Feedback: New Sermons Section in the SSG

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Feb 25 2014 5:34 AM

In beta 4, a very useful new section was added to the sermon starter guide. It's in the release notes, but I think many of us missed it. It looks like this:

It also works in topic-based Sermon-Starter Guides where it's even more useful. This is on righteousness:

.

This is a much needed feature, and I'm delighted it's included. Users like me shouldn't have to create these indexes themselves! My major points of feedback are:

  1. This needs to be added to the Passage Guide, in addition to the Sermon Starter Guide (currently it's not even available to add manually). Likewise, if possible, the Topic Guide (though I know SSG topics aren't the same as TG topics).
  2. It needs to be added for all the sermon collections, especially Spurgeon. It would be wonderful if it could also be added to some of the more obscure sermon collections too, in time.
  3. When this is released, I see this as a major marketing plus. But it needs to be made clear, now and in the future, which resources work with this section, as presumably those resources will need additional markup.
  4. Although this is a neat feature, I'm slightly concerned that the extra markup isn't using exposed anywhere and it doesn't use standard datatypes. So you can't use the parallel resource menu, for example, to switch to other sermons on the same passage. Nor can you prioritize some sermon collections over others. There's been a trend recently of hiding new markup so it can only be used by new tools. This is a mistake in my opinion, and very frustrating when you know Logos has the data you need, but you're not allowed to construct a search for it (yes, Bible Facts tagging, I'm looking at you).
  5. Perhaps this already happens (I didn't test it), but our own PB sermons should appear in this section too.

More minor (but still important, in my view) feedback is:

  1. It would be good to reduce the line-spacing slightly.
  2. This section is so useful that it should be moved higher up in the Guide.
  3. The text "articles" should be changed to "sermons".
  4. Currently the sermons are grouped by resource. IMO it would be better if they were grouped by series, and only grouped by resource if the series is blank. Currently there are three sections for Piper - it would be better if there was one. Likewise, if you ever get to the Treasury of Great Preaching, you don't want ten sections, do you? And you certainly don't want 63 sections for Spurgeon!
  5. If the number of supported resources grows, we may want to restrict this section to only those resources in a particular collection.

What do the rest of you think?

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 6:03 AM

Wow this is excellent! I guess I can stop creating all those sermon Index PBs now! Hope to see this in the Passage Guide and as a separate tool addable to custom guides as well!

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 6:21 AM

I cannot duplicate from the sermon starter guide. Mine is always grayed out. I have Platinum. What passage or topic did you use to trigger this?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 6:25 AM

Lynden Williams:
I have Platinum.

You'll need either the Piper Sermon Collection or the Keller Sermon Collection (or possibly Driscoll, but I don't have that to check).

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 6:37 AM

Thanks Mark. I do not have either.

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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 7:12 AM

Mark Barnes:
This needs to be added to the Passage Guide, in addition to the Sermon Starter Guide (currently it's not even available to add manually). Likewise, if possible, the Topic Guide (though I know SSG topics aren't the same as TG topics).
Yes

Mark Barnes:
You'll need either the Piper Sermon Collection or the Keller Sermon Collection (or possibly Driscoll, but I don't have that to check).

Because I do not use SSG, I did not see this.  I am wondering if our sermon PBs appear in this section?

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Jesse Blevins | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 7:18 AM

Yes

This looks great and I second Mark's suggestions. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 10:32 AM

It also needs to be tied to liturgical dates which themselves also need to be added to the PB.

I would suggest that testing with sermons of the early church fathers would be a good proof-of-concept test.

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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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 11:21 AM

MJ. Smith:

It also needs to be tied to liturgical dates which themselves also need to be added to the PB.

I would suggest that testing with sermons of the early church fathers would be a good proof-of-concept test.

that would only make sense if the sermons had been preached in conformity with a liturgical calendar. I'm not aware of any Logos sermons resources where that is the case. Or am I missing something?

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 2:09 PM

Thanks for your feedback, Mark. We're really excited about this new feature and the value it's going to bring to sermon resources.

On your major points:

  1. It was accidentally excluded from the PG. It should be there in the next beta. It should be in all guides except for the Exegetical Guide and the Bible Word Study.
  2. We have a master list of all sermon resources, and we're systematically working to add the appropriate tagging to them. All new sermon products will get this tagging automatically.
  3. We're planning a promotion around this new feature in the next month or two. We plan to clearly identify all the resources with the tagging and specify which ones will get it in the future.
  4. This is good feedback. We'll consider ways to make this new markup more useful outside of this guide section.
  5. That seems doable, though you'd need to apply the appropriate markup to the sermons, which we can supply at some point.

