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.

Logos.com Gets New Search!

Logos.com just got a whole lot better. We launched some powerful new search functionality along with greatly improved search results.

New Searching

To be quite honest, our previous search on our website wasn’t the best at helping you find what you were looking for unless you knew the exact title or author of the product. A search for something like Grudem theology would turn up no results. Now that same search finds exactly what you’re probably looking for: Grudem’s Systematic Theology.

The default functionality used to be a quote search. It would find only the exact words you typed and in the order that you typed them. Since “Grudem theology” never appears exactly that way on our site, you wouldn’t get any hits. Now our search by default does an OR search. It will find any place where either Grudem or theology occur. It also does stemming, which means that it will find Grudem and theological too. You’ll now get plenty of search results with the best matches on top.

Want to narrow your results? No problem. The new search at Logos.com now recognizes the AND search operator. So you can search for something like Geisler AND apologetics or MacArthur AND Romans. You can also perform standard quote searches as well, like “works of jonathan edwards”. This gives you full control over what our search engine finds for you, but usually just entering in a couple of words and hitting enter should bring you very relevant and targeted results.

Misspell a word in your search? No problem. We now suggest the correct spelling for you! For example, if you search for John McArthur, we’ll ask you, “Did you mean John MacArthur?” Clicking that text will then perform the search you meant to perform. Cool, huh? (And notice that even the search with the misspelling gives you some pretty good results too!)

That’s not all. The new search also recognizes fields like author, title, and description so you can perform some very powerful searches just like you can in Logos Bible Software. Here are some examples:

New Search Results

Just as exciting as the powerful new searching is what we’ve done to the search results. We’ve added the ability to sort search results by several different criteria. The default search order is by relevance, but you can also sort by price, author, and title.

All search results are now conveniently divided into two sections: products and support. Looking to add something to your library? Then products is what you want. Looking to learn how to use Logos better with a video or support article, then support is what you want. By default, we’ll show you both products and support. Just click either word in the top left to filter the results.

Oh, one last thing–blog posts are now indexed as well, so if you’re searching for help on something, you’ll see all the great support articles at Logos.com as well as the relevant blog posts from here on the blog. No need to come here and search the blog separately.

We really hope you enjoy this powerful new functionality, and we welcome your feedback on ways we can make searching at Logos.com even better.

What are you waiting for? Go give it a try!

Merry Christmas from Logos

For all of you dedicated Christmas day blog readers, we put together a little Christmas video and some pictures from around the office and at our annual Christmas party. Enjoy!


Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version) Less Bass by John Stebbe. Used under Creative Commons License Attribution-No Derivative Works 1.0 Generic

Merry Christmas!

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!

Join Logos Bible Software at Macworld 2009

Logos is going to Macworld and we wanted to invite you to come along—in fact, we’re even giving away tickets to the expo!
If you’d like a free ticket to the expo, we have a couple ways you can win.

  1. Post a note on your blog with a link to http://www.macbiblesoftware.com. Then send me an email (rburns@logos.com) to let me know where you posted.
  2. Follow us on Twitter and write a tweet telling people about @Logos (we’ll see the reply, so no need to email or DM me).
  3. If you don’t have a blog or Twitter account, drop a comment below telling us why you want to come and hang out with us at Macworld.

We only have 90 tickets to give away, so act fast as we’ll give them away on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re looking to attend more than just the expo, we can also save you 15% on some of the programs offered at Macworld. Just use our Macworld registration link, and the discounts will be shown during on the program listing page. The discount is open to everyone, so enjoy.
If you already have your tickets to Macworld this year, we’d love to see you there. You can find us in the North Hall, booth number 3526-S. Drop us a comment below and let us know you’ll be there!
Important Contest Info: We’re only giving away tickets to the Expo ($45 value). That means, if you win a ticket, you will only have access to view the exhibition floor (but with almost 500 exhibitors, I’m sure you’ll have plenty to do). If you want to purchase tickets for the keynote or any other event, that is up to you. Also, Macworld is in San Francisco, January 5-9, 2009. We’re not covering your airfare, travel expense, or meals… so, please be aware that you are responsible for those items before you enter.
The contest begins. . . right. . . now!

