Template talk:Baptist

Active discussions

Sola Scriptura contrasted?Edit

Prima scriptura seems most unlike any Baptist distinctive that I have heard of. Where is this in debate among Baptists?Brian0324 14:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Samuel SharpeEdit

Does Samuel belong here? Granted that he is historically significant - but did he develop or advance the Baptist movement?Brian0324 16:24, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


CBF is a splinter group of SBC and does not belong here as one of the major groups of Baptists. Certainly not at the exclusion of Primitive Baptists or Independent Baptists (for example). CBF is too small to warrant mention.

  • I disagree. The CBF Article would disagree. Just because you do not feel something is important it may not be worth throwing out. By size yes it is smaller than the SBC but So it the entire LDS Church but they are a significant movement as is the Episcopal Church USA which is 1/6 the size of the SBC. They are more than a splinter group in that they exist beyond former SBC Churches and members. As a movement they have gained steam and joined the Baptist World Alliance a body which shortly thereafter the SBC Left. I put them back. And I sign my user name. M-BMor 03:07, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
    • Per discussion readded CBF if you are going to remove a group at least discuss first. M-BMor 03:02, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Hello, Not trying to over-ride the above conversation, but this template is getting large. If the numbers at Baptists in the United States are correct, then there are only six groups that can claim over 1 million members. I have changed the template to show the six largest groups. I do not personally think that these are the six best or the perfect representation of the phrase "Baptist", but the template has to have some scope. The CBF is among many smaller groups, that if included, will make the template too large to be helpful.Brian0324 14:41, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm cool with rationale. Just not "they are insignificant" ... when it comes to judging size they are a tough one ... 700,000 individual members and 1900 congregations ... the 700,000 number may nt include all the members of those congregations as the CBF only counts individual contributors etc. it could be higher or lower they are fairly fluid. But I can live with your analysis. M-BMor (talk) 15:14, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Independent Fundamental BaptistEdit

Anyone think that Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) or Independent Baptist belongs here? Despite being called "independant", it is quite a large, contraversial and like-minded movement. BURNyA 22:10, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Conservative Baptist?Edit

We might want to add the Conservative Baptist (CB) to the list. 21:04, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Reworked the templateEdit

Here are some things I did to the template box:

  1. I changed the top logo back to the baptism scene, instead of the large artsy drop of water someone had added
  2. I changed "Strict Baptist" to "Particular Baptist" as the latter is the specific, historic term that contrasted "General Baptist"
  3. I removed prima scriptura, as Baptists hold to sola scriptura
  4. I added "priesthood of all believers"
  5. I put the "pivotal figures" into chronological order
  6. I changed "largest associations" to "prominent associations"

I hope these are helpful and useful.

TuckerResearch (talk) 20:36, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


I removed the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland as it is a small association and does not seem to have had much of a theological impact on Baptists on the whole.

BUT, I do have an idea.

Instead of a list of associations here on the template, perhaps a link to a page that contains ALL Baptist associations and conventions we can cobble together from Wikipedia?

I think that this is the way to go.

TuckerResearch (talk) 21:18, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

To this end I have re-worked the template again:

  1. I moved some things around the "Doctrinal Distinctives" section, adding some things, etc.
  2. I removed the annoying list of "Baptist associations," which began as "largest" and I changed to "prominent"

The latter is, I think, better this way. Why? "Largest associations" is pointless, because associations with a large number of congregants might have had little historical importance, while "prominent associations" might solve this problem, every Baptist from every little association across the world would think that theirs is "prominent." So, I think that this solves the problem.

TuckerResearch (talk) 21:33, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Contemporary figuresEdit

I removed the "contemporary figures," because I think it will lead to problems and innumerable edits. If we should put contemporary figures on there, we should decide first here who to put up. For instance, the editor first put up John Piper. Okay, maybe, but he's uber-Calvinist. As an Arminian Baptist, I'd demand Robert Picirilli or Leroy Forlines be added. Then people would add others and there would be grand disagreements. Last month, someone put Jack Hyles in the "pivotal figures" section. Now, some people might class him a "contemporary figure," I sure as heck wouldn't. The list of "contemporary figures" could be endless. Also, I think it's a good idea to keep the template as slender as possible.

