• A second potential "quick fix". A second suggestion would provide the context of the topic across a variety of denominations. Before the Recommended Resources section, provide a "Topic in Confessional Documents" section that gives the reference for the topic in creeds, confessions of faith, catechisms, ... and other authoritative summary doctrinal statements. This would require: - a review of such documents and adding to the Logos library missing documents - milestones for such documents at the paragraph/article ... level depending upon the structure of the document - mapping similar to that being used to align the systematic theology texts. A quick look at the work of Jaroslav Pelikan implies about 250 such documents is adequate coverage.
    1. This would be extraordinarily helpful.
  • A potential "quick fix" that would provide perspective - this was done quickly and has already had a Lutheran suggest a correction: Yesterday, I was exploring the Theology Guide in the context of how to create tradition specific theological workflows. Thus I found myself reading the article on "The Number of Sacraments" in the Lexham Survey of Theology. As a logician, I had my normal reaction to the use of weasel words "generally", "many" ... and the lack of references so that verification of the information is difficult. However, the primary difficulty is that as a survey, it doesn't make getting a survey view easy. I would like to suggest that between the text and the passage list, you actually insert a survey. For the article "The Number of Sacraments" this survey would like something like: [image goes here] Note: The selected groups are shown in the order of schism with no other implication. Church of the East/Oriental Orthodox are combined as it is difficult to find the necessary data for them individually. I will not vouch for the accuracy of my data on Calvinism. I know that in some cases I am using outdated vocabulary e.g. penance rather than reconciliation. What I see in the chart: 1, The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox use the term "Major" implying that there are also minor sacraments; their definition of "sacrament" is probably broader than that in the Western tradition. 2. The Lutherans and the Anglicans make a distinction between "sacraments" and "sacramentals" at a different point than Catholics; their definition of "sacrament" it probably tighter than that of the Orthodox and Catholics. 3. The Anabaptists and Calvinists are inclined to use terms other than "sacrament" i.e. "ceremonies" or "Ordinances"; this likely means a radical shift away from the sacramental theology. I can now read the text of the LST with some context in which to translate the weasel words into assertions that can be evaluated as true or false. And I can get a relatively objective view of the state of the topic today across the most significant historical schisms. I would like to see the LST enhanced by the inclusion of such summary data at the end of each topic. It also provides a context for the major theological debates of today by indicating what threads of theology are actually involved.
    1. started a discussion

      DiscussCreating a new paradigm, some thoughts.

      Sean:


      Thank you for the link. Very interesting and helpful information.


      With respect to the following in the article:


      "2. A Church-based theological education network for the twenty-first century:"


      The idea of having


      "key churches or a localized community of churches, which are capable of housing extensive resources, hosting conferences, and maintaining an on-line computer center."


      is excellent, a lofty goal worthy of prioritizing it as key.


      Problem is how to get to that.


      In the Bible, before a local church was available to tap into the human and technical resources, disciples were needed to be gathered first.


      Jesus prayed, and walked, engaging persons in the real life situational context of His time.


      So I see that before a new proposed theological model is executed, a baby step is in order:


      Chaplains: corporate, marketplace, community, schools, health and fitness related institutions and the like.


      Just as some denominations engage in Community Health Evangelism (CHE), one can engage in initiatives like Aquaponic project development, to allow something similar to the "A handful of rice" project, to gather disciples and funds to eventually develop the staging Head quarters called for in the article.


      https://vimeo.com/16288195


      Social justice to help alleviate structural evil is not only for liberals, and is not about giving without fostering Christian responsibility and stewardship.


      Teach them to fish (tent making in the Bible), and evangelize them at the same time is a Biblical model.


      Christian responsibility and stewardship must be incorporated into the evangelical and planting environment to then be able to achieve sustainability to do the staging HQ structural support for further theological training.


      Sorry for the late input, and remember that the thoughts expressed come from a regular sheep in a non-expert status.


      Peace and grace.

    2. started a discussion

      DiscussImportant Non-Protestant Stuff Missing from Existing LST Articles

      Add more at your leisure.


      1. The articles in LST dealing with revelation do not even mention the crucial terms "public revelation" and "private revelation", which are the terms used by Catholics to make what is from a Catholic perspective a fundamental distinction between types of revelation.
      2. The term "natural revelation" is mentioned once in passing and "supernatural revelation" never occurs. These latter two terms are the ones used by Catholics (rather than the ones in the articles), so the present articles on revelation are rather unhelpful to Catholics, and the terminology in the articles is rather unhelpful for any non-Catholic who may ever be interested in looking up how Catholics address revelation.
    3. started a discussion

      DiscussToC Issues

      With the LST open, the ToC on the left set, under "Attributes of the Church" deals with

      1. Universal
      2. Unity
      3. Holiness
      4. Apostolic

      This is is the order used in the resource itself.


      In the resource's actual ToC, we find:


      1. Unity
      2. Holiness
      3. Universal
      4. Apostolic


      This is the traditional order, used in the Nicene Creed (unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam, in Latin), and is probably the one that should actually be used in the LST itself.


      (Interestingly, the links in the resource's actual ToC do point to the correct headings, even though those headings are in the wrong order in the resource itself.)


      I would request that the discrepancy noted above be fixed, preferably in favour of the traditional order. Thanks!

    4. [This is a test post to see if I've correctly set group permissions for posting] In "Church-based Theological Education: Creating a New Paradigm" (http://www.cc-amesdsm.org/download/paradigmPapers/1_Creating%20a%20New%20Paradigm.pdf), Jeff Reed, CEO and Founder of BILD Interational, says (in a footnote): > Harvey Conn argues persuasively in Eternal Word, Changing Worlds, 1984, both correcting and building upon the work of Charles Kraft, that our systematic theology categories are far more culturally specific than any of us are aware, and that these categories are not appropriate to many cultures in which we need to enter today. Careful and disciplined biblical theology, together with a thorough examination of the culture in which one ministers, are the needed ingredients in building a relevant “belief framework in culture,” or doing theology in culture in a way which relates to the predominant world views of those being ministered to. I haven't read the work cited, though I have much respect for the work of Dr. Kraft. Do you see ways in which the LSTO categories are inappropriate to cultures outside contemporary Western society?
      1. This is a test answer. :-) - Probably we'd need people from such cultures to give insight into that. - Wayne Grudem briefly discusses this (actually the related question whether the structure predetermines the outcome of theological questions) in the intro to his ST and argues that since ST summarizes all the bible has to say on any topic, the structure is irrelevant. But this opens the can of worms whether his definion of ST is sufficient/correct...
      2. Ultimately, I would say that if (and only if) it is true that the discipline of theology itself possesses an intrinsic internal structure (i.e., an order), then it is possible to create an STO that transcends cultural limitations. With regard to the LSTO, I would suggest that its ontology is in vastly more danger of finding itself inappropriate for non-Protestant Christians than for, say, non-Americans.
    5. started a discussion

      DiscussIdentifying Missing Concepts

      The Lexham Survey of Theology/Systematic Theology Ontology currently includes 234 concepts, organized into eight major branches that reflect the traditional structuring of systematic theological writing and inquire. Our purpose was to include all the major beliefs common to a broad range of Christian groups, without taking particular positions on disputed issues or attempting to capture every minor point.


      Are there any concepts that you would argue should be added to the ontology to ensure that it is a reasonably complete account of Christian systematic theology? Are there areas with significant discussion in the theological literature that fall outside these concepts?