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11:55 AM
@dancek Any way you think this can be improved?
I'm assuming the downvotes / closing were because it was worded in a potentially inflammatory way?
12:26 PM
@Ray Your question asks for the medical, non-Biblical account of a person who died over 2,000 years ago whose death is central to the very core of Christianity. I don't think there's a way to word that in a constructive, or rather answerable, way.
12:38 PM
I think I worded that poorly if I gave that impression...
What I was trying to get at was what Biblical evidence there was for his death
That is, evidence beyond simple assertion
As an example, in my answer, I mentioned "When the spear pierced Jesus' side, both blood and water were said to come out of the wound. The latter is explained by pleural and pericardial effusions."
Your answer reads like a medical post mortum: if that's the level of detail you're looking from the Bible, you won't find it. There wasn't a coroner doing an autopsy on his body :P
Nor will you find objective facts: the only account we have of the death of Jesus would be the Bible. Any answer would be based on the subjective accounts provided there.
There are a few problems I see with this question:
First off, the question can be easily answered by Google. This is the second result I found which deals with the swoon theory
Second, the question itself isn't asking about doctrine or understanding of bible events. It, as worded, is asking about "proof of death", which isn't really a biblical or doctrinal question.
If you reworded it to something more like "How do we know that the swoon theory is invalid?" it would be a completely different issue, but still get the answers that you seek.
I think that's really what I'm getting at
Also, I still think that this is a huge topic.
(granted, huge topics don't mean automatic closing)
12:46 PM
"How do we know that the swoon theory is invalid?", that is
I think that's an excellent question. It addresses an old heresy and so it's doctrinal in nature. Also, it will gather biblical evidence against the theory.
Alright, I'll try to work it around that
thanks for the guidance
1:07 PM
@Ray I think it might be wise to repost that question rather than trying to edit the old question. It will pop it to the top of the active list, but it'll still be buried in the "Newest" list. Also, it would allow for a clean start (without the comments and down votes).
2:01 PM
@Richard - if you are here, I would like to discuss the tithes question... I think I've not explained myself very well...
@CiscoIPPhone - I only now see your comment from 2 September... :) possibly because you did not use @ ?
@Richard - never mind, I added what I wanted to say in the comments under the question.
2:22 PM
@Richard that is, if you know "swoon theory" is the term
@dancek That's why there's chat, to open up these ideas... Also, I know Ray well enough to know that he's probably familiar with the "swoon theory". I think he's probably more educated than I am.
@Wikis Aah, ok. Yeah, sorry. I didn't have my headphones on so I didn't hear the ping.
@Ray can you maybe ping me if you rewrite the question. I'm still interested in answering.
2:38 PM
@Richard Hmm, well, I think I'd heard of it before, but I didn't have the term when I wrote the question, and did Jesus die doesn't return quite as relevant results
I tried "did jesus really die on the cross" and came up with this site as the third one. But fair enough about the term.
I suppose I need to refine my Googling skills :)
..and SE chat hyperlink-attaching skills
Hehe. ;)
Would that tithing question be more on-topic at BH.SE?
If it's looking less at "how does X group understand this" and more as "what is the Bible saying about X"?
@Ray I could see the historical approach to tithing potentially being valid on BH.SE. But it would be borderline because it would be hard to keep answers from encroaching into the application territory. :\
2:49 PM
The scope of one or both sites is too narrowly defined if this is sitting right in between the two and off-topic for both
@Ray I still say we're all using the "off topic" label wrong. In some cases we need to use "not constructive" and in others "better suited for" :)
So you're saying this question's issue is not scope but constructiveness?
I agree. I've closed most of the questions per the quality standards as "Not Constructive" since they didn't specify a doctrine. The Off Topic questions are the questions about the Bible interpretation that don't specify a doctrine. (Although they might be Not Constructive if the interpretation is contentious.)
Usually "not constructive" has to do with things like "extended debate", but the criteria given in the question is very clear and well-defined--looking for biblical justification
The idea is this: if the question is open to opinion, it's Not Constructive. If it's asking for interpretation, my opinion is that it's Off Topic.
2:58 PM
@Ray Around these parts asking for Biblical justification for something is pretty much the same thing as asking for extended debate :)
just to add another voice here. asking for biblical support is like asking for "personal exegesis" which if supportable from outside sources is fine, probably shouldn't be a primary element to either a question or an answer.
