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A question just asked reminded me of a problem I think we're going to run into a lot:

On the face, this seems like a pretty good question for this site. However, we have this clause in our FAQ under What questions should I not ask here?:

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

For this particular question, I can think of at least one: Søren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. I suspect nearly every question on the site has a book about how to interpret it.

So how do we reconcile the general Stack Exchange guidance about scope with the obvious on-topic content for this site?

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    Isn't there a Judaism SE? I wonder what lessons on this could be learned from them? – Iszi Aug 23 '11 at 21:09
  • The problem with books is that they give too much info, which is really wonderful however people usually want a summary of the ideas and a quick but accurate answer. I feel that the questions should be allowed on the site. – Pacerier Aug 23 '11 at 23:32
  • Another part of the FAQ to consider as possibly irrelevant / limiting to the scope of the site "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." Many (perhaps most?) interesting questions related to religion are not 'practical.. based on actual problems' in the strict sense of SE (does this needs its own question or does it fit here?). – David LeBauer Aug 31 '11 at 5:40
  • @Iszi there is indeed a judaism.se. It does have plenty of examples of what would benefit what would detract from this site (I leave it up to the user to decide which is which). – David LeBauer Aug 31 '11 at 6:15
  • Quick fix: Reword it to "If you would need an entire book ..." – RCIX Sep 8 '11 at 5:10
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So much ink has been spilled over the past several thousand years on Christianity topics that I can hardly think of a question for which an entire book has not (or at very least, could not) be written to adress.

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    I agree... Anyone would be hard pressed to find a single Christian topic that does not have one or more books written on it. However, we still need to limit the scope of questions somewhat. Perhaps we can find a reasonable way to re-word the FAQ suggestion so that it's more applicable to this site. – Flimzy Aug 25 '11 at 4:36
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I think it's safe to say that that general guideline for SE sites does not apply to this site and we can have it removed. One of the steps for coming out of beta will be to work up some site specific FAQs. Each SE site has it's own FAQ page and while there is lots of overlap, many key details are different on different sites.

I wouldn't worry about what it says in the FAQ until building our FAQ comes up as a meta topic. Until then let's do the best job we can at defining the scope of the site through voting on (and asking) questions.

Edit: I hereby change my mind. The only reconciling that needs to be done is that we need to take this point in the FAQ seriously. See this meta post for my reasoning: Can we reverse the trend on low quality posts?

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Ideally such a question should have at least two kinds of answers:

There are often several books on a given subject, in addition to other resources. A helpful answer would summarize the scope and position of a number of resources. Making that answer "community wiki" could be helpful.

Another set of "community wiki" answers that I'd like to encourage is collections of the major Biblical source material on the topic; see, e.g., my community wiki answer about God's voice.

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