Archive - June, 2011

Forum Week Round-Up

In case you’ve missed it, the Logos forum community is in its final few days of Forum Week, a week of celebrating reaching the 50,000-user milestone. It’s been a unique week of great sales and tons of fun!

If you’re thinking, “The words forums and fun can’t possibly go together,” you probably not be too familiar with the Logos forum community in general and you’ve definitely missed out on Forum Week in specific.

So far this week, we’ve:

  • played some games,
  • gotten a glimpse into the lives of other forum users (marble collectors, collapsed-parachute survivors, et. al.),
  • given away hundreds of dollars in prizes,
  • offered tens of thousands of dollars in deals,
  • hid an as-of-yet-undiscovered Easter egg,
  • and more!

Don’t miss out on all the action! Head over to the Forum Week forum and look around before it’s over. The festivities end midnight Sunday!

Here’s all you need to do to take part:

  1. Sign in to your Logos.com account. (If you don’t already have your free account, get one here!)
  2. Visit the forums.
  3. Click on the forum at the top called “***Forum Week***”.
    Note: If you’re not logged in, this forum won’t be visible.
  4. Browse the top few posts to get up to speed.

If you’ve already been enjoying Forum Week, what’s been your favorite thing (or “random user fact”) about the forums so far? Let us know in the comment section.

5 Interesting Facts About John Wesley

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, turns 308 today. Like any looming figure in Christian history, Wesley has his share of both theological supporters and detractors. But there are very few that will question the fervency and urgency Wesley felt when it came to evangelism and church work. As Prime Minister, Lord Baldwin, said of Wesley, “I am supposed to be a busy man, but by the side of Wesley, I join the ranks of the unemployed.”

To celebrate Wesley’s birthday, I wanted to take a few moments and look at five little known facts about his life.

    1. John Wesley came from a huge family.
      The child mortality rate in eighteenth century England was unbelievably high. Statistics suggest that 70% of all deaths were children under ten. So it is not surprising that many families had an abundance of children. John Wesley’s mother—Susanna Wesley—was the 25th of 25 children and she went on to bear a number of children as well. John was the 15th of 19 children. Susanna lost nine of her children in infancy. When Susanna died in 1742, she was only survived by eight of her children.
    2. John Wesley was a victim of bullying as a child.
      John, a short and intelligent boy, was bullied relentlessly as a child. This abuse affected him for the rest of his life. Accounts tell of how, as an adult, Wesley would tremble when discussing the barbaric treatment he received from his peers.
    3. John Wesley vehemently opposed slavery.
      Wesley was inspired to join the anti-slavery movement when he read a pamphlet by Quaker abolitionist Anthony Benezet. He was so moved that he frequently preached against the slave trade and authored Thoughts upon Slavery—a pamphlet publicly decrying the practice. Wesley’s last letter was written to convert and fellow abolitionist William Wilberforce. In it he wrote:

      “O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.”

      This letter was written in 1791, and sixteen years later Parliament finally outlawed England’s participation in the slave trade.

    4. John Wesley is one of history’s most traveled men.

Biographer Edward T. Oakes states that Wesley traveled over 250,000 miles by horseback in his lifetime—that’s ten times the circumference of the earth.

    1. John Wesley is credited for coining the phrase “agree to disagree.”

Wesley often found himself at odds with George Whitefield. Whitefield, who shared Wesley’s enthusiasm for evangelism, clashed openly with Wesley on issues of soteriology. Eventually, the rivalry between Wesley and Whitefield’s theologies introduced an impassioned partisanship among their followers.

In a memorial sermon delivered after Whitefield’s passing, Wesley minimized the schism saying:

There are many doctrines of a less essential nature . . . In these we may think and let think; we may agree to disagree. But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials . . .

This sermon is widely recognized as the first time “agree to disagree” appeared in print.

If you are looking for more great discussion about John Wesley, check out Ten Thought-Provoking John Wesley Quotes by Robert Campbell .

Pick Up the John Wesley Collection!

