One-Day Archibald Alexander Sale!

ArchibaldAlexanderArchibald Alexander, born April 17, 1772, was an American Presbyterian theologian and Princeton Theological Seminary’s first professor of theology. Over the course of his 79 years, he contributed greatly to the world with his wisdom and theology.

Here are some of his noteworthy quotes:

  1. “No one was ever saved because his sins were small; no one was ever rejected on account of the greatness of his sins. Where sin abounded, grace shall much more abound.” (Practical Truths p. 164)
  2. “God has set before you an open door which no man has a right or power to shut. If you should be shut out, it will be by your own unbelief, and not for want of a warrant to come. Enter, then, without delay or hesitation. None can less afford to delay than the aged sinner. Now is the time. Now or never. You have, as it were, one foot already in the grave. Your opportunities will soon be over. Strive, then, I entreat you, to enter in at the strait gate.” (Practical Truths p. 166)
  3. “But however long you may have continued in rebellion, and how ever black and long the catalog of your sins, yet if you will now turn to God by a sincere repentance, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall not be cast out.” (Practical Truths p. 165)
  4. “God is not glorified in any transaction upon earth so much as in the conversion of a sinner.” (Practical Truths p. 174)
  5. “If you were not a sinful, polluted, helpless, and miserable creature, this Saviour would not be suited to you, and you would not be comprehended in his gracious invitations to the children of men.” (Practical Truths p. 167)
  6. “There is but one step to be taken, strictly speaking, in coming to Christ, and that is believing in him with all the heart. We are not required to repent and do good works before we come, but to come to him to give us repentance unto life, and to create us anew to good works.” (Practical Truths p. 178)

Celebrate Alexander’s birthday by learning more about him. Save $50 on the Archibald Alexander Collection (with coupon code ARCHIBALD) and $100 on the Princeton’s Theology Collection (with coupon code PRINCETON13)—today only.

All quotes from Alexander, Archibald. Practical Truths. New York: The American Tract Society, 1851.

What Is the New Perspective on Paul?

The New Perspective on Paul is an important shift in how scholars have understood Paul over the past 40 years. This movement reads and interprets Paul primarily through the lens of first-century Judaism’s cultural context. New Perspective scholars have reacted to a reading of Paul through the lens of the Reformation—especially Luther, Calvin, and their followers.

Who are the important figures of the New Perspective?

  • The movement began with E. P. Sanders, who wrote Paul and Palestinian Judaism in the 1970s. This book emphasized the importance of rabbinic writings in understanding Paul. Sanders argued that Paul’s concept of becoming part of the people of God had more to do with covenantal participation, and he argued against the prevailing Lutheran understanding of the atonement.
  • In the early 1980s, James D. G. Dunn developed Sanders’ thesis and coined the term “The New Perspective.”
  • Since then, N. T. Wright has written extensively on Paul. His magnum opus on Paul will be released later this year.

The New Perspective is controversial. The emergence of Sanders, Dunn, and Wright on the scene upended the way Christians have read Paul for generations. For example:

  • The New Perspective deemphasizes a works-righteousness interpretation of the law in Pauline writings.
  • The New Perspective places the covenant in a prominent role in Pauline writings.
  • A classic reading of Paul favors a penal substitutionary theory of atonement, while the New Perspective doesn’t give this theory as much prominence

As you can see, this is a significant reframing of how Paul is read and understood. And whether or not you agree with the New Perspective, it’s undoubtedly important to understand—even if your goal is to understand why you may not agree with it. One of the benefits of having a large and robust digital library is that you have the resources and tools to adequately research both sides of controversial issues.

On the New Perspective in particular, there are books and collections to help you understand every angle:

Logos 5: Difference between Highlighting and Visual Filters

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

On more than one occasion, I’ve been asked questions similar to this:

I’ve discovered the Highlighting feature on the Tools menu and marked up the word love with the red highlighter pen. The challenge is that the red highlights show up in only one Bible. I want love to be highlighted in all my Bibles. How do I do that?

The key to this question is understanding the difference between Highlighting and another feature, Visual Filters.

The Highlighting feature marks up text in only one resource at a time. On the other hand, a Visual Filter is a search in as many resources as you want—one in which you tell Logos how to highlight the results!

This means you can search all your Bibles at once for the word love, and then select how you want the word highlighted in all your Bibles.

Let’s create this simple Visual Filter:

  • Choose Documents | Visual Filter (VF)
  • Name the VF something like English Words VF (A)
  • Select Bible as the search type (B)
  • Select All Bibles from the dropdown list (C)
  • Select All Passages from the dropdown list (D)
  • Type the word love in the Find box (E)
  • Select Red Highlighter from the Formatting list (F)

  • Open any English Bible to see the word love marked up in red (G)

  • Add as many additional words or phrases as you’d like—place phrases in quotation marks, like “in Christ” (H)

Just remember, if you want a highlighting style to automatically mark up text in multiple resources, you want to use a VF, not the Highlighting tool.

