Do you want every ebook in the world in Logos?

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Charlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 8:44 AM

Francis:

Charlene:
I agree.

... yes, but I think that it is time to concede that things are not what we thought they were or are pretended to be. The real point of the thread is to announce that FL has chosen to become like Amazon, and to a lesser extent, to find a way to bring it to pass that takes into consideration the sensibilities of the majority of the customer base. I share in the grief and hope that my brothers and sisters will not be excessively discouraged by this, but keep their eyes and hearts in the right place.

Unfortunately it looks like you are right. I too am grieved.

Charlene

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 8:46 AM

Francis:

Perhaps I don't understand what Bob meant correctly, but it seems to me that if the deal is that publishers stream their entire catalog in EPUB format, even the more "Logos Bible Software" type of resources in that mass would be more like Vyrso books, that is, untagged.

If I understand this correctly then, would we want to have more books that are not tagged?

He was pretty clear, in my opinion. 

Here are your choices:

  1. Have some of these titles not available AT ALL in Logos.
  2. Have these titles in Logos, at a "vyrso edition" level, and SOME might be able to be converted to "Logos editions."

I love "logos edition" works, but I love having resources in my library more than insisting on them being in that format. Furthermore, there are a large number of resources for which making them "Logos edition" doesn't do much other than shore up scripture links and formatting.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 8:49 AM

alabama24:

Francis:

Perhaps I don't understand what Bob meant correctly, but it seems to me that if the deal is that publishers stream their entire catalog in EPUB format, even the more "Logos Bible Software" type of resources in that mass would be more like Vyrso books, that is, untagged.

If I understand this correctly then, would we want to have more books that are not tagged?

He was pretty clear, in my opinion. 

Here are your choices:

  1. Have some of these titles not available AT ALL in Logos.
  2. Have these titles in Logos, at a "vyrso edition" level, and SOME might be able to be converted to "Logos editions."

I love "logos edition" works, but I love having resources in my library more than insisting on them being in that format. Furthermore, there are a large number of resources for which making them "Logos edition" doesn't do much other than shore up scripture links and formatting.

Yep. You put it into clear words.

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 9:11 AM

alabama24:

Francis:

Perhaps I don't understand what Bob meant correctly, but it seems to me that if the deal is that publishers stream their entire catalog in EPUB format, even the more "Logos Bible Software" type of resources in that mass would be more like Vyrso books, that is, untagged.

If I understand this correctly then, would we want to have more books that are not tagged?

He was pretty clear, in my opinion. 

Here are your choices:

  1. Have some of these titles not available AT ALL in Logos.
  2. Have these titles in Logos, at a "vyrso edition" level, and SOME might be able to be converted to "Logos editions."

I love "logos edition" works, but I love having resources in my library more than insisting on them being in that format. Furthermore, there are a large number of resources for which making them "Logos edition" doesn't do much other than shore up scripture links and formatting.

Let's not forget that MORE than "SOME" could graduate to a Logos format if/when the crowdsourced tagging gets implemented! Wink

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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 9:20 AM

Bob Pritchett:

"... least appropriate / most objectionable content ..."

I hope Bob/FL recognize that they are setting themselves up in the unenviable position of being the gatekeepers to this new venture and that no two people will ever agree on exactly what "least appropriate / most objectionable content" actually is. 

I pray that the armor fits well, is durable, and covers every square inch.

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 9:27 AM

JRS:
they are setting themselves up in the unenviable position of being the gatekeepers to this new venture and that no two people will ever agree on exactly what "least appropriate / most objectionable content" actually is.

What would prevent the new store from allowing users to "flag as inappropriate"? Flagged books could be quarantined for review. Just a thought. This makes me earlier point that there generally DOES EXIST viable, feasible, reasonable mechanisms for accomplishing a purpose beyond what we initially think (most of the time).

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 9:31 AM

Francis:

Charlene:
I agree.

... yes, but I think that it is time to concede that things are not what we thought they were or are pretended to be. The real point of the thread is to announce that FL has chosen to become like Amazon, and to a lesser extent, to find a way to bring it to pass that takes into consideration the sensibilities of the majority of the customer base. I share in the grief and hope that my brothers and sisters will not be excessively discouraged by this, but keep their eyes and hearts in the right place.

