True variety of resources?

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Posts 80
Pastor Kay | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Mar 1 2012 8:28 PM

Hi.  I'm in the process of entering the clergy with the ELCA, and I'm having some trouble figuring out which of the resources you offer are going to be helpful to me.

When I look at resources about empowering women in the church, it's frankly impossible, usually, to figure out if the books are for or against female ordination from the advertising copy- which, as you might imagine, would have an impact on whether I'd be interested in them.  (By the way, I notice that female authors rarely seem to have their degrees listed after their names, whereas almost all the male authors do.  Someone might want to look into that, it just looks weird.)

The copy about a lot of the books is clearly just straight from the publisher- which means it's full of claims to be "Christ centered" but has little information about the background of the author and their approach to the text.  If an author was on the conservative side of the Seminex disagreement, for example, and doesn't use social-historical criticism, that information would be useful to me when evaluating resources, but figuring that kind of thing out is kind of impossible from the advertising copy.

And it might just be me- I'm still poking around and all, kind of new- but on the surface it looks like there are a lot more books from the fundamentalist side of things than otherwise.  I'm having trouble finding books on liberation theology, world Christiantiy, the emerging church, etc.  And most of the Lutheran stuff seems to be either from Martin Luther himself (which, hey, great!) or from the WELS (which doesn't help me much).  And I'm just not here to buy books by John Piper, you know?

Any tips on better search words to find what I'm looking for?  Any links to places where Logos talks about how they find and choose resources to add to the collection?  Thanks!

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2012 9:43 PM

Welcome to the forum, Katie!

And a very good summary of what you found, I must say. Kind of like someone from Boston arriving in Houston (or visa versa).

Pretty slim pickings; I go mainly by the publishers, and then of course the authors. I most enjoy the ones that discuss the text:

http://www.logos.com/product/6523/women-and-men-in-the-fourth-gospel-a-genuine-discipleship-of-equals

http://www.logos.com/product/3090/woman-in-the-bible

http://www.logos.com/product/2960/discovering-biblical-equality

Not much to brag about though. You ask about search tips; I'm somewhat at a loss. I look for various forms of 'women' and then weed out the publishers.

Hopefully others can offer additional tips. There's a pre-pub out there 'Womens Commentary' but I don't think it's going anywhere (needs more 'votes'). It's good.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 19216
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2012 9:47 PM

Hi Katie, welcome!

Other than the brief author bio that is usually included on the resources pages on Logos.com, there's no place on Logos's site that you can go to find out what theological positions the authors have on various issues. You can sometimes get a feel for it by looking at the sample pages in the book (most books now have a "See Inside" button on the cover image on the website). Otherwise you'll have to discover that info yourself by Googling the author's name.

You will be hard-pressed to find Logos resources specifically about empowering women in the church. Logos's target audience has historically been conservative evangelicals, and they've only recently been broadening to incorporate a wider range of resources in their catalog. But still by far the majority will come down on the conservative side of the role of women in the church and family. I am starting to develop a small collection of "Women, Feminist Theology & Gender Studies" books, including such titles as Feminist Interpretation of the Bible and the Hermeneutics of Liberation (so far only available as part of the Gender and the Bible Collection), but it's pretty meager.

There's also not much yet (in terms of full-book treatments) on liberation theology, world Christianity, or the emerging church, though you might find the Missional Theology Collection of interest to you. You might also want to consider the journal Semeia. It's more towards the liberal/progressive side of the spectrum.

Logos does seek suggestions from users as to what new resources to bring out. Post your ideas in the Suggestions forum, or email them to suggest@logos.com. I know others have been requesting books on liberation theology and such. You could add your voice to one of those threads or start your own. See http://community.logos.com/forums/t/28987.aspxhttp://community.logos.com/forums/t/37163.aspx (note this latter isn't likely to be seen by Logos though, as it's in the General forum; best to post in Suggestions).

They've hired a Catholic product manager, so they've really been ramping up on Catholic resources. It seems they could use a Liberal/Progressive Protestant product manager as well.

Posts 1145
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2012 9:48 PM

Is not fortress press an ELCA publisher?  I do know of some WELS materials but there is some Concordia Publishing House......(That probably won't help either)....

I am not sure but I am sure Presbyterian Church of the United States (PCUSA) has a publisher that it uses.....you could find out if they publish much with Logos.....I just say this because I think the ELCA are in fellowship with them.

I have seen other people talk about writing letters to some of the publisher's and see if deals can't be worked out between the publisher's and Logos.....to get things published....