If you liked this tip, you’ll enjoy the newly released Logos Training Manuals volumes 1 and 2, which together provide easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions for the vast majority of Logos features.

Discover How We Really Got the Bible

Why was the Epistle of Barnabas removed from Bibles? And why did the Gospel of Thomas never make it into the canon? Find out in the May–June ’13 issue of Bible Study Magazine, where we address one of the most controversial topics in recent history: how we got the Bible. We’ve brought in the world’s leading experts on the biblical canon to tell the story. This issue exposes myth, debunks fallacious claims, and shows how our modern Bibles came to be. You won’t want to miss it!

Here’s what’s included in the May–June ’13 issue:

  • What does “canon” mean, anyway? Dr. Nijay Gupta explains the history of the term, and why we use it today to refer to authoritative biblical books.   
  • 9 books that used to be in Bibles. They were once considered worth including in Bibles, but few modern Bibles contain them. What were they, and why were they removed?
  • A timeline of canon history. How and when did biblical books become authoritative? Get a bird’s-eye view with this stunning fold-out infographic.
  • Origins of the Old Testament. The story of the Old Testament is complex, but this article by Dr. Lee Martin McDonald helps you understand milestones in the history of its formation.
  • Making the cut of the New Testament canon. Four criteria characterize authoritative biblical texts. Find out what they are—and if inspiration is one of them—in this article by Dr. Craig D. Allert.
  • Do new archaeological discoveries answer our canon questions? How do the Dead Sea Scrolls shed light on the canon—if at all? Dr. Michael S. Heiser shows us which texts the community at Qumran used.
  • Which books are divine? What do we learn about the canon from church fathers like Athanasius?

In addition, this issue features Joni Eareckson Tada on the cover, an interview with Elyse Fitzpatrick, and a new eight-week Bible study on the Psalms. Subscribe today to get the May–June ’13 issue of Bible Study Magazine!

Jesus the Revolutionary

Revolution

Today’s guest post is written by Michael L. Brown, author of Revolution: Jesus’ Call to Change the World and Revolution in the Church: Challenging the Religious System with a Call for Radical Change.

“We socialists would have nothing to do if you Christians had continued the revolution begun by Jesus.” These words were spoken by a leading socialist in the 1920s, yet more than 90 years later, they remain foreign to many Christian ears. What “revolution” did Jesus begin? And was Jesus in any sense a “revolutionary”?

The answer is that Jesus came into our world to launch God’s revolution—a kingdom revolution, a revolution of the Spirit, a world-changing movement that would overcome evil with good and hatred with love, and Jesus himself was the most radical revolutionary leader who ever lived.

Jesus called for revolutionary commitment

All too often, however, we look at Jesus as the founder of a lovely home and garden religion,” called Christianity, a harmless spiritual leader who left behind some lovely platitudes and inspirational thoughts, a man whose memory we celebrate at the annual Easter egg hunt.

But that is hardly the Jesus of the New Testament. His message was a threat to the religious establishment. He called for dramatic, sweeping—yes, revolutionary—change. He taught his followers to pray radical prayers like, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”—meaning, the displacement of the corrupt kingdoms of this world by the perfect kingdom of God. He called his disciples to revolutionary commitment, urging them to leave everything and follow him, and in his platform message, he promised freedom to the captives (Luke 4:18–21).

That is the language of a revolution, and that is the language we must recover today, as our nation teeter-totters on the verge of moral and social (not to mention economic) collapse. We need a Jesus-based cultural revolution that will recover the fear of God, the respect of honor, the dignity of family, and the beauty of morality.

Join the revolution

That is why I wrote Revolution: Jesus’ Call to Change the World, a life-changing book filled with challenging examples from saints and martyrs of the past.

However, before there can be a revolution in this society, there must first be a revolution in the Church, since the world has been changing the Church of America more than the Church of America has been changing the world. As Dr. Martin Luther King warned decades ago, “If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”

That is why I wrote Revolution in the Church: Challenging the Religious System with a Call for Radical Change—to examine our present methods of leadership and ministry against the biblical grid. For those bold enough to take the challenge, the rewards will outweigh the difficulties.

There is reason for great hope. As expressed by the late Vernon Grounds, former chancellor of Denver Theological Seminary, “A Christian who . . . becomes a revolutionary will serve as a revolutionary catalyst in the Church; and by the multiplication of revolutionized Christians, the Church will become a revolutionary catalyst in society; and if society is sufficiently revolutionized, a revolution of violence will no more be needed than a windmill in a world of atomic energy.”

