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Discussion Forum : SermonIndex Announcements : SI Review in the Evangelicals Now Magazine

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CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re:

For those who are having troible downloading the image (e-hem Clutch;-)), here's the article in text format (downloaded from the http://www.e-n.org.uk/.

Quote:

Issue - July 2004
Sermon index
Stephen Doggett looks at a new Christian website

As anyone who has searched will know, searching for sermons or Christian literature online can be a discouraging and time-consuming task. Though there are many wonderful and faithful websites, sadly, there is also much that is misguided, false, or blasphemous, often deliberately so.

Therefore, the idea behind a new Canadian-led website - www.sermonindex.net - is welcomed. The site aims to provide, in one place, an extensive range of Christian sermons. From Charles G. Finney to Charles H. Spurgeon, John Stott to Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Billy Graham to Iain Paisley, and George Whitefield to Watchman Nee; the website acts as a central database of sermons (mainly audio though some are written). The range of preachers is wider than that generally available on other websites, and therefore requires the listener to be more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of particular preachers.

At present the catalogue is limited, though still impressive. Five preachers have more than 100 sermons available - A.W. Tozer, Stephen Kaung, Leonard Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, and Carter Conlon. However, users (or 'posters' in cyber-speak) can upload material themselves, thus building a globally accessible storehouse of Christian sermons - in a sense, creating a Christian (and legal) version of the illicit Napster music website that proved so popular before it was shut down.

My impressions were not always so favourable. If users do not have the ability to play the audio material (in MP3 format), then they are confined to what is written, which is far less substantial. In tone, the website is charismatic; in doctrine, it is generally Arminian. 'Calvin' is a name greatly disliked in the chatrooms. There is also something distasteful about the star ratings and appraisals given by users to each of the sermons - in the same way that someone might rate a book on Amazon.com. What right do I have to judge the sermons of godly men?

Anachronisms

However, some wonderful sermons, evidently unpopular, stand without star or comment. The old, crackly, recordings of Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones are left free of judgement - although the quality of the sound does not always make listening easy. Beware too of anachronisms. Certain preachers may not sound quite as you would expect them to - e.g. here, as on other sites, Spurgeon has acquired a quite uninspiring, American drawl.

In other ways too, the site does not appeal. There is much glitz and too many superfluous add-ons, seemingly designed to deter a sober-minded viewer. Peel away the chaff - the league table of 'top posters', the webcam, the chatrooms, the appeals for money, and the petition to make a sister site one of the top100 in America - and the only substance is in the sermons. Directing a viewer to these sermons does not appear to be the central aim of the site (click on the 'downloads' option, secreted away towards the top of the page to find a list of preachers) and it was only after a few visits to the site that I discovered that there was a list of all the preachers. Up until then I had thought that the site was dedicated to Charles G. Finney, revival and the various advertisements on the homepage. Had I continued under that impression this review might well have turned out to be very different.

The question of what advertisements a Christian website should carry is itself an interesting question. Advertisements are often a very lucrative source of funding but do much to alter the whole tone of a site. Here they completely detract from the best parts of the site. Other very useful websites have succumbed to debatable advertising as well (e.g. a popular Christian site has long carried an advertisement that reads: 'Fulfil your ministry potential with a combination of God's call and a distance learning degree').

If you have the ability to download audio material on your computer then this site is worth a look. There are better and more useful sites, but many more that are worse.


Copyright Evangelicals Now



_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2004/7/15 7:07Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: review

Thanks Aaron!

Personally, I feel that though this was not the most positive review, it will still serve it's purposes. God will still use it and people will be interested and come to the site. (What is that thing about negative publicity is better than NO publiciity). Not that the review was all negative.

I am very glad for you Greg! God will use this for His benefit and glory.

As far as the site being glitzy- I think the site is modern and up-to-date looking (only a computer genius could do this :-) hee hee) For the new person, it may be a bit overwhelming at first because you don't know where to look first, but you get to know your way around pretty quickly (as one friend stated to me).

I think the downloads button would be the only thing I would make a bit more noticable.

So many people have benefitted from SI. The author of this review probably has no idea what has gone on in people's lives behind the scenes- too bad really. Bit that's ok, the Lord knows and that's what matters.

But overall, I give the site and A+ or 5***** !

Keep up the great work and give all the glory to Him!

In Him, Chanin


_________________
Chanin

 2004/7/15 8:23Profile
jeremyhulsey
Member



Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

Quote:
A word about Clutch, I can assure you he was kidding! It's just Clutch and sometimes he may push it a little but I miss his humor...Moo!* (*It's a looong story, ask Ron {Philologos} about it sometime).



Quote:
Humour is a funny thing, sometimes. Personally no one, on this site, has yet offended me with their humour or their points of view although occasionally I have 'cringed'. Some folks on the site are more familiar with academic circles and it is easy to step onto people's toes in those circles. Others, like Clutch, who was a police officer are more used to the rough and tumble of the 'guys in the station'. We need to keep each other in mind and remind ourselves that this is a public forum, but I hope we can still have room for a little banter.



Duely noted. Sorry Clutch. I'll learn to take a grain of salt when I read your posts :-P


Quote:
Revival. At least he did touch on that.
Was puzzled a bit about "And the only substance is in the sermons. Directing a viewer to these sermons does not seem the central aim of the site"
Maybe Greg you should change the name to something more obvious



Excellent point. We should be happy that he thought the only substance was the sermons 8-).

