Faithlife, Please Fix the Early Church Fathers

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This post has 39 Replies | 4 Followers

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 10:54 AM

TCBlack:
The answer, it seems is rather simple to my little noggin.  One resource, not two.  Put the protestant material in a "separate" book.

I still don't understand why two versions were produced to begin with rather than leaving the original as it was. Were there users who were so offended that pressure was put on Faithlife to separate all material that was contrary to the views of those users? Are there any other examples of this being done by Faithlife?

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 11:52 AM

Other users may have more info, but to my knowledge no, this is the only time I am aware of that they have done this.

If it was as a result of complaints, it must have been the catholics because they are the ones with fewer resources in their version. The protestant edition has all of the catholic edition, and the protestant fathers in addition.

However I've read more complaining about their being two separate packages, and the angst that has caused, than I have about protestants having catholics in their library, or vice versa. In fact, the only thing I remember people complaining about is that there are two unique resources where there should only be one; a legitimate gripe.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 4:33 PM

abondservant:
If it was as a result of complaints, it must have been the catholics because they are the ones with fewer resources in their version. The protestant edition has all of the catholic edition, and the protestant fathers in addition.

Actually, the two collections have the same number of volumes, and there were no "Protestant fathers" to omit.

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Gabe Martini (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 4:34 PM

Thanks for the feedback on this. It's something worth addressing, and I'll report back soon.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 4:53 PM

abondservant:
If it was as a result of complaints, it must have been the catholics because they are the ones with fewer resources in their version. The protestant edition has all of the catholic edition, and the protestant fathers in addition.

There are the same number of resources, and the same number of 'fathers'. In fact, there were no 'protestant' fathers, given that these writings predate the reformation by about 1,000 years.

The only distinction is that the Catholic edition is missing some of the introductory material which many people view as anti-Catholic in places.

One quick example that I found: "If ever American Romanism becomes sufficiently enlightened and purified to comprehend this great Carthaginian Father [Cyprian], and to speak in his tones to the Bishop of Rome, a glorious reformation of this alien religion will be the result;"

That's the sort of thing that Logos removed, but they kept all of the Fathers themselves.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 5:01 PM

Gabe Martini (Faithlife):
It's something worth addressing, and I'll report back soon.

Thank you. I look forward to your report! Smile

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 5:09 PM

Mark Barnes:
One quick example that I found: "If ever American Romanism becomes sufficiently enlightened and purified to comprehend this great Carthaginian Father [Cyprian], and to speak in his tones to the Bishop of Rome, a glorious reformation of this alien religion will be the result;"

That's the sort of thing that Logos removed, but they kept all of the Fathers themselves.

Even so, the decision to remove material seems arbitrary unless there was something else going on that we aren't privy to. Anti-Protestant material hasn't been removed from resources published by Catholics, and apparently no anti-Catholic material has been removed from other resources published by Protestants. Same with Calvinism/Arminianism, etc. Our libraries would be small indeed if that sort of approach was ever universally taken!

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 5:30 PM

Matthew:
Even so, the decision to remove material seems arbitrary unless there was something else going on that we aren't privy to. Anti-Protestant material hasn't been removed from resources published by Catholics, and apparently no anti-Catholic material has been removed from other resources published by Protestants. Same with Calvinism/Arminianism, etc. Our libraries would be small indeed if that sort of approach was ever universally taken!

That's not entirely true. You could argue, for example, that deuterocanonical books were removed from some digital Bibles to suit the protestant market because many protestants would feel strongly that they didn't want those books in their Bibles.

Remember this decision was taken 20-25 years ago when Logos/Faithlife was a very different beast. I don't know whether it was the right decision, but I don't think we need to be looking for any motivation or reason other than Logos wanting remove any possible reasons that might put some purchasers off.

Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 9 2015 6:59 PM

Mark Barnes:
I don't know whether it was the right decision, but I don't think we need to be looking for any motivation or reason other than Logos wanting remove any possible reasons that might put some purchasers off.

We are in agreement. My point was that there had to be a reason Faithlife chose to remove material from this particular resource and not any other. Until Faithlife comments, we won't know for sure, but I tend to agree that it had something to do with marketing and sales. I was not trying to suggest a conspiracy or some sort of shady motive, but there did have to be a pretty compelling reason, even if only a financial one. Your point about Bibles is not exactly parallel since the same fathers are included in both editions, but I get what you are trying to say.

EDIT: I don't want this thread to become confrontational, and I don't think it has. I am grateful for the effort Faithlife put into realeasing the resource to begin with, and I am grateful multiple staff members are looking into possibilities to improve it. Please do not take my noting the unusualness of the situation as an accusation against Faithlife, as it was not.