TuckerResearch (talk) 05:12, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

The new box is horridEdit

User:Chromenano, your edits to the Babtist template are, in my opinion, absolutely horrible. Everything about it. Colors, sections, size, "notable people," etc. I mean, really? Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are significant Baptists? This is why I removed "Contemporary figures" from the template's previous incarnation. Who decides who is "notable" and a good enough "Baptist." I mean, wouldn't Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter be "Notable people" who are Baptists? Does anyone else agree that the previous template was better? Formatted better and looked better? TuckerResearch (talk) 01:59, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. I think this temp has taken a stylistic turn for the worst. It was easier to navigate before every section became autocollapsed. What is the inclusion criteria for "notable people"? -NatureBoyMD (talk) 02:08, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, that's one vote! TuckerResearch (talk) 05:05, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm already reverting the image change, since there's no indication that the baptism in File:Woman baptised in Benin.jpg is even Baptist. And how do we distinguish between "Notable people" and "Pivotal people"? +Angr 01:11, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Reverted back to old template boxEdit

Wikipedians, User:Chromenano, and all,

Sorry, Chromenano, but your radical changes to the Baptist template box have gone too far. You have made the template box unwieldy and hard to use.

  1. The collapsing sections are unhelpful.
  2. You added several of these collapsing sections, making it unwieldy.
  3. You made the "Doctrine" section so huge as to be unhelpful, and added several things that cannot be considered typically Baptist, such as:
    1. "Varying beliefs," which is covered in other sections
    2. Predestination, Arminianism, Calvinism, which is covered in the sections "General," "Strict," and "Reformed" - adding a subset of Calvinism "Concept," pointing to Predestination (Calvinism), is redundant
    3. "Doctrine of separation" is ably covered in the "Church and State" section under "doctrine"
    4. "Eschatology" - there is no such thing as a Baptist eschatology
    5. "Spiritual gifts" - this section, and its two subsets have no use in being in a Baptist template box
    6. The debate on "Bible versions" and the "King James Only movement" shouldn't be in a Baptist infobox either, as it is not a Baptist topic
  4. Adding a separate collapsible section of "Baptist confessions" makes the template box as a whole cluttered, and people will want to add their particular confession to the box, besides "Confessions" is included in the "Doctrine" section
  5. You added "Other pivotal people" to the "Pivotal people" collapsible section, which links to List of Baptists, which just links to everyone on Wikipedia who was a Baptist! This is silly!
  6. You added notable people - as mentioned elsewhere on this talkpage, I removed such a section from a previous box because who is notable? For instance, I don't think Jack Hyles or Jesse Jackson are really Baptists, much less good ones, much less "notable" ones - and what criteria do you use in saying Billy Graham is an evangelist but not a pastor?
  7. Again, to this collapsible box you added a link to List of Baptists, which lists almost everyone who is a Baptist on Wikipedia. This is silly and redundant!
  8. I removed the "subdenomination" section from the previous incarnation of the template box because people would argue left and right on which ones should be listed - why Baptist Union of Great Britain instead of Nigerian Baptist Convention? The way I had it was best.
  9. And "Organisations" is a British spelling. But this is a minor quibble.
  10. The whole "Education" collapsible box makes the box too cluttered. If someone writes an article on Baptist education, or compiles one list, we can add it to the template box (it would go well with "Baptist missions," if that article or list exists).

All things considered, I replaced this cluttered, horrid mess with the more manageable box. I changed it a bit, and I don't mind if you modify it slightly. But, of those who went to the talkpage, and I admit it was only two, plus me makes three, I think there is a "consensus" that your newer template box was inferior to the old one.

TuckerResearch (talk) 05:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Oh, and Donatism? I removed that too. Why not add Albigenses? TuckerResearch (talk) 05:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Thanks for going back to mostly the way it was.Brian0324 (talk) 15:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Four votes! TuckerResearch (talk) 06:00, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Baptist footer templateEdit

A new Baptist footer template was added to the Baptist article and many others that already contained Template:Baptist. It was created by the editor discussed in the two sections immediately above this talk section. I have nominated that new footer template for deletion. If anybody wants to weigh in, please add to the discussion. Editors might also want to weigh in on the Portal:Baptist which seems to be another Chromenano creation. Novaseminary (talk) 19:51, 8 January 2010 (UTC)


