I'm curious about the evolution of this question:

What are the mechanics of interaction with the Holy Spirit?

It somehow went from a resource question -- to being closed -- to being re-opened. I'm not entirely certain exactly what happened? Can someone please explain the transformation process to me? [This way, in the future, I can auto-translated my resource-related questions into a form that is not closed.]


1 Answer 1


Your question was first a book recommendation/shopping list question, which are discouraged across the Stack Exchange network for a variety of reasons, one of which is that there isn't really any one "right" answer. In this form, it was simply not suitable for the system.

What Jon Ericson did was to remove the book-recommendation part and bring to the surface the question you really wanted to ask. You wanted resources so you could study up on a particular topic related to the Holy Spirit, and Jon moved the focus from "resources" to "topic related to the Holy Spirit". Note that the question in its current form asks a direct, answerable question and it asks for citations, which will also get you the resources you wanted.

Hence, in the future, you can transform your questions from this:

  • Where can I find resources for topic of X?


  • Question about X? (Please give citations.)
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    Purely on a intellectual level (and not being cynical), the general idea is to change from "Please recommend books for X" to "How does mainstream Christianity view X (please give citations)" ?
    – user1694
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 22:51
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    @user1311390: To be honest, that's all that I did. ;-) The key is to make sure that X is interesting. I would also recommend narrowing the scope down to a particular tradition or denomination rather than "mainstream Christianity", which is a slippery concept. Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 23:18
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    @user1311390: Not quite so fast. Using the cliche "mainstream Christianity" is going to be a dead end real fast if you head that way. Don't try to cloak resource requests, just bring us your specific questions. Do the resource shopping somewhere other than SE. This site doesn't cover all the basis. Just use it for what it's good for, vetting answers to focused questions.
    – Caleb
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 23:19

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