Need a Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea?

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

During this time of year when we invest in Santa figurines, Christmas trees, and silly socks that light up and sing songs, why not spend a little money on an eternal investment?­ Bible study.

Bible Study Magazine—1-Year 1-Copy SubscriptionLooking for a last minute Christmas gift? Give the gift of Bible study by buying a year-long subscription to Bible Study Magazine for a friend or family member—and do it for almost 50% off the cover price.

Giving thought to resolutions for the new year? How about doing more Bible study? I am not talking about just reading the Bible, but really studying it. Maybe you want to study the Bible more, but are just not sure where to begin. With Bible Study Magazine you get a reliable guide in an easy-to-use and entertaining format.

Do you, your spouse, or some of your friends want to start a Bible study next year, but are still trying to decide on a curriculum? Well, just pick up Bible Study Magazine and go through our study “Facing Today with the Book of Hebrews.” You can even get a bulk pack together and save even more money. In each issue, you get eight weeks of study questions and prompts. The beauty of this study is that you don’t need a trained Bible study leader to go through it. You just meet together with the magazine and an open Bible, and you are ready to go.

I have recently been going through this study with a group on Monday nights and have realized (yet again) just what an amazing experience it is to do in-depth Bible study with others. The amount I have learned from the other people in our group is astounding (and I wrote the study).

Then there is all the other great content that is packed into each issue from leading names in the church and biblical scholarship. All of this makes Bible Study Magazine the perfect gift for any Christian.

Logos on Twitter

twitter.jpgFor all you Twitter users out there, we wanted to let you know that Logos is now on Twitter.

As a self diagnosed Twitteraholic (shameless plug) I’m pretty excited to see the Logos Twitter page up and running. I’ve been using Twitter for almost a year now and have really enjoyed it as a way to stay up to date with not only my friends, but ministries and companies I’m interested in.

If you’re on Twitter and want to follow us, you’ll soon see that Twitter is a great way for you to keep tabs on things like new prepubs, blog posts, tips and tricks from Morris Proctor, office news, and (of course) the occasional Twitpic. Outside of these common uses, we’ll be experimenting with Twitter and how to use it in such a way that the Logos Twitter community can really benefit. While we’ll likely have multiple people contributing, I’ll be the main monitor for now. So, feel free to DM me @Logos if you have any ideas for how to make our Twitter better for all of our users.

For those of you reading this post and wondering what Twitter is all about, here’s a short video explanation:

Enjoy.

Update to Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar

Thanks to an email sent to suggest@logos.com from a Hebrew professor at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN, we’ve made a nice update to Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar that will make it more useful when referencing and looking up his detailed section and subsection organization.

If you’re familiar with Gesenius, you’ll recognize a reference like GKC §19.b. In our original digital edition, we included all of the these sections and subsections as milestones, enabling you to navigate to a location like this by simply setting the Active Index to “Hebrew Grammar (Gesenius, Kautzsch, and Cowley)” and typing it in the box at the top of the resource. As you would scroll through the resource, the index would update letting you know when one section ended and another began.

As a general rule, it was fairly reliable, but there were some places where those divisions were a little difficult to be sure about, making it necessary at times to consult the print edition. That’s no good. Our resources are supposed to make things more convenient and save you time. So we rebuilt the resource with the subsection letters added prominently in the left making it easy to see the divisions.

In addition to this improvement, we also fixed all the typos that had been reported (thanks for sending them!) and added links to some new data types that weren’t around when the grammar was first produced, most notably the Semitic Inscriptions data type.

The new file is now on our FTP site and is free to all existing owners. Be sure to grab it. You can download it manually and drop it in your resources folder (C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources), or just run the resource auto update script.

If you don’t already own it, there are several ways you can pick up this standard Hebrew grammar.

Thanks for your suggestions and feedback. We aren’t always able to reply, but we do read them all and implement many of them. Who knows? Your suggestion may be the next one we put into place, benefitting not only you, but potentially many thousands of other users. So keep ‘em coming, and keep sending those typo reports as well!