I think collapsible templates defeat the point of such templates, turning one click shortcuts into two click longcuts. But this collapsible template is at least a bit better than previous attempts. I'll leave it alone for now, though I'd like to voice my support for the previous non-collapsible version. TuckerResearch (talk) 03:58, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

As it had been, the template was obtrusive. I also do not think that the soteriology section should be there. It is not that the issue is unimportant, but rather that it is not of the paramount importance required to justify inclusion on this high-level template (on par with the doctrine or key figures section. Novaseminary (talk) 20:02, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Like I said, I prefer the previous template, but I can live with this one. However, I disagree vehemently with the removal of the soteriology section. The template has gone through several revisions and nobody has thought it was a bad inclusion. It is important, Baptists have distinct soteriology differences, and it demands inclusion in the template. In my opinion, and I bet the opinion of others, it is just as important as doctrine and key figures. TuckerResearch (talk) 23:24, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
More important that Primitive Baptists vs. General Baptists? Do you have any sources to indicate the relative importance of this as either a distinction among Baptists or between Baptists and others? I'm certainly open to inclusion if there are RSs to support that category of beliefs as important as or of the same importance as doctrine generally or key figures. Since it is a subset of doctrine anyway, though, I really, really don't think you will find it. The Baptists main article highlights several other differences far more prominently. Please offer something other than your opinion to support inclusion (WP:NOR and WP:BURDEN). (Of course, you do not own the template (WP:OWN).) You could also always take it to RfC, or post a request on Talk:Baptists, perhaps. Novaseminary (talk) 02:10, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Don't attempt to scare people by trotting out WP stuff like NOR and BURDEN. Besides not really applying to this situation, such scare tactics might work on unseasoned editors, but not on me. As to your charge of ownership, which is silly since I allowed your change to the template format without reverting, of course, you do not own the template (WP:OWN) either, do you? But all of a sudden you jump onto a template that has been fairly stable for some time and change it without asking the opinions of other editors, or respecting their reverts. You start removing stuff because, and I'm quoting your very statement above, because, "I also do not think that the soteriology section should be there." That is just your opinion! How dare you accuse me of keeping something because it is just my opinion and you removed it that same thing just because it is your opinion! That is the height of hypocrisy! Is it not? And you demand I find sources. How 'bout I demand you find sources to say they aren't important? I could just as easily claim you are showing ownership tendencies. I could just as easily quote secions of NOR and BURDEN. As to your haughty demand I find sources, while you provide no sources of your own, why don't you check out some history books on Baptist theology, which discuss the history of Baptist churches being General and Particular (i.e. Strict or Reformed)? This has always been the primary division of Baptist churches, whether they were "Arminian" or "Calvinist." Here are some sources:

  • McBeth, Leon. The Baptist Heritage. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman Press, 1987.
  • Garrett, James Leo. Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study. Macon, Ga: Mercer University Press, 2009.
  • Pinson, J. Matthew. A Free Will Baptist Handbook: Heritage, Beliefs, and Ministries. Nashville, Tenn: Randall House Publications, 1998.

And in your revert you pointed to WP:BRD. You need to read that page a tad more carefully. (Including this gem: "BRD is not a valid excuse for reverting good-faith efforts to improve a page simply because you don't like the changes. Don't invoke BRD as your reason for reverting someone else's work or for edit warring.") You have made an edit to a page that has been stable for some time, removing, for your own personal reasons, things you don't like and demanding that other provide proof. However, I have challenged your edits. Instead of going to the talk page to try and find a consensus or bring in other editors, you revert my revert and demand, as if you were King of All Wikipedia, that I find proofs to counter your opinionated dictates. It is not I who should "take it toRfC, or post a request on Talk:Baptists, perhaps" - that is something you should do, since you are the one making unsupported, opinionated changes to a stable, consensus-built page.

So, how about you look at the mote in your own eye?