Make sure you peruse the 29 volume, John Wesley Collection. This collection features all of his theological works, as well as essays, journals, letters, sermons, grammars, psalms, hymns, and various addresses. This complete collection of one of Christendom’s important figures is a must have.

Have a favorite story or anecdote about John Wesley? Please, share it with us!

Logos Helps Me Hit the Ground Running

Given that we’re in the midst of Forum Week over in the Logos forums, it’s fitting that today’s blog post is by Forum MVP Thomas Black. Thomas is a pastor in Illinois passionate about Acts 6:4 ministry and a longtime user of Logos Bible Software.

Friday: I am home from the Moody Bible Institute Pastor’s Conference—time to hit the ground running.

Saturday: I’m sure glad I finished that sermon before I left, having free time with my family makes it worthwhile.

Sunday: Spending an awesome day in God’s presence.

Monday: The phone rings, “Pastor, I need you….” I’m there. The day is spent in home and hospital visits. Why not add a meeting or two just in case I have any unaccounted for free time?

Tuesday: I don’t even know where today went, It started with discipleship and ended with counseling though I know Bible study prep is in there somewhere.

Wednesday: Finally, it’s Wednesday morning. Time to study. . . but it’s not going to happen. I head out of the office to sit and pray with the wife of a dear friend undergoing critical surgery. Time with family is a priority today, but I can’t forget there’s the prayer meeting this evening.

Thursday: This week has me breathless as I begin to study—the phone rings. I glance at my clock and cringe. . . .

Friday: It’s Friday morning, the phone is turned off and Sunday’s coming. In prayer this morning, I recount the week behind me. A week full of emergencies, counseling, meetings, hospital visits (three hospitals in three different towns!), discipleship sessions, and the plans I had that didn’t pan out. I open my Bible prayerfully and pause wondering, “Lord, how am I going to effectively study this passage well enough to preach it to the congregation with integrity and accuracy on Sunday? This is your Word, help me to take it into my own heart so I can share it with theirs.”

Logos Bible Software is God’s tool for enabling me to serve and preach.

In moments I have a passage guide, my passage, and a commentary. Bible word studies are popping open with regularity as I consult the Greek (or Hebrew) of my text. Prayers are whispered. The Spirit of God coaxes. Notes are taken. Soon I have more notes than time to cover them. My understanding grows and thoughts begin to distill as an outline and body take shape.

But before I can finish the sermon and crawl into bed, it’s off to the local Boy Scout carnival to spend three hours in a dunk tank.

Saturday: Today there is a lawn to be mowed and a family to be enjoyed—but I need to remember to get the Sunday School prep done too and I can’t forget the Sunday Evening message.

Sunday: A glorious day in the presence of Christ and His body the church.

Monday: I wake up on the morning that should serve as my Sabbath, but every pastor knows what I mean when I say Sunday’s coming. . . .

Not every week is quite like this one, but the speed and efficiency made possible with Logos Bible Software enables me to serve and preach His Word with integrity, accuracy and passion.

Do you have a testimony about how Logos Bible Software as helped you in your life or ministry? We would love to hear it! Leave us a comment and tell us about it. Then head over to the Logos forums to check out Forum Week!

Community Pricing: How Low Can it Go?

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (57 vols.) is nearing the 60% mark in Community Pricing at $50.00. That’s less than a buck a book. And guess what? The more people that bid on it, the lower the price can go. How low? That’s up to Logos users. The Community Pricing Program gives you a direct influence on the priorities and prices for all the resources in Community Pricing!

With contributors such as Herbert Edward Ryle, S. R. Driver, J. Skinner, A. Plummer, F. W. Farrar, H. C. G. Moule, W. H. Simcox, and more, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (57 vols.) won’t remain in Community Pricing for long. With 57 volumes of commentary covering the entire Bible, insight from dozens of well-known theologians and biblical scholars, helpful maps, indexes, appendixes, and outlines for each book of the Bible—the 14,000+ pages that make up The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges will be referred to in your Bible study again and again. Just a basic search through Logos 4 of some of these top names brings up thousands of hits—these trusted scholars are still being relied on after more than a generation.

