Hi. I'm an overly optimistic college student who's going to change the whole world! On WikiChrisian I'm largely concerned with the overall structure, style, and future of the site. Otherwise, I like contributing to Apologetics and Current issues in the Church.
I'd like to start/expand an index of apologetics and although others have done it, wiki sure seems the way to go. I really want to this as complete as possible (most info may be external links for a while) but I'd like a little discussion before I start. Is WikiChristian the best place for this? Eventually I'd like to use it as a place to point non-Christians to; since those people could edit the topics, is this practical? (For example, a Christian could write Revelation was written around 90 AD and a Muslim could edit it to 120 AD as he honestly thinks is more accurate.) I'm mainly intending orthodox subjects (biblical inerrancy, Trinity, etc) not interdenominational disputes.
Beware the Temptation to Lock
Controversy in the church pages will be some of the most difficult pages to edit because with our different views, we'll want our exact views articulated. I think we'll be tempted to lock the pages to prevent abuse, however well intended. Things like, "my idea is different from that one, it should lumped together and hidden," "so few people believe that, it shouldn't be here or at least pushed down out of view," or simply to keep the contributers from disagreeing with each other. I urge us to see locking as immediately negative, while only potentially positive. Here's why:
- Locking makes the editing process much slower
- Disagreement may still occurs on who gets to "be in charge"
- Editing will be biased, however unbiased the sysop tries to be
- Many will be discouraged from contributing
- There is much less discussion
Before I discovered wikiChristian, I was considering creating my own little web page in the vast Web and encouraging readers to email and contribute, inevitibly leaving myself as the coordinator. As soon as I came here, I immediately dropped that idea. There were several factors, but the largest was the wiki spirit: that equally empowered people can accomplish much more than one empowered person and his contributers.
There is definitely a risk, because this is theory. However, I think wikipedia is proof that the model works. I contributed to a couple controversial articles with pleasant disagreements and solutions. Where they have led, surely we can follow.