution's religious affiliation, huh?
    – Double U
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 17:44
  • 1
    No, that's not what I'm talking about. I mean to say that I am in favor of questions in the form of "A review of this book" with the stipulation that it is non-Scriptures and that any answerers state their religious position.
    – user3961
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 17:51
  • As my last contribution to CSE, I am upvoting this answer, because I agree. CSE has not turned out to be the place to ask serious theological questions and get thoughtful responses and ideas that I had hoped it would; it's just a record of official doctrines. How uninspiring. Apparently you are not qualified to have original thoughts about theology, only to relay the thoughts of some mysterious group of "others" who are recognized somehow as "authoritative".
    – user32
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 3:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .