Wide and "Crazy" vs Narrow Libraries

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Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jan 19 2022 8:19 PM

Do you only purchase books within your own denomination, or do you buy widely from multiple denominations?

Does anyone ever buy the most unfamiliar and "crazy" collection you can find, to diversify your library? Have you ever gotten into a rut in your research, and only then looked beyond your former comfort zone?

Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

Do you worry that you are hoarding books? Do you worry that your purchases might be a sin, because you are in debt, or you are reading books that you think might be heresy?

If you are feeling playful and creative: Create a title and a short description for your collection of Logos books.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 19 2022 9:08 PM

Kathleen Marie:
Do you only purchase books within your own denomination, or do you buy widely from multiple denominations?

I consider my "denomination" to be ACELO - (High) Anglican-Catholic-Eastern Orthodox-(High) Lutheran-Oriental Orthodox which my resources reflect with a bit of interfaith and perennial philosophy thrown in. However, I have been a customer for longer than there has been a serious foray into the Catholic and Orthodox markets so my collection also reflects the general Logos collections. I have supplemented with low level packages in each of the denominational packages so that I have a basis on which to comment on the beliefs of other denominations with some confidence that I am accurate. Note this use is OUTSIDE the FL forums. 

Kathleen Marie:
Does anyone ever buy the most unfamiliar and "crazy" collection you can find, to diversify your library? Have you ever gotten into a rut in your research, and only then looked beyond your former comfort zone?

For research purposes, outside my comfort zone refers to methodology not content.

Kathleen Marie:
Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

The answer to this is a matter of location and availability of time. When I had reasonable access to a theological library, time was a serious constraint; now I have time but location has become a constraint.

Kathleen Marie:
Do you worry that you are hoarding books? Do you worry that your purchases might be a sin, because you are in debt, or you are reading books that you think might be heresy?

For nearly fifty years I attended a Dominican parish. Did you know that Dominicans do not take a vow of poverty? That is because they were traveling preachers who needed to take their books with them i.e. individually owned books rather than a monastery copy serving everyone. And books were so valuable they alone would have broken a vow of poverty. So my reaction was to laugh at the question.  BTW a Dominican will inherit my collection.

However, you are not asking what is to me the most important question. I firmly believe that solid (academic) works on scripture are theologically neutral -- which is not to say they are neutral with regards to hermeneutics, critical theory, linguistic theory ... I throw books out of consideration based on poor scholarship not theological stance. I was taught Lutheran presses for Biblical studies, Anglican/Orthodox presses for liturgy and worship, Catholic/Orthodox presses for theology. While there are obvious exceptions, this basic rule has served me well in both dead-tree and electronic formats.

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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Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 19 2022 9:46 PM

MJ, thanks so much! That was really interesting to read and gave me a lot to think about!

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 19 2022 11:46 PM

I sometimes call myself "Tunnel-view-cryptobiblicist-Lutheran". While working for the Bible translation in Africa more than a decade when I was young I met many good people from many denominations and learnt a lot from them.

Buying books always supports someone else, hopefully the author. Surprisingly, a wide library seems to be useful, even when I don't agree with some statements in the books. My collection focuses on original languages and technical exegesis, and some study Bibles for small group work.

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 11

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 19 2022 11:48 PM

Kathleen Marie:
Do you only purchase books within your own denomination, or do you buy widely from multiple denominations?

I have bought packages from each denominational strand Faithlife makes available

Kathleen Marie:
Does anyone ever buy the most unfamiliar and "crazy" collection you can find, to diversify your library?

Yes, I have done that when it added diversity to my librar

Kathleen Marie:
Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

I wouldn't say it's essential but I find it very useful. One of the things I am engaged in is marking papers for online students at a Bible college and having my own access to (most of) the resources they might quote is really helpful

Kathleen Marie:
o you worry that your purchases might be a sin, because you are in debt, or you are reading books that you think might be heresy?

No - but I would personally not get into debt through purchasing books. And the heresy question is one of being discerning and evaluating what I am reading

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 1:08 AM

Kathleen Marie:

Do you only purchase books within your own denomination, or do you buy widely from multiple denominations?