Frankly, if Biblical justification isn't what we're supposed to talk about, I'm not sure this is where I want to be
@waxeagle That sounds to me like the difference between a good answer and bad one, not allowed and disallowed
@Ray given context biblical justification is fine. however without some kind of doctrinal framework you won't end up anywhere anyways
And if you want to go back to the Bible, and challenge assumptions?
I'm afraid to say "You should tithe 10% or more because the PCA says so" or "because they say that's what the Bible says"... can't we look at the Bible? Doesn't God speak to us? Is there no Priesthood of Believers?
@Ray yes there is. No one is denying it (well except the catholics...but nm that). Anyways, I think where we want to go is the "back it up" principal. Say what you want to say, interpret how you interpret, but make sure its an interpretation that is held by someone other than just you through a commentary, church doctrine or something more substantial than "I say so"
3:06 PM
@waxeagle I agree, personal exegesis will likely hold less weight (unless you're very convincing... though original research isn't supposed to be here anyway).
That said, Biblical justification can be backed up by a commentary without requiring that the question be limited to a doctrinal tradition
@Ray but every commentator comes from a view point.
@waxeagle So very true.
(I'm back. Power outage.)
everyone has an angle they are coming from when they ask or answer questions. Thus Every topic in scripture, every interpretation hangs on some kind of doctrinal frame. Identifying that frame and matching it to the question is key
@Ray QnA is a bad format to challenge assumptions. There are lots of places in the world to do that, I don't think SE is a good choice for that.
@waxeagle They do, but that's not all there is to say... I read through my horizon of understanding, but I make every effort to step away from it and see from the horizon of the Biblical author. The best commentary authors do this. Joseph Fitzmyer is one of my favorite examples of that
3:09 PM
@Ray thats an angle though. Its a different one than our current standpoint...
@Ray You shouldn't say "you should do x" anyway, (that make it a pastoral issue) you should say "x group of christians believe x about y". that's what QnA is good for.
He is a Catholic scholar who talks about justification by faith through the imputed righteousness of Christ's works
The problem that we are (or were) having is that our questions weren't drawing experts. We had to approach the problem and try to figure out how to make this site viable. The solution we came up with is to ask based on a specific doctrine or doctrinal tradition.
When we left the questions open-ended, they were drawing opinion and debate, rather than expert answers. This is what we have to avoid in order to be accepted by SE.
@Caleb That is a disappointment. If everyone here is supposed to huddle with people they already agree with and validate their own opinions and assumptions, I see little value in that
@Ray To cope with that, out definition of "doctrinal tradition" is very open. As long as somebody is saying and publishing it, it pretty much counts. It just has to be identifiable. Basically if a comentatary is saying something, that is going to be a doctrinal tradition anyway.
3:12 PM
BH.SE hasn't had these problems because they are asking expert level questions and getting expert level answers. C.SE, by comparison, was asking poor, broad questions. It had to be fixed somehow.
@Caleb Right.
Commentary-backed answers are completely acceptable as long as they line up with the doctrine of the question.
@Ray Note: Challenge beliefs / knowledge / understanding is differnet than challenge assumptions. I was referring to the part that you just called "no original research" --- not challenging people's knowledge of Christian beliefs.
(Actually, I'd be thrilled to have commentary-backed answers.)
@Richard which its important to note we don't claim its right or wrong and are open to alternate suggestions/expansions etc.
@Caleb So could you phrase it as "What commentary-backed justification is there for Christian tithing?"
@waxeagle Absolutely! I would love to find a perfect guideline here. I don't think our guideline is perfect, but it's dramatically better than what it was.
3:14 PM
@Ray thats listy, but something along that line would probably be ok.
Yes, that would work. That boils down to "What doctrines are there for Christian tithing?" since all commentaries come from a doctrinal stance.
Also, the answer would be easier.
@Richard And I do want to acknowledge that; it was a sinking ship, and the restrictions seem to have bailed out the trolls, at very least
(a) 10% is required and minimum (b) tithing any amount is required, no minimum (c) tithing is not required.
@Ray yeah, but it did hasten the decline of our q volume :(
I just want to make sure that it is not without losing commitment to scripture as the central foundation for all (correct) Christian doctrine, not the other way around
3:18 PM
@Ray Well, hopefully all doctrine is based on scripture. So basing questions and answers on doctrine will indirectly be supported by scripture. Also, it's hard to answer doctrine without using scripture.