The real point of this thread is exactly what Bob said it was — to ascertain from us, his customers, whether we want to buy resources from mainstream publishers in the Logos format if that meant they also had to make some unsavoury titles also available for sale.

I said "yes", not because I want FL to become like Amazon (which Bob has explicitly says he doesn't want to do), but because (a) a number of non-Logos publishers publish books that are useful to my ministry, and (b) I trust FL to continue to focus on what really matters - developing an expanding the usefulness of Logos Bible Software for study and devotions.

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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 9:52 AM

Would having questionable content fulfill Faithlife's mission statement?

Our mission is to serve the church. We do this by fostering a culture of service and innovation, by creating Bible study tools that connect people to the Word, and by hiring awesome, fun people.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 10:03 AM

David Taylor Jr:
Would having questionable content fulfill Faithlife's mission statement?

I think that's the wrong question. Bob isn't wanting to have questionable content.

The question is "Can we serve the church better by significantly broadening our content (even though some of it's questionable), or by keeping our content narrower"?

Posts 176
Al Het | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 10:35 AM

Super.Tramp:
For the same reason we ought not buy our gasoline from a store that sells cigarettes. Same with pizza joints that sell beer. And using Netflix, Amazon Prime and cable TV is off limits. Taking my car to a mechanic who swears should be a no-no. I could go on.

I'm sure you could "go on," but you'd just be continuing your illegitimate straw man argument.  Those who have expressed this concern have made it clear that, to them, the fact that Faithlife is a "Christian" company, whom they see as a partner in ministry, makes it different than Amazon or pizza or auto mechanics.  If you can't understand that distinction, then continuing to attack an argument that they are not making doesn't add anything to the discussion.  If you want to continue that line of thinking, the counter argument to yours would be, "So you must be fine with your church selling pornographic magazines in its lobby.  After all, you're willing to buy gas and groceries from places that sell these (and imagine how much ministry it could fund).  And, because in the back of the auto shop where your car gets fixed, they may well have pictures of half naked women on their tool boxes, you obviously would be fine with such posters hanging on the walls of your local Christian bookstore..."

Simply put, if you can't understand the distinction being made, by Christians who see Faithline as co-laborers in ministry, that is fine.  However, you are not being helpful by attacking a straw man.   

For me, personally, the argument that "I don't want to buy Bible Software from a company that sells erotic material" is less significant to the initial question than other things.  The initial question was, "Would we like/want Logos to offer all books..."  If Faithlife were my company, I most definitely would NOT go this direction, for several reasons, including the moral issues being talked about here.  However, it is not my company.  This does not mean that people shouldn't weigh in on the moral issue.  In fact, this was specifically part of Bob Pritchett's initial question.  While I might continue to use Bible software from a business, even if they make some moral decisions differently than I would, others might not.  This is precisely the input that was being asked for.

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Rokas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 10:40 AM

Dan Francis:

Rokas:

Selling erotica is a sin.

Pushing Bob into selling erotica is also a sin.

until I hear you are promoting a boycott of Amazon.com and other book retailers I am not going to take this too serious.

-Dan

No, I think you see this wrongly. "Buying from a non-Christian neutral stuff" and "a Christian selling erotica" are two completely different things. I am not concerned about myself buying from Bob. I am concerned about Bob and his wonderful business selling erotica (and sinning in that way).

And saying to Bob "don't worry about selling erotica, do it!" is pushing him somewhat into doing it. Supporting, at least.

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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 10:44 AM

Mark Barnes:

David Taylor Jr:
Would having questionable content fulfill Faithlife's mission statement?

I think that's the wrong question. Bob isn't wanting to have questionable content.

The question is "Can we serve the church better by significantly broadening our content (even though some of it's questionable), or by keeping our content narrower"?

That answer is simple. The ends do not justify the means.

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 10:52 AM

The interesting thing is that when Logos offers to sell certain books including the Dictionary, some people complained. 

