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I'm considering asking a series of question that would be a little bit of reference for this site, and might eventually help draw users from search engines. The idea would be to ask the following question for Roman Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Eastern Orthodox, Presbyterians, Mormons, JWs, etc....

Q: What practices or doctrines are considered distinctives for [INSERT GROUP HERE]

This is a community wiki question to help users get a quick overview of the practices and doctrines that make [INSERT GROUP HERE] distinct from other groups of Christians. For each answer, please list one unique theological position or practice that is both unlike many other Christian groups and has a high acceptance rate amongs [INSERT GROUP HERE]. Practices and doctrines should be marks that help identify what larger group a given body of believers adheres to. Practices need not be universal, but should should be typical of the group.

For each practice or doctrine, please give a short title (in bold) followed by a description along with supporting links below. For example:

Communion

This denomination celebrates communion on a regular basis. Communion is a ceremony in which believers ingest bread and wine in ...

Here would be a sample answer for Baptists

Adult Baptism

Baptists reject the practice of infant baptism, believing instead that the symbol of baptism must be an outward manifestation of a personal decision, in which the adherent consciously chooses to identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This is done only once in a believers life, typically sometime between the ages of 10 and 18. This is in contrast to most other groups which baptise children as early as possible, to be followed later by confirmation. Because the decision is made as an adult, there is no confirmation in Baptist practice.

A second might be

Rejection of all Authority beyond the local church

As a highly congregational church, Baptists do not have bishops or a single earthly head. Instead of a church denominational office, Baptists have 'associations' in which churches will freely come together to plan activities (like missions) that benefit from an economy of scale. Baptist representatives meet in conventions (e.g. the Southern Baptist Convention, the Progressive Baptist Association, etc...) that speak to the consensus of the denomination, but decisions are rarely binding on local congregations.

I would tag each question in this series with "denom-distinctive" and make each one a community wiki.

The idea would that this would turn into a nice primer for each group.

Because this invites a list response, I don't want to do this without some support from the community.

The question is, what do you guys think?

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This sounds like a job for wikipedia to me. We aren't trying to be a definitive reference on a subject, only a place to ask questions about it. The tool set and community here are not as well suited for this task as a site such as wikipedia which specifically caters to that end goal.

I'm sure questions in that vein have a place here but the ones that should be most encouraged are the ones that are most question oriented and fall outside the scope of general reference.

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I think it's a good idea, the only problem is, doing so might upset the organic q&a flow of the site.

You can't make your own questions CW so, you'd have to get mods on board.

But as far as practicality is concerned this is

  1. A never ending source for new questions as there are thousands of unique denominations
  2. A question that gets raised every year by my catechism class. They want to know what makes them different and what is unique about their religion.

I'm not sure about other Christians, but Catholics are not supposed to participate in other Christians services, so there's not a ton of opportunity for us to find out things like, "do Baptists have a liturgy"

So, my advice would be to go for it, but make sure the front page doesnt get swamped with these posts. Go for it insofar as you can make legitimate use of each question like you would any other.

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