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Rethinking Church Curriculum: Announcing the Studies in Faithful Living Series

No one enjoys sitting through a dull Sunday school lesson, making time for a distracted small-group study, or listening to a dry, complicated sermon. We’re looking for intrigue and excitement—we want God’s Word clearly and fully articulated so that we can live the vision he has called us to. We want to be engaged and challenged. We want to learn about the Bible itself while learning to interpret the Bible for ourselves. To meet this challenge, Logos created the Studies in Faithful Living Series.

The first volume in the series is Abraham: Following God’s Promise. Abraham had incredible faith, but he also failed—quite often. As the story progresses, Abraham begins to see what it means to follow in faith instead of fear. Called by God to be an agent of transformation in the world, he is transformed in the process. Even when Abraham falls short of fulfilling his end of the bargain, God is faithful to his promise. To bring you into the narrative, each chapter of Abraham: Following God’s Promise sets the stage with the ancient context, takes a closer look at the biblical text, walks through similar ideas in the Bible and beyond, and points to direct application with prose and with questions that you can answer right there in the book.

Abraham’s life story is applicable to our own. He is so much like us—called to faith but unsure of where his path will lead. The same can be said of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who has an equal part in the narrative and in the volume. To help you walk beside Abraham and Sarah in their journey and understand how their story fits in history, Abraham: Following God’s Promise includes infographics, maps, and artifact images. It also includes Quick Bits that address facts about the ancient world, Quick Tips that teach better Bible study, and printable handouts.

For pastors and teachers, Abraham: Following God’s Promise is available as a complete church curriculum version. This package includes everything in the individual study version plus slides that work out of the box (for PowerPoint, Keynote, or Proclaim), videos for each chapter, sermon outlines, small group questions, and media resources (like graphic images and the graphical video introduction) so that you can customize the experience for your church or group. Also included in this version are customizable sermon handouts and discussion handouts. You can see the full list of what’s included on the product page. This is more than a book—it’s everything you, as a pastor or teacher, need. With individual study guides available for $9.95, your entire church or small group can experience the Bible as it was meant to be understood. This is an opportunity for your faith community to walk with the founder of the nation of Israel and learn, in the process, how to live faithfully and study the Bible in greater depth.

The Studies in Faithful Living series rethinks church curriculum. Experience better Bible study with Abraham: Following God’s Promise. Pick up the single volume or the complete church curriculum for pastors and teachers today.

4 Qualities That Set the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary Series Apart

Because no one person could possibly explore the full depth of a passage of God’s Word, we here at Logos often encourage people to purchase and read multiple commentaries on a book they’re studying. Each commentary series offered for Logos’ library interprets the Bible from a different perspective. And most commentary series are intentional about what aspect of biblical interpretation they want to focus on: exegetical, pastoral, theological, application, or others. So what does the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series (EEC) focus on?

The Ezra & Nehemiah: EEC volume by Israel Loken—which is now available—well illustrates four things that make the EEC different.

  1. The EEC is meant for a large audience
    The EEC editors—H. Wayne House, William D. Barrick, and Hall Harris—decided that the EEC audience would include the scholar, the pastor, the Sunday school teacher, and the person unfamiliar with the Bible. The EEC would address problems we all face. Ezra & Nehemiah by Loken considers problems and makes connections that are relevant no matter how deep someone’s relationship with Christ is.
  2. The EEC covers nearly all types of biblical interpretation
    Once the editors decided that the EEC would have a very wide audience, they asked: “What will make this commentary as helpful as possible?” Answering this question meant interpreting the Bible phrase by phrase from an evangelical perspective. The EEC would also incorporate the latest in biblical scholarship—combining historical, literary, and theological explanations with ideas for applying the Bible to everyday life. In Ezra & Nehemiah, Loken often discusses how the problems faced by God’s people after their exile in Babylon are not that different from the problems churches face today. He first makes this point through some biblical theology connections before connecting it to his thoughts about applying the Bible.
  3. The EEC is created for a digital world
    Digital books do not have page constraints. There is room for additional notes, excursuses on important issues, and anything else worth addressing. Loken included in Ezra & Nehemiah tables illustrating the historical events surrounding the book and interesting discussions like the literary connections between Ezra and Nehemiah.
  4. The EEC focuses on the biblical story
    Ezra & Nehemiah helps interpret the biblical story’s meaning for us. By analyzing the elements of narrative and the historical background of Ezra and Nehemiah, Loken explains how and why God’s people rebuilt Jerusalem and changed their way of worship. He continually emphasizes what we can learn about God’s story today from observing God’s story back then.

We’re not the only ones excited about Ezra & Nehemiah. In case you missed it, we published a blog post in April highlighting new endorsements for the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary by four leading biblical professors.

If you purchase the collection today you will receive the Ezra & Nehemiah volume immediately. Then, each time a new commentary is released, it will automatically download into your library at no additional cost.

Also, you can order the 44 volume, Evangelical Exegetical Commentary using a payment plan and spread those payments out for up to a year!

Do you already have the Ezra & Nehemiah volume in your collection? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Reflecting on Three Years of Bible Study Magazine

God’s Word has the power to do more in someone’s life than we could ever hope to do on our own. For that reason—before Bible Study Magazine was announced about three years ago—the decision was made that it would be all about the Word.

Using the print medium for this purpose was indeed a simple technology solution. We came to the conclusion that print would serve this purpose well: it was a great medium for presenting fresh ideas about Bible study.

Bible Study Magazine is still all about getting people into the Word. We are grateful for the opportunity to publish the words of people who share our passion, like Priscilla Shirer. In the current issue, Shirer says: “The exact same Holy Spirit that lives in the people we admire, who teach us the Bible, is the exact same Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. … [We can’t] only hear the voice of God when somebody else is spoon feeding it to us. We have to know that we can go to the Scriptures ourselves.”

This idea is embodied by Dr. Yohanna Katanacho. As a Palestinian by birth who now lives in Israel, he shares the gospel with those struggling with ethnic and national boundaries. Through relationships, he often has the ability to demonstrate that Christ can overcome all things. He has been a missionary in the conflict of hatred for most of his life, yet he doesn’t seem discouraged by it—the Word of God helps him with the disappointments and enables him to experience victories. Katacacho’s story is both empowering and convicting. He prompts us to be anything but passive in our faith: He tells the story of how the Bible has transformed his life and continually been his guide. “For me, the Bible is the source of my strength,” says Katacacho, “without it I would be lost, not only because of the cognitive part, but because it is a holy ground for me. There I meet God, and through that meeting, I am refreshed.”

But as Sheila Walsh says in our current issue: “Sometimes we have a hard time resting in God’s promises because so many earthly promises are broken. But while we disappoint others and they disappoint us, God is not like us: ‘God is not human that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?’ (Numbers 23:19).”

God is here for us. He has provided the “holy ground” of His Word so that we can rest peacefully in Him. When we look to His Word, we see His promises. Bible Study Magazine is about how God is manifest in His Word and wants to manifest His Word in our lives.

I hope you decide to subscribe now to Bible Study Magazine for yourself, a family-member, or a friend. (To gift a subscription, just enter a different shipping address at check out.) We would be grateful for the opportunity to help you or someone you know get deeper into the Word.

Have you subscribed to Bible Study Magazine? We would love for you to tell us about it!

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