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Posts 123
Chris Belmonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 7:12 AM

I apologize for my comments about the people working at, and visiting the library. I'm used to talking with people who already know heaps of contextual background and know that I have nothing my prayers to offer for people who aren't in good situations or are opponents of our faith.

I am posting this here, because I accidentally took a different thread the wrong direction because I responded by clicking on threads from email and did not realize I mixed up two threads. 

A good chunk of this DOESN'T apply to Logos.

My grumblings are as such:

1. most academic works are funded by tax dollars through grants, tuition loans and grants, directly and indirectly. This does NOT apply to a lot, and probably MOST of the content on Logos.

 

2. I'm angry that it's legal for these publishers, most of whom do not have content on Logos, are permitted to charge exorbitant fees to access their content which is publicly funded anyway.

 

3. Christian publishers I believe should want everyone to have access to academic material to defend the faith, at a bare minimum make it inexpensive, not hundreds of dollars for two volumes of something like the Pseudepigrapha edited by James Charlesworth. I use this as an example because it's up to date, and not antiquated. But these publishers do not do that, and do not provide some means of access even without giving ownership.

 

4. most of my complaints volume wise, are related to the general situation and publishers who do not have content on Logos. However, look at the outrageous tuition prices at seminaries!

 

5. I've spent actual money on Logos. A friend bought me Orthodox Starter, and I bought Academic Essentials. 100 dollars for me, is more like 1000 dollars, because I have no means of my own, and I cannot work. I'm unhappy that Logos "can't" do anything at all for me. They don't say "we're working on a way to get some publishers to allow free access." all it is we "can't." I'm really sorry about that. 90% off something which publishers sell to Logos at 3000, is still 300 dollars. Not affordable.

 

I felt I could post my misgivings here. As a final note, I realize my definition of what is "necessary" is different from others. I've already made the argument that our faith is under such constant assault, and skilled, educated assault, by intellectual in bad faith persons such as Bart Erhman and an entire army of similarly minded, that the believer's need exceeds what it has in the past and requires much more now.

Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 10:46 AM

Hi Chris,

I'm going to ignore the tax dollars stuff as that's a deeper can of worms. I'll just address the point about Christians needing to be properly equipped.

You're arguing, in part, that Christians should be able to access 'x' in order to defend the faith. You're then arguing that you (and some others like you) can't access 'x' in order to defend the faith (because 'x' is not affordable). 

There's a couple things that you might be missing though.  'x' is accessible (affordable) for many Christians (otherwise Faithlife couldn't continue to exist) and different Christians have different vocations. Not every Christian needs to take on Bart Erhman. This month William Lane Craig is traveling to Denmark as part of his ministry. That doesn't mean you or I should be able to go to Denmark as part of our ministry. 

Furthermore, it's more than possible for even a poor Christian to equip themselves to defend the faith without access to Logos. Amazon almost always has sales on Kindle apologetic books for between $5 and $2. I have over 500 books in Kindle and I almost never spent more than $10 on a Kindle book. They also have great sales on Christian academic books--in fact you can find several really good books on sale right now for just about $5! (I'm not sure if I can link to them here, but just check out Challies.com where every day he posts links to sales). 

In other words, even if you could argue that Christians need access to resources to help them defend the faith. . . there's no real way to argue that Logos has to be the platform to provided you with said access. Aside from Kindle, many churches provide apologetics classes for free. Youtube has tons of free apologetics videos. There are also hundreds of podcasts (like Reasonable Faith or Stand to Reason) that give free apologetics teaching.

Some of these people who provide free teaching also write books that they get paid for. So don't assume that an author or publisher should direct their charity towards making  'x' free or affordable to your specific financial situation. The money made through 'x' may be the means by which they provide free content in other areas that you're just not thinking about. 

P.S. I almost forgot: several seminaries put a lot of their content online for free through iTunesU. This includes apologetic material, philosophical material, and theological material.

Posts 123
Chris Belmonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 11:09 AM

William Lane Craig loses every debate when he goes up against atheists arguing about God's existence.

I don't need to take on Bart Erhman. I need to discuss with people who might be influenced by him. 

A lot of apologetic material (the inexpensive stuff) is very weak. Heiser's Naked Bible Podcast is one of the very free free resources which provide arguments which aren't weak.

I don't believe a single resource or a collection of books should cost hundreds of dollars irrespective that some can afford them. This isn't print books which come with hard embedded costs which have to be made up for.

Seminaries do put out some of their content for free. They don't put out the books they use for free.

Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 11:22 AM

Chris Belmonte:
I don't believe a single resource or a collection of books should cost hundreds of dollars irrespective that some can afford them.

If everyone made 10 million a year, *should* a book that costs $200? What *should* it cost? 

Chris Belmonte:
Seminaries do put out some of their content for free. They don't put out the books they use for free.

This is irrelevant to my point: if you're arguing that you need to be equipped in certain areas, then I'm pointing out that it's easy to get equipped for free or with very little money without using Logos. 

Do you really want to make your argument that you need some very specific resources in order to be properly equipped as a Christian? I'm curious what that list must be. 

