The ease at which answers come out of L4 is amazing. It really IS like having a great research assistant!

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jul 12 2010 3:44 AM

I was searching for the answer to a question yesterday after having a conversation with a non-christian, a question that was involved and would have taken a LOT OF TIME to research the old paper book way....and it suddenly hit me.

The amount of time that Logos 4 saves compared to scouring a library of paper resources, finding answers scattered in multiple books, taking physical notes with Word or on paper, chasing the links from one book to the next, copying down the "already on the page" information...allows me to read, digest and think about the actual question rather than spending all my time going through the logistics of firguring out where this answer might lie...and then FINALLY getting to it.

It really IS like having a great research assistant!

Robert Pavich

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 4:48 AM

Robert Pavich:
The amount of time that Logos 4 saves compared to scouring a library of paper resources, finding answers scattered in multiple books, taking physical notes with Word or on paper, chasing the links from one book to the next, copying down the "already on the page" information...

And don't forget that you no longer have to physically pick up and put down over 1000 books each timeStick out tongue

Dave
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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 7:57 AM

Robert and Dave are correct in both of their assertions.  Logos is an amazing blessing.  However, one problem will always exist no matter how fantastic the technology becomes ... epistemology.  IOW, how does one know that the answer he or she is looking at (or believes) is absolutely true? 

If you are a relativist or an irrationalist, then the problem is moot.  But if you believe a priori that there is a God, and that He is perfect (by definition), and that He has spoken, then there must be only one absolute truth.  And yet there are so many different interpretations for nearly every verse in the Word of God.  And therein lies the problem ... how does a student sort through it all?

There have been many answers as to how we know what we believe really is true.  We have all had the experience where something we were absolutely sure of, later turned out to be not true (or, vice versa).  "I know that I know that I know", has been spoken by many TV evangelists/preachers.  Mormons speak of a "burning in the bosom" in order to ascertain what they consider to be true.  Evangelicals used to sing a little ditty about "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me."  Evidentialists believe that physical evidence confirms their belief system.  Presuppositionalists say that there is some knowledge that comes a priori as elements of faith given to the elect of God.  Some believe that if you look up every reference to a particular subject in the Bible and evaluate them, you will arrive at the truth (inductive study).  My computer and software told me this was the answer ... see?  it's right here on this handout.  Et cetera.

David Wolfe, author of Epistemology - The Justification of Belief, states that any system or set of beliefs must contain the following characteristics:

1.  Consistency—the assertions, hypotheses, and opinions expressed by the system should be free from contradiction.

2.  Coherence—the assertions and hypotheses should be related in a unified manner.

3.  Comprehensiveness—the system should be applicable to all evidence.

4.  Congruity—the system of assertions, hypotheses, etc. must "fit" all evidence. It must be accurate, adequate and precise to fit all data. In other words, the whole must equal the sum of its parts. If one part of the whole is out of sync with the whole, then the whole must be revised to include this part without throwing the other parts out of sync. We are searching for the interpretation which best "fits" all the data.

I think he is correct.  

Logos is a great tool ... a "great research assistant" as Robert correctly says.  But it only displays options and possibilities ... the hard work of determining what is true always remains.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 8:13 AM

Robert Pavich:
It really IS like having a great research assistant!

In addition Logos gets you to information you didn't know you even had in your library or at least would never have thought to look for in the places Logos did. And it gets it to you in pretty short time.

I guess that's why we add to our libraries and enjoy using Logos. Those serendipitous discoveries plus the meat and potatoes stuff.

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 9:50 AM

JRS:

I think he is correct.  

Logos is a great tool ... a "great research assistant" as Robert correctly says.  But it only displays options and possibilities ... the hard work of determining what is true always remains.

Thanks for sharing, I agree Yes.

Ted

 

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 10:15 AM

JRS:

I think he is correct.  

Logos is a great tool ... a "great research assistant" as Robert correctly says.  But it only displays options and possibilities ... the hard work of determining what is true always remains.

True, but his point wasn't that Logos helps you discern what's true. His point was that it provides you with all the options and possibilities much faster than the old way with paper libraries would have. The epistemological conundrums you pointed out would have still been there, though they would have been perhaps less evident in the old days when you could only have time to find one or two options to choose from in a day of research. Now you can find so many more and it becomes mind-boggling. But who's to say you would have found the one best option in the old way of researching? You might have overlooked it entirely in the laborious quest. Now if it's available in Logos format, you'll find it.

