Theology Guide (Verbum 8) - not showing Catholic resources?

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Posts 16
Brian | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Nov 4 2018 1:07 PM

Hi,

I thought I'd try out the Theology Guide, so typed in "Purgatory" and was disappointed that:

1. The first ("Topic") response was from the Lexham Survey of Theology stating "Purgatory is never mentioned in the Bible" and "few Catholic Biblical scholars would interpret these passages as reference to purgatory"

2. It lists the scripture reference 2 Mac 12:41~45 with a comment: "The passage from the Apocrypha which has sometimes been used to support...". 

3. Ignores references like Mat 12:32.

4. Although it shows the Catechism as a recommended reading (good), it also shows Reformed Dogmatics (Bavink) and Systematic Theology (Hodge) - two resources i don't own, but ignores other resources I do own like "Eschatology, or the Catholic Doctrine of the Last Things, A Dogmatic Treatise".

My post is not intended to debate whether a specific scripture passage does or does not support a particular theological view. I'm just surprised / disappointed that the Theology Guide appears not to be:

(1) comprehensive, and

(2) Seems to prioritise non-Catholic articles over orthodox ones in a Catholic product (equally, I would not expect a non-Catholic product to prioritise a Catholic view-point, although it would be reasonable to present both views, in both cases).

This makes me concerned I can't rely on the Theology Guide to give me a comprehensive overview of any theological point.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 1:15 PM

The theology guide is very much a work in progress but Logos is not yet capable of being anything close to an evenhanded treatment of theology across space and time. But they are slowly improving albeit somewhat inconsistently. But your assessment is correct:

Brian:
I can't rely on the Theology Guide to give me a comprehensive overview of any theological point.

However, it should grow to be a bit better. At the moment only four resources are fully linked to it. I think of it as an index into references that will likely lead me to what I really wanted ... eventually.

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

Posts 16
Brian | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 1:20 PM

Hi M.J., thank you for your helpful reply - I didn't realise it is only fully linked to four resources.

Sounds like it should be used in as an adjunct to the normal <Search> facility, and not instead of.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 1:54 PM

The team that put together the Theology Guide was entirely composed of Protestant theologians. This is quite unfortunate for a project like this. Many times when they present Catholic understanding of issues I find I don't identify as a Catholic with their presentation. As well as other issues (I sent a more detailed critique to Faithlife, including a detailed critique of one article as an example).

That being said, if Faithlife were to redesign the team to include Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant theologians, who all reviewed each other's work, and redo the articles with that or similar methodology, I am confident that this could become an excellent tool, that could greatly enrich theological investigation for all groups involved. 

Posts 195
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 2:12 PM

I was also disappointed when I tried this feature out   I was excited for it, but, as a Catholic, when I saw there was no Catholic perspectives represented, it became a feature that I have no use for (at least for now).  Hoping they will soon include some Catholic Systematic resources.  I know on another thread it was mentioned that they plan on tagging many more. Until that happens, though, it is a tool with a lot of potential, but nothing that can be actualized by me in its present state. It almost shouldn’t be advertised for Verbum until Catholic resources are included in it  

:(

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 2:29 PM

Chris K:
It almost shouldn’t be advertised for Verbum until Catholic resources are included in it  

Speaking for myself, I'd need Orthodox, High Lutheran, and Anglo-Catholic resources represented as well ... in some areas the differences are so small e.g. I can't image a theology of worship without Dom Gregory Dix and Fr. Alexander Schmemann

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

Posts 196
Stephen Terlizzi | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 3:19 PM

I discounted the Theology guide after my first test search on purgatory.

Posts 1113
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 3:54 PM

I've not explored the Guide thoroughly (I really don't want to spend much time with it until it goes through a few revisions). The recommended readings seem mixed. In some articles, they don't list any systematic theologies; in others they do. I noticed in some areas of the Doctrine of God they did cite Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, so there is that.

The abbreviated Scripture reference lists are somewhat troubling; I'd prefer they be overlong and tangential rather than shortened and directed towards certain conclusions.

I do hope eventually all the major STs in Logos become annotated and show up in the guide, including the Catholic ones. If I'm studying the Catholic perspective on a doctrine, I want to be able to find Catholic writings on the subject, not just what others report it as. A library should never become an echo chamber. My hope is that, eventually, this tool will help us to explore and compare all theologies quickly, thoroughly and deeply. It has the potential; time will tell if FL is willing to invest the effort and resources to make it happen. Again, I hope for that.

Posts 955
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 4:49 PM

Fr Devin Roza:

... if Faithlife were to redesign the team to include Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant theologians, who all reviewed each other's work, and redo the articles with that or similar methodology, I am confident that this could become an excellent tool, that could greatly enrich theological investigation for all groups involved. 

Yes

Posts 3111
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 11:48 AM

The Lexham Survey of Theology is an unambiguously Protestant work, written entirely by a variety of Protestants, with no Catholic or Orthodox input of any kind.

The really bad decision on Faithlife's part, from my perspective, is that LST does not represent itself as Protestant, but as objective, in a more broadly ecumenical sense. Done by mistake, the term for this that seems best to me is "misleading". Done intentionally, or left uncorrected once this error has been pointed out, other words may be more appropriate.

At any rate, I raised my concern to FL recently by starting this thread: https://community.logos.com/forums/t/174070.aspx

Posts 128
LogosEmployee

All of the reasons listed in this thread are why we did not feature the Theology Guide in Verbum marketing. At the same time, we didn't want to keep it out of Verbum 8. If you haven't already, please see the long reply by the editor of the project in another thread that describes the goals of the project: https://community.logos.com/forums/p/174070/1009428.aspx#1009428

And keep the suggestions and criticisms coming!

Posts 3111
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 5:40 PM

Donald Antenen (Faithlife):
All of the reasons listed in this thread are why we did not feature the Theology Guide in Verbum marketing.

Ego vobis maxime gratias ago.

Donald Antenen (Faithlife):
At the same time, we didn't want to keep it out of Verbum 8.

That seems fair.

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