Lexham Survey of Theology - feedback

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 19 2018 6:28 PM

Mark Ward:

The overall concern some forum participants have voiced, particularly SineNomine and Devin Roza, that the LST describes Roman Catholic theology in terms it would not use for itself is one we at Lexham/Faithlife take very seriously. So let me reiterate that I am very open to specific feedback on objectionable statements. I’ve read back through all seven pages of posts just now looking for those concrete, actionable (editable!) items. These are all the actual quotations from the LST that I found:

  1. Ken McGuire mostly liked the definition in the baptism article (Jonathan Warren) but felt that it “seems to hide the key part of my Lutheran understanding of Baptism—namely that it is God who is the actor who actually Baptizes us in his powerful Word which clings to the Baptismal water.”
  2. M.J. objected to “the placement of the Adamic Covenant apart from other covenants.”
  3. Damian McGrath objected to a paragraph in the purgatory article (Jack Kilcrease) for being “unrecognizable as Catholic.”
  4. M.J. felt that the immaculate conception article (Jack Kilcrease) failed to count early celebration of the “special purity of Mary” as a significant precursor to the immaculate conception.
  5. M.J. felt the canon article (John Frame) omitted the testimony of canon lists that should have been included. (I was a little fuzzy on your argument here, M.J.—did I understand you correctly?)
  6. Devin Roza felt that the article on “The Church as Universal” (Jack Kilcrease) gave an inaccurate presentation of the Catholic definition of “catholic.”

Points 3 and 6 are those which are most concerning to me, because they involve alleged misrepresentation. If Catholic or Orthodox readers in particular find any other specific statements which they do not feel represent their viewpoints accurately, please contact me at mark DOT ward AT —well, you know. =) I and my team will diligently consider feedback for future planned revisions. I'm setting the forum to email me replies to this post.

Thank you for this. I suspect that Fr. Devin Roza and MJ will have extensive feedback, if it hasn't landed in your inbox already.

Should I take your post as an oblique response to the request of mine that started this thread--a response that says, in effect, "We want to make LST objective insofar as it isn't already"?

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 19 2018 11:15 PM

EastTN:

 M.J., might another way to describe the issue be to say that, in an ideal world, the tool should be equally useful to Christians from all traditions?  That might have two pieces:

  • A reliable reference for the beliefs of their own tradition; and
  • A reliable guide to the beliefs of other traditions.

Of course, we're not in an ideal world, so instead of "reliable" perhaps we should say "reasonably reliable" or at least "reliable enough to prove useful".  But I think what I'm hearing you say is that someone from a Lutheran, Catholic or Orthodox church wouldn't recognize their own faith tradition in the current version - so for them, at a minimum it's not a useful reference for the beliefs of their tradition.  Is that right?

This is a perfect summary. Thanks EastTN.

Again, this is particularly important as this is the text for the Theology Guide.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 12:33 AM

Michael S.:
So its treatment of the doctrine of God is not trustworthy?

I'm not a theologian - most my knowledge is either liturgical theology or interfaith relations. But my first reaction to the doctrine of God was to wonder where I'd put the energy/essence theory of Palamas - a seminal Orthodox theologian http://catholic-church.org/grace/ecu/v/4.pdf Why does Palamas come to my mind? Because of potential sufi influences, he (like St. Francis) falls into interfaith relations. But when there are blatant factual errors in areas I know, I must assume that there is an equivalent level of sloppiness in areas I do not know. My option is to be gullible in areas I don't know.

Michael S.:
Surely that is a topic that all historical Christians agree on- right?

How long has church history also included a nontrinitarian thread? How much of the West rejects the energy/essence distinction? How many accept the apophactic theology of the godhead?

So my answer to your question - I don't know.

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

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 1:13 AM

Mark,

Thank you for responding again. 

I have shared a google doc with you (I hope).

 

Posts 3619
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 1:37 AM

Breaking News: FL to offer confessionally-adapted theology surveys!

LST to be renamed PST (Protestant Survey of Theology). Rumour has it, it will be replaced by RST (Reformed), LST (Lutheran), BST (Baptist) and AST (Anglican) in due time. PST will then be used for the Pentecostal version.

