Mormon Studies Collection

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 6 2012 6:46 PM

MJ. Smith:
I prefer to do my own denominational tagging which places resources in categories that are useful to me. For example, I have a "mainline Protestant" category which includes a wide variety of views which for my purposes are interchangeable. However, Jewish materials I split into subgroups.

I assume that would be "Orthodox, Conservative and Reform."  It might be more appropriate, however, to place "Messianic Judaism" under "Christian", probably Protestant, though that might be questioned.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 10:38 AM

George Somsel:

Andrew Baguley:
 I haven't played with PBs,

Umm … you don't play with PBs.  You create them and you read them.  Wink

If it's fun, I'm playing.  Otherwise, I'm working.  On good days, I'm even paid to have fun...Big Smile

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 11:18 AM

MJ. Smith:

Andrew Baguley:
What's the biggest problem with Logos using 'theology tags'?

What seems obvious to some of us appears to consistently upset others. I've found that I can step on landmines in classifications it wouldn't occur to me could be controversial. As for Mormon with there being > 60 groups with roots in Joseph Smith, Jr. does "mormonism" capture accurately the beliefs presented in the resources? I suspect not. I know there are "mormon heritage non-CCLDS" members in the forum - perhaps they could speak with more authority on this particular case.

There are also the cases where the author claims to represent a group where the group considers him outside their norm. I'll not name the Catholic apologist whom I would place in this category ... he's not in Logos fortunately.

I prefer to do my own denominational tagging which places resources in categories that are useful to me. For example, I have a "mainline Protestant" category which includes a wide variety of views which for my purposes are interchangeable. However, Jewish materials I split into subgroups.

I know what you mean about the landmines, but I'm not sure that should necessarily stop any classification.  In helping a group of teenagers design surveys, one girl suggested that they shouldn't force people to ask the male/female question, as it's a tricky issue for some.  She was right, it is a tricky issue for some, but society forces people to decide as people are referred to using he or she in English, they use toilets for males or females...  Maybe not everyone likes the classification, but it helps the majority.

In terms of theology tags, some people might disagree, but I think the tags could still be applied helpfully.  Debates about which tag to use have been around for a long time.  Perhaps the tags utilised by Wikipedia could be used, as these have already been debated and decided.  Denomination tags may also be helpful, as in Wikipedia.  For example, it's still helpful for you to label the Catholic apologist as Catholic.  I'd also welcome granularity, so that your Mainline Protestant Collection is composed of those in sub-collections.  Just because you have no interest in granularity doesn't mean that it shouldn't exist.  It's more flexible to introduce it and allow people to use the level of grouping that suits their needs best.  For me, it would be different levels at different times.

Of course, individuals could continue to create their own tags and collections, but with many Logos users having thousands of resources, it seems to make sense for a system to be implemented at the system level.  Remember, I am not suggesting that everything is tagged.  I'm not asking for someone to sit in judgement on every resource.  The labels that resources use for themselves and the labels that Logos is happy to use when marketing will work fine.  Some resources don't easily fit into any category and that's okay.  They won't be found when running a search on Mormon resources, or Anabaptist resources or whatever.  Some resources may be Catholic, others might be more specifically Roman Catholic or Eastern Catholic or Old Catholic or...

What do others think?

Posts 10178
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 12:12 PM

Might be (literally) far easier for you to simply tag your library (just answering your question). You'll very quickly notice 'the problem'. And with just one person involved.


Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 2:57 PM

I was thinking of others, Denise.  I wasn't convinced that I was the only one who would want this.  It seems that others sometimes ask questions that could be answered with a solution like this.

Maybe you could help me understand 'the problem'...

Posts 10178
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 3:14 PM

Andrew ... no offense but the doing illuminates. You're likely to find resources that are aren't quite 'this' but are a little of 'that' (same author). You're very likely to find resources whose author moves across several traditions. You're also very likely to find authors that one would normally place in one denomination, but for whatever reason seem to have jumped the tracks.

When I first started buying resources from Logos one of my big peeves was I couldn't easily identify the ones whose background denomination/tradition I absolutely had no use for. Why re-invent a square wheel over and over? But having now purchased maybe thousands of logos books, I quite often find myself far more interested in the author's good sense and even after reading the book not able to peg the belief-tradition.

That's why if you actually start tagging your library, you'll begin to see the issues (and that's not counting other users vociferously disagreeing with your choices).


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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 4:11 PM

Andrew Baguley:
What do others think?

I think any systemic flagging of "heretical doctrines" by Logos is unworkable, useless and divisive.

  1. Some would lablel the Apostle Paul "heretical" for his writings on the participation of women in the church.
  2. Some would label African-American commentators "heretical" for suggesting Jesus, Moses, and others had black skin.
  3. Some would label the Catholic Church "heretical" for embracing a different canon.
  4. Some might  take issue with "Christian Socialism" in the book of Acts.
  5. Some could label the book of Philemon "heretical" regarding slavery.
  6. We could label the majority of Protestant Reformation leaders "heretical" for teaching against birth control. (see "The Bible and Birth Control" by Charles D. Provan)   ***disclosure: I have 13 children***

Then there is the problem of blanketing resources with a "heresy" label. If an author is wrong about his comments on fasting, does it necessarily make im a "heretic" on the Genesis flood? You will probably find Mormons, SDAs, and Swedenborgs all agree with the Genesis flood account. Yet Walter Martin labels them all "cults." Who would flag the "heretics" and what would be their criteria?

