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Dorothy Hill | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Sep 4 2010 1:20 PM

Hello.  I am a seminary student new to Logos for Mac and hoping for some guidance.  I need to study topics like "the existence of God" and "inerrancy of the Bible."  Can anyone give me guidance as to the best way to search these topics in Logos? How do I filter through the results to find the documents that actually speak to the topic in detail, rather than just mention the phrase?

Also, how do I set up my layout to have a section with bibles, one with dictionaries, a section with commentaries, etc.?  Will I be able to preset the screen so that it always opens to these resources?

Thank you!

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 4 2010 2:43 PM

Dorothy Hill:
I need to study topics like "the existence of God" and "inerrancy of the Bible."  Can anyone give me guidance as to the best way to search these topics in Logos? How do I filter through the results to find the documents that actually speak to the topic in detail, rather than just mention the phrase?

Hi Dorothy, welcome to the Logos forums!

For specific topical searches, Logos has a new concept called LCV (Logos Controlled Vocabulary). They are in the process of going through all the reference resources in their catalogue and retagging them for LCV. Some of the dictionaries and encyclopedias are done already, but by no means all. You'll have the best chance of finding relevant hits by limiting your search to one keyword, or an exact phrase if it's definitely going to be the key topic name (for example the name of a famous person in Christian history). Something like "inerrancy of the Bible" is less likely to find a topical hit than just plain inerrancy, for example.

If there is a topical keyword in the LCV database for the item you're looking for, it will result in a special "TOPIC" section at the top of your search results, like this:

It appears that in my library, the only LCV headword entry in any of my reference books on this topic is in the ISBE. This search result also tells me that "Infallibility" might be a synonym for Inerrancy in some sources. So I could repeat my search looking for inerrancy OR infallibility.

Another thing that can help is narrowing down where the search hits are found to just heading text within an article, by clicking on All Text, then turning on the checkbox next to Heading Text in the menu that drops down:

Click back anywhere outside that menu to dismiss it and proceed with the search. In my library this search finds some articles in the Westminster Journal of Theology which you might or might not have in your library, but which look like they'd be quite helpful.

So far, most resources are not tagged for Heading Text except journals, so it won't be able to find you chapter titles with your search term in them, for example, which would be very useful. I long for that day!

Another thing you can do to limit your searches to resources that are likely to more thoroughly discuss this topic is to view your search results Ranked rather than By Book. Logos attempts to put the most relevant search hits at the beginning.

Finally you can create a Collection of books in your library that are most likely to discuss this topic in a more substantial way -- books of systematic theology, for example. Or books by authors you know are likely to have a particular stance on inerrancy. And then restrict your search to that Collection. See here for info on how to create useful collections like that.

You didn't mention what Logos base package you have, so I'm not sure what resources to point you to specifically, but there's a whole chapter on The Inerrancy of Scripture in Biblical Hermeneutics by Bruce Corley, Steve Lemke, and Grant Lovejoy.

There's also a whole chapter called The Dependability of God's Word: Inerrancy in Millard Erickson's Introducing Christian Doctrine, part of the Baker Theology Collection.

There's a good-lengthed entry titled Bible, Inerrancy and Infallability Of in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter Elwell, also available only in the Baker Theology Collection. The bibliography at the end of that entry contains some other trails you might want to pursue (at least it gives you some names of authors to build Collections of, even if these particular works of theirs are not available in Logos):

Bibliography. For inerrancy: D. G. Bloesch, Holy Scripture; J. M. Boice, ed., Foundation of Biblical Authority; D. A. Carson and J. D. Woodbridge, eds., Scripture and Truth; H. M. Conn, ed., Inerrancy and Hermeneutic; N. L. Geisler, ed., Inerrancy; J. W. Montgomery, ed., God’s Inerrant Word: An International Symposium on the Trustworthiness of Scripture; R. Pache, Inspiration and Authority of Scripture; J. I. Packer, God Has Spoken; B. B. Warfield, Inspiration and Authority of the Bible; J. D. Woodbridge, Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal. Against inerrancy: D. M. Beegle, Scripture, Tradition and Infallibility; S. A. Davis, Debate about the Bible; J. Rogers, ed., Biblical Authority; J. Rogers and D. McKim, Interpretation and Authority of the Bible.

The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology also has a good entry on the "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy." Searching for that latter phrase in quotes in your library might also turn up some helpful hits.

There's an article in the Dictionary of Christianity in America on the Inerrancy Controversy. The bibliography at the end of it gives some fruit for further research:

Bibliography. N. Geisler, ed., Inerrancy (1979); H. Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible (1976); G. Marsden, Reforming Fundamentalism (1987); J. Rogers, ed., Biblical Authority (1977); J. Rogers and D. McKim, The Authority and Interpretation of the Bible: An Historical Approach (1979); J. D. Wood bridge, Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/ McKim Proposal (1982).

As for "the existence of God" that too is something you're likely to find discussed in a book of systematic theology or doctrine. So I'd use a collection to limit my search to those types of books. Some example rules for collections of systematic theologies, or just "theologies" can be found on this wiki page.

There's a good section on the Existence of God in The Great Doctrines of the Bible. There's also a substantial section on The Existence of God in Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology.

Famous theologians in the history of Christianity who have dealt with the topic of the existence of God include Anselm, with his "ontological argument" for the existence of God, and Thomas Aquinas (Question II: The Existence of God in his Summa Theologica). Whether you have those primary sources in your library or not, that will give you some more things to search for. If you construct a search with the best blend of flexibility and restriction (not too exact a phrase as it might limit you, but plenty of terms to weed out irrelevant hits) you'll hone in on the best results. I'd recommend something like this (with "Match all word forms" turned on):

(existence WITHIN 1 WORD God) AND (Aquinas,Anselm)

The part before the AND will ensure that you pick up both "existence of God" and "God's existence" (the "Match all word forms" is necessary to pick up God's with only God in the search criteria). The part after the AND uses the comma operator which is a list operator (kind of works like OR, but it can be combined in more ways with other search operators than OR can).

Dorothy Hill:
Also, how do I set up my layout to have a section with bibles, one with dictionaries, a section with commentaries, etc.?  Will I be able to preset the screen so that it always opens to these resources?

The official Logos training video on Layouts Management should help you do that. See also some of the great user-created video tutorials on layouts such as Mark Barnes' Setting Up a Layout (part 1 of his "Preparing a Sermon with Logos" series), and John Fidel's various layout videos, all linked from the main Logos 4 Video Tutorials page on the wiki, under his name. 

Yes, you can set it so that Logos will always open back up to your favorite layout. Just turn off the option to "Show home page at startup" (on the Customize menu which you'll find at the lower left of the Home Page):

You can always get back to the Home Page any time you want, by pressing Alt+H (And Alt+H again will toggle it back off again, and return you to the layout you were looking at). But if you want to always start up in your preferred study layout, you can't start up in the Home Page.

You can and should save your Layout once you've set it up the way you like it. That way even if you modify it temporarily by opening up several other resources and moving things around, you can always get back to your pristine saved layout. There's lots more info on Layouts and how to save them, etc., on this wiki page.

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Jeremy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 5 2010 12:44 PM

For some reason if you try to search through a collection, you cannot search by heading text.

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