Archive - Products RSS Feed

Thanks for noticing!

We’ve been searching the Internet to see what people are saying about Bible Study Magazine, and it’s been great! We are thrilled to see so many positive reviews and to be getting so many new subscribers.

In the course of our searching we found that someone even wrote their own ad for Bible Study Magazine and our Kutless track giveaway:

“Hey kids! How would you like to win a FREE subscription to Bible Study Magazine?!? And can you also imagine the idea of getting a FREE mp3 rockin-roll audio music song? Have you ever fantasized about what would happen if your parent’s #1 favorite religious magazine teamed up with your #1 favorite rock band and threw a double-threat mega-contest giveaway with a whole buncha cool stuff?!?”

Sounds cool to me!

I did find the copy a bit breathless and “over-the-top”, but when you’ve got an “opponent and satirist of Christianity” (Wikipedia) who was chosen to speak at the 29th American Atheists Convention pumping your Bible Study Magazine, well… I’ll forgive the hyperbole. (The man paints his head red and wears little devil horns; he’s clearly a dramatic personality.)

I’m not sure this ad (placed on a page where the artist mocks the email he receives from outraged Christians) will be bringing us many new subscribers, but we’re flattered, after just two issues, to be on the radar of fans and scorners alike.

We want to live up to the copy and become your “#1 favorite” magazine soon!

Haddon Robinson and Discourse Grammar, Part 2

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software and author of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, Lexham High Definition New Testament, and the forthcoming Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction to Discourse Features for Teaching and Exegesis.

Haddon Robinson is known for what has been called “Big Idea Preaching” based on the importance he places on preaching the central concept of a passage instead of merely the supporting ideas. The key to preaching the big idea is finding the big idea. He cites a really great example from Hebrews 10:19-25. Below is the text in the ESV.

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

There are a whole gaggle of ideas in this passage. It can be tricky to unpack it properly.

One of the primary goals of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and the Lexham High Definition New Testament is to help guide you through the process of digesting the grammar and structure of a passage. In the case of Hebrews 10, vv. 19-21 play the role of setting the state for the big idea that is given in v. 22. When passages get as complex as this, it is a real challenge to successfully find your way through to the big idea.

Now take a look at the same passage in the HDNT:

The “Complex” label on the left tells you that you are headed into a passage that has a lot happening. The “Principle” line is the main idea of the complex sentence, indicated by being indented only one level. All of the other supporting elements like the bullets, sub-points and elaboration are indented at least two places. The labels also help you understand what each of these parts is doing. The grayed text indicates backgrounding, information that helps to set the stage for the main idea, but is backgrounded to make sure the main idea is not missed.

If you are looking for some great resources for preaching, I would encourage you to look at a the Baker Preaching Collection, which is currently on Pre-Pub. If you want to learn more about discourse and its practical application to the New Testament, check out my forthcoming Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament. It provides all the background you have wanted to know about the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and the HDNT.

See also Haddon Robinson and Discourse Grammar, Part 1.

“Free” Book: Apocrypha Reading Plan

Recently we’ve blogged about the many ways to read the Bible in a year using tools from Logos Bible Software. Within the application, one can make custom reading plans, or you can join an online community of people reading through the same plan using either Global Bible Reader or Bible.Logos.com.
But all of these solutions currently support a 66 book canon only. If you also want to read the Apocrypha, or Deuterocanonical books, either because your faith tradition includes such books or just to learn more about the Jewish writings that appeared during the time ‘between the testaments’ and were read by the early Church, some additional help is needed.
So I’ve made a little Libronix digital book that contains a list of daily readings to cover the Apocrypha in one year. It functions just like other daily devotionals, with a link at the top to jump directly to the current day’s reading. It can also be loaded into your Libronix Home Page in the devotionals section.
This reading plan covers the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican deuterocanonical materials. The ‘additions’ to Esther and Daniel are interspersed within and around the protocanonical portions of those books, and Ezra, Nehemiah and the last chapters of 2 Chronicles are included just before the Esdras writings to provide important context for comparison. So if using this in conjunction with one of the other Bible reading plans, you might end up reading some of the books of the Bible twice, but we think this is a high class problem.
Because of some (temporary) limitations to how the Bible data type functions, this first release of the Apocrypha Reading Plan is hard-coded to the NRSV, so we’ve made it free to any customer that already has the NRSV in their Libronix Digital Library. The NRSV is included in all of our base packages, and is also available à la carte.
Updated Instructions:

  1. Determine the folder that contains your Libronix digital books. The default folder is C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources. If you have changed the default folder, you can see the folders your system monitors for new books by opening Libronix DLS and clicking Tools | Options | General | Resource Paths.
  2. Save, do not run or open the following link to the folder that contains your Libronix digital books. Save this file to your resource path.
  3. Open Libronix DLS (don’t try to click on the newly downloaded file). You may see a message in the lower right-hand corner that says “Discovering Resources” – wait a few seconds for this message to go away.
  4. Open My Library and type ‘NRSV Apocrypha Reading Plan’. If you already own the NRSV, this will appear unlocked, otherwise it will be locked. If Libronix DLS was open when you downloaded the file, you may need to press the F5 key to refresh your My Library view, or close and re-open Libronix DLS.
  5. Enjoy!

Devotions for the New Year

There’s no replacement for reading the Bible. But there are some very good supplements.