So what are you waiting for? The Community Pricing Program brings classic works together with the power of Logos at a steep discount. Make sure you get your bid in for The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (57 vols.) before it crosses over the 100% mark.

Be sure to check out the Community Pricing FAQ for any questions you might have. If you still have questions, leave us a comment or raise them in the forums—there are plenty of Logos users who would love to sing their praises about about the benefits of Community Pricing!

Biblical People, Places, and Things

We are in the midst of forum week and are excited to bring you another training post by forum MVP Mark Barnes. Mark is the pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Swansea, UK, and author of the Unofficial Tutorial Videos for Logos 4.

One of the great features in Logos Bible Software 4 is the Bible Facts tool, otherwise known as Biblical People, Biblical Places and Biblical Things. These three tools come with most Logos 4 base packages, and gather an immense amount of information from across your library in seconds. If you’re interested in a person, place or even a “thing” in the Bible, then these tools should be your first port of call. In this tutorial, we’re going to concentrate on Biblical Places (but Biblical People and Things work in just the same way).

Accessing Biblical Places

There are four ways to get access to Biblical Places. The easiest is to choose Biblical Places from the tools menu and then type the name of the place you want in the Biblical Places reference box, or use the Passage Guide (if the passage you’ve chosen mentions a place by name). Advanced users sometimes prefer to type “open biblical places” or even “open biblical places to Antioch” in the command bar. But another great way to access it to right click on a place name in most Bibles, make sure that Place is selected on the right-hand side of the menu, then click Biblical Places on the left. (Click on the images below to see them full sized.)

A Wealth of Information

Once Biblical Places is open to the place you’re interested in you’ll find it incredibly easy to access a wealth of information about that place.

In the top ribbon bar, you’ll find from left to right:

  1. A brief description of the place, and a list of all the Bible verses where it’s mentioned (you can click the … to see more). Biblical Places knows when the same place has different names, and where two different places have the same name. So if you select Jerusalem, Logos also includes references to the City of David that refer to Jerusalem, but doesn’t include the references to City of David that refer to Bethlehem.
  2. A list of all the dictionary articles about that place
  3. Other relevant links (to related places, people or things; to Wikipedia; and to Google maps)
  4. An overview of the map currently displayed in the main window

In the bottom ribbon bar you’ll find from left to right:

  • Thumbnails of interactive Logos maps that mention the place
  • A thumbnail of the special interactive Biblical World Map
  • Thumbnails of Logos InfoGraphics that are related to this place
  • Thumbnails of static maps and images from many resources in your library that are related to this place

If you can’t see all this on your screen, click the small left and right arrows at the end of the ribbon bars to scroll, or maximise the window to make it bigger. You can hover over any of the thumbnails in the bottom bar, to see a preview. Then just click to have it shown in the main window. (In the Biblical People tool, the maps are replaced by Family Trees and other diagrams showing the relationships between people.)

If you can’t see the image or map very well, you can use the ‘Actual Size’ and ‘Fit’ buttons at the top of the screen to change the zoom level, or you can use the mouse-wheel to zoom more precisely. If the map or image is bigger than the window, you can grab it to scroll around. If you want to use the map or image elsewhere, you can right-click on it to copy, save, print or send it to Powerpoint.

Interactive Maps vs. Static Maps

You’ll notice from the list above that there are two types of maps shown, and understanding the different will prevent much head-scratching later. On the left are interactive maps, sometimes called dynamic maps. These were created especially by Logos for the Biblical Places tool. On the right are static maps, which come from other resources in your library. What makes interactive maps so much better than static maps is that with interactive maps:

  • You can zoom right in and still have fantastic quality
  • You can hover over any of the place names to get a brief description
  • You can click on any place name to switch Biblical Places to focus on that place
  • You can open Google Maps to any location on the map (and therefore get a contemporary satellite view, or see what modern towns are nearby)
  • You can use the Find Tool (CTRL+F) to locate other places on the map
  • You can measure distances between two points

Most places will have several maps, but there’s one interactive map that’s worth pointing out specifically. It’s the Biblical World map, and it’s always the right-most interactive map (the last one before the Infographics and static images/maps). The Biblical World map is important because it lists every place. As you zoom in, more and more detail is added, and it should be your map of choice when you want to see how a place relates to other places nearby, as in the screenshot below.

