I noticed a question on the main board that currently has a cumulative vote score of -2, as well as some votes to close.

I'm new to Christianity.SE (and to SE generally), and I'm trying to develop a better understanding of just what is and is not on-topic at C.SE. There seem to be a lot of different guidelines, some of which are clearly explained in the faq, and others that, as far as I can tell, aren't.

  • Do the moderators & other high reputation users on C.SE agree with the overall score of -2 on the linked question?
  • Is that score more appropriate for the question as it was written before it was sharpened by Caleb's edits?
  • I think I can understand how the "more generally" portion in the question would be inappropriate for the SE format; is that the only remaining problematic aspect? Or, is that not problematic at all?


  • 1
    important note: votes are not really an indication of topicality, they often represent, quality, constructiveness, or even just popularity. They are one measure of quality/topicality, but not the final word.
    – wax eagle
    Aug 5, 2012 at 4:20

1 Answer 1


I thought it was on-topic, which is why I went ahead and answered it. It would have been off-topic if it was just a book review or did not specify a doctrinal tradition that they wanted to hear from. However, answering questions about how specific doctrinal traditions fit into the bigger picture is something I think this site can do quite well.

All of the close votes and downvoting happened before I edited the question to clean it up. I suspect they were mostly against the very weak effort put into the question. It's possible the OP isn't using English as a first language, which is part of why I took it in hand rather than downvoting myself. If they are, they just need to buckle down and put some effort into their work. Questions that show that little effort in both wording and prior research are likely to get downvoted/closed in short order.

Also, all of the downvoting happened before I worked on putting a complete answer up. Since then it's come back a little bit. It think people need to see where it COULD go before they realize the value of some things. That being said, I think that question deserved all the downvoting it got. This is supposed to be a site for experts. Anybody can ask questions, but it's ok to expect a little work up front on the asking end too.

For reference, you can see the original question here.

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