@Ray Ya we're still pretty green at this, but I hope getting born again like this will free us from bondage to certain death.
Although defining one doctrine as correct -vs- incorrect is beyond the scope of this site...
@Richard Agreed. I just want it from the source
@Ray Sure, I can understand that. I think that's why we can and should ask, "What is does the Bible say about X, per [doctrine Y]?"
But without that "per [doctrine Y]" things get not constructive quickly.
Honestly, I think many evangelical scholars would be horrified to be accused of coming at Holy Scripture with their doctrinal commitments as a hermeneutical key, even while acknowledging that they are influenced by their doctrine. There is a huge gap their that needs to be understood. It seems like the policy (or at least the defense of it) has been based around assuming that that the gap is a rather small one
3:25 PM
@Ray I was with you on the first part (although I think they are remarkably wrong for not realizing how much affect their doctrinal position influences their approach to hermeneutics) but you lost me on the gap. What's the gap your referring to?
@Ray I'm not even saying that its their own doctrinal commitments. Its some doctrinal commitments, every time you read scripture you are reading it in some kind of doctrinal frame, whether its your own, trying to get into the head of the authors, or as an atheist you are making some kind of assumption that builds your dotrinal frame
@Ray I can agree entirely with that sentiment. Like I said, I would love to have a perfect set of guidelines. I would really like to see questions like "Is premarital sex a sin?" be approached academically. But, we, as a community, have failed to do that.
@Caleb The gap between doctrinal influence and hermeneutical key.
I believe that everyone approaches sacred scripture attempting to understand truth.
Doctrine and history puts a gap between the truth and what we perceive as the truth. While people may accept that the gap exists, everyone likes to think that they are close to the truth.
With that concept, the idea of the priesthood of all believers, and our horrible definition of "Christian", all opinions have to be accepted as a "Christian" interpretation of scripture, regardless how far off-base they seem.
I think a better fix would have been to nail down what "Christian" meant. However, that would be like nailing jello to the wall.
@Caleb And I think it's okay for us to disagree on that, (though I can argue the point... but that's another discussion) but understand that for those of us who believe that truth can be truly known from scripture (even if it is not objective or absolute truth), the doctrine-based exegesis restriction makes the whole thing not very useful...
To put it another way, if "what is the Biblical basis for tithing?" isn't a good question, the parameters ought to be adjusted
3:33 PM
@Ray I also feel strongly that truth can only be understood in the light of Scripture and everything else is meta. However I don't think anybody is advocating for less Scripture around here.
@Caleb definitely not me. Scripture is good, I'm just advocating for more commentary with your scripture
@Ray There are too many people who believe strongly, based on scripture, different things. That's what the problem is. It opens up the question to debate.
Debate, for a QnA site, is not constructive.
@waxeagle But again, you don't need to restrict the question to a doctrinal tradition to require commentary support
commentary = doctrinal tradition.
@Richard And that just shows the need for supporting your answer
3:36 PM
@Ray commentators come from a tradition, best to align that tradition with the questioner or the desired perspective, else the interpretation won't answer the question
@Ray Um ... except that commentary support is doctrinal tradition (per our humpty dumptyish definition)
@Ray With secondary sources. Supporting a scripture-based answer with more scripture is begging the question.
Case in point in the tithing question: two polar opposite interpretations of Matthew 19:21.
@MarkTrapp [total side note] Thank you so much! So many people use "begging the question" wrong.
I have a BA in Philosophy :P
3:38 PM
It always delights me to see it used properly.
Well, I see that I'm on my own here. You all have been gracious, but we're just in different places.
I don't want to make things difficult for you
@Ray I don't think you are ... but I don't think we're quite communicating either. At least for myself I don't really understand your objection. It just doesn't match the picture in my head of what is so I don't understand what the objection is to.
@Ray I don't feel like I have been disagreeing with you. On the contrary, I feel like I agree with all that you've said. But, we have to find some way to improve the quality of the site. Requiring doctrine (or commentary) is the only way we can come up with to do that.
@Caleb I agree. I think it's a confusion with the communication.
I suppose I object to the idea that "commentary = doctrinal tradition" or "commentary support is doctrinal tradition"
Or that prohibiting original research in answers necessitates restricting a question to a doctrinal tradition
@Ray What would be an example question where original research would be barred but wouldn't be a doctrinal question?
