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A Christianity community

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Update: launched.


I propose a community centered on Christianity.

This is a collaborative effort. With assistance and guidance from Monica Cellio, a few current and former users (and moderators) of another Christianity community and of a related community about the interpretation of biblical texts (along with some help from others) have been discussing and brainstorming this proposal since late September 2020.

While questions of scope and praxis will ultimately be worked through and decided upon by the community via meta, below is a summary of some the initial ideas we have discussed thus far.

What topics can be asked about at this community? On-topic questions include those related to:

  • beliefs and practices of Christian churches, denominations, and movements;
  • the history and historical development of Christian beliefs, biblical interpretations, and practices; and
  • biblical literature, including related to theological, linguistic, historical, literary, ethical, and practical dimensions of such texts;

The categories feature of Codidact is awesome and we initially brainstormed that the Christianity community could begin with these categories:

  • Q&A
  • Meta

And eventually we would consider adding the following categories:

  • Blog
  • Resources

Please note that this is all preliminary and open for discussion. We'd love to hear your feedback!

I look forward to your questions, recommendations, and comments, and to being part of the best Christianity-focused community on the Internet!

Why should this post be closed?

13 comments

For someone who isn't a theologian immersed in the terminology used in that tagging system it could be a bit off-putting. When I think of the kinds of questions I might want to ask it seems like there's a lot of overlap between them (since I might want to know both what Biblical texts say as well as church traditions and theological doctrines on some topic). But it looks like I'm asked to pick which "perspective" to get answers from and I'm not sure what guidance would exist to help me pick one. Peter Cooper Jr.‭ about 1 month ago

Peter, that's a great point and definitely something we'd need to further consider (including making the language more agreeable and accessible). I went ahead and removed the stuff about tags so as to not "muddy the waters" of the proposal itself. All of this kind of stuff is best discussed in meta on a dedicated site where the community has numerous mechanisms for responding and providing feedback. For now we're just trying to get the community off the ground. Thanks for your feedback! laserkittens‭ about 1 month ago

Thanks, though I wasn't trying to throw out all your hard work trying to figure out how to categorize such a broad subject either! I'm also curious if you could describe a bit more what kinds of things would be on or off topic. Given that the subject matter can easily turn controversial, and involve very personal issues that people might look for advice on, in what direction will this community be focused? Peter Cooper Jr.‭ about 1 month ago

Good questions, Peter. I've included a broad summary of what would be on topic in the above post, but haven't elaborated much on what would be off topic because I think that will be hashed out more by the community. I also have come to "see the light" on a moderation philosophy that focuses on finding the boundaries / edge cases as to what's off topic rather than trying to narrowly define what is on topic. laserkittens‭ about 1 month ago

With that said, some stuff we've discussed as clearly being off topic would be questions seeking personalized pastoral advice or counseling, answers from perspectives that can't be independently verified or falsified (e.g., "God revealed to me that the locusts are alien spaceships and that this will be fulfilled in 2072!"), and the types of questions that are off topic on almost any Q&A site (e.g., too broad, not a real question, etc.). laserkittens‭ about 1 month ago

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2 answers

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Right now Codidact doesn't have a dedicated way of identifying people who would help build a new community, so let's do this: if you are interested in helping to build this site, please leave a comment describing your level of interest (casual visitor, enthusiast, expert in this topic within the site's scope, something else?).

I'll edit comments into the post on a rolling basis.

Click to expand / see more info on participants!
  • Active Participant Potential Moderator I am open to serving as a moderator of this site and/or to being an active participant. I'm a former moderator of Biblical Hermeneutics and a community member of Christianity.SE. I represent a minority perspective within Christianity as a member of the Byzantine (Eastern) Christian faith tradition, but am also connected to an Anglican parish (and grew up in a Protestant tradition) and so can relate to Western Christian groups. I'm formally trained in biblical studies, including in the original languages of the texts. I'm also well-read in ecclesiastical history and Christian theology. — laserkittens (Dan)

  • Casual Participant I definitely have interest, though I'm not sure I'm ready to sign up for more than "casual visitor" at this stage. I have a good chunk of background (at least from a Baptist/Protestant perspective) but no formal theological training. — Peter Cooper Jr.

