The future of Logos and Faithlife: Help us make the right decisions!

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 13 2019 6:47 PM

Matt Zimmerman:

1. Can't read Hebrew

2. Probably isn't interested in Hebrew

3. Probably isn't interested in the desktop full version of Logos

4. Desires the "best" mobile bible tool on the market

Based on 1, 2, and 3, perhaps they wouldn't want the Logos version of the mobile app?

I suspect that's why FL offers seven different mobile apps, so customers can select the best FL app for them, between, say, reading the bible, basic bible study, and more technical bible study.

YouVersion probably holds the #1 bible app spot. I don't think the Logos mobile app could ever rank that highly, because it's designed to do much more than what most YouVersion/non-Logos users want.

Posts 4763
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 18 2019 1:42 AM

Matt Zimmerman:

Here the profile of 95% of the people in my church and probably every other church:

1. Can't read Hebrew

2. Probably isn't interested in Hebrew

Don't doubt any of this. (If anything the % is way too low.)

...but therein lies the rub. Those who aren't interested in Hebrew can't be Hebrew, and by definition only Hebrews are saved. If the scoffers spent less time scoffing and more time determining why that's true (i.e. prophetically true), then perhaps they wouldn't be so intransigently disinterested. But then again, probably not...I think most folks would rather just die. 

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 18 2019 8:18 AM

To be honest this software is so expensive, cumbersome, troublesome, and difficult to use that I keep it for one reason....because I have had it.  I use other less expensive, easier to use, and closer to my theological training for exegesis in my counseling ministry.  Nor would I recommend this mess to another christian, a local church congregation, or a client to use in their own personal devotions.  Want me to spend more...than clean this interface up...lower its cost...add an option to get rid of predigested data basis...make the library easier to use (only the Divine knows how I am suppose to manage the pathetic library I have)....and perhaps be less "premiere" in advertising-yes I know I need just one more bundle to be able to fully use the product.  In the end my gut tells me, although I have no proof, that my license will one day be in the hands of a conglomeration that will try to sell me my favorite Kindle books along with a hefty discount on their newly acquired bible engine. 

Posts 1945
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 18 2019 8:43 AM

Rene Atchley:
Want me to spend more...than clean this interface up...lower its cost...add an option to get rid of predigested data basis...make the library easier to use

I hope Rene's comments do not get dismissed. I value Logos a lot and know how to navigate it.  But if Logos wants a bigger market, there are some obvious ways to do that.  In making a simplified product, and in solving the issue of a manageable Library (no, Tagging is not the way to go for the majority of people), then more would embrace this product. Once embraced, there will be a willingness, step by step to go deeper and be interested in many of the tools that Logos has to offer.

I think it has also been mentioned before, that Logos needs to figure a way to make this product more friendly towards seminary professors.  Why in this day and age should I purchase physical books when Logos exists?  I cannot use Mounce version 3 in a Bible College or seminary that is using version 4.  If there was a way to partner with companies to be sure the latest editions were either purchaseable or rentable for the semester...

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 18 2019 8:47 AM

Mark:
and in solving the issue of a manageable Library

To be fair, there was significant progress in L8, what with the additions of facets and the ability to share collections.

Posts 93
Robert C. Beckman Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 18 2019 11:13 AM

This may sound more snarky than I wish...

Professionals use professional tools. Critical commentaries require Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic & comprehension of critical methodologies. We need critical commentaries. I would not recommend them to people for personal devotions. Conversely Matthew Henry can be a useful aid for devotional reading. It is not at the advanced, professional level in 2019. Professionals use professional tools, and we need professional tools. I have not invested nearly the time in using my professional Bible Study tools that I should. (particularly given the investment!) When I need them...I need them; and learn more of what I need to know.  I want accountants to use professional accounting tools. I want lawyers to have access to professional research and trial preparation tools. I want the plumber to show up with tools that are better than what I can get at Ace Hardware. Professionals use professional tools. There are many people who are using Logos Bible Software who likely need to use a different tool. Lobbying to remove, truncate, and simplify, and eliminate the features that get in the way of the novice leaves the professional preacher, exegete, scholar without necessary tools for doing what God has called us to don.

Posts 326
Andrew Biddinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 5:58 AM

Robert C. Beckman Jr.:

Lobbying to remove, truncate, and simplify, and eliminate the features that get in the way of the novice leaves the professional preacher, exegete, scholar without necessary tools for doing what God has called us to don.