Last week Ryan talked about how you can read the Bible this year with people all over the world using our Global Bible Reader or the new Bible reading plans at Bible.Logos.com. Both are great ways to read the Bible while learning from and sharing with other believers.

If you just want to read by yourself or want to customize your own reading plan, there is the Bible reading feature in the Windows version of Logos. Rather than repeating what I wrote last year, I’ll let you check it out for yourself if you want to learn some tips for creating a reading plan in Logos for 2009.

Another feature in Logos for Windows that I’d encourage you to consider using this year is the Devotions section on the home page. Books whose content is arranged by day of the year are automatically added to the list of available devotional readings that you can choose from.

Here’s just a sampling of the scores of devotional books we have:

To add a book to your daily devotional reading, simply click “Customize View” on home page, scroll down to the Devotions section, and check the box next to Devotions and any of the books that you’d like to read through over the next year. Every day the next devotional will be waiting for you. Just click it to open the current day’s reading.

Some other devotional books that don’t span an entire year but are worth checking out include John Piper’s A Godward Life, Life As a Vapor, and Pierced by the Word.

We trust that God would encourage your faith this year as your read His Word and meditate on its relevance for your life.

Bible Study Magazine January-February 2009 Issue Arrives

Today’s guest post is from John Barry, the associate editor and project manager for Bible Study Magazine.

Get a sneak peek inside Bible Study Magazine January-February 2009 as I thumb through the issue in the below video.

There is no better time to subscribe than now. With the New Year here, why not begin 2009 with Bible study? If you add reading Bible Study Magazine to your New Year’s Resolution list, you will not be disappointed. Make a commitment to spend twenty minutes a day with the magazine and your Bible, and you will have encountered God through His Holy Scriptures for about 122 hours during the 2009 year. Plus you will have learned from the best voices in the church and biblical scholarship.

If you subscribe and read the magazine, you will become skilled at incorporating devotional and in-depth Bible study—church life and biblical scholarship. You will tackle tough passages, learn how to do Hebrew and Greek word studies without knowing the biblical languages, encounter humor in the Bible, and stay up to date with the latest Bible-related news. On top of all this, you will likely know God better by the end of the year.

Feature Stories in the Jan-Feb 2009 Issue:

  • Kay Arthur on Inductive Bible Study: Observation, Interpretation & Application
  • Rock Music and Bible Study: An Interview with the Band Kutless
  • Counting the Ten Commandments

Other Content in the Jan-Feb 2009 Issue:

  • In the News
  • Comics & Puzzles
  • Seeing What’s Right in Front of You—Some Insights on Devotional Bible Study
  • The Bible and an Ancient Historian Disagree?
  • Facing Today with the Book of Hebrews: Weeks 9-16
  • Soul Searching in Deuteronomy: A Hebrew Word Study without Hebrew
  • Paul’s Attitude Problem—A Church Father on the Galatia Conflict
  • Paul’s Lost Letters
  • A Fat King and A Left-Handed Man
  • Sean McDowell on Teaching Teenagers about the Bible
  • Love Potion: Numbers 5—A Weird, But Important Story
  • Tips on Reading the Gospels with Dr. Mark Goodacre (Part Two)
  • A Scholar Explains Righteousness and Truth
  • Star Trek: The Previous Generation—Who were the Magi and How Did They Find Jesus?
  • Book Reviews of a new Hebrews’ Commentary, the Chronological Study Bible and Sacramental Life

Subscribe now at BibleStudyMagazine.com!

Update: To clarify, the first few copies of the January-February 2009 issue have arrived here in our office. You may not have received your copy yet. No need to call and check to see why yours hasn’t arrived yet. It should be on its way and make it to your mailbox very soon.

Free Kutless Song at BibleStudyMagazine.com!

kutless.jpgBible Study Magazine has partnered with Kutless to offer a free download of Complete off their new album, To Know That You’re Alive.
Not only is Bible Study Magazine giving away the free MP3, but they are also giving away some great freebies:

  • Four subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine
  • A complete Bible Study Library from Logos Bible Software
  • Four Kutless Fur Lined Hoodies
  • Four Kutless “I Do Not Belong” Shirts
  • Four Kutless Women’s Orange Flower Tees
  • Four Kutless Coffee Mugs
  • Four Kutless CDs – To Know That You’re Alive
  • Four Kutless CDs – Strong Tower

Want to enter the giveaway? There are four ways to enter! Between now and January 31st, 2009:

  1. Simply post a link in any of your social spheres (blog, forum, facebook, myspace, twitter, etc.) to biblestudymagazine.com/kutless letting people know about the free MP3 giveaway. In February, we’ll search through all the backlinks to the site and select winners at random.
  2. Post a link to http://www.logos.com. We’ll search through the backlinks and select winners at random.
  3. Don’t have an online outlet for posting a link? Good news! Everyone who signs up to get the free Kutless song is automatically entered into the drawing!
  4. Want to get TWO MORE ENTRIES? Subscribe to Bible Study Magazine between now and January 31st and we’ll give you two more entries.

Not sure how to make sure links work in your posts? Try something like this:

A free Kutless MP3 is being given away at Bible Study Magazine. They are also giving away cool Kutless gear and Logos Bible Software. Go check it out!

Copy & paste this code to your website:

The giveaway coincides with the release of the January/February edition of Bible Study Magazine, which includes an interview with Kutless called “Rock Music and Bible Study.” Other great articles in this issue include “Kay Arthur on Inductive Bible Study,” “Counting the Ten Commandments,” “Facing Today with the Book of Hebrews,” and much more! If you haven’t done so already, subscribe today.

