Editorial Standards

Just as this site allows and promotes discourse and contribution through public comments, we want to be transparent in our editorial approach and standard. This comes down to three aspects: our philosophy and mission that feeds the question planning (draft), the actual question publishing, and a distinctly separate section for editorial.

Our Philosophy and Mission

In our experience, we have rarely come across anyone that is promoting an interpretation of God’s word that does not enthusiastically claim, ‘SOLA SCRIPTURA!’ And to this, we add a hearty, “Amen!”

Regrettably, we have frequently found the practice of this principle falling short. The “right” answer is almost always presented in the exact, same truth-killing ways:

  1. Commentary first. The author’s conclusion is presented front and center in a volume of commentary. It is usually an elaborate discourse with some scripture interspersed. As a bonus, it may also promote the author’s knowledge in Greek, or their scholastic credentials.
  2. Scripture second. The scant few passages peppered throughout the commentary are cherry-picked in support of the position (BTW, we call this ‘Scripture Weighting’). Passages that are used are twisted out of context at worst, or there’s no way to easily validate their contextual usage at best.
  3. Zero commenting. Worst of all there is no opportunity to contribute or challenge. Whatever degree God’s word has been misrepresented or butchered is left to stand. Or, only those comments that support the author’s conclusion are allow through.
  • Provide answers to Bible questions that are literally built on Scripture by gathering any, only, all that God says about it.
  • Emphasize the process that leads to the Bible answer by building the answer on ‘Scripture-blocks‘ (using the Bible Study Framework), giving the full context of what God says about it…and not going beyond the full context.
  • Offer full transparency in the journey to any Bible answer by allowing anyone to comment publicly. Contribute what you have understood through your own Bible study or offer dissent. We don’t hold the “right answer”; we only seek to have God’s word divulge it.

Question publishing

A question remains in “draft” state (unpublished and not available publically) until we believe enough scripture-blocks have been assembled to comprehensively answer the question from God’s word. Of course, this is arbitrary on our part. We want to feel that we have achieved at least 90-95% coverage of all Scripture that might answer the question.

published

Enough scripture-blocks have been provided to adequately and sufficiently answer the question with no outstanding contrary passages

draft

This leads to our best practices which form the basis for how and when questions are published:

  • Public Comment: The transparency needed to allow anyone to contribute with a passage that might help to further shape the Bible-based answer.
  • The Minimum Requirement: Enough scripture-blocks to adequately and sufficiently answer the question without any known contradictory passages.
  • Overload: There are some questions that could contain dozens and dozens of scripture-blocks in support. A good example is the question, Does man have free will? where literally hundreds of passages might be used. In these cases, we want to try to limit to the best 15-20 scripture-blocks or try to re-focus the question more narrowly. This naturally spawns other, related questions where the “other” scripture-blocks will be used.

After some deliberation, we have added an area for ‘other’ materials – a separate editorial section – that might support Bible study efforts and the core functions/mission of the site. Anything posted here is ascribed to the author and made clear it is their thoughts, not God’s.

Where appropriate, and as often as possible, these “editorials” will include references to related scripture-blocks. Additionally, they will link to or provide additional and deeper study resources for specific questions on the site.