Sermon Starter vs Topic

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Michael McLane | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Nov 4 2014 1:34 PM

I have never used these two guides much. Always went with Passage. However, I would like to utilize more of these wonderful tools but I am having difficulty understanding the differentiation, or what makes them unique to one another, between sermon starter and topic guides.

Can anyone give a brief idea. I have looked at the videos but am still wanting.


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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 4 2014 1:44 PM

The short answer is:

Topic Guide is for topical queries. such as baptism, grace, election..

Sermon Starter can be used for both topical or reference queries.

The Topic Guide will give you a link to the sermon starter guide if that topic is available in the sermon guide.

The Topic Guide will also give you a link to the factbook (Logos 6) and search everything.

The Sermon Guide is more sermon or bible study focused in the results where the topic guide will provide more topical results.

There is overlap between the two. You can customize either one and name the "My Topic Guide" and "My Sermon Starter Guide" so they become the defaults.

I suggest you open the Topic Guide, review the information and then open the Sermon Guide for the same subject and compare.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 4 2014 1:57 PM

They are both involved with topics, but Sermon Starter is concerned with sermons and providing themes and outlines from Sermon resources. Topic Guide looks for the same topic (e.g. salvation) in bible dictionaries (encyclopedias).

Sermon Starter will reference the Topic Guide for related themes and Topic Guide will reference a Sermon Starter Guide where possible.

The links to resources are provided by Faithlife databases.


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Michael McLane | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 4 2014 5:54 PM

Thanks for the guidance. I will keep exploring.


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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 4 2014 5:59 PM

Because their intentions are very different, the choices available also differ substantially.

The Topic Guide includes more than 14,000 topics, and hence has a lot of variety and detail. It links to dictionary content. Here's an example:

The Sermon Starter guide is focused specifically on resources for teaching and preaching: for example, sermons, illustrations, hymns. The choices here are deliberately much more general: it's driven by what we call Preaching Themes, and there are only 260 of them (plus a lot of references that don't occur in the Topic Guide).

We designed the Factbook feature so users would have one place to start their search, without having to think about "is this a topic? is this a preaching theme? is this a person, place, or event?". So i'd encourage you to try starting there. We've merged "equivalent enough" subjects there when possible, and there are links to Topic Guide, Sermon Starter Guide, and elsewhere if you want to go deeper or more specific.

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 5 2014 4:51 AM

Hi Sean,

One feature of Factbook that i really like is the way the sections are automatically customized based upon the subject being searched. However in the See Also section sometimes there are links to the Topic and Sermon Guide, but often not. The Topic Guide always has a link to the Factbook. Jerusalem and Paul are two examples.

Additionally, when the Topic and Sermon Guides do show in Factbook, My Topic Guide (customized) is linked, but My Sermon Starter Guide is not. I have customized them to remove some of the overlap.

Thanks! Good work!

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