After extensive discussion among the moderators, we have added some language to the FAQ/Guidelines. This language takes effect today. Please review the guidelines linked above (and always available at the top of the page). I’d like to highlight two important additions:
Participate with an aim to gain deeper understanding about orthodox Christian faith and/or mainstream science, and constructively explore the relationship between them. Users whose participation in discussions seems primarily focused on promoting unorthodox religious beliefs, idiosyncratic ideas about faith and/or science, or anti-religious sentiments will be asked to take their proselytizing efforts elsewhere.
Users who appear to be participating in discussions primarily to promote their books, blogs, or other published material will be asked to take their advertising elsewhere.
What the moderators have found is that people who come here primarily to “correct” other people’s ideas end up dragging down the conversation rather than adding to it. This is not meant as a swipe at any particular perspective on faith and science—we have gracious, positive contributors representing many perspectives—but more a statement on the kind of attitude we prefer among contributors. We are indeed raising the bar for contributors here—and perhaps we should have raised it sooner. But this standard is not meant to create an exclusive club or to silence perspectives we don’t like. It’s about fostering a community where our mission and values are consistently reflected. If we turn into a billboard for personal vendettas, then we won’t be this sort of community.
Someone commented recently that this Forum is one of the few places where people with differing views on difficult topics can have productive discussions and walk away with a better understanding of what other people believe. That’s a wonderful—and dare I say holy—thing.
If you feel that a certain contributor does not meet these standard, please bring them to the attention of the moderators rather than publicly admonishing them.
The moderator team