Doctrinal Persuasions

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Posts 343
Jason Saling | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 1 2009 1:47 AM

If there's not already, it would be nice to be able to search for books, specifically theology books and commentaries via the author's main doctrinal persuasions.  Such as if I wanted to see a list of all the commentaries that were Calvinist or Arminian in nature, then it would list only those commentaries/books.  Or if a theology book's author was covenant theology or dispensational in nature, have a list/tag that shows such.  Perhaps this is already capable and I don't know of it.  Some commentaries are easy to know their doctrinal persuasion, but others are difficult to tell.  I understand it's best to not put yourself in a "strict camp," but to study the Bible with little bias and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you, but such a feature would be nice so you could see how opposite camps would interpret a passage.

Jason Saling

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 2:57 AM

I'm sure that implementing such a feature would be possible, but I'm not sure it would be practical for the Logos staff (but maybe I'm wrong). They would have to know and add the data to each resource. (I didn't mean to italicize anything after "practical" and it isn't showing as italicized in the editor, but when I post it it gets italicized...)

It should be fairly easy to find the information yourself if you look at what the commentaries say about some common "proof texts," so to speak: Jn. 6:44; 3:16; Exodus 10:1 and the proceeding narrative; Rom. 9; and esp. Acts 13:48. Looking at how the commentator deals with those verses I think should give you a very good idea of where they are coming from in the Calv./Armin. side of things. For Disp/Cov. you can read their intro. to Revelation; Rom. 9-11; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; etc. 

Things get a little more complicated when you're looking at some one who is a progressive dispensationalist, but there are not a ton of them with literature on Logos right now so you can simply do a search for "progressive dispenstionalist" and find a list of persons to know who they are (e.g. Darrel Bock).

You can then tag each resources with this information: Calvinist/Arminian, Dispensational/Covenantal.

As for books/monographs, this would not be as straightforward, but look to see if it has a Scripture index and if so how the author uses those common texts. Look at the authors denomination (Southern Baptist or OPC) or university (does he teach at Dallas or Westminster?). And you could always resort to a google search or even a search at monergism.com to see if they put him in the Covenantal/Calv camp or Disp. camp. 

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 3:01 AM

Jason Saling:

If there's not already, it would be nice to be able to search for books, specifically theology books and commentaries via the author's main doctrinal persuasions.  Such as if I wanted to see a list of all the commentaries that were Calvinist or Arminian in nature, then it would list only those commentaries/books.  Or if a theology book's author was covenant theology or dispensational in nature, have a list/tag that shows such.  Perhaps this is already capable and I don't know of it.  Some commentaries are easy to know their doctrinal persuasion, but others are difficult to tell.  I understand it's best to not put yourself in a "strict camp," but to study the Bible with little bias and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you, but such a feature would be nice so you could see how opposite camps would interpret a passage.

I think this would need to be set up by the user. Logos is probably not going to wade into these waters. You would need to go through your collection author by author and tag them according to the theological title you would want to give them. Or you would need to create a collection called "Calvinism" and include the author's with those leanings to that collection.

Posts 3855
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 3:52 AM

Philip Spitzer:
I think this would need to be set up by the user. Logos is probably not going to wade into these waters.

I would agree - in fact it might be insulting.  Though some authors are clearly of one strip or another, some are "Calminians" and would prefer not to be classified by common terms.  This says nothing about the "Protribulationsist" (i.e. what ever God wants, I am for it) and other theological questions (e.g. baptism, inerrancy vs infallibility, conservative vs liberal, etc.).  The use of Tags in L4 allows individual users to classify writers as they see fit.

Ultimately, the tags one uses might be as much a reflection of the biases of the one doing the tagging as of the author being tagged.   For example, most would classify me as an Arminian.  But some Arminians very easily could classify me as a "closet Calvinist".

Blessings,

Floyd

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 4:01 AM

Floyd Johnson:
some are "Calminians" and would prefer not to be classified by common terms....For example, most would classify me as an Arminian.  But some Arminians very easily could classify me as a "closet Calvinist".

Ah, you see, Calvinists have an easy way to  get around such problems. Calminians and "closet Calvinists" are simply Arminians. Problem solved.

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 3855
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 4:06 AM

Floyd Johnson:
Ultimately, the tags one uses might be as much a reflection of the biases of the one doing the tagging as of the author being tagged.

John Bowling:

Floyd Johnson:
some are "Calminians" and would prefer not to be classified by common terms....For example, most would classify me as an Arminian.  But some Arminians very easily could classify me as a "closet Calvinist".

Ah, you see, Calvinists have an easy way to  get around such problems. Calminians and "closet Calvinists" are simply Arminians. Problem solved.