VST (verbum), OST (Orthodox), and SDAST in the pipeline. 

The EST (Ecumenical), JST (Jewish), and AST (Atheist or Agnostic, you choose) are being secretely tested at an undisclosed location. The FST (Feminist) to be nominated for most daring product of the year.

Stick out tongue Stick out tongue Stick out tongue

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 2:14 AM

Francis:

Breaking News: FL to offer confessionally-adapted theology surveys!

LST to be renamed PST (Protestant Survey of Theology). Rumour has it, it will be replaced by RST (Reformed), LST (Lutheran), BST (Baptist) and AST (Anglican) in due time. PST will then be used for the Pentecostal version.

VST (verbum), OST (Orthodox), and SDAST in the pipeline. 

The EST (Ecumenical), JST (Jewish), and AST (Atheist or Agnostic, you choose) are being secretely tested at an undisclosed location. The FST (Feminist) to be nominated for most daring product of the year.

Stick out tongue Stick out tongue Stick out tongue

Stick out tongue

Avoiding this is precisely what all of my proposals on this thread are oriented towards.

Posts 515
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 3:35 AM

SineNomine:

Consider the following three statements, which a Catholic might write:

1. "Protestants believe in Sola Scriptura, which in practice results in every Protestant being his/her own pope."

2. "Protestants believe that every Protestant is his/her own pope."

3. "Protestants believe in Sola Scriptura."

The first statement is one that most Protestants would probably disagree with--a Catholic could, however, say it, and make a case for it in a work of theology/apologetics. This is an example of a Catholic seeing something in a Protestant belief that the Protestant doesn't. It may or may not be accurate, but whether it is or it isn't is not something dependent on whether a particular Protestant believes that it is fair. It would not be appropriate, however, even were it true, for it to be placed by a Catholic scholar in an "objective" survey of theology. The statement, "Some Catholics have argued that..." could be appropriate, however.

It is understandable what you are trying to convey, but discharging certain duties of an office does not mean being that office bearer.

The Pope is ascribed with a "vicarius File Dei" status, which no protestant would accept.  To my understanding, the Holy Sprit is the g:Paraklete, and is the one to guide the individual to the truth, and He would not contradict Scripture.

As far as interpreting Scripture taking into consideration the "whole Counsel of God" and the "doctrine of the Apostles (i.e. original 12 after replacing apostate one), is a responsibility that each individual believer has.  Luke 10:26.  Note Jesus points to inspired Sacred Scripture, Jesus did not say: what did Gamaliel say, nor what does the doctrine of the Pharisees establish.

As you can see, there is a problem with conflicting theology as different traditions have interpreted different. To have coherence within a system, I think is best to have a Survey for each tradition.

Comparison can be thus done by each individual believer afterwards. (Check all, and retain what is good is a Biblical mandate). 

People seem to not understand their responsibility to check all and retain what is good. You will not be able to say to Jesus "My Pastor / Pope, team leader, etc. told me so and I did not check, I just believed (without critical thinking using God given rationality)".

Salvation is too important to rely on someone else's interpretation. And this is the usefulness of a survey, a common vocabulary, so each can explore to see if "things are so", are we not to be noble like the Synagogue Bereans? 

If you investigate, and you come to conclusion that a given tradition best jibes with the Bible (our reliable source about God and His requirements), then amen to that, but if none fulfills the Christlike obligations, then stay away, have g:koinonia, but do not buy into their constructs.

Your salvation is yours, you need to find out what does God require to enter the New Covenant and do it, if you make a sincere mistake, God will probably take that in consideration, but do not accept convictions without analysis. That again is what the Survey of theology is trying to help us do. 

I love the "view" series (as in X views on law and Gospel, etc.) because you can see different angles on a given topic, so you can check which seems to jibe better with the Bible... teach the controversy, let them pick what they believe is the best  because salvation is an individual choice, and a God given right.

I believe moral theology for certain applications is very important, I would not expect a protestant group to have it developed to the extent the Catholics have. So I would expect to find the very key subjects related to it in a Catholic survey, not a protestant or other one.

