FAQ suggestions will be implemented soon, but we (the mods) wanted to get the input of the community first. Each proposed edit will be posted as a separate answer. Upvote if you like it, downvote if not. If you have a suggestion about a proposed edit, comment. After we see some clear general approval for an edit proposal we will implement the edit and delete the answer to show that the edit has been done (and to keep the thread clean).

To be clear. We can only edit the top portion of the FAQ. The section under "What kind of Questions can I ask here."

Therefore edit suggestions should deal primarily with our question asking guidelines. For an example of a fairly well developed FAQ section see RPG.SE's FAQ

  • It's really too bad that we can't edit the entire faq. That would be really useful. At the same time, I can understand why they do it. – Richard Sep 16 '11 at 19:12
  • @Richard: We can ask nicely (and with a good argument) to change other parts. If it happens, it's not gonna happen often. – El'endia Starman Sep 16 '11 at 19:14

Edit: This suggestion has been integrated into the site FAQ. Oct 1, 2011

El'endia made a good effort to sum up several points brought up in the brain storm meta question. I have edited some of the wording. In some cases these edits have changed the overall meaning, so read carefully. In other cases I have just tried to spell out more exactly what is meant. For example rather than just saying "judged by merit" I tried to give a definition of what that could look like.

Proposed initial content for What kind of questions can I ask here?

You may ask questions about any area of Christianity, but keep a few points in mind:

  • This site is not a debate forum, it is a collection of knowledge ABOUT Christianity -- not a place to rag on it's constituents or challenge the validity of having a belief system. Questions asked under false pretense just to "make a point" will be closed as Not Constructive.

  • Your own beliefs do not not preclude you from asking questions, but all questions must be directly related to Christianity.

  • For the purposes of this site, any group that identifies themselves as Christian are to be considered part of that set. This is critical! Answers are to be judged based on how well they represent the view or tradition they claim to speak for, not whether or not you agree with that position. Good answers thoroughly defend a specific viewpoint or accurately describe a broad range of views. Bad answers wrongly represent the view they claim to speak for, are offensive towards other views, or don't stick to answering the question.

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    I like the wording of this much more than my own answer. +1 – El'endia Starman Sep 18 '11 at 22:28
  • This is much better. It's more concise and on point. I would suggest removing the phrase ...not a place to rag on". "Rag on" is a colloquialism more common to the UK. It may not be easily understood where it is lesser-known, and will likely be seen as quite sexist and offensive in some parts of the US: urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rag&defid=374611 – Robert Cartaino Sep 20 '11 at 14:24
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    Another quick note: Your post hashes out the nitty-gritty, but don't forget to start the actual FAQ welcoming users in an upbeat introduction to what the site is about: "Christianity SE is a site for blah, blah, blah. If your question is about this, that, or other, your question is welcome here!" <-- Then onto your bullet points. – Robert Cartaino Sep 20 '11 at 14:30
  • I think that challenge the validity of any belief system would be better wording than challenge the validity of having a belief system. After all, everyone has a belief system. – TRiG Oct 1 '11 at 15:45

I think the information in the question How are verses referenced? would be good material for the site FAQ.


Edit: This suggestion has been integrated into the site FAQ. Oct 1, 2011

Proposed initial content for What kind of questions can I ask here? (I have drawn this from these three answers.)

Any and all areas of Christianity are suitable for asking questions. However, there are a few points to be made first.

  • This site is not a debate forum. We are here to talk about Christianity, not tear each other down. Users do not expect to be challenged on their belief system, and questions asked under false pretense just to "make a point" or to challenge those tenets will be closed as Not Constructive. If you want to get into a discussion/debate, the chat area is always open.

  • If a group or individual self-identifies as Christian, they are to be considered Christian for the purposes of this site. We cannot emphasize this enough. Judge a question or answer on its merit, not on whether or not you agree with it.

  • Questions may be from any religious background. We do not want to preclude someone from asking just because they are atheist/agnostic, Hindu, Jewish, or from any other non-Christian religion. The only requirement i s that the question is related to Christianity.

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    I don't think just saying "judge on merit" is going to be enough to get people on the right track here. Also, I think it's ok to ask questions that challenge the tenets of our faith, just not ok to do so while insisting on a different presuppositional system. I have tried to address these issues in a rewrite. – Caleb Sep 18 '11 at 22:28
  • I have a few critiques of this. Critique #1 regarding "self-identified" Christians. This is such an edge-case problem representing such a small, tiny percentage of your actual questions, that giving the issue "top billing" in your FAQ shows you may be thinking a bit too much "insider baseball" for something that should be included at the top of your FAQ. The "Judge an an answer on it's merit" seems okay, though. – Robert Cartaino Sep 19 '11 at 16:17
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    Critique #2 "...asking from any religious background." This is largely a site for Christians. While I wouldn't ban questions from other groups, giving it "top billing" in your FAQ leave the impression that questions from atheists, Hindu's, etc are a significant portion of this site. You're falling into a common trap of writing a good FAQ. You're giving "other groups" top billing because it's another "insider baseball" issue that is on your mind rather than looking at it from the first-time user's perspective. What do visitors really need to know the first time they visit this site? – Robert Cartaino Sep 19 '11 at 16:26
  • Critique #3 "If you want to get into debate, use chat." You mention chat in same context of questioning beliefs. You shouldn't invite people to make chat an unpleasant, combative place for believers, just like the main site. Chat is, indeed, a good place for healthy, in-context discussions about Christianity. Mentioning that at this point in the FAQ is just poor timing. – Robert Cartaino Sep 19 '11 at 16:29
  • @RobertCartaino: Re #1 I hardly think that's an edge case problem, we fight it in the wording of a large portion of questions, answers and comments across the site. I think it's fair to mention up front, but see the difference emphasis in my rewrite. – Caleb Sep 19 '11 at 21:36
  • @RobertCartaino: Re #2 I reduced this emphasis and killed #3 in my rewrite. Care to comment on that? – Caleb Sep 19 '11 at 21:38
  • @Caleb: You are making good progress in your post here: meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/556/…, so I will comment there. – Robert Cartaino Sep 20 '11 at 13:47

This site is not a debate forum, it is a collection of knowledge ABOUT Christianity -- not a place to belittle it's constituents or challenge the validity of having a belief system.

Everyone has a belief system, surely? I think the phrasing challenge the validity of any belief system would be better. This isn't an important point, I just find the current wording distracting.

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    I updated the FAQ to read "challenge the validity of their belief system". Does that do the trick? – Caleb Oct 3 '11 at 9:42
  • Fine. But belittle it's constituents has an unwanted apostrophe. – TRiG Oct 3 '11 at 10:46
  • True enough, fixed. – Caleb Oct 4 '11 at 8:41

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