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Featured On the importance of citing sources

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by The Liturgist, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Many members including me are in the bad habit of expressing doctrinal positions without either citing sources from which one learned the particular doctrine or scriptural interpretation. Additionally, I think a smaller number of members post their own opinions, which could be valid, about what is the correct reading of scripture or the correct theological doctrine or answer to a question, without clearly expressing whether or not it is an opinion, and if it is a new one, that someone has just become aware of, without expressing this, and being prepared to provide at least some degree of explanation as to how they got there.

    I think this is a bad habit, and we need to get out of it. Also, simply citing scriptural verses in support of an opinion, by themselves, without discussing potential alternate interpretations of those verses, is also I think problematic, as it has a tendency to lead to “verse wars” in which people cite verses eisgetically, as if our interpretation of a particular verse, by itself, out of context of the rest of scripture, is sufficient to support our interpretation or opinion regarding another issue, when this is really a case of eisegesis per se.

     
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  2. NomNomPizza

    NomNomPizza Active Member

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    Disagree , there is only one Spirit and He teaches the Scriptures , everybody should have Exactly the same understanding of them
    there is enought division of denominations alredy
    there is no such thing as opinion if you ask me , either provide it based on Scriptures or it doesn't matter what you wrote no need to type "opinions" because its irrelevant what's ones opinion.
     
  3. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Hi!

    Help us out. . .present such which you think are relevant in the discussion.

    Where ya' been?
     
  4. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    I think/hope you misunderstood my initial post. My point is that because everybody does not have exactly the same understanding of them, we should get in the habit of talking about how and where we learned something, and why we believe it to be correct, recalling that we are obliged as Christians to “test every spirit” and to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” It is presumptuous and inadequate, I think, for people to express a doctrinal opinion, for example, and then refuse to cite the scriptural, historical, traditional, Patristic or other basis for it.
     
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  5. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Well, I don’t want to quote any specific posts by other members in other threads as that could be flaming, but I know I’ve done this also. But to give an example, I recently read a thread wherein users made a number of assertions about the eschaton, such as the ethnicity of the antichrist, declaring the Archangel Michael and Jesus Christ to be the same, and so on, without providing further discussion (on the latter point, that is an SDA doctrine but the member expressing the opinion is not an SDA member, so I am curious as to why they reached that opinion, and how they conceptualize their faith in the context of that, and simply declaring these opinions as an axiom or hard fact that is to be accepted without question, which is what that member did, and I myself have done the same thing elsewhere on several occasions, is entirely inadequate).
     
  6. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    To be honest, a lot of the time I don't remember where I read something. I mean, I'm dipping in and out of commentaries most weeks, and I might read something and it'll stick somewhere in my mind, but a month later I might be thinking, was that Walter Brueggemann or Ben Witherington III? And which book was it in? I think expecting that level of academic rigour for forum discussions, which are by their nature pretty informal, is fairly unrealistic. Although it's helpful if we can at least indicate that ideas are drawn from contemporary scholarly works, for example.

    On the other hand, I agree that just proof-texting with Scriptural verses is seldom enough to get us anywhere constructive.
     
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  7. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    I agree. We live in a society that has a habit of asserting opinion as if it is bona fide reasonable. One needs to at least give reasons for what they assert, especially in a culture where non-truth is rampant. Where do I get these ideas? The internet, haha. See, even I can succumb to the temptation to give bald faced assertions.

    https://www.philosophersmag.com/essays/26-the-fact-opinion-distinction
     
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  8. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    What you describe is actually what I would hope for based on my initial post. I can never remember whether it was Basil or Gregory the Theologian who called God an infinite sea of being, but I do remember it was one of them.

    Exactly. As bad as just declaring some random controversial doctrine to be a hard fact (it was actually the latter, rather than eisegesis, which prompted this thread).
     
  9. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    I rarely take anyone seriously who does not quote sources and give a link to where they got the material. Since, there is only one Holy Spirit, why do so many give conflicting interpretations of a verse? I do not think the Holy Spirit is giving them the interpretation.
    It is clear that they are in fact, just giving me their interpretation. Since, I do not know the person, I can only think they are just making up their opinion.