What’s in Your Bible?

What's in Your Bible? Find out at BibleStudyMagazine.comIf you got a copy of the first issue of Bible Study Magazine (November-December 2008), you probably saw the super cool canon chart put together by our own Vincent Setterholm (pages 47-48). It nicely compares the Protestant, Ethiopian, Syriac, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Hebrew, and Samaritan canons and provides lots of helpful explanatory material.

More cool charts and graphs like this are coming in future issues. The January-February issue has a chart from Mike Heiser on the Ten Commandments. To be sure that you don’t miss out on great content like this in the future, be sure to subscribe.

For those of you who missed the canon chart, we’ve made a really cool version of it available on BibleStudyMagazine.com. Check it out, and drop a mention of it on your blog if you find it helpful. Just paste the code from the code box at the bottom of the page into your blog editor.

If you prefer to have this chart in print, you can still pick up a copy of the first issue for only $2.95—or even better, get it for free! All you need to do is write a brief review of Bible Study Magazine on your blog or website or in print. Find out all the details in our previous blog post.

By the way, if you’re looking for a good book on the canon, check out F. F. Bruce’s The Canon of Scripture.

Interview with Hugh Ross of Reasons To Believe, Part 2

Hugh Ross / Reasons To Believe Collection (9 Vols.)Yesterday we started a two-part interview with astrophysicist and author Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons To Believe, whose books we are featuring in our nearly finished Hugh Ross / Reasons To Believe Collection (9 Vols.). If you missed the post, be sure to check it out.

As promised, here is the second half of the interview. Scroll down to start reading, or simply click on any of the questions to jump to Dr. Ross’ response. Enjoy!

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about the books in the Hugh Ross-Reasons To Believe Collection at Logos.com and how the material in them can help Christians?
  2. If someone was to pick up only one of your books to read, which book would you recommend and why?
  3. Do you have any new books in the works?
  4. What current scientific developments are you really excited about?
  5. At your speaking engagements on behalf of Reasons To Believe, have you seen a change in the questions people are asking now as opposed to, say, 10 or 20 years ago?
  6. Why has the old-earth vs. young-earth debate become such a divisive issue among evangelical Christians?
  7. What advice would you give to a young man or woman entering a secular university to study in a scientific field?
  8. In your years of studying science and faith, are there any “ah-ha!” moments that really stand out?
  9. Are there any questions you’re currently wrestling with?
  10. How can Christians better reach out to scientists, engineers, and other science-minded individuals?

Q10. Can you tell us a little bit about the books in the Hugh Ross-Reasons To Believe Collection at Logos.com and how the material in them can help Christians?

A. The Fingerprint of God was my first full-length book. It tells the story of how astronomers’ observations of the universe led them, in many cases against their will, to a theistic model of the universe. In addition to explaining the astronomical evidences for the God of the Bible, The Fingerprint of God addresses the problem of evil, the origin of life and humanity, and the Genesis 1 creation account. In many respects, The Fingerprint of God laid the foundations for the rest of my books.

My second book, The Creator and the Cosmos (now in its third edition), greatly expands upon and updates the astronomical, physical, and geological evidence for a God who transcends and creates all matter, energy, space, and time and who has supernaturally and super-intelligently designed the universe and all its constituent parts for the specific benefit of human beings. Of my books, this one has brought more people to faith in Christ than any other.

The Genesis Question addresses the most problematic passages in the Bible for skeptics, namely Genesis 1-11. This book shows how the most maligned chapters in Scripture, in fact, provide some of the strongest proofs available that the Bible is the error-free Word of God, perfectly reliable and trustworthy, not only for faith, doctrine, and life practice but also for science, history, geography, and all the rest of the academic disciplines. It documents how the Bible repeatedly and accurately predicted future scientific discoveries, laid the foundation for the scientific method, makes a biblical case for a non-global but universal Flood, and addresses such questions as the identity of the Nephilim, pre-Flood long life spans, and the origin of the races.

Beyond the Cosmos describes the scientific breakthrough of physicists discovering six dimensions of space in addition to length, width, and height and the conclusion from the space-time theorems of general relativity that the Agent responsible for creating the universe at a minimum possesses the capacity to operate in the equivalent of two time dimensions. These extra dimensions explain why the Bible alone among the world’s “holy books” contains doctrines that cannot be visualized within length, width, height, and time. It alone was inspired by the One who lives in and beyond the extra dimensions. In addition, Beyond the Cosmos describes how the transcendence of God into extra dimensions and beyond explains the great paradoxes of the Christian faith: why God is not created, how God can respond to billions of simultaneously uttered prayers, the Trinity, eternal security, human free choice and divine predestination, the atonement, heaven, hell, and the new creation. This book, more than any other from Reasons To Believe, strengthens the security and hope of the believer. It also won more awards than any other RTB book.

Because most scientists refuse to believe in the possibility of nonphysical reality, they are convinced that ETs are real and that UFOs do not exist. Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men shows how the scientific evidence warrants the opposite conclusion. While the vast majority of reported UFOs are explained by natural phenomena or human activity, there exists a provably real but nonphysical residual. This book explains that reality, describes the properties of real UFOs, and shows how only people with involvement in the occult experience close encounters with them. The occult connection also explains why these close encounters always results in harm. The proof of the book’s thesis is that anyone who takes the described steps to remove the occult connection from his or her life will be freed from such encounters. This book helps those trapped in occult activities and equips Christians to help them.

