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I have recently updated my profile to make it very clear that I am Protestant, Trinatarian and Reformed in my outlook and I have added the two religious influences which I have followed during my lifetime (William Huntington and John Metcalfe).

It was my desire to be as transparent as possible so that any user may know my own personal stance and the motivation of anything that I express on SE- Christianity.

I appreciate that this could never be a requirement of the site, but I suggest that it could be common practice, certainly for those who play an almost daily part in the community.

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This is a super idea, especially as it should more or less help with transparency if you're an author or a blogger or something like that.

I'm not, I'm just a programmer/homeschool dad/catechist.

But I do have a new Catechism coming out soon!

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  • do you create catechisms?
    – depperm
    Jan 5 at 15:34
  • @depperm yeah, I'm working on a catechism for girls (or at least my daughter) based on Taylor Swift's albums, lyrics and overall pathos.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Jan 5 at 20:17
  • just googled, thought it was just a Catholic thing, and found out its not limited to that. Are you following the model of general questions, then several points explaining it? when you say coming out, do you mean you'll publish physically/virtually?
    – depperm
    Jan 6 at 0:52
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Should Users on SE Christianity be transparent about their affiliations?

This is a great idea, but I think it should not be an obligation on this site.

Some are genuinely searching for the truth in a variety of ways and may feel uncomfortable about expressing their affiliation with a particular denomination in a public setting like we have here.

New believers many not even know how to expresss the accuracy of their denomination’s beliefs and may chose that that information remain private.

Again I say, that your idea is awesome, but it cannot be obliged on those who wish it to remain anonymous for whatever reason.

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(for those coming from my profile page, please jump to the "Full Disclosure" section below)


I agree with the recommendation to state clearly one's theological school of thought along with the influences that one has consciously imbibed to further tweak that chosen school of thought, since I have found through participating in C.SE and through my readings in the history, sociology and psychology of religion that it is not enough to state that one is Reformed. There are many Reformed groups, the current "ruling" evangelical Reformed group in America in the past 2 decades has been the New Calvinism, also dubbed the "Young, Restless, and Reformed" movement which is open to certain charismatic stance, which is almost unrecognizable with the church practices of the Dutch Reformed Church (my childhood church), which today can be compared with mainline liturgical, classical hymn-singing, non-charismatic Presbyterian like PCUSA, although I grew up in a more conservative denomination. After all, there has been 450 years since Calvin; and Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have been around for much longer. Also, in the 21st century academic writing, stating one's beliefs (when relevant) is now standard practice (usually in the Preface); no more of that Enlightenment era conceit of presenting objective narration although we still try.

Even though there is also sufficient mechanisms for objectivity in C.SE for flagging the theological stance, still, it can be helpful for the reader of our answers to qualify our answers accordingly for the unstated assumptions that may be relevant. So I applaud your initiative to do so and I'm doing the same (see below) because we both have a lot of answers in C.SE.

But I also agree with @KenGraham that it should not be a requirement, especially for those who mostly ask questions, or who are just starting out.

Below is my full disclosure (it exceeds the character limit to fit in an SE profile, so I link to this answer).


Full disclosure relevant to Christianity.SE and Hermeneutics.SE

In my answers I have been trying as best I can to faithfully represent the Christian group that the question is asking for, but in the interest of full disclosure here is an outline of my journey, the people who have influenced me, and my current positions:

  • I grew up in a church of the Dutch Reformed tradition which is liturgical, non-charismatic, hymn-singing, Presbyterian-like, and conservative. I was baptized as an infant and went through catechesis and confirmation as a teenager.
  • In my college years I broadened my denominational stance to be open to any tradition that affirms historic, catholic, and apostolic position, i.e. affirms the historic creeds (Apostle's creed, Nicene creed, and Chalcedonian definition) as the lowest common denominator. In this broadening journey, I was greatly assisted by C.S. Lewis (a 20th century Anglican) whose writings emphasize rational faith, objective morality, classical theism, and personal relationship with Jesus. That is still my position today and I still now affirm almost everything C.S. Lewis states in Mere Christianity as his way of presenting the ecumenical Trinitarian Christianity position.
  • In my search for the integration of faith with philosophy and academia, I am partial in my theological stance to the particular school of Thomism represented by the post-Vatican II Thomistic Ressourcement project. My position tracks closely with that promoted by the Thomistic Institute whose mission is best described in this 2019 journal article Thomism after Vatican II, presented by the author/director Thomas Joseph White, OP at the 2018 Thomism After Vatican II conference (watch the video here).
  • In spirituality, theodicy, free will, God's interaction with us from a timeless horizon, salvation process, and the meaning of Christ's passion, my view has been influenced by books of a Catholic Thomist philosopher-scholar Dr. Eleonore Stump. I'm also partial to the Ignatian Spirituality as presented by Timothy Gallagher, OMV who wrote many books about it.
  • In matters of morality, I am firmly within the Natural Law ethics camp (which is polar opposite of the theological voluntarism camp). Thus, I locate myself within the objective morality / moral realism camp, and more specifically, I am partial to the Thomistic Natural Law camp as understood by Catholic moral theologian Servais-Théodore Pinckaers, OP, now updated in the 21st century (in light of neuroscience, etc.) by the Thomistic Ressourcement project mentioned above.
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I'd like to gently push back a little. We will never require people to state their denominational/religious affiliation to participate here, and while it's fine for you to voluntarily do so, I don't think I'd even want to officially encourage people to do so.

The reason is that answers should stand on their own merits. We want answers to be well referenced and supported by evidence, and fair in how they discuss matters. Someone's affiliation may explain some vagueness or bias in an answer, but that's a flaw in the answer. And while other questions may be validly answered with personal experiences, that's still not the same thing as stating your current beliefs.

Being explicit about your personal affiliation might reveal some of the implicit and subconscious things in our posts, but the ideal I hope we'll all aim for is that it would never be needed.

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As long as it doesn't turn into a "My karma just ran over your dogma" situation, this is a Good Idea. I also agree that it's hard to picture making it obligatory.

As to my own church people: I am part of a church administered by local lay pastors, without administrative ties to any external organization, but fraternal ties with other local churches. Some people call us "Mennonites", because in some ways we look like many of those of the more traditional sort, but we call ourselves "Christian Brotherhood" and at this point do not even have a public sign at the meeting room, although anyone is welcome to come. I do not preach a denomination, as these are human constructs, but I was raised among mostly Anabaptist sort of churches, and heavily influenced by many of their teachings. "Anabaptists" they were called, because at one point they were teaching against infant baptism and for adult baptism. Beyond that, their doctrines vary among branches as much as "regular" Baptists, or indeed any other church type that I know of. I also believe that people should be baptized when they believe; this is why I mention them.

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