If you ask two people seated near you in church about their understanding of Jephthah sacrificing his daughter in Judges 11:31-35, and one agrees with your interpretation and the other does not, do you cast out the "heretic?"  See the Wikipedia article under "sacrifice controversy" if you are unfamiliar with alternate interpretations of this difficult passage.

The only use I have for "heretical" flags in Logos would be to alert me to interesting subjects of study. Devil

 

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 737
Evan Boardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 4:40 PM

Supertramp, You might want to ask yourself what makes a heretic a heretic. Surely none of the examples you just gave.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 4:52 PM

Andrew Baguley:
 For example, it's still helpful for you to label the Catholic apologist as Catholic.

Actually, it's not ... it's best to label him "inaccurate junk," a label that I use more often than I wish.

Andrew Baguley:
it seems to make sense for a system to be implemented at the system level.

You are correct that it seems reasonable - and there is a portion of the resources for which it would be possible. But there is a larger portion where the issues are very muddy. Take the Anglo-Catholics as an example - in most topics they are indistinguishable from Catholics but often differ significantly from the Episcopal side of Anglican. Speaking in very broad terms, the ACELO churches (Anglican-Catholic-Eastern-Lutheran-Orthodox) are less concerned with doctrinal uniformity than their evangelical-pentecostal-nondenominational brethren. Take Jaroslav Pelikan as an example. When I first read him I assumed he was Catholic; when I learned he was Lutheran, I made a few adjustments and made him "high Lutheran"; when he retired he became Orthodox to which I thought "of course, that's consistent with his work". But I still think of him as Catholic for my classification purposes regardless of what he thought he was.Angel

But I start with a premise that does not seem to be widely shared by forum users. Good Bible study is independent of denominational ties. Good analysis is good analysis; crap is crap - regardless of who wrote it. For theological works, a denominational bias is to be expected; for Bible studies denominational bias is inappropriate. [Note: methodological bias is appropriate.] And yes, if I seem obsessed with the issue it might have something to do with a resource that I labeled "crap" last night - the diagram was accurate but not in agreement with the text which was off in an alternative universe.

 

 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 7 2012 7:12 PM

Evan Boardman:

Supertramp, You might want to ask yourself what makes a heretic a heretic. Surely none of the examples you just gave.

I was intentionally being vague and sublime. You and I probably don't even agree on all of the basic Bible doctrines. I have never read anyone's "Statement of Faith" where I did not see some addition or omission of content. There are some who would excommunicate another for taking the wrong stand on any of the issues I cited. 

I once had two USMC T-shirts

  • one depicted the "Jar-head" bulldog in uniform, standing on top of a dragon he had just killed. Caption read; "Whatever it is, it's dead."
  • on the other the bulldog in uniform declares; "Kill 'em all and let God sort them out."

Discernment requires us to make a judgement call (hopefully after weighing the evidence.) I do not want Logos making that call for me by flagging "heresies." I am also not willing to write off 99.9% of the human race because they do not agree with me.

 

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 4:03 AM

MJ. Smith:
But I start with a premise that does not seem to be widely shared by forum users. Good Bible study is independent of denominational ties. Good analysis is good analysis; crap is crap - regardless of who wrote it. For theological works, a denominational bias is to be expected; for Bible studies denominational bias is inappropriate. [Note: methodological bias is appropriate.] And yes, if I seem obsessed with the issue it might have something to do with a resource that I labeled "crap" last night - the diagram was accurate but not in agreement with the text which was off in an alternative universe.
YesI love the statement that crap is crap.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 6:02 AM

MJ. Smith:
crap is crap - regardless of who wrote it

Big Smile Yes May I quote you on that?

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 3:12 PM

Super Tramp:

Andrew Baguley:
What do others think?

I think any systemic flagging of "heretical doctrines" by Logos is unworkable, useless and divisive.

Thanks, Super Tramp.  I should have been more specific though.  I agree that it wouldn't be helpful to try to flag "heretical doctrines", but I hadn't suggested that and wouldn't want to suggest it.  Maybe my question should have been "What do others think about what I actually wrote?"  Smile

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 3:28 PM

DMB:

Andrew ... no offense but the doing illuminates. You're likely to find resources that are aren't quite 'this' but are a little of 'that' (same author). You're very likely to find resources whose author moves across several traditions. You're also very likely to find authors that one would normally place in one denomination, but for whatever reason seem to have jumped the tracks.

When I first started buying resources from Logos one of my big peeves was I couldn't easily identify the ones whose background denomination/tradition I absolutely had no use for. Why re-invent a square wheel over and over? But having now purchased maybe thousands of logos books, I quite often find myself far more interested in the author's good sense and even after reading the book not able to peg the belief-tradition.

That's why if you actually start tagging your library, you'll begin to see the issues (and that's not counting other users vociferously disagreeing with your choices).