Origins of Life presents the RTB biblical model for life’s beginning in detail and compares its explanatory power and predictive success with naturalistic models. This book uses the latest scientific discoveries to demonstrate how the explanatory gaps for the naturalistic models have become dramatically larger while RTB’s model has shown remarkable success in filling in and explaining knowledge gaps. It also describes the successes and failures in the emerging discipline of astrobiology for testing competing models for the origins of life.

Who Was Adam? tells the story of how scientific advances during the past decade resulted in a paradigm shift that caused the scientific community to abandon Darwin’s descent of man hypothesis in favor of what is called in the scientific literature the Garden of Eden hypothesis. This book documents how DNA studies, the discovery of over a dozen independent narrow time windows for human existence, cultural “big bangs,” and new fossil record finds brought about this transformation. Who Was Adam? also compares the biblical content on human origins, including the date of humanity’s origin, pre-Flood life spans, the rapid post-Flood spreading out of humanity, and the birth of human civilization, with the latest scientific discoveries.

A Matter of Days seeks to resolve the controversy within the church over the age of Earth and the universe. In a context of biblical inerrancy, it explains the four different literal definitions for yôm. This Hebrew word is used for the creation days in Genesis 1. Only the definition of a long, but finite period of time permits a literal and consistent interpretation when integrating the 27 chapter-length creation accounts. A Matter of Days also reviews all the scientific age-measuring methods for the earth and universe, the constancy of the physical laws, the reliability of radiometric dating, time dilation, and the validity of young-earth scientific claims. It addresses, too, death before Adam, hyper-evolution in young-earth creationism, human origins, appearance of age, and restoration theology.

Creation as Science surveys the entirety of RTB’s testable creation model. It compares the explanatory power and predictive success of this model with three others: naturalistic materialism, theistic evolution, and young-earth creationism. It also addresses two other creation/evolution participants that have not yet produced detailed models: the intelligent design movement and directed panspermia proponents. This book proposes a new way of handling creation/evolution issues that answers concerns expressed by legislatures and the courts and offers a resolution to the science education crisis currently plaguing both secular and sectarian institutions in America.

Q11. If someone were to pick up only one of your books to read, which book would you recommend and why?

A. I frequently get asked this question. My response is that it depends on the person. For someone looking for the most rigorous scientific evidence for the God of the Bible, I recommend The Creator and the Cosmos. If an individual wants to see the entire scientific case for the God of the Bible summarized in one book, I suggest Creation as Science. This book is also useful for Christians who want to become more effective in reaching out to non-Christians. For those who struggle with the claimed scientific and historical accuracy of the Bible, I advise they read The Genesis Question. A Matter of Days helps many non-Christians, who find young-earth creationism the biggest barrier to the Christian faith. Many Christians say that’s our most liberating book. Beyond the Cosmos gives the greatest understanding of who God is and what our future holds is. This is the best book to give someone facing death. People who are caught up in the occult or who are fascinated by ETs and UFOs need to read Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men.

Q12. Do you have any new books in the works?

A. Yes. Baker Publishing Group released my latest book, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, this past October. They fast-tracked my next book, More Than a Theory, so it’s release will coincide (as closely as possible) with global celebrations of the Darwin anniversaries during 2009. Its release is scheduled for March. Right now, I am busy writing a book with the working title Answers in Job.

Why the Universe Is the Way It Is examines 12 different purposes for God creating the universe and answers challenges from atheist scientists who insist the universe is poorly designed. It also provides an answer to the problem of evil by explaining how the physical laws of the universe are optimized to help bring about a rapid, efficient, and permanent removal of evil.

More Than a Theory responds to both naturalism and theistic evolution by presenting a testable, falsifiable, and predictive biblical creation model. Rather than pointing out flaws in the evolutionary models, More Than a Theory presents a comprehensive case for creation and shows how the RTB creation model provides a more complete and consistent explanation of the natural realm and a better record in predicting future scientific discoveries.

Answers in Job will show how many of the most divisive creation/evolution issues, both inside and outside the church, find resolution in the book of Job. Answers in Job also will launch new apologetics disciplines pertaining to the origin of soulish features in birds and mammals.

Q13. What current scientific developments are you really excited about?

A. The top seven for me right now are (1) the hidden purposes in “junk DNA,” (2) testing the unique designs of our solar system through the discovery of extrasolar planets and so-called solar twins, (3) testing human origins through the discovery and analysis of Neanderthal DNA and the DNA of long-dead humans, (4) determining the location and structure of exotic dark matter and ordinary dark matter, (5) the potential discovery of axions (a leading candidate for exotic dark matter particle) through measuring the cooling of white dwarf stars, (6) the possibility of a much more accurate measure of the scalar spectral index in the cosmic microwave background radiation (which would explain exactly what kind of inflationary hot big bang creation event brought about the universe), and (7) further experiments with bacteria such as the recent one performed with E coli to test the possibility of natural occurring repeated evolutionary outcomes (proved impossible). These developments and many more are discussed in my forthcoming book, More Than a Theory.

Q14. At your speaking engagements on behalf of Reasons To Believe, have you seen a change in the questions people are asking now as opposed to, say, 10 or 20 years ago?