I mean if you want to make your claim that specific, then you really need a better argument that goes to the specifics. So can you lay out for me the specific resources Christians require (what they require them for--to maintain faith, live fruitfully, etc?) today and why they require them through Logos?

Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 11:31 AM

P.S.

Chris Belmonte:
A lot of apologetic material (the inexpensive stuff) is very weak.

A lot of the kindle stuff that goes on sale, that I'm referring to, is the same stuff that is in Logos at a much more expensive price. Right now you can pick up a kindle book for $5 that you would have to buy as part of a collection on Logos for about $70. You could just say that this book (and this collection) is garbage. . . but now you'll need to, again, specify which resources you think aren't garbage and how you can't get them anywhere other than Logos at a better price.

Posts 123
Chris Belmonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 11:46 AM

I dislike kindle's format. At the point I might'es well just just scour the internet for stuff I can download for free which people have uploaded. I'm not saying said content is free content, only that people have uploaded it in a way which allows me to download it for free. I can't write notes on inaccurate OCR PDF ebooks I converted to docx either. I've scanned whole books myself.

"If everyone made 10 million a year..." where is this coming from? It has nothing to do with how much people are making, its about exorbitant prices.

Yes I think up to date translations of pseudepigrapha (Charlesworth) are necessary thanks to attacks upon the Trinity by both secular and Jewish polemicists, many of whom have phd's, which they use as a weapon. I'm not getting anywhere so I'm dropping it for now. I'm having a bad day and the best of me isn't coming out anyway.

Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 12:08 PM

Chris Belmonte:
I dislike kindle's format. At the point I might'es well just just scour the internet for stuff I can download for free which people have uploaded. I'm not saying said content is free content, only that people have uploaded it in a way which allows me to download it for free. I can't write notes on inaccurate OCR PDF ebooks I converted to docx either. I've scanned whole books myself.

Just an FYI, Kindle now has a scrolling feature on their mobile and PC/laptop software and there is not a major difference between the way content looks on Kindle and the way content looks on Logos. You just won't get the Bible text hyperlinks. 

I understand wanting to write notes in books and why PDF can be superior for that purpose. It's not hard to turn a Kindle book into a PDF (though it might not be immediately obvious) and, while it might still be breaking their copyright, it at least wouldn't be stealing the book. (Not trying to be accusatory, just suggesting a safer alternative.)

Chris Belmonte:
"If everyone made 10 million a year..." where is this coming from? It has nothing to do with how much people are making, its about exorbitant prices.

My point was just that "exorbitant price" is relative (to average income, perceived value, market value etc). 

Chris Belmonte:
Yes I think up to date translations of pseudepigrapha (Charlesworth) are necessary

Try abebooks -- you can find it used for about $35 or individually for $15-20. I'm not trying to be facetious, just point out alternatives that might not be well known to others (I first heard of abebooks in college). These books are accessible, just not in their most convenient format on Logos. I don't think Faithlife will be convinced any time soon that people *need* access not just to Charlesworth's Pseudepigrapha, but that they need access to it via Logos.

All the best,

Posts 123
Chris Belmonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 12:12 PM

I can't use the note or any other function with print books or even ebooks which aren't properly formatted in Logos.

Posts 10116
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 12:13 PM

J. Remington Bowling:

P.S.

Chris Belmonte:
A lot of apologetic material (the inexpensive stuff) is very weak.

A lot of the kindle stuff that goes on sale, that I'm referring to, is the same stuff that is in Logos at a much more expensive price. Right now you can pick up a kindle book for $5 that you would have to buy as part of a collection on Logos for about $70. You could just say that this book (and this collection) is garbage. . . but now you'll need to, again, specify which resources you think aren't garbage and how you can't get them anywhere other than Logos at a better price.

While Chris is having his bad day, I'd not juxtapose defending the faith with Logos and Charlesworth. My Dad grew a lot of congregations on Lenski (sp?) with the rest of the preacher's salary going to feed the wife and kids. It wasn't fun. Indeed, I'd argue the poorer, the better (salvation-wise, not medical-wise).

But an unanswered question I never resolved, is that if you look at book pricing decades back, then moving into the 1990s (my impression), prices really bounced far faster than inflation. The 1990s was the entry of the big book chains. But I'd also include university tuition. I paid my way through a masters and CPA, working in 3 fast-food chains. No loans, etc. It was quite do-able, books and all, though exhausting.

Sure seems like something changed.  Can't afford to be poor anymore.  BTW, don't forget eSword's great work.


Posts 123
Chris Belmonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 12:19 PM

Denise:

J. Remington Bowling:

P.S.

Chris Belmonte:
A lot of apologetic material (the inexpensive stuff) is very weak.

A lot of the kindle stuff that goes on sale, that I'm referring to, is the same stuff that is in Logos at a much more expensive price. Right now you can pick up a kindle book for $5 that you would have to buy as part of a collection on Logos for about $70. You could just say that this book (and this collection) is garbage. . . but now you'll need to, again, specify which resources you think aren't garbage and how you can't get them anywhere other than Logos at a better price.

