Too Much of a Challenge?

Posted by on August 26, 2008 in Blog/Article Watch, BSR Update | 2 comments

Not so long ago I told you about the 30-day challenge of LaRosa Johnson, who works with WORDsearch but nevertheless decided to try Logos Bible software, a competing product, in his leisure time.

Last I know is that LaRosa Johnson is still a WORDsearch employee, but there is no trace of the blog posts I linked to. If you search his blog archives you will not find any of the six entries on the subject. They are gone, vanished. Pure coincidence? Not likely. Logos blog talked about Making the Switch to Logos. I simply called my entry An Interesting Challenge. Was that too much publicity for another company’s software? Who decided to delete those posts and why? I’m now sorry I did not copy them, since they were written under a Creative Commons License.

I’m not talking about a conspiracy theory. God forbid! I don’t even know the man, and my emails to the company he works for have been repeatedly ignored. In fact I congratulated Randy Beck (the owner) in very friendly terms just a month ago, and invited him, yet again, to submit an interview for BSR. Never heard back from him. Does make you think… (please don’t read any kind of hostility into my comment, I’m simply sad).

I wish I were wrong, but I’m afraid LaRosa’s balanced and open-minded comments probably proved too much of a challenge for some people. And this is precisely one of the reasons that gave birth to Bible Software Review. I believe in freedom. I believe we can point out the good things about Bible software packages, learn from them and try to improve things with constructive criticisms and suggestions. I believe we can learn to disagree in a civil and even friendly manner. I believe in diversity. I believe that no matter how much we like our own software, it is plain stupid to think there is no life beyond it. I believe we can learn from one another and help one another. I don’t understand why comparing certain features (let alone writing comparative reviews) makes certain people feel so nervous.

I have been under pressure myself. Unfortunately some folks are more concerned about marketing and PR than they are about reaching excellency in developing tools that will help people study the Scriptures more efficiently. I know it’s difficult to stand for what you think is right, particularly in a highly competitive market, but “a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

I am sorry I’ve had to write this post, and would love to stand corrected. That has never been a problem for me. Really, I would be happy to say, “hey I blew it! I got carried away with no reason. I apologize.” I would love to have to delete this entry, but facts are facts, and unless there is some plausible explanation for the “mysterious” disappearance of LaRosa’s original blog entries, I am entitled to voice my opinion.

Update (September 10): Be sure to read the final outcome of this story.

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  1. Well Reuben, I’m so glad LaRosa allayed your fears and let you know he is alive and well and working away at WORDsearch. I’m sorry the truth is not interesting as your vast marketing conspiracy.
    WORDsearch thrives on an environment of openness and trust. That’s why LaRosa felt confident in writing his blog about Logos to begin with, and leaving it up as long as he chose. In fact, we bought him the copy he owns as a Christmas gift. Like you, I encourage our staff to explore other Bible study products to be able to improve ours.
    We were not surprised that LaRosa found Logos had more original language capability. We have not focused on that type of functionality. Our efforts go into ease of use, speed, and content for practicing preachers and teachers, especially expository preachers. I’m pleased the comparison highlighted WORDsearch strengths.
    There are hundreds of thousands—even millions–of preachers, teachers and believers who can benefit from more productive Bible study, and don’t need to rely on Greek and Hebrew and obscure theological textbooks to lead others to a deeper relationship with Christ.
    Reuben, the world is in a war between a Biblical worldview and a determined opposition working for the father of lies. WORDsearch is an arms merchant in that war. For us, it’s about making preachers and teachers more productive in their work to change lives, not about giving lectures on the Bible as literature.
    You can choose to disparage our work and me personally if you like, but it won’t change our resolve nor the effect we’re having. When Christians squabble among themselves it just fuels the fires of the Devil’s desires.
    God bless you and thank you for your good work.

  2. Dear Randy, thank you for your comments. Do please note that I don’t believe in any conspiracy theories, only in the honest pursuit of the truth, and that I have never, ever disparaged your work or your person. There are hundreds of readers who have been following these series of posts, and I would appreciate it if anyone of them could point out where have I done such a thing. On the contrary, I would feel honored to have you participate in the survey I sent you for Bible software companies and developers. And I would also feel greatly honored if you would find a moment to email me personally and allow me to spend time reviewing some of your great products.

    I wish you the best in all of your endeavors, and I am truly sorry if you have felt offended by something I may have said and/or if at some point there have arisen any misunderstandings or misconceptions about the true ministry and agenda of Bible Software Review.

    Yours in Him,

    Rubén Gómez

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