I am a Seventh-day Adventist, and people complained when Logos started offering Sda Base Packages with lots of literature from Seventh-day Adventist authors. Stick out tongue Go figure.

Everything ever written in Religion and Theology formatted for Logos Bible Software.Logos Youtube Channel

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:05 AM

Mark:

I also am not convinced.  What are the summary arguments for wanting to have every book in the world in logos?

I like logos for the search engine.  Easy to study the Scriptures and search for topics etc.  For every book in the world I would not need that

I do not want all my books in Logos... There are numerous books on spirituality that would be made available by doing this and they would be most valuable in Logos. Even for say a Creationist, the ability to have in Logos books you are hoping to work against might be a great help. We have the Qur'an available in Logos and I am sure many find it useful for inter religious dialogue. I cannot imagine anyone having any good reason or desire to purchase erotica through Logos. Nor do most publishers publish much of it... (I do realize at one point Bob said everything Amazon sells, which has numerous niche publishers, I do not look for erotica so in truth I have no real idea as to the exact percentages) And as I mentioned earlier, there was even one Pastor a few months back requesting 50 shades of grey in Logos as a tool for outreach (he was sincere although I am not sure how useful this would be, a Youth Pastor's I know has a brother in law is apparently heavily into the S & M community and says 50 Shades is unrealistic, although that is truly one of the main problems with porn it is unrealistic, it turns people into objects to lusted after rather than individuals to be loved )...

-Dan

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Al Het | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:12 AM

alabama24:
This has absolutely nothing to do with base packages... or even "Logos edition" resources.

I'm not sure you read my entire post, or I don't think you would have given this reply.  My argument was, I don't particularly mind "more resources" being available.  However, it has been my experience with Logos (over nearly 20 years) that as "more resources" that are not directly related to studying Scripture become available, these resources make their way into base packages of Logos, and are included in the marketing of "over 20,000 books, worth over 6 million dollars..."  While I don't figure that "50 Shades" is likely to begin showing up in base packages of Logos Bible Software, I would not be surprised if other "Classic" non-Christian literature did.  Some may like and want this, I do not.  My point in that post:  My opinion - my answer to Pritchett's question - is that I personally would rather that Faithlife focus much more narrowly on Bible Study materials and software.  This is because even at this point, the expansion of Faithlife into broader materials has already expanded the size and cost of the Bible Study Base Packages, and I can imagine that this direction might lead to more of the same.

So, while it is your opinion that "this has nothing to do with base packages..." my personal concern - which is what Pritchett asked for - is that it in fact will. 

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:51 AM

Rokas:
And saying to Bob "don't worry about selling erotica, do it!" is pushing him somewhat into doing it. Supporting, at least.

I apologize if it seemed that I was trying to encourage him to sell erotica, I was attempting to encourage him to make available a larger catalog. I believe a vast majority of the books he would bring in would be objectionable for numerous reasons. I have enough confidence in Bob's Integrity to believe he could somehow get around selling the most objectionable materials, even if it was simply some sort of disclaimer. Bob has stated one of his goals is to make Logos more relevant to university students. To allow them to be able to have in Logos/Noet all books that may be required for a class. I agree with you a Christian selling erotica is not proper and yes we should do everything we can to encourage brothers and sisters in the faith from sinning. But I am sure that there are numerous people who feel Bob is already sinning. Selling books of Heretical teachings. I am trying to say and perhaps I have to much confidence in my fellow Christians, that in the same way as no Mormon is going to go into a mormon cafe and order a beer, no Christian is going to be on Logos ordering erotica either. 

-Dan

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:56 AM

Al Het:
So, while it is your opinion that "this has nothing to do with base packages..." my personal concern - which is what Pritchett asked for - is that it in fact will.

Since these won't be "logos edition" resources, they won't be included in base packages... Furthermore, if THESE resources don't make it into a base package (they won't), some OTHER resources will. Your argument is unrelated to the topic.

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Rokas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 12:21 PM

Dan Francis:

Rokas:
And saying to Bob "don't worry about selling erotica, do it!" is pushing him somewhat into doing it. Supporting, at least.