I have also been told that if your looking for a particular book or "type" of book send a letter to suggest at logos dot com. 

 

Posts 19216
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2012 10:17 PM

I think Westminster/John Knox Press is one of the ones that PCUSA is connected with. Search the website for publisher:westminster. It's not a perfect search; it might pick up some other stuff or leave out some. You might also find some others by clicking on the publisher name under one of the books you do find. SPCK sometimes has some good stuff too (e.g., SPCK New Testament Studies Collection; published in conjunction with Westminster John Knox).  Another keyword to search for is ecumenical. Eerdmans and Baker sometimes publish things that are more ecumenical and open. Also Yale University Press (Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, Anchor Yale Bible, and Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library (29 vols.)).

Posts 1795
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 1 2012 10:43 PM

Some obvious resources:

Anchor Yale Bible items.  The Dictionary, Commentaries, and Reference Library are available

New Interpreters Series. - Last I saw both Dictionary and Commentary were on pre-pub.

Interpretation Commentaries.

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

Fortress has many good items as well, including Her Story and many strong biblical commentaries.

Emerging Church - I seem to recall a few titles of Leonard Sweet and Brian McLaren over at Vyrsio.

While WELS is challenging to deal with, you in the ELCA say that you view yourselves as in union with all churches that accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.  That being the case, shouldn't you listen to the concerns of those who have concerns about the ELCA?

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

Posts 80
Pastor Kay | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 9:53 AM

DMB, Rosie, and William, thank you for the links and the search information.  Searching by publisher should be a great help, excellent!  And yes, I'm very fond of several resources that the Westminster Press and the link publish.

Kenneth- I'm afraid several of those resources, while delightful to dream about, are slightly too rich for my blood at the moment, but yes, I do look forward to them.  Regarding listening to the concerns of those who have concerns with the ELCA, believe me I have, and I have little choice but to continue to do so even if I didn't want to.  While spending a year with a congregation that was considering leaving the ELCA, I did a great deal of research on several topics of concern to them, and since they did leave in the end, I suppose their concerns would be valid enough for you?  But of course if I want to listen to people who have concerns with the ELCA, all I have to do is turn on the news, or read a blog post- and I do those as well, and they're free.  Because my resources are rather limited at the moment, I have little interest in funding people like John Piper, who, if he likes his sense of Christianity to have a "masculine feel", is perfectly welcome to enjoy my not reading his books and leaving them safely un-feminized by my touching them, even in a cyber-sense.

Short version: Of course I listen to those concerns, but I see no reason to pay money to do so.  When I need to do that kind of research, that's what libraries are for.

Posts 388
MJD | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 2:52 PM

KatieBLutheran:
I have little interest in funding people like John Piper, who, if he likes his sense of Christianity to have a "masculine feel", is perfectly welcome to enjoy my not reading his books and leaving them safely un-feminized by my touching them, even in a cyber-sense.

Katie,

John Piper is a true man of God who preaches from the BIBLE.  He does not bend to modern day pressures.  He stays true to the context of the WORD.  It is not John Piper that creates a "masculine feel", this comes directly from the text.

I would recommend one really good resource for you to start with -- it is the ESV Study Bible.

Posts 452
Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 3:01 PM

Oh boy, here we go again... it's all I can do right now not to feed the troll.

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 3:13 PM

MJD:

KatieBLutheran:
I have little interest in funding people like John Piper, who, if he likes his sense of Christianity to have a "masculine feel", is perfectly welcome to enjoy my not reading his books and leaving them safely un-feminized by my touching them, even in a cyber-sense.

Katie,

John Piper is a true man of God who preaches from the BIBLE.  He does not bend to modern day pressures.  He stays true to the context of the WORD.  It is not John Piper that creates a "masculine feel", this comes directly from the text.

I would recommend one really good resource for you to start with -- it is the ESV Study Bible.

I hope we can please stay off the topic of the role of women in the home, society and/or the church. Such a discussion, to be valuable, would go far beyond the purpose of the forums, and violate the forum guidelines.

I would say that many resources, while not overtly for or against an egalitarian view of men and women, are quite compatible with such a view, and most (though not all) that stand on the complementarian side of this debate do struggle honestly and respectfully with the textual and cultural issues. I have found it to be quite rare to find commentaries (e.g.) that "stack the deck" one way or the other, though they do exist.

If you have a question about how a commentary or other resource handles a particular Bible passage, or topic, feel free to ask.

