You love your site and we love your site, but there is a whole world of people out there who might not even know it exists. When they do find it, their first impression will either scare them away or keep them around. Given this, let's take a hard look at the questions and answers here and make sure newcomers see the site at its best!

Below you'll find ten questions randomly selected from this site. What do you think about each of them and their answers? Are they the best they can be or can they be improved? Would they look interesting and inviting to an outsider or are they a little embarrassing?

Upvote the corresponding post here on meta when we're awesome. Downvote when our content just isn't quite up to par.

Oh, and do comment to let everyone know your thoughts and take part in this conversation. :)

Note: This evaluation will close on 7 September 2012, so be sure to vote on the answers by then!

Edit: You all asked for some feedback, which we've owed you. Here's a summary of what the team said:

We felt that you all could have been more critical of yourselves here in this evaluation. While we appreciate the rosy news, remember: the purpose of these is for you all to see how well/poorly you're doing as a site for yourselves. Be critical - not mean, or nit-picky, but honest about your concerns. It will prove more beneficial to you all long-term.

That said, your site's quality is really excellent and we're very happy to see that. Questions here get answered -- and more than that, they receive really good answers, often multiple ones. That's a wonderful thing to see. Plus, this evaluation is a testament to the activity on this site: tons of comments, discussion, and multiple users offering their opinions!

Your site has been growing! Both traffic and activity has increased over the last 3 months. We hope you all continue to grow, and that your activity level rises with it. You've been active, stable, and experiencing growth gracefully, and we all hope and expect to see you keep up the good work. Kudos!

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closed as too localized by Aarthi Sep 8 '12 at 17:58

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I gotta say, I'm pleased with the quality of posts this time around. Perhaps its the luck of the draw, but this was much better than I expected. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 19:39
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The one thing that bothers me is that most of these questions have only one answer. Surely no answer is so comprehensive that nobody else has anything to add. –  Bruce Alderman Aug 29 '12 at 20:52
    
This is the third time we've done this. Are we ever going to be told what the results are? Or perhaps even why we keep doing this? –  JustinY Sep 1 '12 at 16:31
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I think there is some value in trying to asses the quality of questions and answers. However, it should be recognized up front that in religion a good answer can't be determined objectively through a given set of rules, or through democratic voting. Only by faith can a good answer be perceived. A good answer always has some degree of preaching in it, for truth calls for moral decision. Taking the implicit preaching out it ruins its moral value. Good answers often causes controversy and division. Personally, I think my best questions & answers have received the lower up-votes. –  Mike Sep 2 '12 at 15:53
    
@JustinY Oh! Well, in general, we want you all to learn from these, as they're kind of for you all to see any "weak spots" on your own. That said, I'm happy to relay the team feedback for you guys. I usually only do this for the first one, but since y'all didn't get any info back from your first one, I'll rectify that. –  Aarthi Sep 6 '12 at 5:25
    
@Aarthi Awesome, thanks! –  JustinY Sep 6 '12 at 14:29
    
Thanks for all your help, everyone! :) I'll do my best to get our results back to you guys asap. –  Aarthi Sep 8 '12 at 17:58
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10 Answers 10

Are there any mandatory prayers in Christianity?

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1  
Another confused question (I count three independent queries), but an honest one. It seems like a Catholic or Orthodox perspective would be useful. But the accepted answer would be difficult to find anywhere else on the internet and (given the corrections in the comments) seems correct. +1 from me. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 18:24
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My take is that the questioner means mandatory prayers like Islamic salah. If that's what he wants, it should probably be clarified. The top answer is OK, but goes off on a rabbit trail of whether the Lord's Prayer is a model prayer xor to be recited verbatim. –  Bruce Alderman Aug 29 '12 at 21:16
    
good answers and provides both the generic Christian answer and now that Peter has answered, a more specific Catholic answer. –  wax eagle Aug 30 '12 at 12:47
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Do the dietary prohibitions in Acts 15:20 apply to Christians today?

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2  
Great question. The answer tackles the passage itself in the context of the early church, but fails to answer the bolded question about historical church teaching on the passage. +1 for the question alone and the hope that someone else will dig into the history of interpretations. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 18:31
    
Good question, good answer, good searchability. –  wax eagle Aug 30 '12 at 12:48
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Why do Kingdom Halls have no windows?

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5  
Good factual question. –  DJClayworth Aug 29 '12 at 18:23
    
@DJClayworth: I'm not so sure on the factual bit as far as the question itself goes. I can think of several ones I've seen with windows and several Evangelical Protestant Churches without. –  Caleb Sep 12 '12 at 21:27
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What works do the LDS Church recognize as Scripture?

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2  
Good (if basic) question and a good answer. Google turns up the canonical answer fairly easily, however. Nothing to be embarrassed by, but doesn't knock my socks off either. (I'm calling it a wash.) –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 17:44
    
Would VTC as general reference. –  Wikis Sep 4 '12 at 10:22
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The phrases in our worship to God - what effects do they have?

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2  
Sort of a basic question, but a good and interesting one. The answer does a good job of answering the question and cutting to the heart of the issue. +1 I think a few more answers that dig a little deeper would be appropriate, but this is what I envisioned for the site when I first learned of it: helping people solve there practical theological problems. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 18:52
    
Good question, hard to find on google. –  wax eagle Aug 30 '12 at 12:44
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Question title is too vague, it is disguising the great question underneath. –  Wikis Sep 4 '12 at 10:24
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Water Baptism - Is it still necessary?