 Point made.  Smile

Yours because His,

Floyd

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 6:52 AM

John Bowling:

Floyd Johnson:
some are "Calminians" and would prefer not to be classified by common terms....For example, most would classify me as an Arminian.  But some Arminians very easily could classify me as a "closet Calvinist".

Ah, you see, Calvinists have an easy way to  get around such problems. Calminians and "closet Calvinists" are simply Arminians. Problem solved.

There are truly NO Arminians.  There are only those who claim to be such.  No Christian ever says "I did it myself."  I recall hearing an anecdote regarding one of Mr. Wesley's hymns though I forget which one or who made the comment, but upon hearing the hymn this person said, "Where is your Arminianism now, Mr. Wesley?"

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 7:20 AM

George Somsel:
There are truly NO Arminians.  There are only those who claim to be such.  No Christian ever says "I did it myself."  I recall hearing an anecdote regarding one of Mr. Wesley's hymns though I forget which one or who made the comment, but upon hearing the hymn this person said, "Where is your Arminianism now, Mr. Wesley?"

 

errr...noooo...I won't get pulled in.....stink...I'm in....I would argue that their are no "true" Calvinists then either. There are inconsistencies in all of us. That is hopefully why we study scripture with great programs like Logos (there, I got it in), to draw ourselves closer to the truth rather then draw the truth closer to ourselves. PLEASE understand I am making no statement about the truthfulness of either Arminians, calvinist, or calmians. We have to start from somewhere, but hopefully we never become complacent with where we are.

Posts 133
Ryan Schatz | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 8:30 AM

George Somsel:

There are truly NO Arminians.  There are only those who claim to be such.  No Christian ever says "I did it myself." ...

You are correct if you mean that there is no Arminian who claims to say "I did it myself."  If you would take the time to characterize the opposing view in a charitable, fair manner, all the Arminian claims (as far as Jacobus Arminius taught) is that through the conviction and convincing of the Holy Spirit, he has made a free will decision to trust in the completed work of the Saviour.  That is not "doing it himself" nor it is adding to the completed work, but merely applying the completed work to one's life through faith making it efficient for himself.

Its much like the passover sacrifice.  Sacrificing the lamb was completely sufficient but it was not efficient until it was applied to the door posts and those putting their confidence in the promise God had made willfully put themselves in the house.  To run away thinking you could escape would have been a failure of faith.  To slaughter the lamb and not apply it to the doorposts would also be a failure of faith.

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 8:58 AM

Ryan Schatz:
all the Arminian claims (as far as Jacobus Arminius taught) is that through the conviction and convincing of the Holy Spirit, he has made a free will decision to trust in the completed work of the Saviour.

The very willing is the gift of God.  St Augustine pondered this very question in his Confessions

1. Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Thy power, and of Thy wisdom there is no end. And man, being a part of Thy creation, desires to praise Thee, man, who bears about with him his mortality, the witness of his sin, even the witness that Thou “resistest the proud,” —yet man, this part of Thy creation, desires to praise Thee. Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee Lord, teach me to know and understand which of these should be first, to call on Thee, or to praise Thee; and likewise to know Thee, or to call upon Thee. But who is there that calls upon Thee without knowing Thee? For he that knows Thee not may call upon Thee as other than Thou art. Or perhaps we call on Thee that we may know Thee. “But how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher?” And those who seek the Lord shall praise Him. For those who seek shall find Him, and those who find Him shall praise Him. Let me seek Thee, Lord, in calling on Thee, and call on Thee in believing in Thee; for Thou hast been preached unto us. O Lord, my faith calls on Thee,—that faith which Thou hast imparted to me, which Thou hast breathed into me through the incarnation of Thy Son, through the ministry of Thy preacher.

Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Vol. I. The confessions and letters of St. Augustin with a sketch of his life and work. (33). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

Lord’s Day 1

Question 1

What is thy only comfort in life and death?

That I with body and soul, both in life and death,a am not my own,b but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ;c who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins,d and delivered me from all the power of the devil;e and so preserves mef that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;g yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation,h and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,i and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.j

All pride at one's accomplishements is thereby excluded for they are God's accomplishments.

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 33863
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 12:13 PM

I fear I understand some of these distinctions so poorly I could never classify them. However, in college I had a chemistry professor who showed me a work-around. His 4 drawer file cabinet bore the labels: stuff, junk, things and miscellaneous.  Coffee cups for chemistry majors were filed under stuff. So I have 4 collections - stuff I really use, stuff I think I should use, other stuff, something-a-rather stuff.Wink

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

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 12:27 PM

Well, I don't know about all that. I was really just making a tongue in cheek joke. Calvinists usually refer to all non-Calvinists as Arminian although most non-Calvinists don't consider themselves Arminian (or even know that it's not a people group called Armenian).