Does anyone ever buy the most unfamiliar and "crazy" collection you can find, to diversify your library? Have you ever gotten into a rut in your research, and only then looked beyond your former comfort zone?

I am a Pentecostal systematic theologian of a neo-orthodox bent. I buy packages that give me the best bang for the buck in my areas of interest. Often that has been Reformed, even though I am not, because they dominate the field of systematic theology. I've also bought Baptist, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, and Catholic packages simply because of the resources available in them. It varies with each release of a new version of Logos, and I look forward to looking at the new packages that get rolled out even more than the new features. Conversely, for the same reason I have not yet bought any Pentecostal-Charismatic packages.

Kathleen Marie:

Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

Do you worry that you are hoarding books? Do you worry that your purchases might be a sin, because you are in debt, or you are reading books that you think might be heresy?

I am hoarding books; I am not in debt, though the present legacy library sale is testing that; when I was in academia I quipped "I read heresy so that you don't have to." There is a very short range of books I would object to having in my library on principle, but I won't go into that on the forum.

In the past, I often wondered if buying so many books was a waste, especially back when I was a professor and my interests were narrower. I am now a megachurch pastor (long story!) and having a diverse library has helped me countless times that I never could have anticipated in my previous work. ("You liked that sermon? Thanks! I studied from about 30 books while preparing for it.") It's been a tremendous blessing to my ministry.

Kathleen Marie:
If you are feeling playful and creative: Create a title and a short description for your collection of Logos books.

"The best theological library in a 300 mile radius"

Posts 1168
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 5:03 AM

I'm a 'narrow' Logosian. Strictly early sources of information. And Logos delivers (well, except early latin). Time and more guys don't improve the path to salvation.

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 6:11 AM

Kathleen Marie:
Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

I buy resources I need when I need them.

I buy resources I want when I can afford them.

I gather resources that might simply help fill my search fields when they are a 'gift horse' that it would be a sin to 'look into the mouth' of.

It is important to me to know what I believe, and important to know about what I don't believe and why, eg, the 1D10T Cult might believe it.

tootle pip

Mike

How to get logs and post them. (now tagging post-apocalyptic fiction as current affairs)

Posts 5046
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 6:21 AM

I look at the packages and if there are books I want in them, I usually just buy the package and snag the extra books. Whether I use them or not is up for debate but there have been instances where I read another book later on, saw a source, and wondered if I had it and yes I did because of a package buy

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 6:51 AM

Kathleen Marie:
Do you only purchase books within your own denomination, or do you buy widely from multiple denominations?

In short, "deep and wide, deep and wide..."MusicMusic

I don't fit well into any denominational pigeonhole. I find value poking around in well-lit areas and deep in the dark under couch cushions. I buy books for a variety of reasons: some are essential resources, some are inspirational, some are to learn a new thing, some are to satisfy an immense curiosity, some are for entertainment.  Others are so I can refute heresy!Geeked.  

Kathleen Marie:
Does anyone ever buy the most unfamiliar and "crazy" collection you can find, to diversify your library? Have you ever gotten into a rut in your research, and only then looked beyond your former comfort zone?

Ruts are only for climbing out of. I despise ruts, though they likely serve some good purpose. I buy mostly what I specifically want.  I never buy willy nilly. For me, a simple purchase can consume a lot of time. I don't consider anything a "crazy" unless it's an Amish romance. Buying broadly in Logos has increased my knowledge, decreased my critical spirit of others, and propelled me along a fascinating journey of delightful discoveries. 

Kathleen Marie:
Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

I have wasted a few bucks broadening my library. Owell. I would rather those dollars went to an orphanage. That is hindsight.  Everything else is either essential or of interest.  

Kathleen Marie:
Do you worry that you are hoarding books?

My wife worries about my hoarding more than I do. But, yes. 

Kathleen Marie:
Do you worry that your purchases might be a sin, because you are in debt, or you are reading books that you think might be heresy?

Nah, no sin. My reading has enriched me immeasurably.  I am picky about how I invest the hours of my life and want those hours to worship God, to learn about God and His people, or to teach others about Him. 

