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I have recently been addressed a comment [1], while dealing with the issues of whether Abraham left Haran before or after his father Terah's death and of the inerrancy of deacon Stephen's statement on the former issue, criticizing my view of biblical inerrancy in the strongest terms: "Besides, who is going to decide what are minor issues and what are major issues? I urge you to come to your senses, Hebrews 3:12." With Heb 3:12 stating "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God."

Besides the irony of someone holding the literal historicity of a narrative that flatly contradicts observations - i.e. the perception of human senses as interpreted by human reason - urging me to come to my senses, I understand that some people cannot disconnect the belief in the historicity of Jesus' life, miracles and resurrection as narrated in the Gospels (which I hold) from the belief in, e.g., the historicity of the genealogies of Genesis ch. 5 and 11, including the patriarchal ages, so that they adopt a position which I call "unqualified biblical inerrancy", which implies holding YEC.

For this discussion, I call "qualified biblical inerrancy" the position holding that:

  • the purpose of divine Revelation is to teach the truth which is relevant to our salvation, and not to teach natural science, profane history, or other forms of merely worldly knowledge for their own sakes, and

  • the errors or lack thereof (i.e. inerrancy) of a text are defined in relation to its purpose.

Thus, qualified biblical inerrancy allows for the presence of factual errors in the Bible in profane matters of no relevance for what Scripture properly intends to affirm.

So the question is: is the position of unqualified biblical inerrancy the only acceptable line for answers in CSE? In practical terms, is CSE's official policy "get YEC or get out"?

[1] https://christianity.stackexchange.com/a/46329/29624

  • You can flag that comment and it'll likely be deleted. This is an academic site, and though many faithful use it, urgings in or from faith are inappropriate. The chatroom exists for that. – 3961 Mar 21 at 16:07
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You are asking the wrong question.

CSE has no official doctrinal policy. There is as much (in my observation maybe more) room here for heresy than orthodoxy. As such asking whether holding YEC views is an official policy is simply the wrong question, it's just not relevant.

The issue here is question scope, and how we use each of the tools provided by the SE format. I see two major issues with the exchange you linked to:

  1. Comments are not the place to debate topical issues. Ever. I don't care if the issue is YEC or Trinitarianism or Sedevacantism, using comments to argue for or against a doctrinal position is simply not what the comment tool is for. Comments that start getting into that territory should be flagged and removed. In particular replying to them in kind just makes the problem worse. Don't do it.

    If you do want to have those kinds of debate, we allow them in chat. One thing you can do is open a topical chat room, then add a link to in in comments under the relevant question inviting people that would like to see that issue debated to join there. What such comments should not do is include any part of the debate in comments, that just breeds more of the same.

    Comments should be reserved for requesting clarifications or suggesting improvements to the posts. In some cases pointing our errors in posts can be one form of this, but only in so far as the answer is correct at representing the view that was asked about in the question not whether the answer is correct in an absolute sense. Which brings us to the second issue...

  2. Answers should always stick to the scope of the question. The real issue here is even before comments started debating the "truth" of a matter, answers started doing it. Neither your answer nor Dick's answer even match the scope of the question! The question is not (and cannot be on this site) whether position X is true or false, but what adherents to position X use for their proof. The validity of that proof is beyond the scope of this site, and both of you dove into that and posted answers trying to disprove position X.

    The only answers valid for that question will be the ones that answer what the perceived Biblical basis is for the view asked about, not whether that basis is sound hermeneutics or not. We have another site for that. Answers claiming "there is no basis" should be flagged as NAA for review and probable deletion.

    The doctrinal view of creation or inerrancy has nothing to do with why I just deleted those two answers. I would have done the same for the opposite views if the question had been scoped differently. Both would be perfectly valid answers if a similar question were to be posited on the hermeneutics site asking how sound the basis for such an interpretation was. They just don't match the scope of the question on this site.

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