I have a friend for example who hates Calvinism but also hates to be called an Arminian. Personally, I'm the kind who argues that those (Cal/Arm) are the only two consistent labels, partly depending on what you see as the essential elements of the positions. If you think regeneration comes prior to faith, then for all practical (and logically consistent purposes) you will (whether you know it or not) fit under the Cal. label. If you think it comes after faith, then for all practical...

But I digress. 

P.S. And if you don't know or don't take a position then you're not a Calminian, you're an agnostic. We don't call people who don't take a position on whether or not God exists "Christathiests," we call them agnostics (all questions as to whether there is such a thing as an agnostic aside).

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 5632
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 12:27 PM

MJ. Smith:
So I have 4 collections - stuff I really use, stuff I think I should use, other stuff, something-a-rather stuff.

We need these collections to be predefined.  Then we would all work better.

Actually mine are: Stuff I use, Stuff I think I should use, Stuff that might be useful, Stuff that I won't use.

Wiki Links: Enabling Logging / Detailed Search Help - MacBook Pro (2014), ThinkPad E570

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 12:31 PM

MJ. Smith:
have 4 collections - stuff I really use, stuff I think I should use, other stuff, something-a-rather stuff.Wink

Joking aside, this sounds like a really good use of the star rating system.

Posts 830
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2009 2:46 PM

George Somsel:
The very willing is the gift of God.

That is either a very correct statement or we will all need to delete huge portions of Scripture.

The key distinction is "ability".  Can the dead hear or even respond, in and of themselves?  They need to be made alive / quickened / regenerated / born again / born from above and only then will they have ears that hear and eyes that see.

"... a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand [is not able to understand] them, because they are spiritually appraised."  I Co 2.14  "No one can come [is able to come] to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" Jn 6.44   [emphasis mine]

I would be amazed if Logos ever swatted the hornet's nest by trying to identify the theological perspectives of authors and books in the library.  As someone else correctly noted, one's own tagging/metadata system should be used.

JRS has left the building.

Posts 5430
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 3 2009 8:33 PM

Philip Spitzer:

MJ. Smith:
have 4 collections - stuff I really use, stuff I think I should use, other stuff, something-a-rather stuff.Wink

Joking aside, this sounds like a really good use of the star rating system.

And don't forget...you can always "Hide Resources"!  C'ya Bye, Lectionaries!!  You won't be missed, I promise.  Same with you Devotionals...so looooong!!!

ASROCK x570 Creator, AMD R9 3950x, HyperX 64gb 3600 RAM, Asus Strix RTX 2080 ti, 2tb m.2 Seagate Firecuda SSD (x2) ...and other mechano-digital happiness.

"The Unbelievable Work...believe it or not."

Posts 19333
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 3 2009 9:21 PM

Philip Spitzer:

Jason Saling:

If there's not already, it would be nice to be able to search for books, specifically theology books and commentaries via the author's main doctrinal persuasions.

I think this would need to be set up by the user. Logos is probably not going to wade into these waters. You would need to go through your collection author by author and tag them according to the theological title you would want to give them. Or you would need to create a collection called "Calvinism" and include the author's with those leanings to that collection.

I thought a couple of weeks ago that this might be a useful thing for www.bestcommentaries.com to show, but immediately abandoned the idea of suggesting it. I agree that it isn't something Logos would want to involve themselves with either, nor should they, in my opinion. It involves a level of judgment in some cases which they, valuing their theological neutrality as I'm sure they do, should not take on.

Some doctrinal labels are placed on people by others. Some are self-adhered. Often when they are placed by others, they are not owned by the individuals themselves. Some are assigned by association and are not necessarily valid (just because someone teaches at a particular institution doesn't mean they fall in line with the theological position of said institution lock-stock-and-barrel; e.g., Peter Enns published stuff contrary to Westminster's theological position before he got kicked out). Some such labels are virtually meaningless because they're relative (e.g., "liberal" could mean Vancouver School of Theology if you're from Regent College, but people at Dallas Seminary probably think Regent is liberal, and people at Bob Jones probably think Dallas is liberal). Some theological labels change over a person's lifetime (e.g., Bruce Waltke was a dispensationalist in his Dallas years but grew progressively more towards covenant theology and completely rejects dispensationalism now). Some labels are not very accurate descriptions anyway. Some put people in too small of a box when they really range over a spectrum of viewpoints. Some writers simply defy categorization. Also, theological categories are fluid over time and geographically and depending on whom you talk to. It might be useful to know which commentaries come from an evangelical perspective, but does "evangelical" mean the same now in North America to everyone who uses that term to describe themselves as it does to others describing them, or as it does to Christians in Britain, or as it did prior to postmodernism, or as it did prior to the fundamentalist controversy in the early 20th century?