In the spirit of consensus and compromise, something you have yet to attempt, let me offer a suggestion: A section of the template that contains "Confessions"; "Denominations"; and the two main soteriological branches: "Particular Baptist" and "General Baptists". I don't know what it could be called, but I think it would place some very important things in the template and make it more useful to Wikipedians. What do you think? TuckerResearch (talk) 05:06, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

I think you should avoid personal attacks ("haughty demand", "King of All Wikipedia", etc.), but I am willing to chalk it up to sharp language made in the heat of editing. You're user page and edits here indicate you might have strong feelings about this subject. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to wait a while to see if anyone else agrees with you or ask for others' input. I wasn't trying to intimidate you with this suggestion or my pointing to various WP guidelines that, in my opinion, apply here (either directly or by analogy). I apologize if I came off that way. But nothing should be in WP unless it can be sourced (WP:V) (and placed in context, WP:UNDUE).
As for what happened here, I went to the talk page when I made the revision. Then after several days you reinserted material and I reverted you, and went to the talk page again to further explain why.
Why does the template need anything more than "History/Background", "Doctrine", and "Key people" (or similarly titled sections)? Doesn't that cover everything, and keep the template unobtrusive and useful? It is of course only my opinion that the section should not be there; something like that could never be more than an opinion and I never claimed otherwise. I do think it is rooted in WP policy and guidelines and facts, though.
As for "How 'bout (you) demand (I) find sources to say they aren't important?", I am not seeking to add anything here (now), so it is not on me to prove anything. The person who wants to add something needs to show it meets WP standards. This section of the template is entirely out of whack with the mention the subject gets in relevant section of Baptists.
Maybe the prior version of the template is right and the article is wrong in the weight given. You might be right, that soteriology is "the primary division of Baptist churches", but do you have quotes or at least page numbers in the RSs you list that support that assertion? There won't be any need for any compromise if you can sufficiently back up what you claim. I will capitulate entirely. Novaseminary (talk) 06:17, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Do you not see how disingenuous it is for you to remove a section, then demand I find sources for you to put it back? I could just as easily remove the "Background" section and demand you find me citations to put it back. Do you see how funny that is? Especially when your reasoning was "I also do not think that the soteriology section should be there," not "my research indicates this is unimportant." And I could make a good case, in fact a better one, that the "Background" section shouldn't be in the template at all because those subjects, Christianity, Protestantism, and Puritanism, have little specifically to do with Baptists. The section you removed deals specifically with Baptist issues. Someone looking at a Baptist template might find such subjects interesting, no? And, as an aside, the Baptists#Origins section is horridly written, and there is no good "History of the Baptist denomination" to point to. Unfortunately. As to specific page numbers you want me to find, there are too many to point to. But take a gander at the table of contents to McBeth's The Baptist Heritage on Amazon.com (it is the standard Baptist history text at Southern Baptist seminaries). Chapters one and two discusses the rise of General and Particular Baptists and discusses their theological differences. Chapter 5 discusses the General Baptists in England, chapter 6 discusses the Particular Baptists in England. In later chapters, the prime theological disputesof Baptists centers not on deacons or baptism or somesuch, but whether the theology is Arminian or Calvinist, e.g. the mission crisis or whether Southern Baptists should lean more on Calvin (see Robert B. Selph, Southern Baptists and the Doctrine of Election (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1988)). In my opinion, the split of Baptist churches into General or Particular on soteriology is far more important to the Baptist template than "Puritanism" or "Protestantism." TuckerResearch (talk) 20:25, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the background section of the template is bad. Unless somebody has some good ideas about what to include there, I would not oppose removing the section altogether. Same with the pivotal figures. That seems inherently subjective, non-verifiable, to me, too. If a person is important enough to the story, they will (or should) show up in the Baptists article. Since doctrine is what defines (by and large) groups like this, I am fine with that so long as the doctrinal issues listed are verifiably the ones experts believe to be important, or distinctive, or what have you. And I never meant to imply soteriology is unimportant, just that it is not so important to deserve its own section. It is part of doctrine. Your sources (not even one quote saying this is the most important distiction between Baptists...) don't support the elevation of this issue above all other doctrinal issues.
And, like it or not, inclusion requires support. It has to be that way. I could never cite sources refuting the proposition that Smurfs are key Baptist figures, but I would be hard pressed to show they are. The issue here, of course, is far more substantial, but it remains difficult to prove negatives. So, those arguing to include or retain material have to offer something more than their opinion (or bald assertions that many sources support the view) to justify inclusion. I wasn't being disingenuous. I think soteriology was overbilled in the old versions of the template, so I called for sources to support your opinion. Novaseminary (talk) 21:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

"Not even one quote saying this is the most important distinction between Bazptists." Hmm:

Not important? TuckerResearch (talk) 01:46, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps I am being unclear. I never said or meant to imply the issue was not important. I never meant to imply it was less than very important; super double duper important, even. And this isn't meant to be personal as I fear you are taking it. All I am saying is that it is not more important than all other doctrinal issues so as to deserve its own section as the only issue so featured (and it links to articles that are terrible, to boot). As I said in my initial comment: "It is not that the issue is unimportant, but rather that it is not of the paramount importance required to justify inclusion on this high-level template (on par with the doctrine or key figures section." These quotes are great. This material can and should be included in the various articles (Baptists, Reformed Baptists, General Baptists, etc.). But even these quotes don't justify soteriology getting its own section in the Baptist template when other doctrinal differences of similar great importance do not. Being super important is not the same as being paramount (the leap is synthesis, which is great in an academic paper, but prohibited in WP). Does this material justify mention in the doctrine section, sure. How, I am not sure. Maybe there could even be a separate section including all the major controversies. But as I have asked before, if this issue in particular gets its own section, why should it in particular be the only issue to receive this treatment. Why not a Missionary/anti-missionary section with Missionary Baptists and Primitive Baptists as the links? Why not other controversies? In fact, the very first quote you cite above (had you pasted the entire sentence) equates the liberal/conservative divide as just as significant as the soteriology issue. Novaseminary (talk) 02:08, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

You don't seem to understand what I'm saying. Just because the Baptist article, the Baptist origins section, and the individual General, Particular, and Reformed sections are in shambles, it doesn't mean that the issue is not important. And important enough to demand inclusion in the template somewhere. You say "this material justify mention in the doctrine section" but the issues in the "Doctrine" section of the template (Priesthood of all believers, Individual soul liberty, Separation of church and state, Sola scriptura, Congregationalism, Ordinances, Offices), these are things that link Baptists, things that most Baptists hold in common. The soteriological differences between the churches are differences, not similarities. And you speak of "other doctrinal differences of similar great importance". Like what? What is more important than the soteriological distinction between churches? Open and closed communion? A trifle. Whether divorced men can be deacons? A trifle. "Baptist theology for four centuries has been shaped both by the early Calvinist-Arminian differences of a soteriological nature..." -- that is a distinction between churches that demands some attention. Attention in the horridly written articles (one day this must be rectified) and in the template. Thus back to my suggestion earlier: A section of the template that contains "Confessions"; "Denominations"; and the two main soteriological branches: "Particular Baptist" and "General Baptists". This will make it clear to template users that Baptists aren't as monolithic as Catholics, or Greek Orthodox, or even Anglicans (though these aren't as monolithic as many think, many people suffer under the delusion that all Baptists are the same theologically, soteriologically, etc.) TuckerResearch (talk) 02:27, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

"In fact, the very first quote you cite above (had you pasted the entire sentence) equates the liberal/conservative divide as just as significant as the soteriology issue." And if there is an article to point to in Wikipedia, point to it in the new section I'm proposing. However, there is no article for the liberal-conservative issue. That still doesn't detract from the point that the main difference between Baptist churches is their soteriology. Are they Calvinist or Arminian? The liberal-conservative issue is a subset of this: after the church decides what they think on salvation, are they liberal or conservative on other issues. TuckerResearch (talk) 02:31, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

A what if. This is intended to show the difficulty of judging importance, since you seem to want me to find quotes saying that some things are more important than another. What if I take "Doctrine" section:

  • Priesthood of all believers
  • Individual soul liberty
  • Separation of church and state
  • Sola scriptura
  • Congregationalism
  • Ordinances
  • Offices

And reduced it to just:

  • Priesthood of all believers
  • Individual soul liberty
  • Separation of church and state

Then demanded you prove to me the others are as important as these three. Is sola scriptura as important than priesthood of all believers? Where is your quotation? Or, according to you, "Being super important is not the same as being paramount." You are coming up with a bar that is impossible to jump, and one which would kill Wikipedia. Prove that anything in any article or template is "paramount" instead of just "important." You are taking an important difference between churches and removing them just because you don't like them, then dreaming up fine sophistries to bar their readmittance to the template. A template at least four other Wikipedia users on this talk page thought was fine before you came along on your mission to bend it to your image. TuckerResearch (talk) 02:52, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