No offense taken, Denise, as you didn't seem to address my question either.  Firstly, you seem to assume that I haven't tried tagging resources.  I'm not quite sure why, except that it seems your logic seems to be that you think there is a problem with doing it, I'd know that if I tried it, so I can't have tried it.  I think I have tried it, it seemed to work, and I think it could work for lots of others as well, applied at a system level (ie. by Logos, rather than by individual users).

When I wrote "Remember, I am not suggesting that everything is tagged", I meant that I wasn't suggesting that everything is tagged.  I know that it is hard to classify some resources.  Some people and some resources don't fit easy classification, but some do, and would want to.  They try to represent their denomination or branch of theology or methodological framework well.  These could easily be classified.  That's what I'm suggesting.  Logos often flags this type of resource in their marketing.  I'm not suggesting I make the decisions on classification.  I'm suggesting that the resource/author does, so long as the majority agree that it is a fair representation of those beliefs.

Personally, I don't find that there are traditions I can't learn from but, for some questions I ask, it is helpful if I can narrow a search by denomination/theology so that I can quickly see how that tradition handles an issue, uses a word, etc.

Others might use the classifications I'm suggesting in a different way, but I don't see that as a negative thing.

Do you think there is a problem with what I am actually suggesting?

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 3:36 PM

MJ. Smith:

Andrew Baguley:
 For example, it's still helpful for you to label the Catholic apologist as Catholic.

Actually, it's not ... it's best to label him "inaccurate junk," a label that I use more often than I wish.

I think I know what you mean.  All I meant was that for the purposes of discussion, it was helpful for you to label the apologist as Catholic, otherwise you wouldn't have done so.  However, I think you're also suggesting that in your opinion (and perhaps in the opinion of many others) they do not represent the tradition well.  If there was a Logos-generated Catholic collection, then it would be good if you could generate your Useful Catholic collection by starting with the Catholic collection and minusing out resources by this particular author.  This would be much quicker than tagging all of your own resources from scratch.  Of course, in your case, you may have already done lots of tagging, but for many users, I suggest that this could be quite helpful and time-saving.

Do you think you can see where I am coming from, even if you don't think it would be useful for you, or even if you disagree completely?  I still don't think I've read posts by anyone who is addressing what I am actually proposing.  (Maybe my fault for not explaining it well.  Hence my perseverance.)

I'll try to address the rest of your post another time...

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 5:51 PM

Andrew Baguley:
Do you think you can see where I am coming from,

I understand where you are coming from. I just do not think it is feasible or desirable. Doubt very much that Logos would be willing to tackle such a controversial project. You might not view it as controversial, but many others would.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 5:55 PM

Jack Caviness:
I understand where you are coming from. I just do not think it is feasible or desirable.
I agree.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 5:55 PM

Andrew Baguley:
Do you think you can see where I am coming from, even if you don't think it would be useful for you, or even if you disagree completely?

I understand what you want and why you want it. Unfortunately, from trying to do it simply on my own resources, I also understand that it isn't really possible. Another thread in the forums http://community.logos.com/forums/p/54173/395151.aspx#395151  provides an excellent example of the difficulty even with "broadly evangelical" and complying with Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Statement of Faith.

A formal description of why the classification doesn't work in real life is that there is a large amount of overlap between the denominations and a few touchstones/triggers that individuals consider important to distinguish them. However, there is little consensus on what those triggers are ... and even if one gets a consensus the difference in terminology may make it very difficult to acknowledge the commonality.

An example, I can pick up a book such as The Psalms Through Three Thousand Years by William Holladay and trust that given the topic, the view will be Jewish-Catholic-Orthodox-Anglican ... with perhaps a bit of Lutheran and a few other churches that make heavy use of the Psalms (Presbyterian, for example). If I look at where Holladay studied and taught, I'd assume that he was writing from a mainline Protestant perspective about the Jewish-Catholic-Orthodox-Anglican ... I could read the book in detail and find nothing to make me question this classification. However, if I really search for some biographic information I would confirm the mainline Protestant background but learn that he became Catholic. Do I need to distinguish pre/post his denominational change? Or do I recognize that over some period of time he gradual moved from a position more strongly Protestant to a position more strongly Catholic?

Another example, I have a niece married to a minister ... his father is UCC, he was originally ordained in a conservative Presbyterian denomination, he became a bit more liberal moving into a Canadian military chaplain position, If he were to write a book at the moment, it would be very pastoral but even he would have problems identifying his school of theology. He is almost this and almost that.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 10178
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 8 2012 6:07 PM

Andrew, that's great news. You've already tagged yours! Instead of us hemming and hawing, why don't you list out maybe 10-20 titles to show examples of what you're suggestng?


Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 13 2012 2:21 PM

DMB:

Andrew, that's great news. You've already tagged yours! Instead of us hemming and hawing, why don't you list out maybe 10-20 titles to show examples of what you're suggestng?

Rather than continue to post on an unrelated thread, I've decided to start a new thread.  Please see http://community.logos.com/forums/p/54491/396432.aspx#396432 for my response, and try to keep comments constructive.  Thanks.

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