If you are up to date on the latest Pre-Pubs you probably guessed that my last blog post was setting up the introduction of the nearly 3,000 page “lifework” of Dr. Jim Rosscup: An Exposition on Prayer in the Bible (5 volumes).
The product page will give you all the details about this massive exposition on prayer—50 years in the making and 15 years in the writing—but I wanted to share more about the story behind this title.
First, let’s hear from John Fallahee, M.B.A., M.Div.
“It was spring 2001, my second semester of seminary, and one class stood out above the rest – Prayer Class. On the first day of class, the professor entered the classroom and spoke in an unapologetic, sober tone: ‘This class will be difficult.’ We looked at each other with skepticism since we had just conquered a semester of Hebrew! What possibly could be more challenging then learning to read the Hebrew Bible!
Soon we discovered that we were required to pray 7 days a week for 1 hour per day. At first, we were excited about the prospect of drawing closer to God. We would be sitting at the feet of a godly man who saturated his whole life with prayer. We were excited to put into practice what we were about to learn! It only took one week to be discouraged; many of us failed to pray an hour every day! From being too busy, too tired, and frankly, running out of things to say to the Lord! We needed help!
Dr. Rosscup, our professor, began to take each of us through the scriptures like a living commentary from Old Testament to New Testament, explaining the text and providing insight, verse by verse! Suddenly, I could see models of prayer from the great saints who came before us. We were encouraged by their strength and courage in the Lord in the face of difficult trials. I learned from Dr. Rosscup how to pray and how to persevere in prayer.
One day in class, he mentioned that after about fifteen years of writing he had nearly completed his lifework – a commentary of every prayer in the Bible, the work in progress used extensively in his teaching. I asked if he had considered publishing the work. He mentioned he was seeking a publisher, of which I remarked, “Have you considered Logos Bible Software?” He graciously said he would consider. Many print publishers were not convinced that a 3,000 page, five-volume work on prayer would succeed in the marketplace.
Through my years in seminary and several years after, I would regularly encourage Dr. Rosscup to consider going digital. After graduation, I joined the Logos Bible Software team to train and equip individuals and pastors at conferences, churches and academic institutions to study, teach, and preach the Bible with this amazing technology. So once again I approached Dr. Rosscup with the idea of publishing his unabridged lifework for Logos Bible Software and this time he said yes!
Well the rest is History! Dr. Rosscup is a godly man whose integrity, steadfastness, and devotion to the Lord in private and public have challenged me to love and pray more. His example, teaching, knowledge of the scripture, and intercessory life of prayer, has inspired me and will inspire you to bow your knee before our Maker with a freshness of adoration. No Christian should be without this monumental, life changing work!”
The first time I talked to John about this project I had never heard of Dr. Rosscup. I knew John was beside himself with excitement for this work and the man who wrote it, but I did not know how we could pass on John’s understanding and enthusiasm and convey it to our users. How do we go about marketing a 3,000 or so page commentary on prayer in the Bible that had never been published before?
I called Dr. Rosscup and spent 45 minutes or so learning about him and his lifework. I explained to him that one of the challenges to marketing his commentary would be finding a way to get our users comfortable with who he was and who he was associated with. I asked him if he could get a bunch of endorsements for his title that we could post on the product page. By asking him to request a dozen or so endorsements I was hoping he could make those requests and perhaps get even a few back in time to post on the product page. When Dr. Rosscup got back to me a few days later and let me know that the endorsements were already starting to come in, and that he would send me all of them soon, I was a little shocked.
In a matter of days, he had glowing personal endorsements in his hands from John MacArthur, Cyril J. Barber, Elizabeth George, Harold Hoehner, Patrick E. Murphy, Lance Quinn, David Sunde, Clinton E. Arnold and James A. Borland. For those busy people to drop everything and write endorsements in a matter of days spoke volumes to me. For him to even contact and get the attention of those busy people in that same amount of time was impressive enough by itself.
Not too many days later, several people who love and respect Dr. Rosscup and his lifework started spreading the word about the Pre-Pub on various email lists, blogs, and websites. In no time at all, without ever announcing his title on Logos NewsWire, it gathered more than 100% of the pre-orders needed to move it into production—and that’s not easy for such a massive project! I don’t have the exact numbers, but it also appears that we have a substantial quantity of orders from people that have never even heard of Logos Bible Software but wanted to get this title any way they could. The author and the content is so compelling that it is bringing a flood of new users to our format just for this one title alone.
If you know Dr. Rosscup I encourage you to post your comments below and help others get an even better appreciation for this dear man and his lifework through your eyes, then get in touch with anyone you know that might also want to share their comments and encourage them to post something as well.