A. The truth is that the big questions of life people typically ask pretty much stay the same. What has changed are my answers. That’s because we live at a time in history when evidences for the Christian faith are multiplying at an astonishing rate. In taking advantage of these new reasons to believe, I try to give my audiences much more effective answers. This availability of new evidence probably explains one main difference I do see. I seem to be getting far fewer aggressive challenges from atheist skeptics, theistic evolutionists, and young-earth creationists. Many more people simply want help resolving apparent conflicts between the record of nature and the words of the Bible.

Q15. Why has the old-earth vs. young-earth debate become such a divisive issue among evangelical Christians?

A. Historically, the church persists in splitting over nonessentials. In the first century the circumcision issue was even more divisive, and certainly more violent. During that debate doctrine wasn’t so much at stake as was the strong desire of many Jewish Christians to keep Gentiles out of the church. Likewise, I’m convinced many evangelicals want to keep scientists out of their churches. Telling scientists that they must believe in something with no more scientific credibility than the flat-earth hypothesis is an effective means for discouraging them from getting involved.

Another reason why this debate is so divisive is that many churches tend to ignore the controversy. In the book of Acts, Luke records that not until church leaders dealt with the circumcision controversy head-on did it subside.

Q16. What advice would you give to a young man or woman entering a secular university to study in a scientific field?

A. First, try to get into the best university for your particular discipline. In choosing the best, look carefully at the faculty who will be providing instruction in your area of study. Once school starts, watch for opportunities to assist faculty and senior graduate students in their research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand something, ask. As much as possible, read the periodical literature related to your discipline. For a Christian student wanting to be an effective witness, it is important to realize that the impact of your message will be proportional first, to your degree of humility and grace; second, to how well-prepared you are to give reasons and evidences for your Christian faith; and third, to the academic excellence you display.

Q17. In your years of studying science and faith, are there any “ah-ha!” moments that really stand out?

A. At Reasons To Believe “ah-ha” moments occur quite frequently. One in the biological sciences that especially comes to mind is a study published by Michigan State researchers proving that Stephen Jay Gould was correct when he claimed that evolution would never produce a repeated outcome. The hundreds of examples of “repeated evolutionary outcomes” seen in nature’s record, thus, must be repeated creation outcomes.

A standout in the physical sciences is the recognition of how remarkably designed all the solar system planets are for the maintenance of advanced life on Earth. Another is the discovery that the laws of physics are optimally designed to facilitate a rapid and efficient conquest and removal of all evil.

An “ah-ha” moment that was a big factor in my committing my life to Christ was discovering that Genesis 1 answers the fossil record enigma: rapid and aggressive speciation before the advent of humanity and virtually none afterwards. Genesis 1 provided the answer: for six days God creates but on the seventh day, God ceased from His creation work. That day of rest began after God created Eve and will not end until evil is permanently removed. Genesis 1 also helped me understand why many scientists do not see God in their research studies. If their studies focus only on the era in which God rests, they won’t find any evidence of His miraculous interventions in the natural realm.

Q18. Are there any questions you’re currently wrestling with?

A. Yes. For my next book I am researching soulish designs. The Bible implies that all “soulish” life has been designed in distinct ways to serve and please humanity. Since these designs were established before humans even existed, no one can claim that soulish creatures (birds and mammals) naturally evolved such features. Some questions I am pursuing is to what degree can scientific evidence be developed to prove that each bird and mammal species was designed to serve and please humans? How distinct are the different means by which birds and mammals do that? And, how did different species help launch human civilization.

Questions of astronomical interest for me are what kinds of particles make up exotic dark matter and what kind of design will we uncover in their properties. In determining more precisely the geography of both exotic and ordinary dark matter, what kind of new arguments for supernatural design will be discovered? What will more accurate measurements of the universe’s scalar spectral index and geometry tell us about the cosmic creation event, the universe’s spatial size, and the universe’s future? Likewise, what will the detection and measurement of gravitational waves tell us about the beginning and end of the universe?

Biblically, a question I continue to pursue is can I, with the help of my colleagues, build a stronger, more extensive case for showing how God’s two books of revelation, the book of Scripture and the book of nature, overlap in their content and in that overlap completely agree? Can we continue to find more examples of the Bible accurately predicting future scientific discoveries and providing wisdom for guiding scientific research?

Q19. How can Christians better reach out to scientists, engineers, and other science-minded individuals?

A. For too long many American Christians have treated the scientific and engineering communities as enemies of the Christian faith rather than as mission fields to be won to Christ. What scientists tell me they want most from Christians is a positive rather than a negative overture. They want us to stop bashing scientists and “evolution.” Instead, they desire public appreciation from Christians for all the hard work scientists perform in their pursuit of truth and understanding about nature’s realm. They also would like to see us present a positive case for creation, one that can be scientifically tested.

Most scientists and engineers are not unwilling to consider creation as an alternative to their evolutionary paradigms. However, they are unwilling to abandon their evolutionary models until they see creation models that offer superior explanations of the record of nature. These models also need to demonstrate greater success in predicting future scientific discoveries. Scientists are waiting for such models to be produced. They are eager to evaluate the credibility and integrity of creation models and to suggest ways that better models can be improved and extended.

It’s through engaging scientists and engineers rather than attacking them or ignoring them that we can win many to faith in Christ. I know this from personal experience. Of all the people groups before whom I have presented evangelistic messages within the United States and Canada, engineers have demonstrated the greatest receptivity. And, scientists were not far behind.