 

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 462
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 3:46 PM

KatieBLutheran:
I'm having trouble finding books on liberation theology, world Christiantiy, the emerging church, etc.

What exactly are you looking for? Are you looking for historical studies on these issues, commentaries from those within those positions or something else?

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 3:54 PM

You might find this helpful:

 

http://vyrso.com/product/13250/beyond-sex-roles-what-the-bible-says-about-a-womans-place-in-church-and-family

Posts 80
Pastor Kay | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 7:00 PM

Thank you Richard, Dave and Philana.


Much as I always appreciate the thoughtful inquiry into my own background, education, and reasoning behind favorite English translation choice, I am happy to acknowledge that this is neither the time nor the place for such a conversation, and will simply say that I did manage to take a good long look at a number of translations- including the ESV- and quite happily settled on the NRSV for standard use well before I finished my M.Div.  The introduction to the translation explains why very well, and coincides with my own studies in Hebrew and Greek.

Richard- I find it, frankly, odd, that such a major company (I mean, as far as I'm aware, it's mostly Logos and Bibleworks, right, and Bibleworks doesn't do the variety of resources that Logos does by design) chooses not to have an equal balance of resources from both the egalitarian and complementarian point of view.  I'd be happy with half.  You'd think the company would be interested in such a large market share, frankly, aside from the fact that Logos itself doesn't seem to have a theological stance itself, or at least I haven't found one on their website.  (For all we know I suppose the entire company's staffed with atheists and, I don't know, Scientologists.)  As "thoughtful" a discussion as complementarian books may give any related issue (and you know, that's an awful lot of issues) they still, fundamentally, don't do a lot for me.  I'm from a denomination which had predecessor bodies- pretty much all of them, actually- who were ordaining women in the 1970's.  Frankly, there are a lot of books out there, and I only have so much time and money, and I'm going to concentrate my time and money on reading books by people who don't see my answering my call to ministry as an affront to God and who therefore don't really want to talk to me anyway (except to tell me I'm imagining said call- and yeah, that's happened).

As to what kind of resources I'm looking for- well, when it comes to Liberation Theology, I've read Guitierrez, but I'd love some further exploration of what that movement has done elsewhere on the globe.  I've attended an emergent church service in Minneapolis, and it wasn't really my thing, but I would be interested in finding out more about the movement, particularly the motivations behind it.  My favorite books are the ones written by pastors "on the ground" about their experiences, with theological reflections arising from them.  Thanks for asking!

Posts 388
MJD | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 7:59 PM

Maybe this will be helpful; here is a passage from my favorite resource, ESV Bible -- Matthew 7:21-23. 

21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Posts 225
Michael Birney | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 8:08 PM

edited no use starting something while trying to keep it from being started.

Thanks.

Posts 80
Pastor Kay | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 8:18 PM

And the NRSV version is:

21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

They are nearly identical- the ESV leaves out the "only" in the last part of verse 21; the last phrase of verse 22 is slightly different, "mighty works" versus "deeds"; there's an "And" at the start of 23 in the ESV but not the NRSV; and then the last two phrases of 23, "depart from me, you workers of lawlessness" (which, look, I get the ESV is going for word for word translation- and hey, as someone who's done translation I'm impressed they managed to be this coherent, the idioms alone would drive me 'round the bend- but this is kind of unnecessarily clunky, isn't it?) vs. "go away from me, you evildoers.

The "only", "And" and the emphasizing of the importance of the works in 22 seem to be the primary differences.  Were you going to share a word study with us, then?

Or, wait, have I misunderstood you, and we're sharing favorite verses?  Because in that case, I really have to go with Ephesians 2:8-10:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 8:24 PM

KatieBLutheran:
I find it, frankly, odd, that such a major company ... chooses not to have an equal balance of resources from both the egalitarian and complementarian point of view.

As a member of the Logos minority (ACELO - Anglican, Catholic, Eastern Church, Lutheran, Orthodox) I understand your frustration. The president, Bob P., has explained that the majority of their income comes from the Evangelical groups. This is in part because of differences in how ACELO customers approach Scripture and because of shortcomings in handling the larger canons of the ACELO churches in versions prior to Logos 4. However, Logos has committed to a major thrust into the Catholic market. As I was taught "Lutherans for Bible studies, Anglican for liturgy and Catholic for theology" this should result in broader resources for a number of interests and backgrounds. So, no, there is not resource equality but progress is being made at a speed that stretches my pocket book.