I do agree partly with you. In my mind, I think that professionals are a part of the Logos' core customer. However, I would broaden it to say that their customer is "leaders" in general in the church which would include lay-leaders (Elders/Pastors, Teachers...etc). I believe that it is around 80% of leaders in the church in the world have no formal Theological training. So, making it easier for leaders to get started and use their tools on a basic level seems beneficial in my opinion. If they could do that while improving the professional capabilities, I think it could be a win-win.

Posts 41
Steven New | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 6:46 AM

I think the problem is, professional tools don't have to be cumbersome.  You could be able to get great results from the software without the need of advanced techniques and tricks.  This is somewhat true with Logos, as a newbie I can read books, do simple word studies, write notes and more with Logos simply.

However, there are some things I would like to do, but just seem out of my reach, like advanced searching, and using the power tools.  Logos 8 did a great job of cleaning up the interface, and people initially complained because their learned tricks weren't working anymore.  Other things that just felt like it should of worked didn't work intuitively.  I remember having to start a reading plan before being able to add the card to the "home page". It was so frustrating I still don't use that feature.  I should have just been able to click create a new card and since I requested it, the reading plan was created.  

It are the simple things that ensure good quality of life in a program.  I would really like a visual search bar/column that would allow you to click special parameters to search, this could help power users and beginners alike.  I would like for Logos 8 to get better and more stable before moving to other large software.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 7:14 AM

Robert C. Beckman Jr.:

Professionals use professional tools ...

True. We just had a compressor replaced on our fridge. I watched ... he had an amazing set of tools he wielded, all scrunched up.

But (also not snark-ified), I'd not recommend Logos for our pastor. He's the best I've seen in my no-longer-young years. Logos would destroy his success (leading folks to God). But I'd happily recommend it to a lady that helps challenged folks ... she loves hebrew. Can't afford it, though.

It's hard to say why I see the distinctions that way.  Piper expressed frustration with his professionals. I agree. And last night, a post by Cynthia (Florida) was also good, in a similar light.

I love the ability to personally examine the Bible, in infinite detail. But Logos for professionals?  Maybe so.


Posts 326
Andrew Biddinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 9:28 AM

Denise:

Robert C. Beckman Jr.:

Professionals use professional tools ...

Piper expressed frustration with his professionals. I agree.

In that sense, I do believe he is right that Pastors aren't professionals. LOL. https://www.logos.com/product/4075/brothers-we-are-not-professionals

Posts 77
Scott David | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 10:46 AM

Forgive this scattered brain dump; but I really wanted to share. I apologize if I ramble a little off-topic.

I've been using Logos since 1996. When I first began using it, only one professor at my Christian College had ever heard of it. Within two years, I had gotten ~12 professors and ministerial students to adopt Logos. At seminary I continued to promote Logos, and have ever since.

Almost all my family, friends, and clients are using Logos as per my recommendation and demonstrating for them. I've created a manual that moves slowly from basics, into more advanced, and finally into doing inductive bible study using paid versions of Logos' with advanced tools. Many of these folks are not necessarily more tech-savvy than the average person their age; and some of them are in their 70's. I created the manual so it imports nicely into Personal Books, and many of them enjoy using it that way. I've also used Logos as a powerful evangelistic and apologetic tool -- folks are blown away when they visually see the breadth, depth, and history of Christianity. Walking someone though Logos sparks so many valuable questions and interesting revelations for folks.

I think Logos is for everyone. It's simple enough for a newbie to the software (or to Christianity) -- but complex enough for theology professors. In recent years, Logos has done a great job of putting out high quality, easy to follow, beginner training videos. The first thing I point out to a newbie is the robust help files ([F1]) and the online videos.

I truly believe that Logos can, and does, cater to all audiences. It's akin to Microsoft Word or Excel in this way -- easy to use with a tiny bit of demonstration -- but incredibly complex and robust for heavy end-users. I think that segmented marketing, branding, and training is the key to get many more to adopt this amazing tool -- i.e. LOGOS.