Let me finish by showing you how to measure distances between two places on any interactive map (there’s more information about the other features mentioned in the video below). All you need to do is hold down the CTRL button, then click the mouse button on the place you want to start calculating this distance from. Then, continue to hold the button and move the mouse around the map. The distance calculated as you do, in both miles and kilometres. You can see below that Gilgal is nearly 30 miles from Joppa.

 

If you never used the full power of Biblical Places, why not try some these features now? But this tutorial has explained only some of the great features available. To find out even more, you can watch or download the Unofficial Tutorial video on Bible Facts, which also covers Biblical People and Biblical Things.

Have a Logos 4 feature that you would like to see a post on? Leave us a comment and let us know! Then head over the forums to check out Forum Week.

Celebrating 50,000 Forum Users

Considering how popular Facebook and Twitter are, it may surprise you to discover that there’s another social community growing about nine times faster than either of these—the Logos Forums. (You read that right: Nine times faster than the ubiquitous, über-popular Facebook and Twitter!)

In fact, one member calculated that the forum community has grown at the rate of 66 users a day and nearly 2,000 new users a month for the past year!

What makes the forums so popular?

Simply put, the forums are one of the best ways to learn about Logos the software and Logos the company.

In the forums you’ll find all sorts of helpful and exciting things. You’ll find:

  • tips, tricks and workarounds to tackle Bible study problems
  • advice on which resources will help you the most from people who already own the them
  • screenshots and videos explaining about how to do things with Logos 4 you didn’t even know where possible
  • a community that likes to share encouragement and insights from their own study
  • tips on what great deals are available at any give time
  • a group of users more than ready to help you push an exciting Community Pricing or Pre-Pub title into production
  • comments straight from Logos about what our plans are and why we do things the way we do
  • opportunities to give feedback to Logos that helps direct the future of the software and company
  • much, much more!

And if you can’t find any of the above in the forums already, all you have to do is ask. With other users in literally every time zone around the world, the odds are pretty good you can get an answer in a couple hours if not in mere minutes.

No wonder the forums are growing so fast! They’re better able to handle all things Logos than any other social channel.

Cause to Celebrate

Just this past week we reached 50,000 forum users. To celebrate, we put together Forum Week—a week of great deals and fun “events” to show new users what this community is all about.

Since this is Forum Week, we decided the best place to post the deals and events (there will be prizes) is right in the forums themselves.

To take part, simply head over http://community.logos.com and look for the forum called “***Forum Week***” at the top of the page. But note, you must be logged in to your free www.logos.com account in order to be able to see this special forum and take part in the festivities.

A Landmark Event Deserves a Great Deal!

To kick things off, we’re offering an incredible discount on Camp Logos Live. Since much of the forum conversation is learning oriented, there couldn’t be a more fitting title to discount in honor of the community than the #1 tool for getting more out of Logos Bible Software 4. For the forum-exclusive price, be sure to check out Forum Week.

Make sure you check in early and often! Some of the deals and events are time sensitive and will be announced without warning.

Theologically Sound

Summer is quickly approaching and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m looking forward to the warm weather, the blooming flowers, and most of all, the summer concerts. Listening to live music is an energizing experience: As the music begins, you’re  immersed in sound and find yourself reflecting on the lyrics that accompany it. I often find myself trying to relate to the melody and words that accompany it.

Music has always been a powerful form of communication. Musician and theologian Jeremy Begbie examines the connection between theological reflection and musical expression in Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music .

In this study, Begbie looks at Scripture, musical history, and contemporary culture to show how the reader—and listener—can discover God’s truth in the music all around them.

