Workflow Workarounds?

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Mar 11 2019 8:24 PM

I'm curious if others have some strategies to work around some of the workflow limitations (or can tell me what I'm doing so stupidly as to make the software look limited, if that's the case...which is entirely possible).

Here's an example. I was testing out a Theological Topic workflow, and when I enter a fairly common theological concept ('aseity'), I'm forced to choose a related (but not complete) option (self-existence). I assume this comes from limitations in the built in Factbook or something related to it. And maybe it is close enough...I didn't spend too much time looking through the links (but quite a few looked unrelated). And it may simply be a combination of my own impatience and the inability to completely understand the nuances of making the tool work.

So how do you work around this kind of limitation? Quite a number of the basic theological terms I tried to enter were not available (e.g., 'ordo salutis,' 'soteriology,' 'hamartology,' and a few others I tried). Is it simply a matter of trying synonyms until you get a hit?

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 11 2019 8:45 PM

I can't find it right now, but I know I saw a thread where there was some discussion about the theological datasets. Whether that has anything to do with the workflow issue you highlight, I am not sure. However, I would think the topics available in this workflow is driven by that data. If I recall correctly, that thread indicated FL was working on a major update that is due to be released by the end of March.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 12 2019 1:19 AM

Doc B:
I'm curious if others have some strategies to work around some of the workflow limitations (or can tell me what I'm doing so stupidly as to make the software look limited, if that's the case...which is entirely possible).

Just as a workflow using a Bible reference must be given a legitimate Bible reference, so the Theological Topic Study must be given a legitimate Theological Topic Reference. A right click on a topic or reference to a topic in Ward, Mark, Jessica Parks, Brannon Ellis, and Todd Hains, eds. Lexham Survey of Theology. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018. while show you that the topic heading is a reference. Entering such a topic brings up the select list you show with the three squares being the icon for theological topic. I do not know how FL handled synonyms but they clearly have included some. What you are calling "software look limited" I would call "software is not a mind-reader". This is no different than the Sermon Starter or the Topic Guide where you are limited to the topics and themes FL provided to the software.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 12 2019 1:22 AM

Fredc:
If I recall correctly, that thread indicated FL was working on a major update that is due to be released by the end of March.

IIRC you are probably referring to the tagging of more systematic resources with the theological topics - this will increase the references offered as applicable but will not affect the topics available. They may be adding more synonyms but I don't recall seeing anything to that effect.

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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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 12 2019 7:36 AM

MJ. Smith:

Fredc:
If I recall correctly, that thread indicated FL was working on a major update that is due to be released by the end of March.

IIRC you are probably referring to the tagging of more systematic resources with the theological topics - this will increase the references offered as applicable but will not affect the topics available. They may be adding more synonyms but I don't recall seeing anything to that effect.

You may be right. That is probably why I could not find it when I was searching

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 12 2019 10:39 AM

MJ. Smith:
the Theological Topic Study must be given a legitimate Theological Topic Reference

That's a much more detailed explanation of what I (basically) thought was the limitation.

Having explained it, it is still a pretty strict limitation (I think), and I'd like to know your, and others', workarounds.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 12 2019 4:43 PM

Doc B:
Having explained it, it is still a pretty strict limitation (I think), and I'd like to know your, and others', workarounds.

There are no work-arounds as the limitation is a logical limitation - the system cannot respond to a word it does not know. Faithlife cannot break the rules of logic, language, and computer processors. Do you consider the limitation of Sermon Themes something for which there is (or should be) a workaround? The degree to which it is a problem reflects how closely your theological framework, praxis and vocabulary matches that of the FL data curators'. My work around is very simple ... I generally ignore the sermon starter unless another tool has provided me with a Sermon Theme that appears to have potential. 

The practical way to get the LCV to work for you is to continually request the addition of synonyms that reflect your frame of reference.

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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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 12 2019 8:20 PM

MJ. Smith:
There are no work-arounds
...
MJ. Smith:
My work around

Uhh....

Big Smile

On a more focused note, yes, I do think there should be workarounds when a "Theological Topic" tool doesn't recognize a word like "soteriology."

