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Followup to: Can we have a close reason for “Truth Questions”?

The current on topic section of our help says that questions are on topic if they are about:

understanding the Bible from the perspective of a specific viewpoint (like those listed above)

However, this is not very explicit with regard to what makes a "truth" question on-topic. How can we, concisely, refine this help text to help new users focus their questions to fit our site?

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I suggest rewriting the whole on topic section:

  • the history of denominations (such as Roman Catholic, Anglican, Church of Christ or Later Day Saints) and movements (such as Pentecostalism, Creationism, Calvinism)
  • explanations of the beliefs and practices of a denomination or movement
  • the Biblical basis for a belief or practice
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    We should also add "Is X a sin?" and "Truth Questions" explicitly to the list of off-topic questions. – Flimzy Mar 7 '14 at 18:23
  • On the last point, should it be "doctrine" or "belief"? – curiousdannii Jul 17 '14 at 4:42
  • @Flimzy, I would like to see allowing "Is X a sin according to the Bible" – Jonathan Feb 12 '15 at 14:10
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    @Jonathan: "According to the Bible" is just a sneaky way to say "According to X denomination" because each denomination interprets the Bible differently. "Is drinking alcohol a sin according to the Bible?" According to some, yes, always. According to others, not during Eucharist. According to others, only if drunk in excess. According to others, not at all. Etc, etc, etc. – Flimzy Feb 12 '15 at 14:54
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objectively understanding the beliefs of a specific denomination, sect, or well-defined viewpoint (like those listed above) as it relates to the Bible, doctrine, or theology

  • objectively could be cut, it's just as good without. – curiousdannii Mar 7 '14 at 10:20
  • If we used this one, how would it be distinct from the first? Maybe the whole on topic section should be rewritten. On that note, why not add "whether something is a sin" to the off topic section, and adding a link for "what the Bible says about a subject (unless you specify a doctrine/tradition)" to the hermeneutics site? – curiousdannii Mar 7 '14 at 10:24
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I'm beginning to lean towards: "every question should have an associated denomination to focus the answers" similarly, every answer should be scoped with the answerer's denominational preference. This way, there is "Truth" according to Catholicism, Baptists, and JWs. Case in point, "Am I going to hell for not getting baptized?" becomes "Is Baptismal required for salvation according to the Catholic denomination?"

All biblical-basis questions w/o a denominational specification should be migrated to Hermenutics unless they don't fit there - which then they should just be closed.

On the other side of the coin, how would a new person know to do this and what do we do when people do not? I think this format would enrich the site, but burden the mods - whom are overworked at this point already.

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