I apologize if it seemed that I was trying to encourage him to sell erotica, I was attempting to encourage him to make available a larger catalog. I believe a vast majority of the books he would bring in would be objectionable for numerous reasons. I have enough confidence in Bob's Integrity to believe he could somehow get around selling the most objectionable materials, even if it was simply some sort of disclaimer. Bob has stated one of his goals is to make Logos more relevant to university students. To allow them to be able to have in Logos/Noet all books that may be required for a class. I agree with you a Christian selling erotica is not proper and yes we should do everything we can to encourage brothers and sisters in the faith from sinning. But I am sure that there are numerous people who feel Bob is already sinning. Selling books of Heretical teachings. I am trying to say and perhaps I have to much confidence in my fellow Christians, that in the same way as no Mormon is going to go into a mormon cafe and order a beer, no Christian is going to be on Logos ordering erotica either. 

-Dan

I am sorry for how this turned out - I wasn't aiming "Pushing Christians to sell erotica" exactly at you to exact an apology, but rather generally.

You say "do everything to keep from sinning". I agree wholeheartedly.

It isn't really important what people think of him on a big scale. What's important is how God sees it. And while I may imagine that selling books with heretical teachings could be OK, there is simply now way how selling erotica could be justified. Serving university students better is a noble goal, but ends do not justify the means and sin should be avoided at all costs, even if that means university students being left without the textbooks in Logos format.

And again, for me it's not about ordering erotica (that would be a sin as well), but rather about selling it.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 12:32 PM

As a Christian, I have a vested interest into how Christianity is represented to the world. When a professed Christian is found to be a swindler or perpetrator of sexual abuse, it affects me because it discredits the faith, and more importantly "causes God's name to be blasphemed among the nations". 

With that in mind, I cannot understand how anybody who professes to be Christian and to serve the Church could contemplate distributing immoral material. Jesus, the standard of discipleship, would under no circumstance do such a thing. What a contrast this would be also with the attitude of Abraham, who refused the king of Sodom's offer of loot, so that it could not be said that he had contributed to his wealth! I am flabbergasted, but very, very sadly, no longer suprised to see how many fellow users of Bible software, who profess to be Christians, can think that this would be acceptable before God and even encourage Bob to do it. You are a stumbling block and let me remind you, if I may, the frightening warning of Jesus for those who cause even the littlest one to stumble: it would be better for them to be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around their necks.

Non-Christians are much quicker to pick up the hypocrisy of what we so finely justify. I can assure you that non-Christians who get to know that FL claims to have a Christian mission statement, serve the Church and yet distributes and profits from inappropriate material (erotica being but one example) will certainly not be fooled by any of the fine-sounding arguments being made here. They will, and not without cause, be confirmed in their thinking that Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. I have seen this over and over again. 

I agree also with the sentiment that has been expressed by several here, that we actually care about Bob and others at faithlife being godly and not engaging in a spiritually harmful way. Many here have already manifested that apparently this should be irrelevant to this community and to Faithlife people as business people and they try to convince the rest of us that it irrelevant indeed. This is crazy sad. I already know as I write this that I am wasting my time with regard to many, maybe most, but I am hoping that there are still some that can wake up from this madness. If you have any care for Jesus, simply answer for yourself this question: what would Jesus say or do? 

And, finally, I should point out that even if Faithlife had no ambition of having a Christian identity and mission, it would still be incredibly wrong for Christians to tell them that it is okay for them to distribute material that is dishonoring to God, the Gospel and the Kingdom. What kind of witnesses would we prove to be?

I fear that if with all the books we already have to help us understand the message of the Scriptures we are here, I don't see what benefit it will be to us to have access to many more books. 

EDIT: sorry for the typos, I'm tired.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 12:39 PM

Francis:

I fear that if with all the books we already have to help us understand the message of the Scriptures we are here, I don't see what benefit it will be to us to have access to many more books. 

It is not the number of books available that matters. What matters is that they be the right books for out needs. The number of books I have to purchase outside Logos is clear evidence of the inadequacy of the Logos catalogue. Where are the basics - Kugel, Alter, Herschel, a Reception history commentary, ...

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