This was inspired by 2 Corinthians 6:16 a subtle reference to the Holy Spirit’s Deity?, but I'm not looking for responses that are specific to that question.
The general problem is as I described in a comment there:
A major problem with this site is that its aim of being non-denominational is sometimes impossible to achieve. This (and similar questions) are equivalent to "have you stopped beating your wife?". If you assume the Trinity Doctrine true, you will give one answer, and if you assume it false, you will give a completely different answer. There is no room for compromise or neutrality other than by presenting both cases.
In theory we should consider only what is proven in the original text, but one group believes scripture proves the Trinity, and the other that scripture contains no such proof.
There are certain concepts that some people naturally take for granted, while others see no biblical support for them. The Trinity Doctrine is the most blatant example, but certainly not the only one.
As things stand, if someone posts a question that mentions "Holy Spirit” there will almost certainly be two types of answers:
- “The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity, so it's obvious that this scripture means … .”
- “The holy spirit is the medium by which God communicates with individual people, so it's obvious that this scripture means … .”
And for both types of answer, there will soon be a long chain of comments disputing and affirming its assumption.
It should be obvious to everyone that none of those comments will ever change the minds of the other side. Nevertheless, many people (myself included) continue to fall into the trap of commenting or responding to these comments.
In Christianity.SE, this isn't such a problem, as one can restrict questions using the form “According to the Trinity Doctrine, …?”, or “For those denominations that don't accept the Trinity Doctrine, …?”.
For Hermeneutics.SE though, the questions are supposed to be about the scripture, independent of doctrinal beliefs. But for some questions, this simply isn't possible.
Is there a solution to this wasteful and pointless exercise in futility?