Here’s what others are saying about Resounding Truth:

Jeremy Begbie is a musician/theologian par excellence. Whatever music you enjoy and wherever you are on the journey of faith and understanding, he will delight, surprise, challenge, and inspire you. A wonderful book by a wonderful writer, thinker, and musician.
N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham

Jeremy Begbie’s thinking emerges out of a fusion of the best musical thinking about theology and the best theological thinking about music. The resulting text is charged with energy and insight—and not just for musicians and theologians. This vital work is poised to energize and strengthen the entire Christian community.
—John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

This book resounds with the thoughtful, dynamic, and always engaging voice of Jeremy Begbie. Marked by a breathtaking range, driven by a creative vision, and packed with judicious insights, it will no doubt shape conversations about theology and the arts for year to come.
—Roger Lundin, Wheaton College

Make sure you order Resounding Truth while it’s still on Pre-Pub!

What’s your favorite thing about music? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

Natural Disasters, Oil Spills, & Providence

Seminary Scholarship Winner: Eddie PainterAwarding scholarships to our SeminaryScholarship.com and BibleCollegeScholarship.com applicants has become an exciting opportunity for us to gain a little insight into winners’ lives.

Last time, we learned about Charissa M.’s desire to live in a third-world country. The time before that, we received very appreciative follow-up email from Joseph K. and his family which explained a little about how receiving the scholarship was a blessing and answer to prayer.

Our latest SeminaryScholarship.com winner, Gene (Eddie) Painter (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary), and latest BibleCollegeScholarship.com winner, Jenna Guthmiller (Biola University) have provided similar appreciation. While corresponding with Eddie, we learned that his recent past reads like a sequence of newspaper headlines. Eddie, his wife, and his daughter attend NOBTS. In his own words, here is the path they’ve taken to get there:

In 2006, God made it plain that He wanted me to continue my education. I resigned the church where I was pastoring and moved my family to New Orleans. We were in the first group of families to move on campus after Hurricane Katrina. During those first months, I worked for UPS and campus police while going to school full time.

In April 2007, God called me to pastor Barataria Baptist Church, about 20 miles from New Orleans. This is a community on the bayou with many commercial fishermen who have lived here all their lives. In early 2008, I bought a boat and began crabbing as a means of becoming a part of the community.

In September 2008, Hurricane Ike flooded our community and we lost our home. Many thought we wouldn’t return. However, God called us here and we were back (living in a Sunday School room) within days. This really cemented us as a true part of the community. God continued to bless my crabbing during this time also. (Here’s a link to a local article written during that time.) God also greatly blessed us in restoring our home. The church put in a new modular home and generous fellow Christians donated so that we could buy furniture for it. We moved into our new home in August 2009.

When the oil spill hit in 2010, we wondered what would happen. I couldn’t crab for the summer to earn money for tuition. My wife had two part-time jobs and lost both of them. That’s when God opened another door. My boat was hired to work the oil spill. I wasn’t able to captain the boat, so I hired a captain and deckhand. Because of this great blessing, we were able to pay off debt and my wife began working at NOBTS on degree in counseling.

God has been faithful to us. Last fall, our daughter was called to the music ministry. This fall, three of our family members will be at NOBTS. I sometimes wonder how we will manage to pay for this, but your scholarship was evidence that God is still providing!

Gene (Eddie) Painter

Over the past five years, Eddie and his family have had first-hand exposure to some of the United States’ major headline events, yet he sums it up with, "your scholarship was evidence that God is still providing!"

It is such a blessing to learn our scholarships are blessing winners. As both Eddie and Jenna will likely read this, why not take a second to leave a comment and congratulate them on being our latest winners?

Then, consider applying yourself. Hopefully next time we will be able to hear your story. But we won’t hear it if you don’t first apply.

Going to Seminary? www.SeminaryScholarship.com
Going to Bible College? www.BibleCollegeScholarship.com

Lectionary-Based Study with Logos: Part 2

SproulThis is the second half to last week’s Lectionary-Based Study with Logos: Part 1 by Louis St. Hilaire, Logos Bible Software’s Catholic Product Manager.

Using Lectionary Resources in Logos Bible Software

Lectionary resources in Logos Bible Software are designed to make it easy to find the text for the day and to read it in the Bible translation of your choice.