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2  
This question is a bit confused, but it's something people tend to struggle with. The top two answers are excellent and cut through a lot of the confusion. +1 –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 17:55
    
I'm going to have to dock this one with a -1 because while the answers are pretty straight forward and I even agree they are right, none of them step back from the issue and show where this fits in as a doctrine in the larger scope of misc Christian traditions. Without that, it's just one more voice that you could find anywhere. Whether you would find the right voice is doubtful, but it's just one more in the crowd. –  Caleb Sep 12 '12 at 21:30
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To what extent should the Apostles' speech be considered infallible?

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3  
Good question, good answer, and there's lots of confusion to be had by searching Google. Given that the question asks to be answered from the perspective of Biblical Inerrancy, I think it's ok that we don't have a wider range (i.e. Catholic) of answers. +1 for fulfilling the mission of the site. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 19:26
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How do we know that Jesus was crucified at 9:00 a.m.?

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Short and to the point. –  Affable Geek Aug 29 '12 at 18:44
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The answer given is really easy to find via Google and so on, so I can't give this a +1. I'm also interested in knowing more about Ray's objections, which seem valid. It actually raises more questions for me than it answers. It's not really embarrassing, so a wash. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 19:35
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Is it true the term 'pontifex maximus' was the name of the high priest of the Roman Cult of Emperor Worship, before being adopted by the Pope?

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4  
Ugh. I don't like the way the question if phrased ("the Pope’s PR men"!?) and it seems like Wikipedia covers the history of the term way better than we do. But Ignatius Theophorus' answer is clear, direct, and (as far as I can tell) correct. A wash. (But someone needs to clean up this question via an edit at some point.) –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 17:51
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The question comes across as overly aggressive, but the answer is calm and factual. –  Bruce Alderman Aug 29 '12 at 20:38
    
I raised this question and think it was meaningless after I got an answer. Call it a premature question. I wish we could delete our own questions on this site. Maybe limited to 4x a year. Good for product improvement on this site. Also moderators who delete questions themselves, hard worked answers should still be available to those who wrote them. –  Mike Sep 2 '12 at 11:53
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@Mike you can delete your own questions provided that it does not have an upvoted answer. If you feel it should be removed feel free to vote to close and then flag it. However, we're pretty resistant to removing content that adds value in any way. The better bet would be to improve the question (preferably in such a way that it does not negate the answer) –  wax eagle Sep 5 '12 at 13:38
    
@waxeagle - thanks for the tip. –  Mike Sep 5 '12 at 14:27
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When is allegorization of scripture counter productive?

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1  
I upvoted the question, but I don't agree with the self-answer and it would have probably found a better home on BH.SE. I should probably provide an alternate answer, but it's pretty far down on my backlog. It's not embarrassing, but just a strange fit for our format. –  Jon Ericson Aug 29 '12 at 18:04
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I think this is an excellent question, and was very well-constructed. I'm not a huge fan of self-answers, especially when they are immediately accepted, despite low votes and no competition. But they are allowed, so I can't down-vote on that alone. I would like to see more answers to this, but it's such a difficult question that I wouldn't expect every member to jump at the chance of answering it. In summary, I'm glad to have the question, and look forward to some expert answers. –  Jas 3.1 Aug 29 '12 at 20:11
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It's a great question, but the answer sounds more preachy than practical. I'm not sure I'd want this to be someone's first impression of C.SE. –  Bruce Alderman Aug 29 '12 at 20:32
    
@Jas3.1: A caveat with regards to self-accepts is that they are not automatically pinned to the top like regular accepts. So if someone else posts an answer that draws in three upvotes, it will go to the top. –  El'endia Starman Aug 29 '12 at 23:49
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The converse of this question is probably more productive and while I see some merit to parts of this question here (the impact of different applications of scripture) those parts are probably better dealt with in more specific contexts where as BH can probably do the general better. –  wax eagle Aug 30 '12 at 12:58
    
This question and answer was a result of uncovering the gnostic approach, which a member of BH.SE was constantly using to interpret scripture. After speaking to this member I eventually understood him and did not post it on BH.SE to spare his hurt feelings. However the truth is although weird questions (some of the best of which are sometimes closed by the community) are actually better than typical boring question-answer formats about nearly irrelevant subjects, that could easily and rightfully take the highest score survey like this. Quality is much more than perception of a random newbee. –  Mike Sep 2 '12 at 12:27
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@Mike: Just so you know, the question wouldn't have hurt his feelings if it's the fellow I think you mean. It seems like the question fits the refute-this pattern, which I find unproductive. As wax eagle mentioned, the opposite question ("When is allegorization of scripture productive?") would likely have been a better question. I appreciate your enthusiasm and the care you put into answers both here and on BH. Thanks! –  Jon Ericson Sep 5 '12 at 16:52
    
@JonEricson - Thanks, I also appreciate your efforts! As far as that 'guy' we took it offline over skype. You probably did not notice this post and his absence were at the same time. Sometimes these questions are more than they appear. This one is a result of a deep ad intense spiritual struggle that directly affected the future atmosphere of BH.SE I can only giggle when those who do not have a clue of the background try and asses the external form of it. (not intended as an insult). I only mean to unveil a few layers that are not part of other SE sites. The technical points I accept. –  Mike Sep 6 '12 at 4:44
    
@Mike: Would you mind checking into The Upper Room when you have a chance? –  Jon Ericson Sep 12 '12 at 17:14
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