There are lots of important questions about Christianity and faith which cannot be effectively handled on this site: questions about personal lives, our relationships with God, and what is the ultimate truth in the universe. In order to prevent this site from descending into fights over opinions and bickering about the right way to do things, we have decided that questions should be focused on what can be objectively discussed about Christianity.
This page explains the major types of questions which can be asked here. 98% of questions that are asked on this site fit into one of these categories, and if you can edit your question to fit one of these categories then it will probably be accepted. And hopefully answered!
Theology & Practice
These questions are the foundation of this site. If you have a question about the theology or practices of a specific denomination (such as the Catholic Church, Anglicanism, or Latter Day Saints) or movement (such as Pentecostalism, Creationism, or Calvinism) then we're here to help. Please clearly identify the denomination or movement in the question, and also please tag it.
- At what point is a new soul created according to the Catholic Church?
- According to Calvinism, why does God give mercy to some and not to others?
- What works do the LDS Church recognize as Scripture?
- How do creationists explain the genetic diversity of animals after Noah's Ark?
- Why do Popes have seven candlesticks on the altar at Mass?
Almost all Christians would say that their beliefs are supported by the Bible. Use the biblical-basis tag to ask what the Biblical basis for a belief is. Note however that we don't generally allow these questions for the beliefs of arbitrary individuals. You should consider showing in your question who believes the thing you are asking about, or at least be prepared to explain if challenged by another user. You should be able to point to a denomination or a well known preacher or teacher; someone's blog on the internet probably won't suffice.
Note that for denominations like the Latter Day Saints which have a broader scriptural canon than the Bible, the "Biblical" basis should be thought of as including all the texts of their canon. Note also that occasionally a belief is said to not have a Biblical basis by its own proponents, but this is really quite rare.
- What is the Biblical basis for Total Depravity?
- On what do Catholics base their doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary?
- What is the biblical justification for permitting female pastors?
- What is the scriptural basis for clerical celibacy?
- What is the Biblical basis for Universal salvation?
Most exegesis questions should be asked at the Biblical Hermeneutics site. The exegesis questions that do get asked here must be scoped to a particular branch of Christianity and should indicate why an answer from that perspective in particular is needed. For example, many of the exegesis questions that get asked here ask how a passage that appears on the surface to be inconsistent with the teaching of some denomination is understood by that denomination.
- How do Calvinists interpret Acts 7:51 in light of the doctrine of 'irresistible grace?'
- If Jesus was resurrected as a man how can Paul say his apostleship was not through a man but it was through Jesus at Galatians 1:1?
- How can it be said that Paul taught a pre-tribulational rapture of the Church given 2 Thessalonians chapter 2?
- How do Trinitarians explain John 17:3?
- Does "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23, 5:12) include every single human being?
We have many questions on church history, historical theology, and the origin and development of ideas and practices.
- When in the development of trinitarian doctrine was the word "persons" first applied to God?
- Was the Nicene Creed accepted under duress?
- What is the earliest known instance of a petition directed to Mary?
- What of Augustine's ecclesiology was rejected in the Reformation?
- What doctrinal changes did the Westminster Confession bring to the Church of Scotland?
Overview questions are usually the hardest questions to answer, but they can also be the most informative. Unlike most questions here, they are not scoped to a single denomination, but instead inquire about all of Christianity. (Or all Trinitarians, all Protestants, etc.) The catch is that we require each answer to summarise the positions of all major branches of Christianity, and if possible, some of the smaller ones as well. Anyone wanting to answer an overview question should ideally cover: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Protestant (with separate sections for Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Arminian, Baptist, etc. if they have significant differences), Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter Day Saints.
It may be hard to find answers from all of these; it's okay to come back later and edit the answer to add more. Many people may collaborate on an answer to cover all the branches. Each branch doesn't need to have its own paragraph, so branches with the same or similar answers should be discussed together. And it is possible for an overview question to be closed because it would be too broad. For example, asking for an overview of church polities would be closed because there are just too many.
- What is an overview of Christian viewpoints on the accuracy and truthfulness of the Bible?
- How is Union with Christ understood across Christianity?
- What is an overview of Reformed beliefs about hell?
- How do various traditions define the term "sufficient grace"?
Minor question types
The five question types above cover most of the questions this site receives, but there are several other minor question types which are also acceptable.
These questions ask which denominations meet certain specific criteria. Use the denomination-survey tag.
- What churches identify themselves as being Modalist?
- Which Christians refuse vaccinations on religious grounds?
Questions asking for comparisons between Christianity and other religions are allowed if they focus on factual details or what Christianity says or implies about the other religion.