The readings are arranged by calendar date and the book automatically opens at the next set of readings. For each Sunday or feast, the title, the season and the liturgical color is given. The text of the readings for the day is displayed in the translation you specify at the top of the panel, and links are provided that you can use to open your Bible or right-click to quickly open up Logos guides, tools and searches for deeper study and sermon preparation. (Click the images to see them full size.)

Lectionary Readings for the Day

For more general study, you can also find a complete listing of readings organized by liturgical event (i.e. more like a print lectionary that you can re-use year to year) in the “Index of Readings” found at the end of the lectionary.

The home page ribbon also gives you quick access to your lectionary. It displays the title and readings for the next Sunday and opens up your lectionary when you click.

To get your preferred lectionary to show up, prioritize it from Library.

In addition, the “Lectionaries” section of the Passage Guide allows you to quickly see where the passage you’re studying appears in your lectionaries. How and where a passage is used in a lectionary reveals important ways that your passage has been used in worship in connection with other passages or important feasts.

Passage Guide

To get this section to show up in your Passage Guide, click “Add” on the Passage Guide title bar and select “Lectionaries”.

Helps & Commentaries Geared Toward the Lectionary

Besides the lectionary resources mentioned in Part I, Logos also has several commentaries and sermon preparation helps that are specifically geared toward use with a lectionary:

Do you use a lectionary? Leave us a comment and let us know which one.

Great Tools for Discipleship on Pre-Pub

When I am asked about my discipleship as a young Christian, I always end up talking about Jerry Bridges.

I was in my early twenties when I made my decision to follow Jesus. David—a man in my church who took discipleship seriously—quickly took me under his wing. He gave me a dog-eared copy of Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness and asked me to meet him on the following morning to go over the first chapter.

We met nearly every Monday morning for the next three years. After wrapping up The Pursuit of Holiness, we went on to read The Practice of Godliness. Jerry Bridges became such a big part of those early years that when I think back, it is almost as if Bridges was with us—counseling, instructing, and convicting.

I recently read through the notes I had scrawled in the margins of those books, and I was struck by their action-oriented nature, things like: “Make this my prayer,” “Memorize  this verse,” and “Resolve this!” These weren’t just theoretical meditations on theological principles (although it was that too), they were the nuts and bolts of applied discipleship.

Ten years later I was the one discipling college students, and I was leading them through Bridges’ books.  I can honestly say, I have read every book in the 15 volume Jerry Bridges Collection with a student at one time or another.

One of my favorites in this collection—and one I have used more than a couple times—is Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate. In Respectable Sins, Bridges reminds us to be mindful of our internal posture and outlook. It may be the overt sins that will trip us up, but it’s the deep-seated conditions of the heart which can poison and blind us over time. In a real and vulnerable way, Bridges reveals how he has identified sins like envy, selfishness, and pride in his own heart, and offers practical solutions to combating those conditions we tend to ignore or explain away in ourselves. In this book full of conviction and encouragement, we are reminded that, although we all fall short, there is no excuse to grow complacent in our attitude towards sin.

The strength of these books lie in their ability to be simple without being simplistic. I have found them to be powerful tools for deep, reflective discussions more times than I can count. If you do your own discipleship, have a Bible study or home group, or even want to get back to the practical aspects of your own personal faith, this collection is a must.

Six of the fifteen volumes in the Jerry Bridges Collection are study/discussion guides. By reflecting on, discussing, and responding to these guides you can compound on Bridges’ already practical content and really delve into its personal application—whether you are using them alone or in a group.

Three of the study guides are for books which have been available from Logos for some time but are not in this collection. If you already have a copy of The Pursuit of Holiness (only $6.00 on Logos.com!), The Practice of Godliness, or Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts for Logos 4 then you’ll want to add the Jerry Bridges Collection (15 vols.) to your resources. Otherwise you can get the collection while it is at its discounted Pre-Pub price, and pick up the other books at your leisure.

Have you led any one through one of Jerry Bridges books, or used it in your own spiritual formation? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

 

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