Faith Database – Over 1500 Writings – Over 75,000,000 Words – Over 80,000 Pages
First of all, let me give you some links:
Faith Database Website
Video Introducing the Faith Database – Jerry Usher
In one place, you have an absolutely mind boggling amount of information compiled (from the website):
2000 Years of Christian History
- 10 Bible Translations
- 88 Council Documents from all 21 Ecumenical Councils
- 400 Early Church writings
- 165 writings from the Doctors of the Church
- 74 books from John Henry Newman
- 1300 Papal writings/encyclicals
- The Old Catholic Encyclopedia (1200 entries and 5000 images)
- Many classics including Gibbons’ “Faith of our Fathers,” Thomas a Kempis’ “Imitation of Christ” and John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body”
- 1000 Bible Art Images
- Over 100 Bible Maps
- Illustrated Church history
- Search Catechism and Code of Canon Law
Some of the Over 1500 Featured Writings Classics
- Apologia (Newman)
- Orthodoxy (Chesterton)
- Thomas a Kempis
- Doctors of the Church
- St. John of the Cross
- St. Theresa of Avila
- St. Thomas Aquinas (The Summa)
Early Church Fathers
- St. Augustine’s Confessions
- Irenaeus’ Against Heresies
- St. John Chrysostom’s Commentaries
Papal Writings / Encyclicals
Ok, so now as a homeschooling parent – what do we do with this? How can we it assist us in our job as teachers? I believe it’s a given that it it is a fantastic apologetic tool for all adults as well as way for us to grow in our faith. With ten translations of the Holy Bible, we can do in depth Bible studies.
But, this review is focused on how we might use the database with our children.
So, my first delve into the database – my two oldest children had to write a paper for 8th grade about Infallibility. I could not do the search because I was using the database incorrectly. Finally, I realized I needed to select Encyclopedia and searched again for the term, “infallibility” – and the program crashed. Yikes. A caveat, watch the video! It gives a nice walk through of how to search the encyclopedia. But, I still encountered an error and will contact them in regards to it. It appears if you search for a term in the topics that is not found, you receive an error message and if you press cancel, it closes the program down.
Oops – I discovered that I spelled the word incorrectly. Once I correctly spelled infallibility, I discovered one entry for the topic and many entries when I searched the text – both searches returned a huge amount of information. Everything I might possibly want to know about infallibilty was in the topic and my children were able to understand the concept better. Actually, I read it and distilled it and was better able to delve deeper into the topic so that they were able to write more about it.
Then, out of curiosity, I wanted to see what other information was in the database about infallibility. After selecting the Tab, Apologetics, I selected Authority/Church in the Categories Box, and then in then in the box below, Doctrines, I selected Church Authority/Papal Infallibilty.Â What was returned, was a series of quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church including:
100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.
Under this section was Supporting Bible Passages with another great list of quotes. This was followed by quotes from the Early Church fathers. Wow! All I can say is wow! What an amazing collection of information.
Next task – my 8th graders needed to write a paper on the 4 marks of the Catholic Church, “One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic”. I go immediately to the Apologetics section – and there it is. Once again, I select in the Categories box, Authority/Church. Then I find a topic for each item – Church is Apostolic (ok, I know this is the One part of the Marks of the Church). Again, the format is a collection of quotes from the CCC, then the supporting Bible passages, followed by the Early Church fathers quotes. There is more information than I even know what to do with. And, again, my children are able to write a deeper paper because I am better educated.
My only disappointment with the Apologetics section is that I was unable to search for terms in it.
The Mass section is another little treasure. Each part of the mass is written out, and then a “references” link is provided on the right. After clicking it, you find a list of Bible passages giving reference to where the words came from. You could also use this section for a detailed study of the Creed since each section is referenced.
The saints section is searchable.
I love the History Section. It has as categories, 100 year increments, and within each period such as 501-600AD, a number of topics like Irish monasteries flourish. The text on the right is brief, but there are images to view, an encyclopedia entry about the history of Ireland, and a map image. As my children study medieval history, I can totally image how we can use this section.
I cannot even begin to delve into all the rest including the various writings of Saints, Doctors of the Church and Popes. You can select Popes and then Pope John Paul II and see all the writings included. So, if you want to read “Faith and Reason”, there it is. I believe all these writings are downloaded upon installation. So the install of the database does take some time.
Also included are 10 translations of the Holy Bible and again, I do not have time to delve into how we might use that in our homeschools.
This is a fantastic product – I am not sure if they will be offering updates, but it is well worth the price of $31.95 (downloaded), or $39.95 (shipped). I look forward to seeing all the ways I can use this for both my personal growth in faith, to become a better apologist, and in my homeschooling.