I will write it again. Regardless of whether "the Baptist article, the Baptist origins section, and the individual General, Particular, and Reformed sections are in shambles", I do believe soteriology is very, very, very important. You raise an interesting point in asking what to include in a section about common beliefs (distinctives, if you will). But to support inclusion, you would need sources that indicate what the major ones are, not just WP editors' opinions. I think there are such sources, and that is why certain things are discussed in the Baptists article and not other things. Scholars seem to have arrived at at least a rough consensus on the most important of these, but I may be wrong. If so, the issues are probably not appropriately addressed in a template.
In any case, templates need to be verifiable (if not footnoted) just as much as articles. We have a guideline for how to deal with "paramount" vs. "important: vs. "marginally important" vs. "not important". It is WP:UNDUE. All I was asking for was a source to indicate the relative importance of the issue, not to prove it was important. You have repeatedly said it is the "main" or most important distinction between Baptists, and to place it where you want it in the template, one would have to agree with that assertion. But none of your sources say as much. As I noted, your first quote noted that it was crucially important, but in the same sentence said the liberal/modernist issue was of the same importance. Your argument also highlights in my mind how difficult it is for an issue-based template to meet the guidelines, as opposed to, say, a template listing all colleges in a given city, or schools in a conference. I'm not sure these issue-oriented templates are very useful anyway, but I digress.
I don’t think I have bent this template to my image, but then, I don't even know what that means. It sure sounds bad. What I did do was remove links in the template to groups displaying characteristics of what amounts to an important difference between churches from a marginally useful, reductionist template, in preference to a more full discussion in actual articles. I has nothing to do with whether I like the differences, whatever that means. If you think others will agree with you, why not seek input from others via WP:RfC? I fear we will continue to go round in circles. I will post a link to this fine discussion on Talk:Baptists shortly to see if others interested in the subject care one way or the other.
Novaseminary (talk) 03:52, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
As promised, I posted a request for others to comment over at Talk:Baptists#The Baptist sidebar template. I hope it generates a wider discussion. Novaseminary (talk) 04:07, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

There you go again trotting out WPs that don't really apply! WP:UNDUE? I'm not asking that unsourced or fringe theories be tacked onto the Baptist template. Every source I have given you points to the importance of the soteriological distinction in Baptist churches and in Baptist history, but you keep saying it is important but not of "paramount importance," and I don't understand your reasoning at all. You've even had to admit that it is "important" but you've created this amazing thing called "paramount importance." Where did you find this bar of "paramount importrance"? You've even tried to make the claim that this so-called difference between "paramount" and "important" is in WP:UNDUE: "We have a guideline for how to deal with "paramount" vs. "important: vs. "marginally important" vs. "not important". It is WP:UNDUE." There is no such language in WP:UNDUE. WP:UNDUE is meant to keep fringe theories and unsourced material out of articles: "For example, the article on the Earth does not directly mention modern support for the Flat Earth concept, the view of a distinct minority; to do so would give 'undue weight' to the Flat Earth belief." Any comparison between Flat Earth theories and having General and Particular Baptists in a Baptist template is absurd. I've pointed you to several sources that point out the importance of soteriological differences in in Baptist churches and in Baptist history, but you now dismiss that as giving undue weight to the subject. So now soteriology is important, but not of paramount importance and not weighty enough? Because you say so. Please, point me to where you got this new-fangled "paramount importance" test.