Posts 2942
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 10 2015 9:24 AM

Matthew:
Even so, the decision to remove material seems arbitrary unless there was something else going on that we aren't privy to. Anti-Protestant material hasn't been removed from resources published by Catholics, and apparently no anti-Catholic material has been removed from other resources published by Protestants. Same with Calvinism/Arminianism, etc. Our libraries would be small indeed if that sort of approach was ever universally taken!

Here, I think, is the difference: Faithlife (as Logos) was marketing the ECF series directly to Catholics. Usually Protestant-published anti-Catholic material is marketed to Protestants. Just as it's hard to market resources with, for example, anti-Mormon sentiments to Mormons, it's hard to market anti-Catholic material to Catholics.

Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 12 2015 3:31 PM

Update - I just noticed that the product page for the Catholic version now reflects a price of $0.00 for me. Can someone who only has the Catholic version confirm if the Protestant version is showing up free for you? It looks like Faithlife has decided how to resolve one of the two issues I asked about when I started this thread. Thank you, Faithlife! 

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Gabe Martini (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 12 2015 7:32 PM

Hi everyone.

Taking everything into consideration—including how our storefront and back-end systems are set up to function—we've come up with a solution:

If you own the entire 37-volume "Protestant Edition," you can purchase the "Catholic Edition" for $0.00. If you own the entire 37-volume "Catholic Edition," you can purchase the "Protestant Edition" for $0.00.

If you'd prefer only one edition to be visible in your library, you can hide the edition of each resource you'd like to remain hidden (for searches, etc.).

P. S. Since there are questions about the difference between these two products (and their purpose), I thought I'd let everyone know that the only difference between the "Catholic" and "Protestant" editions is that the Catholic edition lacks the front matter and commentary found in the original Schaff publication. This was done for the sake of their often anti-Catholic sentiments, and particularly for our Verbum (and now more broadly Ecumenical, Orthodox, Anglican, etc.) audience(s). Otherwise, the actual volumes and their content remains unchanged. The same 37 volumes are contained in both editions.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 12 2015 9:10 PM

Thank you Gabe and everyone else at Faithlife involved in this decision!

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 13 2015 10:01 AM

Gabe Martini (Faithlife):

Hi everyone.

Taking everything into consideration—including how our storefront and back-end systems are set up to function—we've come up with a solution:

If you own the entire 37-volume "Protestant Edition," you can purchase the "Catholic Edition" for $0.00. If you own the entire 37-volume "Catholic Edition," you can purchase the "Protestant Edition" for $0.00.

If you'd prefer only one edition to be visible in your library, you can hide the edition of each resource you'd like to remain hidden (for searches, etc.).

While I applaud this decision, let me just point out that it isn't really a full solution, especially for users who prefer the Catholic edition.

The reason is that if you hide the Protestant edition as suggested, many links in Verbum simply stop working.

For example, in the Canon Comparison interactive, if you open up the canon from "Melito of Sardis", and click on the link to Eusebius's writings in the right-hand panel, the Protestant, and only the Protestant edition will open up. If you have hidden the Protestant edition, the link will not open up the Catholic edition, but will rather give you this:

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 13 2015 1:32 PM

Fr Devin Roza:
For example, in the Canon Comparison interactive, if you open up the canon from "Melito of Sardis", and click on the link to Eusebius's writings in the right-hand panel, the Protestant, and only the Protestant edition will open up.

This is embarrassing for a new resource.

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Gabe Martini (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 13 2015 2:31 PM

Fr Devin Roza:

While I applaud this decision, let me just point out that it isn't really a full solution, especially for users who prefer the Catholic edition.

The reason is that if you hide the Protestant edition as suggested, many links in Verbum simply stop working.

Right, we need to figure out a better way to handle this.

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Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 13 2015 2:34 PM

Thanks for your hard work on this Gabe (and everyone else at Faithlife).

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 13 2015 7:18 PM

Gabe Martini (Faithlife):
Right, we need to figure out a better way to handle this.

I still like the solution MJ suggested.

MJ. Smith:

TCBlack:
The answer, it seems is rather simple to my little noggin.  One resource, not two.  Put the protestant material in a "separate" book.  

No, no, no ... take it one step further ... a simple Visual Filter ... if we can block pericope headings, certainly we can filter notes and introductions.

(Good thought on your part, actually).

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Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 13 2015 7:41 PM

Creating a single ECF set that toggles information on and off with a visual filter will not solve the larger problem. The links in other resources that point to ECF would still have to be updated, and if Faithlife is going to update the links, they may as well take the time to create a datatype as has been discussed.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 14 2015 12:00 AM

Matthew:

Creating a single ECF set that toggles information on and off with a visual filter will not solve the larger problem. The links in other resources that point to ECF would still have to be updated, and if Faithlife is going to update the links, they may as well take the time to create a datatype as has been discussed.

Yes

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