    Some of the misquoted scriptures were addressed directly to the Apostles themselves, not to the whole church.

    When quoting primary sources, my habit is give enough of the quote for context and give a link to it.

    John 16
    King James Version
    16 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

    2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

    3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

    4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

    5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?

    6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

    10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

    11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

    12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

    13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

    15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

    16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

    17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?

    18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.

    19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

    20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

    21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

    22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

    23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

    24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

    25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.

    26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

    27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

    28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

    29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

    30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

    31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

    32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

    33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

    Luke 24:8
    And they remembered his words,
     
  10. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    I am acustion to doing apologetics. Giving sources is the best policy. I think we do need to raise the academic standards of forum discussions. So, if an unbeliever is reading something we wrote, they can look at the sources we present to learn more.
     
  11. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I guess it depends what your purpose is in being here. I don't think of myself as primarily an apologist, and if forums were going to require that level of work, I wouldn't be as interested in being here (which is what I do in my down time), where what I value most are connections with and chances to learn from people in very different contexts to my own.
     
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  12. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    "One of the three great Cappadocian Fathers of the Eastern Church, and an architect ... Gregory explains how God is like a 'boundless and infinite sea of being,."

    infinite sea of being God - Norton Safe Search

    church fathers "infinite sea of being" - Google Search
     
  13. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    When talking major theology it is a great idea to give sources. When learning to talk to people heart to heart, if you are not using a formal source, I can see where your approach would be ok. But, remember I will be losing my hair when no formal sources are given. :)
     
  14. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    I'm torn. On the one hand, Always Cite Your Source is one of the important academic principles. On the other hand, as others have said, sometimes it's more complicated than just citing one person. I've just posted an argument in another thread (on the nature of ethics) that I originally got from Bertrand Russell, but I think there's some CS Lewis mixed in, plus a couple of philosophers that I read back in college whose names I've forgotten, and it's all been sitting together in my head these 40 years, so maybe the ideas are mine now. So the source citation gets complicated.

    I do try to cite my sources if there are statistics or other modern facts involved. (Example: responding to a recent post that asked why most progressives are atheists. The Pew Research Center was helpful in addressing the underlying assumption.)

    I often don't cite the source if it's a familiar quote from the Bible or the Nicene Creed, when I'm addressing Christians, because I figure most Christians won't need footnotes to recognize those quotes.
     
  15. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    I've seen posts here on CF that are taken directly from online ministries with specific rules about online sharing. We're not talking about a paraphrase either. I mean a direct copy + paste without attribution. People who do that seem to think there aren't ways of checking that sort of thing.

    CF rules prevent calling that sort of thing out. Apparently, this practice of stealing other people's writing without crediting them can't even be referred to as that "P" word that will get you expelled from college or certain careers. So, instead, I silently judge the people who do this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 6:22 PM
  16. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

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    A very good post and a post that I do not think many folk would even understand.

    Every church organization handles the scripture differently to some degree, to every other church organization. This results, at times, in wildly different interpretations of the scripture.

    Add to that, different levels of church tradition interlaced with those specific interpretations.

    Giving us ultimately, a modern church world that is a tapestry of conflicting doctrine.

    Will folk cite their sources, highly unlikely. That is not what they were taught.

    You are the voice of one crying in the wilderness.
     
  17. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    You can report people for a copyright violation, though. Mods will take care of it.
     
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  18. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good thoughts and advice!
     
  19. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I usually credit, but yesterday I quoted, gave credit, but didn't link to the video. One thing I've learned since being here is no one watches sermons on videos if you just present the video. So yesterday I thought the teaching important enough to be heard, so I did a basic transcription of what I thought relevant and brief enough for the forum (Short attention spans), and gave credit to the pastor along with the name of the sermon.

    I probably should have linked, and I usually try to but may sometimes forget. That wouldn't be intentional.

    But since no one actually watches sermons that I would prefer someone to sit and listen to I'm not always sure what is the correct way to go about it on a forum like this. I do know there are times others say things better than myself.
     
  20. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    It is extremely courteous of you to provide transcripts of videos you link to, because I, like many members, do not always have the time to watch them.
     
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