I don't read heresy to get confused by it, but to know what it is enough to rid the barnyard of it.

  

Kathleen Marie:
If you are feeling playful and creative: Create a title and a short description for your collection of Logos books.

I pity anyone who has not traveled around the world or lived in multiple countries. Likewise, I pity anyone who does not have a broad Logos library.

Posts 1593
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 8:15 AM

Since my denomination is not allowed to speak for itself in Logos' selection of books, I buy widely. However, I would buy widely anyway, for two reasons. Philosophically and theologically, truth, insight, and inspiration can come from many sources. Since I am an academic, I have both motivation and innate interest in seeking multiple perspectives. My research focus ties together Hebrew Bible, Reformation, and American religious history, and those are the books I tend to buy. 

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 709
Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 8:37 AM

Wow!

It is so interesting to hear you all describe your libraries!

I guess with my recent purchases, this is my description of mine:

Student Gallimaufry

I am not even pretending to know what I am doing. At this point in my journey, a teachable spirit is more important that being a know-it-all.

Posts 2961
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 9:32 AM

Kathleen Marie:
   Do you only purchase books within your own denomination, or do you buy widely from multiple denominations?

My own denomination but also from those 180 degrees away but not too many of the ones only 30 degrees away.

Kathleen Marie:
   Does anyone ever buy the most unfamiliar and "crazy" collection you can find, to diversify your library? Have you ever gotten into a rut in your research, and only then looked beyond your former comfort zone?

Not totally “crazy” but looking beyond your comfort zone can be interesting

Kathleen Marie:
  Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

Wide is essential.

Kathleen Marie:
   Do you worry that you are hoarding books? Do you worry that your purchases might be a sin, because you are in debt, or you are reading books that you think might be heresy?
  

Not in debt now but have had problems in the past.  Now my library is big enough so I don’t have to over spend.

As for books that are “heresy” – can I see where they went "wrong" in their thinking?  Or do I just think that they are “wrong”?   It is interesting to follow the logic paths to see how different groups got to different places.  And without the books that explain how “they” got there and analyzing their thought path are you sure you are on the one and only correct path?  [IMHO if you only see their results, for example a summary of their beliefs,  you may be missing something - the how they got there is important.]

Kathleen Marie:
If you are feeling playful and creative: Create a title and a short description for your collection of Logos books.

My collection might be called “Confused”.  Have received calls from Logos sales representatives that are selling items from one of those denomination that are 180 degrees away from mine and been told that I am one of their best customers. 

[[Please note that I am using 180 degrees as an exaggeration. The items we have in common often far outweigh our true differences]]

Posts 1842
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 10:01 AM

I don't buy libraries because of the denominational tag, but because they include books (general commentary series) that I'm interested in. 

Posts 1152
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 12:55 PM

I take what I'd describe as an intermediate approach. I've gone deep on the "Standard" packages over the last decade or so. I've also made some targeted use of the smaller denominational packages to fill out specific gaps in my library. So for instance, I've bought some of the Orthodox and Eastern Rite packages for resources on the church fathers, the Messianic packages for their unique resources, the Reformed packages for some of their theological resources, and the Baptist packages because I come from a similar background. On the other hand, I don't feel a need to have every possible confessional document, denominational history or denominational point of view represented in my library.

Posts 709
Kathleen Marie | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 1:19 PM

Some of my questions are based on topics that I have heard OTHERS discuss. I wanted to prompt general discussion that will benefit as many people as possible, as much as I want to get specific answers for myself.

I'm not too worried about heresy, personally, for myself. As a student, I sometimes need to conduct literature reviews and I am not allowed to ignore opinions that I don't agree with. I must include a response to them. David Ames's comment about having more resources that are greatly different, than resources that are only a little different is interesting.

Each denomination has its strengths and weaknesses. The denominations that are farthest from our comfort zone often excel in the exact areas our own denomination is weakest, especially if the groups completely isolate from each other.  Yes, we have more in common than we have that is different, and we miss out on things that we would certainly agree with, just because things have been forgotten by our group or were never introduced to our groups as the isolation lengthens.

