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A Protected Investment

It’s no secret to regular readers of this blog that we favor our digital books over their print counterparts and consider them to be superior when it comes to things like longevity, usability, space savings, cost savings, time savings, and ease of shipping and moving. Many of you are already convinced and choose digital over print as often as possible, but some of you may still be a bit skeptical. A couple of weeks ago, I came across another perfect illustration of how investing in Logos is one of the best ways to protect your investment in a biblical and theological library.

Ryan M. is a Logos user. I met him a while back on the Logos newsgroups. Over the last several years, Ryan has acquired more than 4,000 Libronix digital resources. He chose to build his library primarily with Libronix books partly because he and his wife, Sandi, were planning to do full-time mission work in Quito, Ecuador (and partly, I’m sure, for some of the other reasons I mentioned above).

After a few years of deputation and raising their necessary support, the time had finally come to leave the US and head to the field. As they made their final preparations, Ryan and Sandi gave away most of their earthly possessions and carefully stored up exactly what they would need to take with them. They were set to fly out of Detroit on January 5, 2009 and head to San José, Costa Rica, where they would spent their first year in language school.

The night before they left, the vast majority of their belongings were stolen—everything that they had prepared to take with them, except for their overnight bags and laptop.

Here are some snippets from a email that Ryan sent me last week:

My parents drove us to the airport in Detroit—about 2-1/2 hours from our home in Grand Rapids—to save us having to rent a car (we’d already given ours away). They reserved a nice hotel room for them and us quite near the airport; we stayed the night, and when we awoke the van and all our possessions were gone. (We think the vehicle has probably already been chopped up and that our stuff is being enjoyed by the thieves. Our name, address, and eddress was in every box, so there’s no secret about how to contact us to return any or all of it. But these were obviously evil people.)

. . .

Logos has been wonderful for us in this circumstance! The theft we experienced could have been even more damaging to our finances if I had packed a good number of paper books. I would also be without those ministry helps if I had been relying on paper resources. As it stands, I haven’t lost my theological library, for which I’m extremely grateful. I even have a digital copy of numerous Spanish resources and a Spanish-English dictionary!

Though this is a horrible situation to go through, Ryan doesn’t have to mess with the hassle and massive expense of trying to replace his library. And even if his laptop had been stolen as well, he could have gotten his entire Libronix digital library up and running with very little effort and at almost no cost. His 4000+ resources and all of his licenses are safe. But how easily could you replace your library?

Please pray for Ryan and Sandi as they adjust to a new culture, learn a new language, and try to replace all of the things that they lost. If you would like to be a financial blessing to them, you can donate directly through the HCJB Global website. (To help them in their immediate need, be sure to put “for personal use” in the “Add an Additional Note” blank.) You can read more about how you can pray for and help Ryan and Sandi at their blog.

Inauguration Day Special: 75% Off

American History CollectionToday Barack Obama takes office and becomes the 44th President of the United States of America.

In recognition of this important day, we are running a special on our American History Collection, which includes the following eight titles:

  • Common Sense
  • The Constitution of the United States of America
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States (free update including the latest inaugural addresses coming soon!)
  • An Outline of the American Economy
  • An Outline of American Government
  • An Outline of American History

Use coupon code 44PRESIDENT to take 75% off and get this 8-volume collection for under $5! The offer is good for today only.

Enjoy!

Update: The updated file for Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States is now available.

Spurgeon Lovers, It’s Coming!

Charles Spurgeon Collection (78 Vols.)Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92), the “Prince of Preachers,” is regarded by many as the most important Baptist preacher of the last two centuries. According to some, he may very well have been the greatest preacher in the history of the church.

His sermons, which drew crowds by the thousands, are still widely read today, and nearly all of his writings remain in print and provide help to myriads of Christians all over the globe.

But though his sermons have been published as a set, which we have available in the companion Complete Spurgeon Sermon Collection, until now there has been no attempt to publish a comprehensive collection of Spurgeon’s writings like has been done with the works of other historically significant people like Luther, Knox, Bunyan, Owen, Wesley, Edwards, and many others.