Someone mentioned and incompatible mesh of tidbits, but such are important when searching for truth. Jesus used the Scripture when explaining why the Saducees had erroneous beliefs. He did not overpower them saying "I am the Messiah, and I tell you that it is like I say period", He was showing an example for us to learn and check to see if thing are so.

In theory we are all interested to help people get to the truth (Jesus is the truth), so lay it all out, presuppositions, previous understandings, preconceptions, assumptions, and the like, let people check and see if things are so, do not become a stumbling block by muddling the topics, let people check all retain what is good using what Jesus used: the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit (yes even Jesus had to get the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) to show us what the New Covenant is about: restoration of Koinonia with the Father lost after the transgression, and possible because Jesus made possible the indwelling of the Holy Spirit back in humankind by HIs sacrifice.

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 3:40 AM

Francis:
confessionally-adapted theology surveys!

Actually one survey is sufficient with an interactive user interface to control various visual and theological filters? Embarrassed

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 3:49 AM

Hamilton

please note the forum guidelines

Please do not discuss or debate biblical, theological, or other controversial topics. Use one of the many web forums intended for these kinds of discussions.

Some of us are trying to address a particular problem that we perceive with a logos tool.

Posts 515
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 4:02 AM

Damian:

Yes, I understand, but I am trying to show that there are so many little details in each group's doctrines, so is best to keep them separate so that there is no misrepresentation, and clear comparison can be done among them.

Asserting that salvation is an individual responsibility I do not consider theology, but basic objective fact. Many traditions may not agree, but this is the kind of "very important matter" that a theology survey should help sort out.

Who is in authority, who determines what is truth, can someone be given that responsibility for, or is each responsible for checking their own beliefs?

Are not the basic tasks of theology to evaluate doctrine, develop doctrine, communicate doctrine (as per Mobile ed systematic theology course), then at what level does that have to be done? individual believer or some institutionalized hierarchy?

Very important subjects, and the answer to those questions have to be explored by all believers, that is what a Survey of theology do help empower the sheep, because it is that sheep's destiny what is at stake.

Kind regards.

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Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 4:20 AM

Hamilton

please note the forum guidelines

Please do not discuss or debate biblical, theological, or other controversial topics. Use one of the many web forums intended for these kinds of discussions.

Posts 515
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 10:35 AM

Hi Francis:

Hope the rumors are indicative of actual pipeline production.

In the Lexham Survey of Theology faithlife group, Bro. Sean Boisen posted a discussion about: "Identifying missing concepts".

I was not able to post anything there, neither in the discussion nor in the activity area. So hope you do not mind Francis that I use this space for saying something about "missing concepts".

Long time in an article, I noticed a Pastor from certain group listed "Christian living" as an area in Systematic theology.

I have not being able to find the article again. But I would imagine that the area includes: 

Stewardship, which according to Pastor Guido Nunez include: personal salvation, words of my mouth, assets, time, married or single status, sills / talents, gifts, family (close), local church, outreach missions, our physical body, planet (ecofriendly initiatives, etc.).

I would also imagine would touch on the difference between absolute and relative perfection: Only Christ has absolute perfection. We are encouraged to strive for relative perfection.

Daniel, Joseph of Egypt, Enoch, Stephen the deacon, John the loved Apostle, were relatively more perfect than David, Abraham, Moses, the Pharisees, who made more mistakes, etc.

Looking for relative perfection is trying to achieve Christlikeness deliberately under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for God's glory, to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to God's Kingdom of Light.

Related to christian living, I would include Moral theology, as it outlines methods one can use for better decision making, and the consideration of cardinal and theological virtues to check that we are properly living a life according to our professed beliefs. Conduct, action, charity, weightier matters of the Law: justice, mercy, Love of God, Holy Spirit etc. are all included.

Christian responsibility would be another area: we are expected to take care of ourselves, our families and our communities. We must solidarity develop innovative socioeconomic initiatives to help cope with the exigencies of life. God gave us intelligence, vigor, grace and the like for that purpose.

Good works yes, thanking for an unmerited salvation (free gift), and to walk in the deeds God prepared before the foundation of the world for us to walk in, good works not for salvation, but because of that free gift.

