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I'm concerned about the proliferation of privately held opinion ("I think") vs. sourceable manifestations of Christianity. In large part, our definition invites this, since the definition of Christian is "anyone who identifies themselves as such"

How can we get scholarly answers about recognizable forms of Christianity while discouraging privately held-opinion that is not typically the subject of study?

10

What if we suggest a minor change to the definition. Instead of "Any one who identifies as such" change it to "Any group that identifies itself as such"

By group, we should be able to link to a statement of beliefs and organizing charter, which would further the discussion anyway.

If an individual has a written statement of beliefs, that's good, but I'd still like to see his or her organizing charter.

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    the FAQ already uses this verbage and has for the entire time it has been in place. – wax eagle Jan 23 '12 at 18:37
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We don't need to discourage them. They're perfectly legitimate. Your goal is totally wrong-headed. You've demonstrated a troubling tendency to want to suppress on this site answers from Christian perspectives that make you especially uncomfortable. That is unacceptable, and suggests that you really don't understand this site as well.

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    I do want to suppress bad scholarship. On the other hand, I've actively promoted viewpoints from secularism to Mormonism - things I vehemently disagree with, but which are at least objects of scholarly endeavour. – Affable Geek Jan 21 '12 at 19:22
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    You've accused numerous long time active participants in good standing with the community of "not understanding this site". Please consider the possibility that as a newcomer with a different viewpoint, you are the one that doesn't understand it. When you learn what it has been and is and have a suggestion for how to improve it, feel feel free to propose suggestions here on meta and try to educate the community on how they could be better. That's what this is, a suggestion from a member that thinks they have an idea how to improve the site. Go ye and do likewise. – Caleb Jan 21 '12 at 19:42
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    @Caleb Of course I've considered the possibility--I considered it when I first encountered these attempts at suppression. That's how I know it's not the case. – Steely Dan Jan 22 '12 at 2:07
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    @Affable Geek But not all forms of Christianity have scholarly work relating to them. All that means is that no scholars have been interested in studying them. That's not a bad or a good thing--it's absolutely neutral, and it's a totally arbitrary criterion for determining whether or not these perspectives can be legitimate sources of answers on this site. – Steely Dan Jan 22 '12 at 2:09
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    @SteelyDan its worth noting that the FAQ already uses (and has since it was written) the "groups" verbage that Affable Geek is calling for. – wax eagle Jan 24 '12 at 12:30
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    @SteelyDan: Any form of Christianity tht does not have scholarly work relating to it probably does not make good material for a site that is about scholarly discussion of Christianity. – Flimzy Feb 4 '12 at 7:02

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