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I was wondering, when I read Korvin's post about there being nothing new under the sun, if this site (the main site) is actually a new approach to Christianity?

If you consider "the rules" for asking questions:

  1. No pastoral advice questions.
  2. No veiled rants. / must be a "real question".
  3. Questions must be objectively answered within an established faith tradition.

I guess I see it as a reverse catechism, where instead the uninitiated are asking the questions and the initiated pass judgement on the question itself before deigning to answer it.

So is there any precedent for this? I think we came up with something a smart person could write a book about, but that's just me - if it's not novel please let me know of other examples.

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What's novel is the enabling of interdenominational dialogue

Because this community is not interested (collectively) in the great, 1900-year-long shouting match of "I'm right, you splitter!" -- "No, I'm right, you heretic!" this is a unique internet space where I can engage warmly with my fellow believers from across the denominational spectrum, not argue with them. That gets saved for the rants in chat, or the continual attempts at 'gotcha questions' by a variety of people posting questions. Likewise with some non-believers who participate with good intention.

This site also attracts some people who are no kidding biblical scholars, though a lot of that is found on BH as well.

The result is why I bother coming back. I can get a positive, sincere answer or commentary on what is underneath the hood from our Mormon friends, our Calvinist friends, et cetera.

Elsewhere on the internet, what tends to happen is stove pipes, balkanization, and echo chambers where people self-reinforce their belief set -- while the intent is probably to share the Word via electronic means, there's a bit of bunker mentality going on. (There are some Catholic sites that strike me that way; I rarely visit them anymore).

By separating the wheat form the chaff (hey, that's scriptural, isn't it?) in vetting question such that they are lifted up to being worthy of a well supported answer, this site's approach intends (and usually succeeds) in covering a broad array of Christian beliefs with a reduced amount of noise. That's a Good Thing(TM), and with this topic, it's very rare on the internet.

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