A little more on Prolegomena would be nice also: presuppositions, assumptions, previous understanding, the correct definition of objective, neutral, unbiased study, etc.

I also did not see about "Angel of Yahweh" who many believe was pre-incarnated Jesus.

Some details of ministry, planning, strategic balanced score card would also be good:

Sample of an excellent strategic map by the Methodist brothers.

I mention the above points to fill the need of regular sheep, that would really like to zap the gap between high level systematic theology and everyday life, at some point the rubber needs to meet the road.

Blessings.

Posts 2936
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 11:08 AM

Hamilton Ramos:
I am trying to show that there are so many little details in each group's doctrines, so is best to keep them separate so that there is no misrepresentation, and clear comparison can be done among them.

Fr. Damian's already explained why I won't be responding to most of what you wrote, but this part has to deal specifically with how to design/organize a survey of theology, such as LST or any future one that FL may create, and I think I can respond to it without doing theology.

If, by what I've quoted, you mean that you would be in favour of something where the articles were something like this:

:
Christians accept A.

Anglicans, historically, would tend to phrase it more like B.

Lutherans tend to highlight C when discussing A.

Methodists and Wesleyans elaborate to the effect that D.

Catholics and Eastern Orthodox both disagree with part of D, and hold instead that E. Catholics would also say F about A.

Pentecostals do not have a settled position on the details of how A works.

I would not oppose that kind of approach, but I'm certainly not committed to it.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 11:09 AM

Hamilton Ramos:

Hi Francis:

Hope the rumors are indicative of actual pipeline production.

I'm guessing he's joking.

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 20 2018 11:21 AM

Hamilton Ramos:

In the Lexham Survey of Theology faithlife group, Bro. Sean Boisen posted a discussion about: "Identifying missing concepts".

I was not able to post anything there, neither in the discussion nor in the activity area. So hope you do not mind Francis that I use this space for saying something about "missing concepts".

<snip />

Hamilton, there was a problem with the permissions on the Lexham Survey of Theology Faithlife group which was preventing followers from posting (thanks, MJ, for bringing that to my attention). I'm sorry for that oversight, but I believe i've fixed that now, and that is an appropriate place to discuss theological questions related to the survey (including missing concepts). So feel free (you and others) to discuss these theological points over there.

Feedback on the objectivity and inclusiveness of the current LST content, however, is still best addressed directly to Dr. Mark Ward, as requested in his recent post.

Posts 515
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 21 2018 5:41 AM

Thanks Sine Nomine for speaking your mind.

SineNomine:

Christians accept A.

Anglicans, historically, would tend to phrase it more like B.

Lutherans tend to highlight C when discussing A.

Methodists and Wesleyans elaborate to the effect that D.

Catholics and Eastern Orthodox both disagree with part of D, and hold instead that E. Catholics would also say F about A.

Pentecostals do not have a settled position on the details of how A works

This is something I can really relate to, I wish most theology guides, surveys, etc would follow this format. It would make things easier for regular sheep like me to study and learn.

Thanks for sharing.

Posts 515
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 21 2018 5:41 AM

SineNomine:
I'm guessing he's joking.

Too bad, LOL.

Posts 616
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 13 2018 5:18 AM

Sean Boisen:
So feel free (you and others) to discuss these theological points over there.
Sean Boisen:

Either it is still broken, or no one has posted anything.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 13 2018 5:40 AM

Michael S.:

Sean Boisen:
So feel free (you and others) to discuss these theological points over there.
Sean Boisen:

Either it is still broken, or no one has posted anything.

I think it is still broken. 

I'm not sure whether it is the intended set of rights, but as a follower I seem not to be allowed to write a new News item (post to the group) or to start a new Discussion threat. However, at a minimum we'd need to be allowed to take part in the discussions. This is not possible. While I see the "reply" link to answer in Sean's discussion about potential missing ontology items, it is not opening the editor to compose a reply, but an empty page which says there are no discussions. So it's no wonder that no one answered yet.

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

Posts 4712
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 14 2018 11:12 AM

I'm not sure what good any discussion would produce, since Logos is in the habit of cutting things off without recourse. I had many ChristianDiscourse conversations I wanted to have access to but they all evaporated into inaccessible non-existence.

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