In the Charles Spurgeon Collection, we bring you what is to our knowledge the most comprehensive collection of Spurgeon’s non-sermonic material available anywhere. It presently* totals 78 87 volumes and 17,361 18,719 pages and is on Pre-Pub for only $249.95 $259.95. That’s just over $3 per volume. Assembling this massive collection in print would cost you at least two to three times as much.

In the Charles Spurgeon Collection, you’ll get

  • The Treasury of David, Spurgeon’s 7-vol. commentary on the Psalms
  • Spurgeon’s 4-vol. Lectures to My Students, which includes his best-selling Commenting and Commentaries
  • 228 issues of Spurgeon’s magazine, The Sword and the Trowel (1865-84)
  • Spurgeon’s 4-vol. Sermon Notes
  • the 2-volume Salt Cellars
  • Spurgeon’s 4-vol. Autobiography, the first and most detailed account of Spurgeon’s life and ministry
  • a collection of Spurgeon’s letters and correspondence
  • dozens of additional volumes on preaching, prayer, evangelism, and much more!

*And it gets even better. I said presently above because we’re still in the process of researching another dozen or so titles for possible inclusion in this collection. The best part is that if you pre-order now, you’ll be locked in at the lowest possible price, even if the price goes up to cover the additional cost.

So pre-order this unparalleled collection of the writings of C. H. Spurgeon now (and his sermons, too, if you don’t already have them), and get ready to take advantage of the power of Logos to integrate this wealth of material into your devotions, Bible studies, and sermons with ease.

Update (07/09/09): We’ve added 9 new titles to the collection, bringing the total up to 87!

33,719 Pages of Eminently Quotable Writings

Today’s guest post is from Jana Gering, Project Manager of the Electronic Text Development department.

The teaching pastor at a church I worked for a few years ago asked the staff for stories and ideas about an upcoming sermon dealing with a section of scripture on pride. The first thing to come to my mind was the chapter on pride from C. S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity. I looked up the chapter to find some quotes for my email response; I began by typing out a few of the quotes and ended by transcribing almost the whole of that incredible chapter! Lewis’ pithy writing defies summary, so the email turned out be a list of about 15 lengthy quotes from the chapter. The pastor tried to summarize them, too, but the impact of the text was such that in the end, he posted all of the quotes on slides and discussed them during the sermon.

As the manager of the small bookstore at the church, I can testify that we sold out of all Lewis books and put in many backorders that Sunday. The power of Lewis’ written words struck a note with many who otherwise may never have read them. The power of enduring authors—writers of fiction, playwrights, philosophers, and poets as well as theologians—can add a truly powerful punch to your studies and messages.

Right now, the massive 71-volume Harvard Classics and Fiction Collection, which contains a whopping 33,719 pages of classic writings, is on Pre-Pub for only $99.95. To quote from the product page, “When Charles William Eliot assembled The Harvard Classics, more commonly known as ‘The Five-Foot Shelf,’ and later the ‘Shelf of Fiction,’ he gathered this epic collection of key works which he thought would best represent ‘the progress of man . . . from the earliest historical times to the close of the nineteenth century.’”

While C.S. Lewis’ works are too new to be published in this set, biographies, philosophical and scientific essays, stories, plays, poetry, and whole or excerpted keynote works from throughout history are included:

“Men despise religion; they hate it and fear it is true.” —Pensee 174

“The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent as to knowing what it is. . . .” —Pensee 194

—Blaise Pascal, Pensees

“A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.”

—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Avarice, envy, pride, Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all On Fire.”

—Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”

Martin Luther

“Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.”

Saint Augustine

“A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.”

“Alas! All music jars when the soul’s out of tune.”

—Miguel Cervantes

Imagine having not only your biblical and theological works at your fingertips through Libronix, but also a complete university course in the history of original authors from ancient times through the 19th century!

French philosopher Étienne Gilson wrote that “history is the only laboratory we have in which to test the consequences of thought.” Secular or religious, fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry, this classic collection gives insight into the history, culture, art, and consequences of ideas as expressed by the written word. And so, since “Brevity is the soul of wit,” (William Shakespeare in Hamlet), and I’ve already passed up my word count (and probably my wit as well!), I’ll leave you to discover the merits of the collection yourself at the Pre-Pub page.

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.