Dec 3, 2008

Helpful Sermon Tool from Logos

[Update: Please see the concerns in the comments below regarding this post. I contacted Logos directly, and to be quite frank, the response from Logos was less than satisfactory.]

From the Logos blog:

As a hat-tip to all our loyal Logos blog readers, we wanted to let you know about our latest online project, (beta). While we aren’t ready for a full-out release announcement, we thought it would be fun to let you guys and gals get the first chance to visit the site and “kick the tires.” is an online community built around user created sermons and illustrations and already hosts over 56,000 sermons and illustrations.

Along with the ability to search using the same powerful search engine that runs, you can also rate sermons, subscribe to sermon RSS feeds, create links to sermons and illustrations you want to share with people, and even create your own user account to upload your sermons and illustrations to the site.

If you already have a account, there is no need to create a new account to use the site. Your username and password work on Not only that, but you can also promote your church and your sermons by enhancing your profile with a picture, a link to your church, your title, organization, personal blog or website, denomination, and much more. To enhance your profile, just visit:

If you’re a Logos user and have the Sermon File Addin, contributing to is as easy as checking the “add my sermons to the Logos database” checkbox. Your sermons will automatically be added and, even more, when you edit them within Logos, your edits will appear on the site as well.

So, there you go. Remember, the site is in beta, so go check it out and let us know what you think.


Todd Bolen said...

Charles - from what I understand, there are some real ethical concerns with this. Logos made a big deal about "giving away" the sermon tool, but they weren't upfront about the fact that it would automatically upload all of *your* sermons into *their* database, unless you found and unchecked the option. So I imagine that lots of those sermons that are (or will be) on this database will be there without the owner's knowledge. Amazing how Logos can proclaim their Sermon Addin Tool as a bonus to their users when it really is a sneaky way to create a gargantuan database for themselves. I haven't verified this for myself, as I'm not willing to take the "free" gift, but those who might be so inclined should be aware of this issue before using the tool or the database.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to clarify: we have fully disclosed the sermon uploading functionality in SermonFile and we even emailed everyone (twice) whose content was on the site before we announced it.

We've also provided a "Hide all my submissions" button.

SermonFile was developed a couple years ago, and we didn't even know for sure what we'd do with the uploaded sermons, but we disclosed the uploading feature right on the product page, and put a check-box that controls it on every sermon page.

From the FAQ:

Q: What is the "Publish to Logos database" checkbox I see when entering details about my sermon or illustration?

A: Select this option in order to submit this sermon to the Logos Sermon Database. Our plan is to make submitted sermons available through a future web service, or an existing online sermon database. By submitting your sermons and illustrations to the online database you grant Logos Research Systems, Inc., and its assigns, a perpetual royalty-free, world-wide license to republish your sermon or illustration. You also create an opportunity for others to benefit from your study and teaching. We will never publish your sermon without attribution.

I'm sorry if this wasn't clear enough, and we're acting quickly to remove content whenever requested.

It wasn't in any way our intention to be sneaky -- everything was disclosed from the start.

Charles Savelle said...

I appreciate the fact that Todd has raised this issue and that Bob has responded. In my phone call with Logos, I was told that a deliberate decision was made to make the upload setting the default setting. I continue to believe that this was a mistake. The default setting should have been not to upload and that one could then select the upload setting if desired. Should one really have to read a FAQ and e-mails to keep one's personal work personal? I am also disappointed by the fact that my suggestion that a clarifying post be placed on the Logos blog has not yet been done.