As to "issue-based templates," I agree, it is hard to decide what should go in them and what should stay out of them. However, can't the same be said for any Wikipedia article? What goes in the Churchill article and what stays out? What opinions do we put in the George W. Bush article, which should stay out. This is where consensus comes into play. Several previous Baptist template editors have and commentors on this talk page have had no issue with the soteriological section. Until you came along, removed it, than demanded sources, than demanded some impossible "paramount importance" bar that, even you must admit, is entirely subjective. You think it is not important enough, I do. What I am saying is you disrupted a previous consensus. I'm not saying consensus should never change, or that your opinion is unwelcome, or that I claim some sort of ownership over this template (I've let several changes occur without reverts or comment). I welcome other opinions on the template and I'm glad you've requested comments. I just find your reasoning and methods troubling: removing material nobody had a problem with; demanding sources to prove a subjective thing like "importance"; creating a category of "paramount importance"; claiming the difference between "importance" and "paramount importance" lies in WP:UNDUE when it does not. (And please don't think I'm personally attacking you. I hate when editors jump to that. We're all just trying to make Wikipedia better, we just disagree.) TuckerResearch (talk) 05:12, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Let's see what others think. Of course, feel free to reply if you'd like the last word, but I probably won't again until somebody else says something here. Anyway, as I read the history of this template, there is little consensus. You seem to be one of the few editors who have put much into this. When others have made major changes, you have reverted and the changer has left. Not that I even disagree with your positions in the older sections of this talk, but it is not like this is a widely followed template that is the product of lots of debate and a broad consensus. Regardless, my position is that the soteriology issue is not important enough to justify its own section in the template, though I am not opposed to working it in somehow. I think this is at least analogous to several WP policies (one of the points of WP:UNDUE being to give ideas the same weight they receive in reliable sources, rather than the weight WP editors would choose on their own: "Keep in mind that, in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public.").
But even if no guidelines or policies apply here, other than consensus, that is what I think the facts support. While super-duper important, I do not think soteriology to be so much more important than other issues so as to justify it being highlighted in its own section when others do not get their own section. UNDUE or not, it seems only important issues should be listed at all (this possibly being one) and only the highest level, paramount (or whatever word you would use) issues should get their own sections. The coverage in the template should roughly equal the coverage and importance attributed to a topic or viewpoint or whatever in RSs (to the extent one can equate RSs to template entries). Again per UNDUE: "An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject." I don't see why a template is fundamentally different. Novaseminary (talk) 05:30, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Key figuresEdit

The criteria for inclusion in the Key figures section is unclear. I would suggest that to avoid WP:UNDUE issues ("An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject.") only individuals who are mentioned in the main Baptists article should be listed in this high-level template. The Baptists article is world-wide in focus, or should be, and so should this template. I am especially concerned with including Shubal Stearns, D. N. Jackson, and John Bunyan, their centrality to the subject is not supported by what is in their articles now. Maybe this should be limited to the "Founders" of the movement, or if there is no good way to draw the inclusion line, just turn it into a link to a the List of Baptists. Novaseminary (talk) 01:51, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

 Y Done with this edit. I also made the conventions and associations line visible again. Novaseminary (talk) 07:18, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
You cannot seriously consider that Bunyan and Spurgeon are not key figures. I am undoing your deletion. -- (talk) 09:11, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I've always said, we can come to an agreement on who a key figure is, but let's keep the section. I agree with the revert on this edit, TuckerResearch (talk) 23:04, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
So what crieria are we going to use? Whatever Tuckerresearch says? Whatever an IP says? If the figures are so key, they will appear in the main Baptists article, right? Why not limit this list to individuals appearing there. At least we will have some idea that they meet WP:UNDUE then. And why remove the link to List of Baptists? Novaseminary (talk) 23:55, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Plesae don't delete material without WP:CONSENSUS. -- (talk) 00:14, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
So you think the key figures is perfect? Or can we (whoever the random IP is, assuming the same person) agree that at least D. N. Jackson shoudl go? WHat standard should we use to decide who goes and stays or gets added? Are they "key figures" in the formation of Baptists, in the later development, currently? Novaseminary (talk) 01:21, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, whatever Tuckerresearch says. TuckerResearch (talk) 07:33, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
No, whatever Novaseminary says. TuckerResearch (talk) 07:33, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
This is me pointing out that you're opinion is no better than mine, so there's no reason for you to whine/complain with "So what cri[t]eria are we going to use? Whatever Tuckerresearch says? Whatever an IP says?" and yours snide edit summary here "can these safely go with the persmission [sic] of the mystery IP and St. Anselm and Tuckerresearch?" We just disagree with your edits and think the key figures section is a good thing. No need to act all passive-aggressive. TuckerResearch (talk) 07:33, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Come now. I know my opinion about who belongs is no more important than yours. That is why I named specific people months ago. More importantly, recognizing that fact is why I think links to list articles could be good here. And my pointing out that this is based on pure opinion without even an attempt at articulating a standard also recognizes this fact. Now, how do you propose we as a community decide who is in and who is out? I bet we will rarely disagree if we can settle on some sort of somewhat objective criteria. Novaseminary (talk) 14:45, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
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