[sword-devel] some more new Bible modules

Paul Gear sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 22 May 2001 06:07:23 +1000

Harry Plantinga wrote:

> I think that you all have a major decision brewing. Given the
> nature of Christians and Christianity, it will be impossible
> for a diverse group of developers to agree on a set of "theologically
> sound" documents.  Especially since none is without error
> except for the Word of God, whatever that means.
> You'll have to agree to become a software developer only -- without
> endorsing a particular set of documents -- or a publisher, giving
> some stamp of approval to certain documents and not others.

I understand what you're saying here, but i don't see how it can work.  The
software development is not an independent thing.  The reason Troy wrote the
Sword libraries (if i can presume to speak for him) was that he wanted to make
Scripture and other texts more accessible to people, not because he wanted to
write some neat software.  The texts drive the software, not the other way
around.  I see CrossWire primarily as a publisher, with the software development
being a means to an end.

Thus i think the main thing to decide is not whether we want to be a publisher,
but what kind of publisher we want to be: one which carefully evaluates
everything, or one which simply publishes what seems helpful, and then makes
appropriate disclaimers.  I think the former is too difficult: defining
"orthodoxy" and the Word of God are, as you have hinted, difficult things.

We have discussed these sort of things before in relation to whether we should
have a doctrinal statement for developers, and although there were many good
arguments put forward for doing so, the consensus seemed to be to let the issue

> ...
> It would also be highly political.  It probably mean electing
> an editorial board, and fending off constant challenges to their
> decisions.  It may not have happened much yet, but the difficulties
> will grow as the user base grows. It might split the developer base.
> ...

How have you handled this issue at CCEL?  Do you have a doctrinal statement, an
editorial board, and a document ratification process?