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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as a couple of our back up questions for a total of 11 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes. Because many of these questions are fairly long, feel free to shorten the citation to the questions in bold when answering. Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):


  1. How do you handle flags from minority sects claiming abuse in answers critical of their doctrine?

    Most of the time, answers aren't critical of a doctrine that they don't like, they're just abusive, but occasionally users from outside of a particular denomination will post insightful things that may actually be overtly critical of a sect.

    We have a rule that the answers must represent the perspective asked for, but we don't have a rule that answers must be supportive of the perspective asked for, on the contrary, the rule, if it is a rule, is that they should be neutral. If the facts laid out, appear to point out inconsistencies in a doctrine, do you take the side of the flaggers who don't want holes punched in their doctrine or side with the answers, owing to the fact that they've written a well researched post and used nothing but objective language, sticking to the topic.

  2. How do you balance Christian need to evangelize with the encyclopedic nature of this Q&A site?

    While we certainly can't prohibit non-Christians from becoming moderators, it's highly unlikely that one will be elected given that high rep users on the site are almost entirely Christians and high rep users are almost always elected moderators.

    If you are a committed Christian, what do you do to stick to the overall goals of the Q&A nature of the site?

  3. What percentage of a post needs to match the OP to be considered an Answer?

    Given the fact that a lot of our users like to soap-box a bit, what do you do about flag handling for Not an answer (NAA) when users post three good paragraphs and use the last one to make some sort of a commentary? If someone flags the answer as NAA how do you respond?

  4. How strongly do you support the SE objective of having a high signal-to-noise ratio?

    One of the few things that makes SO and SE sites better than the rest of the internet has been the focus on maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio.**

    Explain how important that is to you, and how it influences your perception on the role of a diamond mod.

  5. How do you deal with other moderators?

    • How do you deal with other moderators in seeing a potential argument developing in the comments, especially if it is not your personal denomination?
    • Can you work as team player, yet work with other moderators seeking council and insight in particular difficult areas?
    • How do you as a team leader, working with other moderators try to keep a veritable Christian influence with obnoxious behaviour?
  6. How do you discern, and then guide, the denomination/tradition scoping level appropriate to a question?

    • Some questions (mostly exegetical, but some doctrinal) have historically been answered the same way by a group of denominations thus making too restrictive scoping to risk turning away potential answers from other denomination adherents, or worse, to "invent" unnecessary differentiation. For example, on some questions Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have answered them the same way and similarly on some other questions Evangelicals of all stripes (Reformed, Wesleyan, Pentecostal) have answered them the same way.

    • Some questions (like baptism) do need more specific scoping but a lot of OP, especially those new to Christianity, are not even aware of the choices and how the choice will impact the answer. Or they may adamantly want a Biblical answer. There is also a risk of alienating them if they need to supply more than they are prepared to provide. How would you guide the OP and the community members interested in the question to refine it so it can be part of the valued collection in C.SE while maximizing interest & participation?

  7. How do you deal with the broad spectrum of questions, the majority of which are about 'Christianity' as a subject, but are not 'comparative'?

    The site attracts a lot of attention of a general kind - general biblical questions, general questions about Christianity, as such - yet the stated, official purpose of the site is very specifically 'comparative' Christianity (the asking of questions about what certain, specific groups of Christians believe and say and do).

    Do you regard the site as having a wider spectrum of usefulness than its specific, stated purpose and how do you propose to either accommodate that or to discourage it ?

  8. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

  9. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  10. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

  11. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

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7

I'm curiousdannii!

  1. How do you handle flags from minority sects claiming abuse in answers critical of their doctrine?

    Most of the time, answers aren't critical of a doctrine that they don't like, they're just abusive, but occasionally users from outside of a particular denomination will post insightful things that may actually be overtly critical of a sect.

    We have a rule that the answers must represent the perspective asked for, but we don't have a rule that answers must be supportive of the perspective asked for, on the contrary, the rule, if it is a rule, is that they should be neutral. If the facts laid out, appear to point out inconsistencies in a doctrine, do you take the side of the flaggers who don't want holes punched in their doctrine or side with the answers, owing to the fact that they've written a well researched post and used nothing but objective language, sticking to the topic.

Hmm, tough first question! I think I would go with the side to allow critical answers, up to a point. We want answers that say "Here is what position X teaches, shown by quotes from source A." If they want to give a sentence or two that says "From position Y, it looks like issue B is a little bit of a blind spot in the teachings of position X" I think that may be acceptable. But it really does depend on how it is phrased. Ideally you'd be able to find that same criticism from a quality source that supports position X; there aren't many of us with that much self-awareness and willingness to criticise our own positions (and I'm not saying I'm one!) but there are a few among the best scholars who can explain the weaknesses of their own beliefs.