3:49 PM
@MarkTrapp And allows for commentary support. ("What's the difference between NASB and ESV?" would be factual, but not doctrinal.)
For example, the tithing question. It previously asked for biblical justification. Without specifying the early church, yes, it may get a couple of "i think X" type answers and these are bad answers that aren't following the rules of "no original research"... but it's not the question's fault. A good answer would cite scripture and have support for that reading, whether it is "the church fathers said X" or "the catechism says Y" or "N.T. Wright says Z"
@Ray Out of that I think we agree on what will make good answers, but I do think the questions set the tone for judging whether answers are good or bad, and we were drowning in bad answers because there were no rules for the questions. With limiting to questions that can only be answered by what you just defined as good answers we've cut off one hydra head.
@Caleb Agreed.
Can you give us another example @Ray? Specifically of some question you think you could answer with just Biblical content and your own commentary that would not be a valid answer to a question asking about a doctrine?
Also, the answers we would get are actually worse than that. We don't get "I think X", we get "X is the absolute truth" with no doctrinal support, no commentary support, no biblical support. It's just pure opinion.
I'd like to point you to this question, as an example of how an open-ended question draws bad answers:
Q: Can a Christian have clinical depression?

dancekGod can grant an amazing peace of mind to a person. Many Christians have been totally calm and prayed for their persecutors while being tortured and killed -- like Stephen, the first martyr. But do all Christians (I mean those who are saved) have the same kind of peace, or any kind of peace at a...

3:57 PM
@Richard And still constituted original research
@Caleb What do you mean by my own commentary?
@Ray How can we tell? The problem we struggled with is: How can we limit original research when (a) Protestantism clearly accepts the priesthood of all believers (b) God is a personal god (c) inspiration and understanding of the scriptures can be given to individuals? If we accept these things, there's no way to tell opinion from absolute truth.
We have to kill "opinion" and make it backed by something so that we have some basis for determining "good" and "bad" answers. Killing original research is a good start, but many denominations believe that original research and personal revelation are completely valid. :\
And therein lies the problem.
@Richard Again, you require answers to have support, whether from a commentary or tradition
@Ray Right and that's exactly what we've done. Or that's our goal at least.
@Richard I haven't see much attention being paid to the answer quality. Instead the questions are getting their hit.
@Ray Let me try to ask that again. You defined what you think makes a good answer. What question would you like to write an answer for that -- if edited to match our current guidelines -- could not be answered with your good answer.
4:04 PM
I admit that commentary is not completely doctrinal tradition. However, all commentators have some doctrinal lens through which they are interpreting. As long as the lens can be identified, commentaries are acceptable as doctrinal stance.
@Ray That's because you can't see the answer's we've commented on then deleted. Reams and reams of them.
Still. I agree that questions are getting hit much harder than answers.
@Caleb Oh, I didn't realize that. I suppose the closed questions are much more visible.
@Caleb Besides the tithing one?
Part of the problem is that we still need a "Why was my answer deleted?" post so that we have some grounding to delete answers. I didn't start closing questions until we had that "Why was my question closed?" post.
How about (looking at the most recent questions..) this one: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/4337/…?
4:06 PM
We've been paying attention to answer quality, but you can't say an answer is objectively bad and refuse it when the question it's answering is bad in that any answer could potentially be the right answer.
@Caleb Right. Also, the primary goal is to get good questions. If you have good questions, it will draw good answers and draw experts to the site (which is the goal of the site).
@Ray That's a great example that's asking a question about doctrine (specifically, that clause in a statement from a doctrinal tradition).
Okay, then, how about the Jonah question: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/4307/…
It has the tag. Also, it's asking for a Protestant viewpoint.
All Protestant-based commentaries would be acceptable as support.
If I was asking the question, I'd feel a bit cheated if all I saw was "well, the catechism says X"... I'd want someone to argue from scripture, and support that argument with secondary sources
@Ray "the catechism says X" would be a valid answer to the question: "Do Catholics believe that Jonah failed the test of a prophet?"
4:12 PM
Regardless of the current state of the question, I'm providing examples of questions that I'd want to see someone argue from scripture and support their argument with secondary sources
Protestants have catechisms too
@Ray I believe that's why dancek requested Protestantism. He didn't want viewpoints from the CCC.
@Ray Huh. Looks like your right. I didn't realize that. However, I've never even heard of protestant catechisms until now.
I think we're talking past each other... I'm responding to what kind of question I'd want to see have a good (supported) answer
@Ray Aah, I see.
