WikiChristian:Page Layout

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Wooden cross.jpg This page is an official policy on WikiChristian. It has wide acceptance among editors. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects community consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.


The following information is a brief guide to the layout and writing style generally encouraged at WikiChristian. To learn the more technical aspects of creating and editing a page (for example using italics or inserting images) see the WikiChristian Tutorial.

There are four general types of articles at WikiChristian. These are:

  1. Information Articles (i.e. the main article on any topic)
  2. Index Pages
  3. Sermons, Essays and Opinion Articles
  4. Original Texts including various translations of the Bible

Anyone can edit articles in WikiChristian and we wish to encourage you to contribute too.

Information Articles

Information Articles are articles that are written in a textbook style. WikiChristian does not have strict neutral viewpoint policy like Wikipedia. An Information Article should be written assuming that WikiChristian's Statement of Faith is true.

We recognize that there is a wide variety of opinions within the Christian community on many issues. Where there is debate about details of doctrine, the Information Article should explain this debate in a non-emotive way, showing both sides of the argument.

We also recognize that there is a wide variety of opinions regarding what makes a particular denomination Christian. A line in the sand has been drawn at WikiChristian so that users and editors have clear guidelines. Essentially, a denomination is considered Christian if those in its leadership would agree with the following:

  1. A loving God
  2. The Bible is God's word
  3. The Nicene Creed (and in particular it's Trinitarian theology)

If a religious group is related to Christianity but its leaders would not generally agree with those three points above, then it is considered, from WikiChristian's view, to be a separate religion. We recognize that these 3 points may be considered ambiguous by some people, but unfortunately, these lines in the sand are never perfect.

Writing Style of Information Articles

In general, Information Articles should be written in a manner that makes them clear and easy to understand. Theological terms should be explained. Information Articles should be accessible and understandable to a person who has never had theological training. However, the aim of an Information Articles is that it should also be useful for a person who has studied theology.

This standard of writing aims to make WikiChristian significantly different from some of the other useful sources of religious information. For example, encyclopedias such as the online Catholic Encyclopedia and Theopedia have very useful resources but individual articles are often written using very technical and dry language. WikiChristian's Information Articles ideally should be written using simple language to explain difficult concepts. Furthermore, if an article evokes emotion and passion for Jesus in a reader, then it is all the more successful.

Some examples of pages that hopefully reach this standard include Christianity, Old Testament, Denominations and Church.

Referencing

Ideally specific facts for Information Articles should be referenced from well recognized sources so that the facts can be verified. This is not an absolute requirement but is encouraged. Referencing can be accomplished by typing the reference as shown below:

..... Sentence with fact <ref>Reference</ref> .... More facts <ref>Reference</ref> ...

Page Style of Information Articles

It is hoped that readers would browse WikiChristian a little like they might browse a text-book. As such, for any given topic there will be related sub-topics. For example, under the topic Church there are a number of sub-topics including: Church building, Church history, Denominations and Church service. These sub-topics should be clearly located in a Table of Contents using the template Infobox_Contents. If the reader decides to click on a sub-topic (such as Church service) then in the sub-topic's Table of Contents a new set of sub-topics are listed (for example: Liturgy, Hymns, Prayer, Sermons and Communion). Thus each Information Article should branch out into sub-topic Information Articles, a little like a tree, or perhaps more like a web.

The main topic of WikiChristian is Christianity and from here it should be possible to reach any other topic by a series of following links in the Table of Contents of various pages.

To get a better idea, take a look at some of these pages:

This standard page layout can be achieved by looking at the following template.

{{Infobox_Contents | 
  topic_name = Write Name of Topic Here
[[Image:Insert Relevant Image Here|thumb|center|]] |
  subtopics = List of links to related subtopic information articles, original texts and index pages |
opinion_pieces = Bulleted list to specific sermons, essays or opinion articles related to the topic (see Sermons, Essays and Opinions section below)
 |
}}

A brief one or two sentence summary of the topic

Followed by the main text-book style article give details on the topics

== Quotes ==

For famous quotations related to the topic

==  References ==

{{reflist}}

== Links ==

List of useful external links

{{returnto}} [[broader topic of which this page is a subtopic]]

Index Pages

An Index Page should be used for lists (e.g. lists of famous Christians, song titles, Bible characters or churches). Because of the potential length of lists, Information Articles are not the best place for lists. These lists should instead be placed in a separate page named in this manner: Name of Topic Index. This index page can then be linked to from the relevant Information Article.

For examples see: Famous Christians Index, Christian Songs Index, Churches in Adelaide Index

Sermons, Essays and Opinion Articles

WikiChristian, unlike Wikipedia, does not have a policy of disallowing personal opinions to be voiced or personal research to written about. For any topic, the main Information Article should be written in a neutral "WikiChristian" point of view, as explained above. However, any user may write his or her own personal Sermon or Essay or Opinion Article on the topic, which only he or she should edit. An article such as this should clearly be named as [[Sermon:Name of Article (initials or name of author)]] or [[Essay:Name of Article (initials or name of author)]] or [[Opinion:Name of Article (initials or name of author)]]. The article should then be linked to under the "Opinions" section in Infobox_Contents template of the main Information Article.


If a user does not wish to write a whole article voicing a personal opinion but would like to make a short one or two sentence personal comment on a topic then he or she can write a comment in the Opinion:Name of topic (discussion) page that can be found in the Infobox Table of Contents on any Information Article. These short personal comments are for personal reflections about the topic and not points of dispute to do with the Information Article article itself (for which there is the standard mediawiki talk page).

Original Texts

WikiChristian aims to be a good source of public domain Christian texts in both their original language and their English translation. This includes the Bible, which has been uploaded verse-by-verse. There are two relevant name-spaces: Bible and Text.

Bible

Bible verses and their commentary can be found in the Bible name-space. For example, John 1:1 redirects to Bible:John 1:1. There is also a special system of displaying Bible verses anywhere in WikiChristian. For details about this, see WikiChristian:Bible.

The "Bible" name-space is reserved for the 66 books that are agreed as part of the Bible by all denominations. Other books that are considered part of the Bible by some denominations but not by all use the "Text" name-space.

Text

Original texts can be found in the Text name-space. For example, the text to the Nicene Creed can be found at Text:Nicene Creed. In this example, the page Nicene Creed is an information article about the Nicene Creed whereas the page Text:Nicene Creed is simply a copy of an English translation of the Nicene Creed.

Texts that are further split up into chapters or topics are named as follows: Text:Name of Book:Name of Chapter



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