On your minor points:

  1. Agreed.
  2. Agreed, but we need to consider how many people have any sermon resources.
  3. I'll pass this along.
  4. I'll pass this along.
  5. I'll pass this along.
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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 2:17 PM

Thanks for the feedback Phil. I will certainly be buying more sermon collections from now on — but I will wait for that promotion!

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 2:24 PM

Mark Barnes:

  • It needs to be added for all the sermon collections, especially Spurgeon. It would be wonderful if it could also be added to some of the more obscure sermon collections too, in time.

e.g. Fresh Sermons (Wilson), Selected Sermons of George Whitefield.

Dave
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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 2:33 PM

Phil Gons:
We have a master list of all sermon resources

You'll have a lot of work to do, and we're systematically working to add the appropriate tagging to them! Just in my library, I've counted at least 164 sermon resources that are of type:monograph.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 3:58 PM

Mark Barnes:
Or am I missing something?

Yes you are missing something - Church fathers, Lutherans, Anglicans, Orthodox, Catholic and some miscellaneous ... of which I own only a few

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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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 25 2014 5:41 PM

Lynden Williams:
Mine is always grayed out.

I tried first with Jesus:Birth which was actively searching but found nothing; subsequent requests it has remained grayed out.

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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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 26 2014 2:27 AM

MJ. Smith:
I tried first with Jesus:Birth which was actively searching but found nothing; subsequent requests it has remained grayed out.

Only a small number of resources are supported at the moment.

Back to liturgical calendars, of which I am almost entirely ignorant. Put simply, what benefit is there in the PG or TG to know that sermons on a particular passage or topic were preached at a particular time? Or are you suggesting you'd like to be able to search for all sermons preached on the third Sunday after Epiphany, or whatever it is - because if so, that would need another tool, wouldn't it?

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Jesse Blevins | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 26 2014 5:23 AM

If you follow the lectionary cycle, I would think that you should at least be able to do a passage search on the traditional text used for each Sunday and find sermons that way.

I could also see a topical guide necessary to find sermons based on the lectionary cycle using the liturgical names for each Sunday such as:

Epiphany; Baptism of the Lord; Maundy Thursday; Pentecost; etc...

I could see linking these works by lectionary tags to be beneficial in my opinion: 

Feasting on the Word 

Sermons of the early church Fathers 

Ancient Christian Commentary Series 

Lectionary Reflections for years A, B, and C 

The Lectionary Commentary 

The ILCW series published by Northwestern Publishing House 

Both of these types of additions would be great in my opinion and I think that it would make the software more attractable to those that follow the 3 year lectionary cycle such as myself from time to time.

Just my two cents.  

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 26 2014 11:50 AM

Mark Barnes:
that would need another tool, wouldn't it?

Not particularly ... much of the liturgical calendar is topical e.g. Easter, Christmas, Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord, Ascension, Annunciation, Raising of Lazarus, Woman at the Well (Orthodox naming of Sundays stresses the topical nature). The remainder is selection by passage - the difference being that the passages are fixed pericopes and they come in sets. In the PG we get the liturgical information from the Lectionary section which provides information on the common uses/context and by implication the import of the passage. To be able to use liturgical date as a topic simply permits the natural classification of the liturgical churches to be used.

I'm not suggesting a full historical cross-denominational implementation of liturgical date ... merely an obvious first step that corresponds to that used by common web sermon sites.

Mark Barnes:
Put simply, what benefit is there in the PG or TG to know that sermons on a particular passage or topic were preached at a particular time?

Using the same passage, a different emphasis will be brought out in a funeral service than in a baptismal service; In the same way, in the liturgical year, different emphasis will be brought out on the Feast of John the Baptists than on the First Sunday of Advent. The information provides a quick overview, in effect. Similarly the juxtaposition of  texts provided by the set of readings for the day influences the aspects that will be emphasized.

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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Angela Murashov | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 11 2014 12:06 PM

Mark Barnes:
The text "articles" should be changed to "sermons".

This should be fixed in 5.2a Beta 6 

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 19 2014 8:03 AM

Wondering if Logos will make a tool identical to this for devotionals?....

It seems like a greatly needed extension as well.

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