Thank you, Dr. Ross, for taking the time to share with our readers!

If you’d like to learn more from Dr. Ross, you still have a few days left to pre-order the Hugh Ross / Reasons To Believe Collection (9 Vols.) at a nicely discounted price.

Interview with Hugh Ross of Reasons To Believe, Part 1

Hugh Ross / Reasons To Believe Collection (9 Vols.)Our Hugh Ross / Reasons To Believe Collection (9 Vols.) is nearing completion, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to Dr. Ross about his area of expertise and the excellent resources in this collection.

The interview is lengthy, so we’ve divided it into two posts. The second post will appear tomorrow. If you have an interest in creation, science, and apologetics, I think you’ll find it a fascinating read.

Here are the first 9 questions that Dr. Ross answers below. Scroll down to start reading, or simply click on any of the questions to jump directly to his response. Enjoy!

  1. As an astronomer and a pastor of evangelism for more than 30 years, could you describe the importance of using science to help people come into a relationship with Jesus Christ?
  2. For our readers who might not be familiar with you or your work, could you give us a brief introduction?
  3. Can you tell us a little about your ministry, Reasons To Believe (RTB)?
  4. Can you share a little bit about your conversion to Christianity?
  5. You’re an astrophysicist. What exactly does that mean?
  6. What started your interest in creation science?
  7. Why is testing so important?
  8. How can the Christian worldview be tested for poor biblical interpretations?
  9. How can science be tested for poor interpretations?

Q1. As an astronomer and a pastor of evangelism for more than 30 years, could you describe the importance of using science to help people come into a relationship with Jesus Christ?

A. The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects. When the record of nature appears to contradict the Bible, that conflict may prevent an individual from making a personal commitment to Christ. For Christians such perceived inconsistencies may stymie the motivation to share their faith.

A core doctrine of Christianity is that everything God reveals is true and, therefore, consistent. The Belgic Confession states that God gave us two books: the book of Scripture and the book of nature. Both are faithful and trustworthy. Thus, any conflict between science and theology must be due to either a misinterpretation of nature’s record, a misinterpretation of the Bible’s words, or both.

The Bible commands us to be diligent in integrating everything God reveals in its 66 books and in all scientific disciplines. Anomalies or apparent discrepancies should be welcomed as opportunities to dig deeper and broader in the quest to learn more of the truth God reveals.

Today, in some science disciplines, the knowledge base doubles in less than five years. Such new knowledge fascinates people. It also provides opportunities to put belief systems to the test. Whereas many non-Christians refuse to listen to historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, they will listen to news about a recent scientific discovery. Thanks to the pace of science research, every weekday our Reasons To Believe (RTB) team is able to post a new reason to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior.

Q2. For our readers who might not be familiar with you or your work, could you give us a brief introduction?

A. I completed my undergraduate degree in physics at the University of British Columbia and have graduate degrees in astronomy from the University of Toronto. My postdoctoral studies were completed at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where I researched quasi-stellar objects, or “quasars,” some of the most distant and ancient objects in the universe.

Curious about the world’s religions and “holy books,” I found only one that proved scientifically and historically accurate: the Bible. Scientific and historical reality-testing convinced me that the Bible is the Word of God.

Communicating that God’s revelation in Scripture and in nature do not, will not, and cannot contradict each other became my message and mission. My colleagues at Reasons To Believe and I keep tabs on the frontiers of research to share with scientists and nonscientists alike the thrilling news of what’s being discovered and how it connects with biblical theology. In the process, I’ve written many books including: The Fingerprint of God, The Creator and the Cosmos, Beyond the Cosmos, The Genesis Question, A Matter of Days, and Creation as Science.

Between writing books and articles, making webcasts and podcasts (see www.reasons.org), and being interviewed by outside media, I maintain an extensive travel schedule with the hope of challenging students and faculty, churches, and professional groups to consider what they believe and why. I try to present a persuasive case for Christianity without applying pressure. Treating people’s questions and comments with respect has opened many doors for me as a speaker and a talk-radio and television guest.

Q3. Can you tell us a little about your ministry, Reasons To Believe (RTB)?

A. It’s a science-faith think tank founded in 1986. RTB focuses on the relationship between the words of the Bible and the facts of nature. We present reasons in writing or in talks at universities, research labs, churches, and elsewhere for confidence in the findings of science and in the authority of Scripture. Our scientists and theologians demonstrate how God’s verbal revelation proves accurate and wholly consistent with the latest discoveries. Podcasts, webcasts, video clips, and articles, including Today’s New Reason to Believe, show how scientific advance supports the Christian faith. Each can be accessed at www.reasons.org. Event information is listed there as well. We also maintain a science-faith hotline (626-335-5282) that operates daily from 5 to 7 p.m.

Q4. Can you share a little bit about your conversion to Christianity?

A. I was born in Montreal and raised in Vancouver, Canada. My parents were morally upright but nonreligious. I didn’t know any Christians or serious followers of any religion while growing up.

Though my neighborhood was poor, its public schools were outstanding and its libraries well-equipped. By age seven I was reading physics books as fast as I could check them out. By eight I decided to make astronomy my career. In the next several years my study of the big bang convinced me that the universe had a beginning, and thus a Beginner. But, like the astronomers whose books I read, I imagined that the Beginner must be distant and noncommunicative.