In other words, I don't think "my" theological vocabulary is the issue.

If the only fix is FL adding synonyms, then we shall certainly request that. 

I do appreciate your input; your explanation of the 'why' was helpful.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 3:30 AM

Doc B:
On a more focused note, yes, I do think there should be workarounds when a "Theological Topic" tool doesn't recognize a word like "soteriology."

My work around is:

When studying a theological topic that is not included in the Theological Topic workflow, I don't use the Theological Topic workflow. Wink

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Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 6:07 AM

Doc B:
If the only fix is FL adding synonyms, then we shall certainly request that. 

https://faithlife.com/lexham-survey-of-theology/ 

Specifically:

The Lexham Survey of Theology/Systematic Theology Ontology currently includes 234 concepts, organized into eight major branches that reflect the traditional structuring of systematic theological writing and inquire. Our purpose was to include all the major beliefs common to a broad range of Christian groups, without taking particular positions on disputed issues or attempting to capture every minor point.

.

Are there any concepts that you would argue should be added to the ontology to ensure that it is a reasonably complete account of Christian systematic theology? Are there areas with significant discussion in the theological literature that fall outside these concepts?

https://faithlife.com/7506257/topics/6643?offset=0 

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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 7:07 AM

Doc B:
On a more focused note, yes, I do think there should be workarounds when a "Theological Topic" tool doesn't recognize a word like "soteriology."

Soteriology is a broad category and I think the tool is designed to be more granular and getting into specific topics within the categories.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 2:46 PM

Doc B:
I do think there should be workarounds when a "Theological Topic" tool doesn't recognize a word like "soteriology."

What do you do when a dead-tree theological encyclopedia does not have the heading you are looking for? That's the workaround you are looking for.

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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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 10:13 PM

MJ. Smith:
What do you do when a dead-tree theological encyclopedia does not have the heading you are looking for?

Can't recall that happening, but if it did, I'd get a better encyclopedia. Geeked

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 10:29 PM

Doc B:

I'm curious if others have some strategies to work around some of the workflow limitations (or can tell me what I'm doing so stupidly as to make the software look limited, if that's the case...which is entirely possible).

Here's an example. I was testing out a Theological Topic workflow, and when I enter a fairly common theological concept ('aseity'), I'm forced to choose a related (but not complete) option (self-existence). I assume this comes from limitations in the built in Factbook or something related to it. And maybe it is close enough...I didn't spend too much time looking through the links (but quite a few looked unrelated). And it may simply be a combination of my own impatience and the inability to completely understand the nuances of making the tool work.

So how do you work around this kind of limitation? Quite a number of the basic theological terms I tried to enter were not available (e.g., 'ordo salutis,' 'soteriology,' 'hamartology,' and a few others I tried). Is it simply a matter of trying synonyms until you get a hit?

The fact that you're seeing the concept of "God's Self-Existence" means that "aseity" is considered an alternate term for this concept in our dataset. If the term really weren't in the dataset, there wouldn't be any items in the drop-down at all (try amyraldism which isn't in our dataset). Likewise for "soteriology", which brings up The Holy Spirit and Salvation, and "hamartology", which brings up Humanity's Fall into Sin. There's never a perfect correlation between two different terms, but we felt these were close enough to be useful. 

If you find important theological terms that don't bring up any concepts, feel free to mention them here or in the Lexham Survey of Theology Faithlife group

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 13 2019 11:06 PM

Doc B:

MJ. Smith:
What do you do when a dead-tree theological encyclopedia does not have the heading you are looking for?

Can't recall that happening, but if it did, I'd get a better encyclopedia. Geeked

I didn't know that was possible. You need to read more broadly in obscure topics. It will improve the quality of life immensely and teach you "not found" is common. Did you know that Encyclopedia Britannica in 1970 had no article on the influence of Nestorian Christianity on Chan Buddhism? And that if you used one of your coupons to demand information, you employed a graduate student at the University of Chicago? I mean it was my social duty wasn't it?

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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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 14 2019 8:09 AM

Thank you for the additional description of the gears in the machine, Sean.  That is helpful.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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