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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 11:50 AM

Rosie Perera:
his point wasn't that Logos helps you discern what's true

This morning I was browsing through the new posts when "The ease at which answers come out of L4 ..." [emphasis mine] jumped off the page at me - as if L4 were an "EASY BUTTON" that can be pushed at anytime and out comes the answer.  Once I opened this particular thread, I saw that RP was the OP.  Now, I have been reading this forum (and the former newsgroup) long enough to know something of RP's theology/philosophy so I realized that the way I had read the title was not the way he meant it. 

Nevertheless, I decided to put a few words together re: what can be a genuine trap for many ... namely, that what the computer returns is, in fact, the answer.  Now that may sound patently obvious to those who have been studying for any length of time, but for others it is not.   I remember many years ago when first starting my pilgrimage how dumbfounded I was when I realized that the notes in my  ---- Study Bible weren't always correct, or that Bro So-and-So really did not have the facts, or that there are other, legitimate theological views besides what my hero,  Rev. Whosey preaches, or that the teachings and traditions of my denomination might be wrong. 

Theological/doctrinal security blankets are warm, fuzzy and comforting, but can be wrong.  Letting go of them when you realize they are threadbare is painful, but necessary.  Hence my epistemological warning to those who might not have ever considered these things. 

My apologies to RP if my post suggested that I was taking him to task.  I wasn't.

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 12:10 PM

JRS:
My apologies to RP if my post suggested that I was taking him to task.  I wasn't.

No apologies necessary...I really should have worded the title differently.

Thanks to everyone for good thoughtful replies..

 

This discussion brings up a memory...when I first got Logos 3 and was showing my friend how fast it was he told me..."...wow...that's amazing! Now you can be wrong MUCH faster than you were before!"

Big Smile

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 12:25 PM

JRS:
My apologies to RP if my post suggested that I was taking him to task.  I wasn't.

I did not think you were taking Bob to task, just explaining the difficult conundrum involved in research work. But I can now see how others may view it. This just highlight one of the difficulty of written communication and how careful one should be not to give offence.

So Bob sorry my agreement was not in anyway a slight at your comments above. Seriously I have faced the problem JRS so eloquently mentioned in his post. With a library as large like mine it can be daunting. No offence meant so none should be taken.

Ted

Edit: Saw Bob's post after my written reply. Was writing when he posted.

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 1:12 PM

Ted Hans:
So Bob sorry my agreement was not in anyway a slight at your comments above.

Ted,

No problems brother...I never took it that way.... Big Smile

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 1:34 PM

Robert Pavich:

This discussion brings up a memory...when I first got Logos 3 and was showing my friend how fast it was he told me..."...wow...that's amazing! Now you can be wrong MUCH faster than you were before!"

Hee hee. Yes, sometimes it's better to remain "seeing through a glass darkly" about something. Once we've found what we think the answer is, we might hold to it so strongly as to not be able to be convinced when it turns out we were wrong. At least while we're still "agnostic" about it, we are open to persuasion and tolerant of those who have "figured it out" in some other way than we might have done. There are lots of details about absolute truth that I don't think we'll finally know for sure until "then" when we shall know "face to face." (Rom 13:12, KJV)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 2:46 PM

JRS:

how does one know that the answer he or she is looking at (or believes) is absolutely true? 

If you are a relativist or an irrationalist, then the problem is moot.

One other possibility - the person who is acutely aware of the incompleteness of human understanding of the Absolute - the apophatic theology side. However, I'm interested in David Wolfe's book you mention - Epistemology. Would you recommend this as a Logos resource? Have you found any similar titles to be of interest?

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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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 4:00 PM

MJ,

I placed a scan of Wolfe's book in the Suggestions Forum for you. 

While Wolfe has some interesting ideas, I have found myself much more influenced by Gordon Clark.  For example, here is a good article entitled The Bible as Truth in which he lays out much of his epistemological philosophy http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=258

I must warn that much of the content at the Trinity Foundation website can be polemical in character so I do not recommend it for anyone who might be easily offended.  Despite this, there is some very challenging thought to be found there.

I also find Herman Hoeksema and other PRC men like David Englsma to be challenging, as well.   http://www.prca.org/

Both Clark and Hoeksema have been requested for inclusion in Logos on several occasions so I won't repeat the plea.

-J

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 4:08 PM

JRS . . . Indifferent . . .gulp . . . you mean to tell me that everything I read in Easton's and RWP is not . . . .Indifferent . . . true?

 

 

 

Wink

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 4:09 PM

MJ. Smith:
the apophatic theology side.
  there you go betraying your affinity for Eastern Orthodox theology!  Wink (I'm only trying to betray that I have been reading on it lately, and actually know what that means. Geeked)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 12 2010 4:21 PM

Dan DeVilder:
there you go betraying your affinity for Eastern Orthodox theology! 