I did do what GaoLu refers to as a "willy nilly", and I am glad that I did it. I don't know what I don't know, until it pops up in a search field as relevant.

Debt I am a bit worried about. Not so much that my debt is going to get me into secular trouble, but I just fear being out of God's will. I do not believe that my money is mine. I believe that I am supposed to spent it on what He wants me to spend it on. Sometimes I am afraid that I am being prideful about my academic papers, rather than using the least time and money required to write only what will directly further His agendas. Sometimes I do not know where the line is between pride and excellence.

Posts 2526
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 2:18 PM

My strategy is to remain debt free.  Others choose differently and have more stuff, but I have less stress to enjoy the stuff I already have too much of. Debt is possibly a meat issue, but since this is a FL forum and I don't have a Logos resource for that, I'd better leave the debt debate be. 

Posts 247
Alexxy Olu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 2:50 PM

I am not sure which area I fit into.

Before the advent of denomination packages, I invested much into the standard packages.

Since the advent of denomination packages I have bought from most denominations at different levels.

I am much influenced to name a few, by:

  1. The awareness that a percentage of what I believe is ill-informed. Though I can not say the exact percentage, I want to reduce it to as little as possible. 
  2. I need to know what I believe and why. Interactions with those I do not agree with frequently open fresh areas of my belief to further studies.
  3. Understanding that those who believe what I don't believe are as convinced of their position as I am of mine, I want to know what they believe and why preferably from their own resources.
  4. Oftentimes, I have discovered resources that initially seem not so relevant to later be very useful.
  5. The bigger the library, the higher the potential for relevant information from a diverse range of views and positions.
  6. Recommendations from the forum and respect others.

Posts 6004
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 3:02 PM

Kathleen Marie:
Sometimes I do not know where the line is between pride and excellence.

Excellence for His Glory or Excellence for Our Pride. It is a fine line at times.

Posts 1917
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 20 2022 3:49 PM

Kathleen Marie:
Do you only purchase books within your own denomination, or do you buy widely from multiple denominations?

I am officially a Lutheran layperson. My official "flavor" of Lutheranism has its own church press where they seem to refuse to allow other distributers, be it Amazon or Faithlife to sell their material at a discount higher than they offer their own members via mail order. As much as I appreciate this as a member, it frustrates me that our stuff isn't in any of the Logos denominational base packages.

I have a wide enough understanding of Lutheranism that I do find much of value in various Denominational Base packages. The Lutheran packages have had some decent editions of Luther, as well as our Confessional writings and some very influential studies in Historical theology, as well as writings from influential Lutheran Theologians. Verbum Eastern and Orthodox have had quite good editions of influential Church Fathers. Regular Verbum has had some good dictionaries covering fields of interest, as well as the Papal Encyclicals, which at their very LEAST are informed and informative writings on many issues that face the church today. The Anglican libraries have been good at getting the works of NT Wright, who, even if I think he is misunderstanding some important things, is a major figure in NT scholarship today. In addition, they have some good works on worship. And with as influential as Calvin's Institutes has been, the McNeill/Battles edition is cheaper in many Reformed starter editions than separately.

Kathleen Marie:
Does anyone ever buy the most unfamiliar and "crazy" collection you can find, to diversify your library? Have you ever gotten into a rut in your research, and only then looked beyond your former comfort zone?

Less and less as I go on. I already have a fairly wide library, and have enough crazy already.

Kathleen Marie:
Is a wide library a "waste" of money or essential for you?

Have I wasted money on some resources? Yes. Have I been surprised at how some resources I would not have considered at first have indeed been useful? Yes. Is it essential for me to have as big and wide a library as I have? Almost certainly not.

Kathleen Marie:
Do you worry that you are hoarding books? Do you worry that your purchases might be a sin, because you are in debt, or you are reading books that you think might be heresy?

We should always be aware of what is good stewardship of what we have, and not just follow Faithlife marketing. How exactly you balance this is between you and your Lord - and the needy neighbors our Lord has given us. There is no simple answer to this, but the story of Mary and Martha suggests that carefully listening to our Lord is indeed important.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Starter, Academic Essentials

L7 Lutheran Gold, Anglican Bronze

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