With respect to church products / services / technologies -- I've done a great deal of implementing many various systems in different non-profits and churches. I've often been disappointed with many of the vendors I've used (whether talent management, online giving, church database, etc) -- I've rarely found entities that are both Christocentric in their values, beliefs, attitudes -- AND competent in their products / services. In fact, it pains me to say, most vendors I've worked with have lacked the values and the competency (compared to secular companies). That is to say, I'd love to see Logos become the leader in every service, product, and industry that fits within your call and capacity.

Since 1996 I've had a continued excellent relationship with Logos and have always been able to recommend you from both a competency stand point, and a customer / technical service standpoint.

On a personal note, I do understand why Logos has so many different divisions / brands. I really wish it were just one consolidated entity (e.g. "Faithlife" -- bible software powered by Logos... sort of like buying a Dell computer that has Intel inside). For myself, it's not a big deal... but for all the people I get to adopt Logos -- it's always a bit confusing for them.

Thanks for all you do. Logos has literally changed my life. One of my greatest joys is working with 2nd and 3rd world Christian business leaders and pastors -- and equipping them to enhance their ministries with Logos.

Posts 93
Robert C. Beckman Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 10:51 AM

The term can be used several ways. I think Piper intended it as  a synonym for mercenary, i.e. doing it only for money or recognition. The nuance I have in mind is professional vs. dilettante, or amateur, if you prefer. Exegesis is not something preachers do instead something else. Yes it is a vocation, a passion, a daily divine imperative. I want to do it to the absolute best of my ability. In this sense I do believe that we are professionals. We take the serious business of preaching the gospel seriously and use the best available tools to accomplish the calling.

Posts 93
Robert C. Beckman Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 11:07 AM

Every end user application...which we used (lol) to call "programs", long before they were "apps" is a child of its time. I remember getting my hands on Ami Pro, a beautiful "easy" graphical word processor for windows 3.1.  7 floppies to install. 300 pages of manual. 

Logos is old enough that it began in that age where full-service computer programs required some learning. Granted, Logos seems to have some learning curves which are a little sharper (read, hairpin) but that may be the price of power.

Posts 1647
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 19 2019 11:25 AM

Scott  David:
I think Logos is for everyone. It's simple enough for a newbie to the software (or to Christianity) -- but complex enough for theology professors.

Scott David:
I truly believe that Logos can, and does, cater to all audiences

I agree and think that Faithlife is doing its best to make the program usable for everyone. Faithlife's mission statement is "We use technology to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible." 

My understanding of this statement is to include everyone of the church, not just some, to grow their understanding.

Peace  Smile

Romans 14:19 (NRSV)
19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Posts 77
Scott David | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 21 2019 8:14 AM

PetahChristian:
 YouVersion probably holds the #1 bible app spot. 

Some folks I know (like my mom) use YouVersion like Facebook for Christians. It's so social -- and many friends / family members use it because they connect through it. They have Logos on the home computer -- YV on the phone. So, I have to install YV to stay connected with them. One really neat thing is that Christians can recommend readings to non-Christians and get them hooked on the bible in a very simple, easy, non-threatening way.

Don't know if Logos could ever get into this space? I mean, it's really all about the lay-level content that pastors and authors develop for YV. But it would be a total game changer if Logos could enter into that space (only have to have one bible app on devices) -- I suspect it would be complex to filter the content for different levels (e.g. lay, pastors, scholars). I may not be searching hard enough, but I have a very challenging time finding valuable content on YV (even the big name authors seem to produce things more on the simpler end).

Posts 588
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 22 2019 5:52 AM

Thanks for the answer David Thomas.

From my very limited view, the problem may be in the definition of terms:

From FL's point of view, what is the CHURCH?  Is it the elected persons by God, or is it the denomination, structural, etc. 

If the Church is the elected people of God, then the market strategy may include going to seek the lost children and may include the market place.

Then you have the "Bible study concept". Is it only determining the human author's intention within his context, or is there a neglected dimension:

The dimension of the Holy Spirit (the real author of the Bible), who is not constrained by ethnicity, historical context, language, etc.

If the latter is true, then the context of real life in the elected people of God is important and may be reached via chaplaincy, which by the way is an Incarnational way, just as Jesus did (are we supposed to be Christlike or not?).

True sheep live in a very complex reality full of uncertainties, only other real sheep can help sort things out, organize, and take Christian responsible action and stewardship to improve quality of life and living making. No doubt when true outreach, help, loving kindness is experienced by them, they will respond to such show of God's love and get involved into continue doing good Kingdom expansion.