  1. How do you balance Christian need to evangelize with the encyclopedic nature of this Q&A site?

    While we certainly can't prohibit non-Christians from becoming moderators, it's highly unlikely that one will be elected given that high rep users on the site are almost entirely Christians and high rep users are almost always elected moderators.

    If you are a committed Christian, what do you do to stick to the overall goals of the Q&A nature of the site?

It's definitely never going to be the main purpose of this site. This site has an academic nature, and is generally by and for Christians. But the best evangelists are nothing more than tools of God. On this site the scriptures are quoted, the character of Jesus is taught (and hopefully imitated by our members), and theology is explained. I have no doubt that God could reconcile someone back to himself through the content on this site, even though that wasn't any of our intentions.

  1. What percentage of a post needs to match the OP to be considered an Answer?

    Given the fact that a lot of our users like to soap-box a bit, what do you do about flag handling for Not an answer (NAA) when users post three good paragraphs and use the last one to make some sort of a commentary? If someone flags the answer as NAA how do you respond?

It has to answer the question, so it needs to be above 0%. If it does other things too, there could be a few different paths forward. Sometimes it can be left alone, if it's harmless or an informative tangent. Sometimes I'd suggest they edit it to be more focused, sometimes I might edit it for them. And sometimes I'd delete the whole answer, if the non-answer part of it is highly argumentative. For example, in a question about the Catholic view of Mary, if an answer said the following, it would be deleted ASAP: "Yes, Catholics teach Mary was sinless. Now, let me tell you about all the flaws in Catholic theology and why their devotion to Mary is idolatry..."

  1. How strongly do you support the SE objective of having a high signal-to-noise ratio?

    One of the few things that makes SO and SE sites better than the rest of the internet has been the focus on maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio.**

    Explain how important that is to you, and how it influences your perception on the role of a diamond mod.

I think it's very important, and it's why this is the best site on the internet to learn about Christianity! I'd expect to keep up the current standards the mods have been maintaining.

  1. How do you deal with other moderators?

    • How do you deal with other moderators in seeing a potential argument developing in the comments, especially if it is not your personal denomination?
    • Can you work as team player, yet work with other moderators seeking council and insight in particular difficult areas?
    • How do you as a team leader, working with other moderators try to keep a veritable Christian influence with obnoxious behaviour?

I think I could work well with the other mods, and I expect we would continue to do most of the decision making through discussions with the community here on Meta. Arguments in comments don't belong, so I'd try to encourage the arguing parties to contribute more productively elsewhere.

  1. How do you discern, and then guide, the denomination/tradition scoping level appropriate to a question?

    • Some questions (mostly exegetical, but some doctrinal) have historically been answered the same way by a group of denominations thus making too restrictive scoping to risk turning away potential answers from other denomination adherents, or worse, to "invent" unnecessary differentiation. For example, on some questions Catholics and Eastern Orthodox have answered them the same way and similarly on some other questions Evangelicals of all stripes (Reformed, Wesleyan, Pentecostal) have answered them the same way.

Yeah I've seen questions like that quite a few times. Previously I've commented suggesting they broaden the scope. But that is up to the OP, if a question is scoped appropriately then it's a valid question even if it could be asked of a broader group. But maybe that question will be asked later on, and the more narrow question can be closed as a duplicate.

  • Some questions (like baptism) do need more specific scoping but a lot of OP, especially those new to Christianity, are not even aware of the choices and how the choice will impact the answer. Or they may adamantly want a Biblical answer. There is also a risk of alienating them if they need to supply more than they are prepared to provide. How would you guide the OP and the community members interested in the question to refine it so it can be part of the valued collection in C.SE while maximizing interest & participation?

This is a tricky question. We want high quality questions and answers. We also want everyone to feel welcome, we don't want it to feel like you need a PhD to ask a question here. I think I'd continue to rely on many of our Meta FAQs, they are well written on the whole. Most people do get the idea of scoping if they stick around for a little while. If someone keeps insisting that the want the "truth" or the "Biblical" answer, then I'd suggest they talk to their pastor/priest/etc, because we can't provide that here.

  1. How do you deal with the broad spectrum of questions, the majority of which are about 'Christianity' as a subject, but are not 'comparative'?

    The site attracts a lot of attention of a general kind - general biblical questions, general questions about Christianity, as such - yet the stated, official purpose of the site is very specifically 'comparative' Christianity (the asking of questions about what certain, specific groups of Christians believe and say and do).

    Do you regard the site as having a wider spectrum of usefulness than its specific, stated purpose and how do you propose to either accommodate that or to discourage it ?

Our site does have really strict scoping rules, perhaps some of the strictest rules in the Stack Exchange network. Those rules aren't an end in themselves, they serve a purpose, which is to avoid fights in the answers and comments. So it depends on the questions that get asked. If there's a question from someone new to the site, who has asked a general Christianity question without scoping it "properly", then if it's about something that seems likely to be answered with disagreeing answers, it should be closed. If that's unlikely we can probably be flexible.