  • Casual Participant I'd probably also just be a casual user. I have a background in the Presbyterian and Anglican denominations of Protestantism, with experience in a range of practical details and some informal knowledge of theology. — ‭Mithrandir24601‭

  • Active Participant Potential Moderator Interested. Reformed Baptist, decently read in the western tradition, particularly reformed. Will both ask and answer questions. Current mod on cd.cooking, willing to mod here as well if needed. — ‭Sigma

  • Active Participant I would be interested (active) and answer questions. I've read the Bible a couple times in a year each and read it regularly. — ‭Sigma

  • Active Participant I'm interested in participating – not sure at what level yet. Former mod of Christianity.SE and fairly well-read in church history and Protestant theology. — Nathaniel

  • Casual Participant I'm on the "casual visitor" to "enthusiast", depending on the type of question and/or which side of the bed I might've woken up from. - ghost-in-the-zsh‭

  • Casual Participant Consider me a casual visitor or enthusiast, depending upon the type of question. I am knowledgeable about some Baptist and Pentecostal traditions. - Bit Chaser

  • Casual Participant I'm mostly casual. Not a Christian any more (or ever, depending on your definitions), but definitely interested in religion and how it interacts with politics and culture. - TRiG‭


Running Tallies

Active Participants: 4 Casual Participants: 5 Total Participants: 9

Participants interested in serving as moderators: 2

15 comments

I definitely have interest, though I'm not sure I'm ready to sign up for more than "casual visitor" at this stage. I have a good chunk of background (at least from a Baptist/Protestant perspective) but no formal theological training. Peter Cooper Jr.‭ about 1 month ago

Thanks for expressing your interest, Peter! I've added you to the post. laserkittens‭ about 1 month ago

I'd probably also just be a casual user. I have a background in the Presbyterian and Anglican denominations of Protestantism, with experience in a range of practical details and some informal knowledge of theology Mithrandir24601‭ about 1 month ago

Thanks, ‭Mithrandir24601‭! I've added you to the post. laserkittens‭ about 1 month ago

Interested. Reformed Baptist, decently read in the western tradition, particularly reformed. Will both ask and answer questions. Current mod on cd.cooking, willing to mod here as well if needed. Sigma‭ about 1 month ago

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The SE sites have firmly divided the two areas of 1) documenting how perspectives interpret passages, from 2) personal, fresh, eclectic, or other kinds of exegesis.

The two areas really have very different needs for evaluating answers, the first needs quotes or references from the relative authority for the perspective, the second may not need any supporting references at all, but they do need to lay out the full argument or justification that leads to their conclusion.

I'd be very reluctant to try to bring them together. How would these be managed here?

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Great questions, curiousdannii (and hello!). The proposal I’ve made, which isn’t currently shown, is to have some set of required tags to indicate the “domain(s)” of each question (which, for textual questions, would indicate which “modes of discourse” the OP is seeking to hear from, including theological, linguistic, historical, literary, practical, etc.). This essentially allows for full exegesis of a passage, including application (unlike BH.SE), but while “respecting the domain(s).” laserkittens‭ 30 days ago

This is up for discussion and I have a Google Doc I can share with you with more info if you email me at dan at my Codidact username dot com. laserkittens‭ 30 days ago

BTW for reference on this idea/approach, see https://hermeneutics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/886/ only this site would allow any combination of those modes. The reality is that hermeneutics are inherently theological, which is something BH.SE tries to bracket (rather unsuccessfully in my opinion—and this is coming from a former BH.SE mod who tried very hard to make it work for years). laserkittens‭ 30 days ago

That’s why I think a Christianity site with a different approach will work better based on my experience with the users such sites attract. With that said, I still participate on BH.SE and this is not a drop-in replacement by any means. These would be distinct communities with their own emphases. But the community will need to decide much of this. This is all brainstorming for now. laserkittens‭ 30 days ago

I have to say that I didn't quite understand the difference between the Christianity and Hermeneutics site, though my interaction with them was mostly when something popped up on HNQ. (I think I asked one question on one of them once.) I think it makes sense for questions to get answers both from what the Bible says as well as what various traditions have said about whatever the topic is, but maybe I'm not really understanding something about the kinds of questions being asked. Peter Cooper Jr.‭ 25 days ago

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