Recently, I saw this question - How do Cessationists react to a world-view-challenging testimony from a fellow Christian?

Under it, some one commented:

isn't this opinion based “Would you....?”?

The OP then presumably changed it to be a question on cessationists and said that he had edited.

The same commenter then replied:

IMO that didn't really change the type of question. Cessationists are people too and don't all react/act the same way (people can change). Some could be swayed, some remain skeptical, etc. Wouldn't this also be a case by case basis (see appendix)?

And then another person said:

A survey would need to be initiated. Also the corollary : How do Continuationists react when Cessationists express their testimony to the truth they have received?

So I’m kind of confused here. Questions on this site asking for specific viewpoints from theological beliefs (not a denomination, but a specific position on miracles, creation, ect) are highly common. Take this other one which was received really well: What is the purpose of Genesis 1-9 according to non-YEC Trinitarians?

So I am interested to hear: Are questions asking for the specific theological positions opinion based?


  • 1
    The question in focus did not ask for a 'specific theological position'. The question asked about personal reactions to the stating of theological position. Therefore, it becomes an opinionated question as the degree of reaction, the type of reaction and the focus of reaction are all individualistic, uncountable, immeasurable and therefore are a matter of conjecture and opinion.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 29, 2022 at 13:49
  • 1
    @NigelJ that’s a fair point!
    – Luke Hill
    Mar 29, 2022 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


About scope (when it's needed)

The purpose for scope is to make the question possible to be answered objectively. Sometimes it's not needed. But depending on the question, a simple Trinitarian / LDS / JW / Unitarian will do. On others, Trinitarian is not enough; you have to narrow it to Protestantism or even to specific Protestant denomination like Lutheran, especially if your question pertains specifically to Lutheranism.

Other type of scope is not a usual denomination / theological camp label but other kind of label representing cross-denominational camps. In this case, the scope is based on positions on spiritual gifts or views on post-canon miracles: cessationists or continuationists. Another example is based on positions on eschatology: premillennialism, postmillennialism, preterism, etc. For your own example, the appropriate scope is based on positions on how to reconcile the Creation account with science: YEC, OEC, TE, etc.

Determining objective criteria after scope is provided

By the way, the question in your OP is not asking for a "specific theological position", but for the reaction to "worldview challenging" testimonies. The scope is clear and appropriate (cessationism), but the question arguably REMAINS opinion-based. Can it be answered objectively? It depends on whether there is a common-enough reaction from the particular camp holding that theological position in the scope. If it is common enough, or if it is derived from the theology of that camp (which is even better), then it's objective enough.

Do we know that for this question? A visitor or a moderator who is expert on the scope / topic can defend the question to remain open (in comments, if necessary, to counter close-votes). On the other hand, the expert visitor / moderator can close-vote right away (with appropriate comment if the OP is new). I have seen this happens when it is obvious.

But sometimes it's not that clear right away, or not many expert visitors happen to be around to cast the vote right away. If the current visitors are not sure, they will just leave borderline questions open in a "wait and see" mode. If it is obvious after many answers that there is no hope for an objective criteria, then it has more justification to be closed as opinion-based.


As I made two of those comments I can explain my reasoning. The post in question seemed to be asking about the reaction of a group who believe a certain position (potentially for varying reasons and to varying degrees), not necessarily the stance of that belief as it relates to the stimulus in question.

I view the post as How do <denomination/theology> believers react to <contradictory theology>? as opinion based and broad as this is based on person to person and situation to situation basis (the OP listed several basis/stimuli in first appendix). Compared to how does <denomination/theology> believers explain/respond to <specific contradiction>? which has(usually has) some concrete response (theology questions are a bit tricky as they can span multiple denominations, which can result in multiple potential conflicting answers).

Because I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I'll use that as an additional example. Off-topic questions IMO would be something like:

  • How do LDS respond when confronted with history of X?
    • depends on history item in question, the individual, etc...too many variables especially if multiple historic items were mentioned in post
  • How do LDS react when confronted by JWs?
    • a bit more narrow but still depends on the LDS individual (life long member, convert, bishop/EQ/RS president, missionary, age, testimony, etc), JWs individual (similar variety), situation, etc...very broad depends on too many factors
  • How do <denomination X> react when confronted by LDS theology/belief X?
    • depends on denomination, person in question/situation, missionaries, etc...too open ended

Compared to something like:

  • How do the LDS explain the history of X?
  • How should LDS (missionaries?) respond when meet JWs missionaries?
    • again clarifying for an official response/stance not a case by case basis-this is still kind of broad but its more focused then the initial one
  • How do <denomination X> respond to LDS theology/belief X?

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