  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

All behaviour on this site needs to be considered. Valuable answers don't excuse bad behaviour. If they are being disruptive in comments then they will get a warning, and if they continue, then suspensions are warranted.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

If it's something I feel strongly about, then I'd start a discussion on Meta so we and the community can work it out together.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

Mostly okay I think. The one change I think will affect my behaviour on this site is not being able to be as free with close votes. Right now, if there's a question that's borderline off-topic, I'll often give it a close vote, to push it into the review queues, and to see what other people think. Mods can't do that, they should be more reactive, closing questions after other members have cast some votes first. (Though not for the questions that are blatantly off-topic, mods can close those immediately.)

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Being able to close and delete things directly, rather than flagging for the mods to clean up later (not because they're too slow, just because of time zones). We get lots of poorly scoped questions here, which eventually get closed, but not before attracting several answers from contrary questions. If elected, I'd like to see most of those questions closed a little more promptly, so that they can be edited and reopened and only then get answers that are of a higher quality.

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  • 2
    For me Christianity Stack Exchange is in big part you. In nearly all of my activities here you were also involved helping through your time, effort, sharing insights and knowledge. Big thank you and now that I can do something to help you too, my heart is ofc grateful and my 1st vote will go for you without a doubt. – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 May 25 at 20:45
6

Pax, my name is Ken!

1. How do you handle flags from minority sects claiming abuse in answers critical of their doctrine?

Most flags should be perceptible as to what is called for from the community. It will also depend if an abuse is obvious or not, as well as other criteria are present. In the context that it is obvious of an open persecution or misinformation then I would delete the comment. If in doubt, I would ask the other moderators for their input into the matter. Minority sects have as much to add to this community than anyone else. We are all Christians.

2. How do you balance Christian need to evangelize with the encyclopedic nature of this Q&A site?

This will always be a fine line to run. Each question, answer and comment must be taken as fundamentally building up the community unless their is an obvious lack of Christian historical data to make it on topic. Although Christians seek an need to evangelize the world, all responsible community posts should strive to be historically supported.

3. What percentage of a post needs to match the OP to be considered an Answer?

The actual percentage point must in all cases be in the positive. Whether that be a 1% or more is immaterial. Answers must meat the criteria of the question matter involved. Questions with statements as “I believe that tell and tell is wrong,” without any accurate or historical sources should be deleted. However, the reasons should always be given in a timely and Christian fashion!

4. How strongly do you support the SE objective of having a high signal-to-noise ratio?

The importance of keeping the SO and SE standards high is very real to me. I would try to maintain a high degree of the standards that were shown on this site by previous moderators, while at the same time, maintaining a truly Christian atmosphere on this site!

5. How do you deal with other moderators?

This is an excellent question! In have been both mildly chastised by moderators and have even explained my point of view to my benefit. In all situations, we have worked towards the best interests of the site. Working together as a team is in the interest of the whole site, myself I included. I believe that experience has much to aid me in this endeavour. After all we are Christians!

6. How do you discern, and then guide, the denomination/tradition scoping level appropriate to a question?

The answer to this question lies in the ability to discern the need of the questioners. One must act as a mentor towards those who are new to the site in order to get them to explain their inquiries in a logical and documented manner. It is at times an almost seemingly impossible task, but with some help, those of a denomination that one is not familiar with, can come up with a superior question.

7. How do you deal with the broad spectrum of questions, the majority of which are about 'Christianity' as a subject, but are not 'comparative'?

Wide spectrum questions in on this site are generally frowned on unless an overview request is asked for. This type of situation should be simply explained in a truly Christian fashion to those questions pertaining to subjects that otherwise be deemed as either too broad or opinion based.

8. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

The need to encourage them go to chat would seem to be the most reasonable encouragement. Arguments seem to produce little benefit to the site and as such should not exceed a few comments. Flags will have to be dwelt with on their own proper merits and logic.

**9. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been? **

Having come across this situation myself, I would flag the question (or answer) to the appropriate moderator and explain why I think it should be reopened. Working as a team is always the way to go. Usually one or the other will see the light.

10. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I feel okay with that in general terms. However my future behaviour will be somewhat modified. Before I would be flagging things for moderators to look into. In the future, I would be more cautious as to not to inadvertently offend another by undue process of theological thought. I will also be slower to close questions and let the community chime in bemaking in on a decision.

11. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

The question involves a little restraint I will admit. Having over 29,000 reps and close/open prerogatives for all questions tagged for Catholicism, the way I feel about this privilege, is to use it with all the prudence and charity that is needed. Very few Catholicism tagged question have I actually closed or reopened. The one that I have done I have left a comment explaining the reasons for doing so. At times, asking the OP to flag a moderator if they believe I have made a mistake.

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