I understand FL is not a ministry, but they are the perfect platform to aid in the development of a ministry of the future.

If you have a chance take a look at.

https://faithlife.com/lexham-survey-of-theology/topics/7613

http://www.cc-amesdsm.org/download/paradigmPapers/1_Creating%20a%20New%20Paradigm.pdf

Just a different view, for further research, reflection, and constructive comment.

Peace and grace.

Posts 588
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 22 2019 6:17 AM

Hi Rene:

I hear you. And that is why I think that  some business companies should be approached to help them in their corporate social responsibility area.

Think of it, many companies profit from doing business with a large christian demographic, is not fair that the surplus created is ill distributed.

Serious companies know that is correct to give back to the community. Investing in development of chaplains that help improve the lives and morality of persons makes only good business sense.

I do not think that the Logos software is overly pricey, the workers that develop it and the creators of the platform deserve to be paid in a dignified way.

Another concept needs to be reinforced:

God is the owner of all gold, silver, riches, Earth, the Universe, the devil has nothing, all his minions got was by lying, cheating, stealing, killing.

God promises that His heirs will inherit all. God gives believers creativity to do things and prosper. 

Money, wealth and prosperity are not the problems. 

How can someone say that is a devout son of God, and then not have enough money to get a decent package in Logos Bible software?

See previous posts of mine to know how in developing countries, innovative socioeconomic activities have allowed groups to build Churches autonomously.

The idea of creating a staging HQ place for learning platform to develop leaders in the future applies not only to developing countries. There are regions in the States where innovative socioeconomic initiatives can be developed, and with the help of Logos platform, the multiplying of believers and disciples can  get going in a better way.

Peace and grace.

Posts 216
Tim | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 23 2019 9:05 AM

I'm a late comer to the conversation, and haven't made it through all (currently 5) pages of replies and comments yet. However the response offered by @Fred Chapman on the first page pretty closely sums up my own situation as the pastor of a numerically small congregation. For me, that means that all technology purchases &/or subscriptions are paid for out of pocket, we simply don't have a budget for them at all. I will be honest, I haven't tried Proclaim at all. I almost certainly won't since the current model is far outside my budget. While I agree with Mr Pritchett that the current trend in software is migrating away from software downloads to service subscriptions, that tends to ultimately be best for the companies and not always for the end user. Within my own situation, I would be far more willing to consider proclaim if there were a single point purchase option much like PowerPoint (at least for now, MS may not offer that much longer either).

With FaithlifeTV, I like some of the content and have access through my Faithlife subscription. I do use it from time to time but it needs some polish to bring it up to par. Just adding the ability to have a watchlist would be a massive QoL improvement.

I may comment again later once I have read and considered the other comments, but here is at least a start.

Posts 744
Armin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 25 2019 12:48 AM

I love Logos and have invested quite a bit into my library. And I really appreciate the leadership of Bob and the way he runs his business.

My main criticism of Logos is its usability. The search functionality has significantly improved but if I need to find something quickly, I still use Google to search the Internet. Then when I gathered more information, I go back to Logos. Google just seems to know what I am looking for by just typing in a few words. I know that Logos does not have the user base of Google, but in the end, we have come to expect such smart search engines. Faithlife Assistant is not the solution for me.

Let me show you just one example of lack of usability. I want to investigate a topic, so I go to Logos Guides and type in "topic". Then I get 12 options:

If I type a specific topic into the Go bar, I get another 10+ options. So I have a total of over 20 options to search for a topic. Then I need to start researching which option is the best. At this point, many people give up. My nephew (a 28 years old smart guy) is one of them.

I am aware that Logos is an extremely powerful tool but we have come to expect tools to work without having to go through extensive help files. 

My hope is that Logos one day becomes so easy to use that occasional basic users can easily navigate through it. And expert users can get into all the nuances. 

Armin

PS: The workflows were a huge step forward. Many thanks!

Posts 4763
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 25 2019 5:44 AM

Armin:
My main criticism of Logos is its usability. The search functionality has significantly improved but if I need to find something quickly, I still use Google to search the Internet. Then when I gathered more information, I go back to Logos. Google just seems to know what I am looking for by just typing in a few words.

I have a feeling this is never going to change.

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