Anyway, assigning theological labels is a hot potato, and I think Logos would be wise to avoid touching it.

As for individual users doing their own tagging, it would be a difficult task. As Jason pointed out, it's not always easy to determine where an author is coming from. You might have to skim through a good chunk of the book to figure it out. That means that for some books, you'd have to own them first before being able to tag them appropriately. Some people might wanting the theological persuasion labeling in order to help them determine whether to buy the books or not in the first place.

I also agree with Jason that it's good to read books that come from other theological positons than your own, to see how they might interpret something just for comparison, but also to develop your own theological position which might have been shaped primarily by lack of access to any viable alternative at the time, or by shallow shootings-down of other positions outside the camp you grew up in. When we limit ourselves to what we already agree with, we never grow.

Posts 569
J. Morris | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 3 2009 9:30 PM

Rosie Perera:

, but also to develop your own theological position which might have been shaped primarily by lack of access to any viable alternative at the time, or by shallow shootings-down of other positions outside the camp you grew up in. When we limit ourselves to what we already agree with, we never grow.

Excellent pt. Yes

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 5:05 AM

Well I would like to say something in behalf of labels.

I know that a lot of people today think labels are a bad thing. In fact, in some circles they have an inherent negative connotation. But a label is simply an identifying mark and I think, regardless of how much one may wish to defy categorization/identification, they will have some identity to label and, regardless of how unique they wish they were, they will fall into some historical (or semi-historical) theological camp. 

The fact that my Arminian friend does not like the label or "own it" does nothing to change the fact that he holds to 95% of the same theological positions that are distinctive of Arminianism. I may not call him an Arminian simply to respect this psychological phenomenon (rather than factual), but a rose is a rose no matter what you call it.

True, some may be an amalgam of say say Calvinism and Dispensationalism with a liberal political ethic, but that's fine because Calvinism, for the most part, simply refers to one's soteriological view and doesn't necessarily impede upon the other labels; even though we may usually expect a Calvinist to be Covenantal and conservative. Such a person doesn't really defy labels, they simply have a blend of labels we don't find as often as others. [I should also point out here that it is impossible to defy some labels or to be an amalgam of some labels. This is most obvious when it comes to whether you are for Christ or against Christ, but it is also present in many other areas (the priority of regeneration, etc.).]

I don't see the fact that a person's labels may change over time as any mark (reason) against the use of labels. For example, one significant change of label that all Christians have gone through is estranged from Christ (athiest, anti-Christ, or whatever) to Christian. I certainly don't think the fact that I've changed labels in that respect that I should be persuaded to drop the Christian label. At best, it is a caution that  if my knowledge of someone as a dispensationalist is from something 40 years ago, I may want to make sure he/she still fits there. But I wouldn't just assume the label is no longer valid.

Nor does the fact that a label may mean different things to different people stand as a mark against labels, at least not prima facie (to most of the world the label "Christian" simply means white-anglo-saxon). More needs to be said on that issue to make a decision and in some cases we would probably want to say that the person needs to have a better understanding of the "label" (or actually its referent) rather than that the label (or its referent) should be accommodated to the whims of the person. 

Labels are not a box, they are a symbol of identification, as is all of language. The fact that they may be poorly applied is no more an argument that we should stop using them than it is that we should stop using language. It is, however, an argument that we need to be very careful in using them.

 

(I realize, Rosie, that none of this may not touch the point you were getting at above. I didn't mean for it to be an argument against you're position, since I couldn't really discern whether you were being anti-label or simply pointing out some legitimate cautions. That's why I didn't quote you. I did, however, refer to some of the terms and ideas you used because those in the anti-label camp often use them for their own purposes.)

 

 

 

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 5:46 AM

John Bowling:

Well I would like to say something in behalf of labels.

I know that a lot of people today think labels are a bad thing. In fact, in some circles they have an inherent negative connotation. But a label is simply an identifying mark and I think, regardless of how much one may wish to defy categorization/identification, they will have some identity to label and, regardless of how unique they wish they were, they will fall into some historical (or semi-historical) theological camp. 

The fact that my Arminian friend does not like the label or "own it" does nothing to change the fact that he holds to 95% of the same theological positions that are distinctive of Arminianism. I may not call him an Arminian simply to respect this psychological phenomenon (rather than factual), but a rose is a rose no matter what you call it.

I tend to agree with you here.  It seems to me that the reluctance to place a label on any position is rather akin to "political correctness."  Someone may hold a particular position, but it isn't considered "polite" to note the fact -- by all means, don't call a terrorist a "terrorist."  I've always thought that one ought to call a spade a spade and not a club.  Such reluctance leads to rather fuzzy thinking. 

george
gfsomsel

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

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