I've got to get some points for consistencyBig Smile

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 15 2010 7:49 PM

JRS:
Logos is a great tool ... a "great research assistant" as Robert correctly says.  But it only displays options and possibilities ... the hard work of determining what is true always remains.

The possibilities for what is "true" become greater ie. should I ignore xxxx because I heard he/she is agnostic or heretical? One of my great teachers in matters of the Holy Spirit was labeled "heretical" but I think that was because of a disciple who has a similar name, and I ignored the criticism because what he taught has been confirmed by the Holy Spirit for over 30 years. Great teachers have fallen into error but their earlier ministry was fruitful. So one has to discern with the Holy Spirit what is both true AND relevant; and learn to put aside mistaken beliefs.

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William | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 12:02 AM

Dave Hooton:
The possibilities for what is "true" become greater ie. should I ignore xxxx because I heard he/she is agnostic or heretical?

I very much agree here.  I have an obvious case in point.  Remember, Saul of Tarsus?  I think I remember something about his early life and his teachings....Weren't they bad?  Now.....More than half of God's Holy, Inspired, Inerrant (New Testament) word is penned by him. 

Of course, there are many more that I could mention but don't have that kind of time. 

 

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JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 7:28 AM

Dave Hooton:
The possibilities for what is "true" become greater ie. should I ignore xxxx because I heard he/she is agnostic or heretical? One of my great teachers in matters of the Holy Spirit was labeled "heretical" but I think that was because of a disciple who has a similar name, and I ignored the criticism because what he taught has been confirmed by the Holy Spirit for over 30 years. Great teachers have fallen into error but their earlier ministry was fruitful. So one has to discern with the Holy Spirit what is both true AND relevant; and learn to put aside mistaken beliefs.

I totally agree, Dave.  I used to recoil in horror at the thought of reading or even possessing a book or article written by someone whom I considered a liberal, or an heretic, or an agnostic, or whatever Indifferent.  But it is amazing how many times I have been influenced by people from totally different perspectives than my own - i.e., not that I necessarily agree with their analysis or conclusions but that many of them are brilliant people with very thought-provoking insights on Scripture.  Being hit from out of the blue with the "Gee, I never about it that way.  Hmmmm...." experience is delightful as opposed to the needle-always-in-the-same-groove thought pattern.  But I am also quick to point out that novelty for the sake of mere novelty (or notoriety) is dangerous and that epistemology is always the fundamental issue.

Theological variety is also a strength of the Logos library and forums.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 16 2010 4:12 PM

JRS:

I used to recoil in horror at the thought of reading or even possessing a book or article written by someone whom I considered a liberal, or an heretic, or an agnostic, or whatever Indifferent.  But it is amazing how many times I have been influenced by people from totally different perspectives than my own - i.e., not that I necessarily agree with their analysis or conclusions but that many of them are brilliant people with very thought-provoking insights on Scripture.  Being hit from out of the blue with the "Gee, I never about it that way.  Hmmmm...." experience is delightful as opposed to the needle-always-in-the-same-groove thought pattern.

 

I remember when a new friend I'd made at my evangelical seminary told me she'd learned a lot from "liberals" I was shocked and a bit nervous. But that was my first education in the principle of allowing myself to learn something from people I was certain I disagreed with (because of some category I'd placed them in). When I actually started reading or listening to what some of them had to say, it made a lot of sense to me. Not that I agreed with all of it lock, stock, and barrel. But I had to open myself up to even the possibility that there might be something worth learning from them, before I could hear what they were saying the way they meant it, instead of the way I'd been taught to caricature what they believed. Basically I'd rather let someone speak for themselves rather than read a summary of what their theological position is by someone else who disagrees with them.

JRS:

But I am also quick to point out that novelty for the sake of mere novelty (or notoriety) is dangerous and that epistemology is always the fundamental issue.

Very good point. Going against established orthodoxy just for the sake of trying some new flavor-of-the-month is not a good idea. However hearing the Word through the voice of someone you might not otherwise been exposed to in conversation can sometimes be very enriching, sometimes challenging, can shake us out of our comfort zone and break through our blind spots. When we read the Bible through the same colored glasses we've always done, we sometimes miss out on what is right there in front of our faces.

JRS:

Theological variety is also a strength of the Logos library and forums.

 

Yes, I value the mix of people and authors from all over the theological spectrum in Logos and the forums. We get out of our little ghettoes of people who think exactly like us and learn to expand our horizons. Who knows? Someone might recommend some resource that makes a light switch go on in our minds and suddenly we understand something about new God in a deeper way that hits us where we need to hear it. Not novelty for the sake of novelty, but newness because God's mercies are "new every morning" and we can never exhaust the riches of knowing him.

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