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

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 8:57 PM

KatieBLutheran:

Hi.  I'm in the process of entering the clergy with the ELCA, and I'm having some trouble figuring out which of the resources you offer are going to be helpful to me.

When I look at resources about empowering women in the church, it's frankly impossible, usually, to figure out if the books are for or against female ordination from the advertising copy- which, as you might imagine, would have an impact on whether I'd be interested in them.  (By the way, I notice that female authors rarely seem to have their degrees listed after their names, whereas almost all the male authors do.  Someone might want to look into that, it just looks weird.)

The copy about a lot of the books is clearly just straight from the publisher- which means it's full of claims to be "Christ centered" but has little information about the background of the author and their approach to the text.  If an author was on the conservative side of the Seminex disagreement, for example, and doesn't use social-historical criticism, that information would be useful to me when evaluating resources, but figuring that kind of thing out is kind of impossible from the advertising copy.

And it might just be me- I'm still poking around and all, kind of new- but on the surface it looks like there are a lot more books from the fundamentalist side of things than otherwise.  I'm having trouble finding books on liberation theology, world Christiantiy, the emerging church, etc.  And most of the Lutheran stuff seems to be either from Martin Luther himself (which, hey, great!) or from the WELS (which doesn't help me much).  And I'm just not here to buy books by John Piper, you know?

Any tips on better search words to find what I'm looking for?  Any links to places where Logos talks about how they find and choose resources to add to the collection?  Thanks!

Hi Katie,

As someone who has just graduated from an ELCA seminary (TLS), I can tell you that you will find very very very few text books here that will help you with your seminary studies outside your biblical classes.  Here is what I have, and it works great.

1.       Original language package

2.       Luther Works

3.       Yale Anchor Bible dictionary

4.       Word Biblical Commentary Series

5.       Herminia Series

6.       BDAG

7.       HALOT

8.       Exploring the New Testament World

9.       Socio-Rhetorical Commentary Series

FYI... seminary students get the above items at a very good discount.

You are exactly right, and as others have noted, about not finding resources that comes from feminist theology like Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, womanist theologians like Delores S. Williams, or black liberation theologians like James Hal Cone.

To get a grasp of Logos’ main users, just look at the forums concerning the publications that come from a Roman Catholic point of view.

This being said, Logos’ is trying to expand who uses their software; they just have a very very very long way to go.

Posts 570
Rev Chris | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 9:12 PM

Although kind of expensive now that it's no longer a pre-pub offering, you may want to check out the Gender and the Bible collection: http://www.logos.com/product/5728/gender-and-the-bible-collection.  Again, it would be helpful to know what exactly you're looking for.  If you want Bible commentaries and dictionaries that are gender-inclusive (or at least not gender-exclusive), then I suggest the Anchor-Yale series, or the upcoming New Interpreter's series and the Feasting on the Word series.  Also, I like the Interpretation Commentary Series.  Both the Feasting on the Word and Interpretation are John Knox Press, and New Interpreter's is Abingdon (a United Methodist publication).

If you're looking for books on liberation theology and the like, my suggestion is to use the recommendations of your professors as a starting point and look to see if Logos has the best deals for those books.  Logos has some good theology books, but the power of the program is in its ability to do Bible study.  For me, when it comes to reading books front to back, I tend to go with whomever has the best price.

You say you're in "process of entering the clergy."  I would recommend that you build your Logos library using the base packages as a starting point (going at least to the Scholar's level since that unlocks the database features) and maybe checking out the New Interpreter's or Feasting on the Word since the pre-pub's are at a good price.  As for your other books, I wouldn't worry too much.  By the time you finish seminary you will have a good library built up of books on theology and other disciplines.  Also, you'll have a good idea by then how to look for books that are well-suited to you.

Pastor, seminary trustee, and app developer.  Check out my latest app for churches: The Church App

Posts 19216
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2012 10:01 PM

Paternoster is another non-fundamentalist publisher. There's some good stuff in their Theological Studies Collection. Their Old Testament Studies Collection is another good one; particularly (for your area of interest) Eve: Accused or Acquitted? A Reconsideration of Feminist Readings of the Creation Narrative Texts in Genesis 1–3, which can be bought apart from the fuller set. They also have a New Testament Studies Collection and a Pauline Studies Collection, and a Trinitarian Studies Collection, if you want to pick up the titles more cheaply than stand-alone. And again, ask for your academic discount, as that will save you a lot. To save even more, check out their Contemporary Issues Collection which is in pre-pub still.

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