My high school history studies disturbed me, for it became obvious that all people groups tend to take their religions very seriously. Knowing the European philosophers of the Enlightenment largely discounted religion, my initial response was to study their works. But I quickly discovered inconsistencies, contradictions, evasions, and circular reasoning.

The next step was to turn to the “holy” books themselves. If the Creator had spoken through any of these books (and I thought He probably had not) His authorship would be obvious: the communication would be perfectly true. I reasoned that if man invented a religion, it would reflect human error. But, if God communicated, His message would be error free and as consistent as the facts of nature. So, I used the facts of history and science to test each of the “holy” books.

Initially my task was easy. After only a few hours (in some cases less) of reading, I could find one or more statements clearly at odds with the historical and scientific facts. I also noted a writing style best described as esoteric and mysterious; it seemed inconsistent with the character of the Creator as implied by the facts of nature. My task was easy until I dusted off the Bible that the Gideons had given me as part of their distribution program in public schools.

The Bible was noticeably different. It was simple, direct, and specific. I was amazed at the quantity and detail of its historical and scientific (i.e., testable) accounts. The first page caught my attention. Not only did its author correctly describe the major events in the creation of life on Earth, but he placed those events in the scientifically correct order and properly identified the earth’s initial conditions.

For the next year and a half I spent about an hour a day searching the Bible for scientific and historical inaccuracies. Finally I had to admit it was error free and that this accuracy could only come from the Creator Himself. The Bible alone described God and His dealings with man from a perspective that demanded more than just the dimensions (length, width, height, and time) we humans experience. Further, I had proven to myself, on the basis of predicted history and science, that the Bible was more reliable than many of the physical laws. My only rational option was to trust the Bible’s authority to the same degree as I trusted the laws of physics.

By this time I clearly understood that Jesus Christ was the Creator of the universe, that He paid the price only a sinless person could pay for all of my offenses against God, and that eternal life would be mine if I received His pardon and gave Him His rightful place of authority over my life. I understood enough Scripture to know, however, that this commitment could not be kept secret. It had to be public, and that meant letting my peers, professors, and family know. I feared the contempt and ridicule that surely would come. So, for several months I hesitated.

During those months I experienced a strange sense of confusion. For the first time in my life, my grades dropped and I had difficulty solving problems. I was discovering the meaning of Romans 1:21, which says that when a man rejects what he knows and understands to be true about God, his thinking becomes futile and his mind darkened. The eventual consequences spelled out in the succeeding verses chilled me.

I knew what I had to do, but my pride seemed too great. One evening I prayed, asking God to take away my resistance and make me a Christian. I prayed this way for six hours with no apparent answer. Finally, I realized that Jesus Christ will not force Himself upon anyone, even if asked. It was up to me to humble myself and invite Him in. And this is what I did at 1:06 in the morning. I then signed my name to the “decision statement” at the back of my Gideon Bible, acknowledging Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Right away I sensed an assurance that God would never let me go, that I was His forever. My fears of ridicule from unbelievers subsided gradually, and day by day I began learning how to share my discoveries of spiritual truth with fellow students and faculty. However, a lack of fellowship with other Christians stunted my growth in Christlikeness.

Every once in awhile I’d visit a church only to discover a cult or a group who called themselves Christians but did not take the Bible seriously. On arriving at Caltech for postdoctoral studies, I finally met a serious believer, Dave Rogstad. Dave invited me to a seminar on applying biblical principles to daily living. There I sat with 16,000 committed Christians. I was overwhelmed to find that so many believers existed, and the things I was taught helped and humbled me.

Within weeks of that seminar I found myself not only attending home Bible studies but helping lead them. Dave challenged me to begin sharing my faith with nonscientists. I was surprised to observe that unlike scientists, who tend to struggle more with their wills than with their minds in coming to Christ, nonscientists tend to struggle more with their minds. If only they could see convincing evidence that God exists, that Jesus is God, and that the Bible is true, they would readily give their lives to Christ. What joy to know the truths that could help set them free!

I began spending more and more time sharing the evidence with others. Within a year I started serving full-time as the minister of evangelism for Sierra Madre Congregational Church. Ten years later, when breakthrough discoveries in the sciences virtually sealed the scientific case for the God of the Bible, a group of friends urged me to form Reasons To Believe. RTB communicates new scientific evidence for creation as widely as possible. It is my delight to report that for each year I have known Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my joy in Him and in sharing His truth with others grows greater. There is nothing in this world for which I would trade my relationship with Jesus Christ. [For an extended audio version, go to Hugh Ross' testimony (Real Audio, 50 minutes).]

Q5. You’re an astrophysicist. What exactly does that mean?

A. An astrophysicist studies the physics of the universe and all it contains: cosmic voids, galaxy clusters, galaxies, dark matter, dark energy, gas, dust, stars, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, cosmic rays, etc. Decades ago, astronomers exclusively focused on making observations of the universe and its components while astrophysicists made theoretical interpretations of the observations. Today, however, virtually all observational astronomers spend much of their time making theoretical interpretations and virtually all theoretical astrophysicists are involved to some degree in making observations. Thus, the terms “astronomer” and “astrophysicist” have become interchangeable. This interchangeability explains why even universities with large numbers of graduate students in a wide range of astronomical sciences offer either astronomy or astrophysics degrees, not both.

Q6. What started your interest in creation science?