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2004/7/15 8:52Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36964
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
you can see that the site's one redeeming feature was some scratchy Martin Lloyd Jones' messages; we would probably get a much lower rating now that these have been temporarily removed.


Yes I agree but the good news is the Martyn Llyod Jones trust is very impressed with the site and is going to work together with SermonIndex and supply higher quality records. see here: [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2533&forum=44&0]Martyn-Lloyd Jones Trust.. partnership[/url] (your prayers would be great). Yes of course there are places for humor but not all the time unless you are the SI Jester (please note: thats not a paid position at the moment).

Quote:
here's the article in text format (downloaded from the http://www.e-n.org.uk/.


Great going brother Aaron!! ;-)


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/7/15 9:03Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36964
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

From reviewing a few emails by brothers sent to me and looking over this thread again I had a few ideas pop in my mind on how the reviewer saw the site.

One main purpose of the site is truth and it is not given on a silver platter but has to be dug for! we should have a disclaimer on the site that once you begin you must pick up a SI shovel and start digging to get anywhere, its hard, pain-staking, takes diligence and patience and selfcontrol, but surly once you find what the Lord intended to show you its well worth it. The narrow winding way to live, what a drast difference to the broad way where everything is so clearly marked out and it take no thought at all to get on your way. It's remarkable how many of you brothers and sisters have found truth and revelation from this ministry that I never knew was there, I am cautious in making this a clear-cut sermon site where you just line up and get your dosage, I think what makes this site unique is that the 'spirit listeth where it wants' and so do the discussions and sermons featured and going on the site.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/7/15 14:24Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Funny, in doing a search for something unrelated had come upon this thread once again and had noticed some replies that got past me. (I know that's hard to believe :-? )

Quote:
One main purpose of the site is truth and it is not given on a silver platter but has to be dug for! we should have a disclaimer on the site that once you begin you must pick up a SI shovel and start digging to get anywhere, its hard, pain-staking, takes diligence and patience and selfcontrol, but surly once you find what the Lord intended to show you its well worth it.



Incredible, was thinking on this recently and think this would be a great idea Greg. Your analogy is perfect. For someone just popping in it would be beneficial if they were to know that in a sense that they have come upon an archaeological dig that is in progress. The forum being a work site with mounds of dirt and eager workers, diligently searching, reporting their finds and past expertise, consolidating their collective information while 'new' statistics are coming in and other questions are being raised, some still awaiting answers. A work in progress continually.
And, yes, there is gold in them thar hills! Here's a sample:

Quote:
It's remarkable how many of you brothers and sisters have found truth and revelation from this ministry that I never knew was there, I am cautious in making this a clear-cut sermon site where you just line up and get your dosage, I think what makes this site unique is that the 'spirit listeth where it wants' and so do the discussions and sermons featured and going on the site.



I marvel at this nugget as well.


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Mike Balog

 2004/8/10 13:07Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36964
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
Incredible, was thinking on this recently and think this would be a great idea Greg. Your analogy is perfect. For someone just popping in it would be beneficial if they were to know that in a sense that they have come upon an archaeological dig that is in progress. The forum being a work site with mounds of dirt and eager workers, diligently searching, reporting their finds and past expertise, consolidating their collective information while 'new' statistics are coming in and other questions are being raised, some still awaiting answers. A work in progress continually.


Your elobration on my analogy has put mine to shame. Brother you are definetly right! I think I need to construct with the help of others an whole FAQ section answering every question people would have about the site! I need to find some suitable infrastructure for this first. I think it would lessen the confusion or questions about a plethora of topics including the afore mentioned one of the chemistry of this site.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/8/10 18:05Profile
jouko
Member



Joined: 2003/10/9
Posts: 172
Ex-England colony of Australia

 Re:

My impressions were not always so favourable. If users do not have the ability to play the audio material (in MP3 format), then they are confined to what is written, which is far less substantial. In tone, the website is charismatic; in doctrine, it is generally Arminian. 'Calvin' is a name greatly disliked in the chatrooms. There is also something distasteful about the star ratings and appraisals given by users to each of the sermons - in the same way that someone might rate a book on Amazon.com. What right do I have to judge the sermons of godly men?



That is quite a comment. I'm sure after he'd written this somebody would have told him that most audio players on computers nowadays would have a player for mp3 and if burnt onto a cd it would be transferred to a more suitable format. If this is a charismatic site then indeed there wouldn't be any judging more like just believing
whatever, armininan, then the judging of the sermons would be appropriate. I'd prefer the word discern maybe he hasn't heard that one before. How do I know if a man is a godly man unless I do what he condemns, judge him by his preaching/words ? In the end I believe he would have to say that "judging" is part of our daily life. It would be interesting having the writer discussing on a thread.
jouko


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Jouko Hakola

 2004/8/10 20:53Profile
samuelp
Member



Joined: 2004/2/16
Posts: 2
Australia Armidale

 Re:

I would have to agree with him that the top posters (and new members) are quite unneeded. At least as far as I can see.

--Samuel


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Samuel Paris

 2004/8/11 3:19Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Which reminds me [i]again[/i] to get back to that...ahem...aforementioned...long delayed...ah..I am without excuse.

A guide to the site is being put together and hopefully it will attempt to cover all the technical aspects of maneuvering about here, tips, a bit on the use of HTML, forum etiquette and so on.

And of course a FAQ! Great idea Greg in presenting perhaps a rough draft at some point to see what others think, get some more input, make corrections and so forth.

Coming soon! :-?


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Mike Balog

 2004/8/11 11:07Profile





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