Because so few characters are allowed for the question, I need to explain what it means. The Trinity doctrine is a very hot topic (all over the world, never mind on Stack Exchange!) Yet Christians who believe it know that it has practical applications in everyday living - or, at least, it ought to. Take marriage, for example. Even for unmarried believers, the principles are the same and can be applied in their relationship with God and fellow believers in the symbolic 'body of Christ', the Church, who is likened to the Bride of Christ. The Trinity is about relationships so it has many out-workings in Christian living. So, would asking about the Trinity with regard to relationships fit the bill here, though that would likely rule out disbelievers in it?
With conflicting Trinity doctrine ideas, would arguments about it be avoided if questions stuck to applying its principles in Christian living?
I think you're wondering whether instead of asking:
Which Bible teachings about the Trinity can be applied to personal relationships within a marriage?
it would be better to ask:
For those that believe in the Trinity, which Bible teachings about the Trinity can be applied to personal relationships within a marriage?
The first form would be controversial (e.g. responses like "There are no such teachings!", followed by a debate), whereas the second form could be safely ignored by those that believe the Trinity doctrine cannot be derived from the Bible alone.
And similarly with "For those that believe Sunday is the Christian holy day …?".
This would be like the restriction to specific denominations required in Christianity.SE questions.
Or am I missing your point?
I only gave Christian marriage as one example. There are other possible applications, so I don't want to only ask about marriage. I would like other examples to come into answers. And, as I said, anyone disbelieving the Trinity doctrine could hardly answer, as it seems impossible to apply to Christian living principles from a doctrine that are disbelieved. But in case anyone disbelieving the Trinity doctrine can see theoretical principles that could be applied theoretically, they could answer if they wished. I would not restrict my Q though, in practice, it might be self-limiting. Nov 30, 2021 at 15:26
1Ray, The hope is always that it is pretty clear what God wants to communicate in his Word, especially with regards to the essentials, and that expert explanations can help to clarify things further. If people want to add a restriction as to who they prefer to answer, they can though it would not be necessary. And if someone from a different persuasion wants to express their viewpoint, I don't think they should be prevented from doing so. Nov 30, 2021 at 23:56
The purpose of the new site is not to be the place for every possible question related to the Bible, but to open up an area for questions that can’t be answered at the existing sites and frequently get closed there. Many questions will work better on the other sites, though many questions on each site could be potentially reworked to fit on another one.
The term trinity is not found in the Bible. The first creed formulating the doctrine of the trinity was in the 5th century and the canon was closed in the 4th. The doctrine depends on theological study and other factors mostly beginning in the 3rd century. The other sites are probably better suited for questions on that doctrine and others not well-developed in the Bible, and indeed many such questions have been asked answered and discussed there.
If you want to modify a trinity question to work on BA, say as a relationship question, you would have to identify the specific biblical components of the doctrine and ask your question on that basis. If you want to fashion such a question, feel free to post it as an example. Thanks!
1Does this mean that the proposed new site will not welcome questions on practical applications of doctrines such as the Trinity? Will anybody asking such a Q be told to move it to either the Stack Christianity or Hermeneutics sites? Your middle paragraph seems to hint at an objection to this doctrine. My Q here would not be accepted on either of those sites, which is why I've asked it here. Why should I have to tweak it for those sites when this site is supposed to deal with Christian living principles? Dec 1, 2021 at 12:47
It depends on the question, @Anne. The middle paragraph is merely a statement of facts to show that the doctrine in its current developed form is not found in the Bible. Whether the doctrine is biblical would be a question for the other sites. If the question you are referring to is whether arguments will be avoided seems to be more of a human nature issue which the Bible does address. I would like to see you ask the kind of question you seem to be referring to which if I'm not mistaken, has to do with how the biblical principles behind the doctrine of the trinity impact human relationships. Dec 1, 2021 at 17:02
@Anne If you were to direct a Trinity-related question on the origination/source of the doctrine to Christianity.SE, I think even the most staunch proponents of the dogma would agree that it has no direct support in the Bible. One of the Trinitarian professors at Israel Institute of Biblical Studies admitted openly in a seminar on the Trinity that the Bible does not support it and that Jews would never have thought of God as a Trinity. His claim was that, like our modern understanding of slavery, the light has simply grown since then. Isn't it best to have BA be Bible (not denomination) based?– PolyhatDec 2, 2021 at 15:29
@Polyhat I cannot fathom why you're both going on about the Trinity doctrine purely as doctrine, when my Q is about Christian behaviour in marriage finding guiding principles in that belief; even unmarried Christians can work with those same principles - but only if they see how such principles do apply. Obviously, those who say the doctrine is unbiblical cannot see any principles there to apply anywhere! But many others can and could answer re. Christian marriage (or other areas of living). My Q is about practical areas of Christian living, which this site should accept, should it not? Dec 2, 2021 at 18:37
Yes, @Anne, leaving doctrine aside, I can see how a question embodying your interest could be asked in a way that is relevant to Christian living and be accepted on the Bible Applications site. Dec 2, 2021 at 18:50
Debate is never entirely avoidable. As long as there are people with different mindsets, and with tongues by which to express them, there will be room for debate. The Bible itself is interpreted to teach many things which it does not actually teach. On some points, there is a lack of clarity. On other points, it is simply silent. Yet people frequently want the Bible to support some cherished opinion and will grasp at any text they can in order to do so.
Without here choosing to take sides on any of these, the following "Biblical" topics would all make my list of hard-to-support doctrines and highly likely to spark debate among people who claim the Bible as their standard.
- Bearing arms in war versus conscientious objector
- Being rich/wealthy vis-à-vis salvation
- Women in leadership
Beyond these "grayer" areas, there are many "hot topics" that might be discussed (which I don't see as being as "gray" but there are yet many who have not understood all of the Bible's teaching in order to comprehend the issues fully).
Some examples of issues likely to spark debate:
- Biblical contradictions
- Capital punishment / death penalty
- Divinity of Christ
- Divorce and remarriage
- Does God kill/destroy?
- Eternal hell
- Nature of God
- Nature of inspiration
- Prophecies / prophetic interpretation
- Soul (definition)
- State of the dead
- Virgin birth
In short, many different ideas and opinions are likely to be discussed. However, this should not be seen in an entirely negative light. The Bible says: "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17, KJV). I have learned many things by discussing, even at variance, the issues with others. The most important thing, as sincere seekers for truth, is to remember that we do not always know the answers, and that there is always more to learn. To be humble, therefore, and show a spirit of Christian courtesy toward others, even when their opinions may differ from our own, is essential.
Many Bible topics, including any question on the Trinity, will open the opportunity for debate. Even the saints at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) had a rather warm discussion before reaching a consensus. It may not be entirely possible to ask a question in such a way as to avoid all/any debate. However, if participants agree to hold the Bible as their standard, the Bible itself can have a unifying influence. God has promised that His Word will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish the work whereunto He has sent it (see Isaiah 55:11). Any examination of the scriptures done under a sincere desire to know and follow the truth will have an influence to elevate and bless the reader.
May Bible Applications prove a blessing to many!
It seems that just because I mentioned “Trinity doctrine ideas” in my question, the point of my Q has been lost. I am seeking to establish the right kind of Q to ask on this proposed site. My Q about how to apply trinitarian principles in, say, Christian marriage, is my idea of an acceptable Q that would not generate debate. I cannot ask my Q without mentioning the Trinity, as the whole point is how to extract principles from that belief in the Divine relation-ship to apply to married relationship. I hope that clarifies. Dec 2, 2021 at 19:04