A. My parents said I did science experiments even before I could talk (though that didn’t happen until I was five). By the time I was sixteen I recognized that astronomical observations favored the big bang model of the universe. A big bang implied a cosmic beginning and, hence, a cosmic Beginner. That realization prompted me to study different philosophical systems and religions to test whether their teachings matched the established record of nature. Thus, creation science played a crucial role in my becoming a Christian.

By the time I started postdoctoral research studies at the Caltech, I kept running into people who began peppering me with creation science and science-faith questions. The same thing happened at the church I attended near Caltech. My answers led to invitations to speak on the subject. And, my writing soon followed.

Q7. Why is testing so important?

A. Testing guards our minds and spirits from deception. The Bible warns us that legions of fallen angels and humans are determined to win converts to their rebellion against God. Rigorous, thorough, objective testing is a God-given tool that helps us discern truth from error. Testing is the chief means by which we can uncover more of the truth God wants us to discover and understand.

The Bible states that people perish for a lack of knowledge. But, not all knowledge is from God. The apostle John warns, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Q8. How can the Christian worldview be tested for poor biblical interpretations?

A. The Bible is not one book. It is 66. Many Christians pride themselves on taking the Bible literally, but fail to take it consistently. A weakness of the modern American church is its failure to appreciate and practice systematic theology. The best way to check out and fine-tune an interpretation of a topic addressed by a particular Bible passage is to examine all the verses throughout Scripture that pertain to that topic.

A correct interpretation must be consistent with all the passages. However, there may be more than one such interpretation. The range of possibly consistent interpretations must be continually reevaluated as one’s knowledge and understanding of the topic and the relevant Bible passages grows. These interpretations also must be evaluated in light of other related biblical topics and doctrines.

Another means for checking a particular interpretation are extrabiblical truths, for example, God’s second book, the book of nature. The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy wrote in 1981, “We affirm that since God is the author of all truth, all truths, biblical and extrabiblical, are consistent and cohere, and that the Bible speaks truth when it touches on matters pertaining to nature, history, or anything else. We further affirm that in some cases extrabiblical data have value for clarifying what Scripture teaches, and for prompting correction of faulty interpretations.”

Q9. How can science be tested for poor interpretations?

A. Science is the study of the entire record of nature. Through observations and experiments, scientists note that nature’s record is contradiction free. This unfailing consistency yields a reliable test for any scientific interpretation.

Correct scientific interpretations must explain in a consistent and fully integrated manner all the scientific data accumulated in all scientific disciplines. The best interpretation develops a model with the most extensive, detailed, and complete explanation of the phenomenon under consideration.

A theologian can always learn more about a biblical topic. So, too, a scientist can always learn more about a scientific phenomenon. The lack of total knowledge implies that every phenomenon under investigation will exhibit anomalies that don’t quite fit the available scientific explanations.

Anomalies provide another means for evaluating scientific interpretations. For poor interpretations anomalies will grow in number and significance as scientists learn more about the phenomenon under investigation. For good interpretations anomalies will shrink in number and degree of significance.

Gaps in knowledge and understanding yield yet another testing tool. If gaps grow bigger and more numerous as scientists learn more, the interpretation is likely incorrect. On the other hand, if the gaps shrink in magnitude and number, that’s a sign one’s interpretation lies on the pathway toward truth.

Finally, a good scientific interpretation will be consistent with what the Bible teaches. Scripture properly integrated, analyzed, and understood can correct faulty interpretations of nature’s record.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for part two.

In the meantime, don’t miss out on your chance to pre-order the Hugh Ross / Reasons To Believe Collection (9 Vols.) at a nicely discounted price.

Tip from CS: Successful Unlocks—Every Time

It’s 2:00 AM, and you can’t sleep. You decide to browse the Logos website for books to buy. And you find the perfect book that you’d like to read right away before the need to sleep takes over.

So you add the downloadable book to your cart and purchase it. The only thing that stands between you and reading your new book is clicking the orange “Download and Unlock” button. Then you get a screen that says, “You have received an unlocking error. Please contact Customer Service at 1-800-875-6467 for further help.” The only problem is that the Logos Customer Service team doesn’t open until 6AM (PST). Alas, you return to be restless, forced to wait until the morning to dig into your new book.

This sad scenario can be avoided by making sure that your Libronix Customer ID has been entered in your web account prior to making an order.

Once you sign in to your web account, you will see a screen that includes your shipping and billing information. Below that, there is a section titled “Confirm Libronix Customer ID.”

If this is blank (or has the wrong information in it), you will not be able to purchase any downloadable resources and you will get the infamous “unlocking error.”

So what goes in this box? How do you find your Customer ID? Your Libronix Customer ID is usually either the email address you used when you first installed Libronix or, if you didn’t enter one, an automatically created ID like LBXUSER948372.

Many customers put their current email address in as their Customer ID, but this may not be correct. To be sure, you should check in Libronix. Open Libronix and go to Help > About Libronix DLS.

After you’ve identified your Customer ID—in my case demo@libronix.com —make sure to enter it into your web account and click “Confirm.” Now you will be able to successfully purchase and unlock books at Logos.com—even in the early hours of the morning when you can’t sleep!

One more tip for Vista users: when you download a book file, it is usually best to save it to your desktop and then manually drag it to your Resources folder: C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources. If you’re using the 64-bit version of Vista, the correct location is C:\Program Files (x86)\Libronix DLS\Resources.

Happy unlocking—and reading!