While Chris is having his bad day, I'd not juxtapose defending the faith with Logos and Charlesworth. My Dad grew a lot of congregations on Lenski (sp?) with the rest of the preacher's salary going to feed the wife and kids. It wasn't fun. Indeed, I'd argue the poorer, the better (salvation-wise, not medical-wise).

But an unanswered question I never resolved, is that if you look at book pricing decades back, then moving into the 1990s (my impression), prices really bounced far faster than inflation. The 1990s was the entry of the big book chains. But I'd also include university tuition. I paid my way through a masters and CPA, working in 3 fast-food chains. No loans, etc. It was quite do-able, books and all, though exhausting.

Sure seems like something changed.  Can't afford to be poor anymore.  BTW, don't forget eSword's great work.

Speaking of medical, my mom is on the phone, trying to get my youngest sister's medication paid for. Everything is demoralizing. I don't know the details and I'm too tired to even think clearly. I don't know if its the medicaid waver or not. it's a nightmare and everything feels like its collapsing in on us. :(

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Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 12:30 PM

The Parable of the Drowning Man / The Parable of the Flood 

 

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

 

A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

 

The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

 

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

 

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

 

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

 

A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

 

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

 

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

 

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 12:32 PM

Denise:
But an unanswered question I never resolved, is that if you look at book pricing decades back, then moving into the 1990s (my impression), prices really bounced far faster than inflation. The 1990s was the entry of the big book chains. But I'd also include university tuition. I paid my way through a masters and CPA, working in 3 fast-food chains. No loans, etc. It was quite do-able, books and all, though exhausting.

There is, no doubt, a problem with the price of textbooks and there's pretty widespread agreement that this is, in part, due to an artificial market where students have to buy the latest edition, a new edition is made each year or every two years etc. Even libraries that provide excellent access to material (Oxford Scholarship Online) usually don't carry primary textbooks.

Posts 2394
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 14 2019 6:13 PM

J. Remington Bowling:

artificial market where students have to buy the latest edition, a new edition is made each year or every two years etc. 

One text book that I personally saw (but did not have to buy) put out a new edition that the students HAD to have.  

The only change that we could find was that the homework examples where rearranged.  The professor caught that before the students bought textbooks and gave out two sets of homework problems depending on which revision the student had.  

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 3:35 AM

Chris Belmonte:
William Lane Craig loses every debate when he goes up against atheists arguing about God's existence.

Ha...I think I said as much before a few years back.

Posts 123
Chris Belmonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 3:54 AM

David Paul:

Chris Belmonte:
William Lane Craig loses every debate when he goes up against atheists arguing about God's existence.

Ha...I think I said as much before a few years back.

I don't understand why he bothers. He keeps getting humiliated and it doesn't help us. Debates trying to prove God's existence are FRUITLESS. Atheists will always have the high ground because we have something to prove and they do not. You can make complex theoretical arguments all you want, whether it be the order of the universe, the function of math, the ontological argument, none of it is going to work. You'll need a test tube which turns blue to show God exists, and that's not going to happen. 
There ARE reasons to believe. But there are no truly objective reasons to do so. Even if one thinks the ontological argument is enough, they will ignore it. They aren't interested in an argument which relies on human logic. Most of the time, the ontological argument is grossly misrepresented in order to look stupid because of the fake news media anyway.


The average Christian DOES need to "take on" Bart Erhman. Millions of people read his horse crap and it's not a matter of "taking him on" it's refuting to the masses the intellectual fraud he has convinced millions of people of. The whole idea we can rely on a "select few of elite intellectuals" is just foolish. We won in the Roman empire by charity and constantly spamming them with truth and idea perpetuated by the MASSES not intellectuals against the corpse of meaningless paganism.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 11:59 AM

Chris Belmonte:
Debates trying to prove God's existence are FRUITLESS

Yes, but they don't have to be; most fail to start with the basics - definitions and human experience.

Chris Belmonte:
The average Christian DOES need to "take on" Bart Erhman

Not if they waste time using loaded language rather than understanding what he is saying and speaking his language back to him. We can start by practicing some Medieval desputatio where we lean to argue both sides.

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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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 12:56 PM

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 2:33 PM

2 Timothy 2:23

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 3:04 PM

noted and revised to post-coffee wording

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

Posts 395
Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 3:46 PM

Denise:

But an unanswered question I never resolved, is that if you look at book pricing decades back, then moving into the 1990s (my impression), prices really bounced far faster than inflation. The 1990s was the entry of the big book chains. But I'd also include university tuition. I paid my way through a masters and CPA, working in 3 fast-food chains. No loans, etc. It was quite do-able, books and all, though exhausting.

Sure seems like something changed.  Can't afford to be poor anymore.  BTW, don't forget eSword's great work.

You are correct in your impression. 1980 to 1990 saw the highest percentage increase in textbook prices at somewhere around 400%.  From 1990 to 2010, price increases leveled off at ~200% every 10 years.  We are just farther up that exponential curve now.

https://www.aeseducation.com/blog/infographic-the-skyrocketing-cost-of-textbooks-for-schools-students 

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