I've gotten a bit lost...
Ultimately, we have to find a way to improve the quality of the questions to draw expert, supported answers. I don't know of any way to do that outside of requiring a doctrine, or tradition for the question.
4:21 PM
Hello all
Well, I don't want to get in the way of that
I'll stop annoying you all now
@AmithKK Hello!
I had an awesome diwali till now :)
in Ask Ubuntu General Room, 4 mins ago, by Amith KK
Bursted Crackers, Lighted FlowerPots etc. It was an awesome diwali
but was it better than Christmas? :P
@CiscoIPPhone I dont celebrate that, although I get a good amount of holidays! :P
4:25 PM
@Ray I don't feel annoyed, just lost. (But I'm in the process of getting sick, so my brain is going downhill fast.)
4:37 PM
@Richard Why dont you have a gravatar
@AmithKK My religion believes that gravatars are the work of Satan. (just kidding)
Actually, I just dropped my gravatar while BH.SE was being established.
I didn't want people to have preconcieved ideas about my answers based on my icon.
I'll bring my gravatar back in a couple weeks, probably.
5:03 PM
@Richard I tend to favour descriptive linguistics, so I've given up on "begging the question" altogether. The "incorrect" usage annoys me and others; the "correct" usage confuses other people. For the "incorrect" usage, I use "gives rise to the question". I rarely have occasion to use the "correct" usage.
@TRiG I agree. I say "raises the questions", which is pretty much the same thing.
2 hours later…
7:15 PM
We need to add a "Bible" clause to that why was my question closed? post...
I'm getting tired of explaining that different doctrines have different translations and canons.
7:42 PM
Maybe I'm just tired...
Alright. I'm taking off. This sickness is overwhelming me.
3 hours later…
10:53 PM
Q: What are the various doctrines that could be applied to a given question on this site?

jcolebrandIn Why was my question closed? How can I get it open again? we see that users are asked to specific a doctrine: Questions that are seeking understanding of specific doctrine, must specify the doctrinal tradition to which they are referring. However, I liken that to a blind person being aske...

11:52 PM
I don't know what that "why did I get closed" doctrine thing is all about. How do I know what doctrine to label a question with?
If I say "my doctrine is Southern Baptist" that doesn't really seem to fit
if I say "Protestant" that seems too ... loose
"What do Roman Catholics think about Transubstantiation" <-- doctrinal question that asks about a specific doctrinal tradition (Roman Catholicism)
"What do Christians think about gay marriage" <--- Doctrinal question that doesn't
@MarkTrapp what is the doctrine in that concept?
I'm not trying to pick a fight or something, I'm trying to learn a definition
Transubstantiation and gay marriage, respectively
I'm asking you to teach me what the color blue means
so "Gay marriage" is a doctrine?
11:55 PM
Right, a doctrine is just a set of beliefs: it's a not a technical word.
A non-doctrinal question would be something like, "Why are Christians so lazy?"
wrong, it is indeed a technical word, it only applies to topical discussions
Again, are you suggesting that nobody coming here is going to know what that word means? Because I think you're wrong on that. It's a common English word.
there is no doctrine in computer science
11:57 PM
There's no puppies in computer science too, but a person fluent in English knows what the word "puppies" means
1. A belief or tenet, especially about philosophical or theological matters.
2. The body of teachings of a religion, or a religious leader, organization, group or text.
I feel like I'm being lead on a leash. What is the point you're making by questioning what the word doctrine means?
Doctrine usually organizes around religious or philosophical matters, and always has, in my day-to-day usage of English. It has never applied to the sciences, and nobody I have ever read has ever used it in such a way. It has religious undertones, if not overtones. Therefore, especially to me, a person who is much more wildly fluent in English than most of the people I have ever met, needs a definition of how you guys intend it used.
The point I'm making is you said that "Gay marriage" is a doctrine. So why the F* was my question closed earlier for not making my doctrine known?
The Monroe Doctrine is a policy of the United States introduced on December 2, 1823. It stated that further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention (however, the wording referred to the entire Western Hemisphere, which actually includes parts of Europe and Africa). The doctrine was introduced by President Monroe when he was enraged at the actions being executed around him. The Monroe Doctrine asserted that the Americas were not to be further colonized by European countries but...
The point of the Q was rather evident from the title.
I didn't feel further explanation was necessary.

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