Download Revolution: Jesus’ Call to Change the World and Revolution in the Church: Challenging the Religious System with a Call for Radical Change today.

Strack and Billerbeck’s Works in English

Today’s guest post is from Dr. David Instone-Brewer, senior research fellow in rabbinics and the New Testament at Tyndale House in Cambridge. He is an expert on rabbinic literature and curator of the website Traditions of the Rabbis in the Era of the New Testament.

commentary-on-the-new-testament-from-the-talmud-and-midrashStrack-Billerbeck’s Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Midrash is a wonderful treasury of rabbinic parallels to the New Testament. These parallels are sometimes obvious, sometimes obscure, and almost always interesting.

This is a resource for preachers as well as scholars. Preachers and scholars who want to present a rounded picture of the New Testament Jewish world have everything they need in this collection. Although most of the material was written after the New Testament was finished, it represents the thinking and culture of the Pharisees, as well as Paul’s opponents. The second- and third-century rabbis were not the same as the Pharisees of the first century, but neither group was a monoculture, and the overlap is much larger than the differences.

Paul Billerbeck, the main author of this work, was a lifelong pastor and preacher who collected these parallels in order to enlighten his congregation. He was also an accomplished scholar, whose publications brought him to the attention of the distinguished Berlin professor Herman Strack. Strack encouraged Billerbeck to write a theology of the ancient rabbis, but Billerbeck was more interested in creating a collection of sources that would be useful for preachers and scholars. He arranged them in the form of a commentary, following the example of John Lightfoot two centuries previously.

Although Billerbeck, in his introductions, explains that he merely helped Strack, this wasn’t the case, since Billerbeck was the primary author of this work. However, Billerbeck needed Strack to give credence to his works. Billerbeck, born of Jewish parents, could never have found a publisher without Strack’s help, especially in the increasingly anti-semitic climate of Germany.

Of the commentaries included, the commentary on Matthew is by far the largest, since the other Gospels contain only the material that was not paralleled in Matthew. The epistles are dealt with much more briefly than the Gospels, partly because their background is often Roman, rather than Jewish, and because the rabbinic sources are sadly lacking in theological discussions. They are concerned far more with the minutiae of how to obey the Law in daily life.

Many of the rabbis were like Nicodemus—honestly trying to please God by following the Law. This is why they were so concerned to know how they should live. This collection opens up their world, and helps us to picture the people with whom Jesus spoke, and the rich soil from which Christianity grew.

* * *

You can be a part of bringing this monumental work to the English-speaking world! Pre-order your copy of Strack and Billerbeck’s Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Midrash today!

Logos March Madness Savings End April 15

The Logos March Madness sale is one of your best opportunities to score superb deals on bestselling individual titles—but this year’s sale ends Monday, April 15.

You can choose from over 700 products, by 64 authors, discounted by 30–75%! See all deals now.

This year’s biggest winners

D. A. Carson was crowned this year’s champion. A selection of his works are discounted by 75%. Titles available include Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to John, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, and The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism. See all of Carson’s works on sale.

This year’s runner-up, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, has been one of our best-selling authors. Titles by Lloyd-Jones are 60% off! For less than $10, you can pick up Courageous Christianity, Glorious Christianity, and Authentic Christianity, or other top works. See all of Lloyd-Jones’ works on sale.

Hundreds of titles from 62 authors

  • Save 50% on N. T. Wright and Charles Spurgeon.
  • Save 45% on Douglas Moo, John Piper, A. W. Tozer, and Bruce Metzger.
  • Save 40% on John MacArthur, J. I. Packer, John Calvin, and 5 more authors.
  • Save 35% on Warren Wiersbe, R. C. Sproul, John Owen, and 13 more authors.
  • Save 30% on Charles Ryrie, Jack Hayford, J. C. Ryle, and 29 more authors.

Don’t forget—this sale ends Monday, April 15. Save now!

Already picked up your favorite titles? Recommend your favorites in the comments.

Improve Your Preaching with the Baker Contemporary Preaching Collection

Preaching week after week can be an exhilarating and daunting task. And once you’re in the thick of sermon prep, it’s hard to find the time and tools to adequately assess how you’re doing. How do you set goals to get better? How do you stay on top of the important preaching trends? How do you get better at developing ideas and turning them into powerful, life-changing sermons?

With the 19-volume Baker Contemporary Preaching Collection, you’ll have all the resources you need to take your pulpit ministry to the next level.

This collection includes modern classics like:

Performance in Preaching: Bringing the Sermon to Life ed. Jana Childers and Clayton J. Schmit

“Two of our finest teachers of preaching here collaborate on an invigorating book for preachers. Jesus doesn’t mean for us to think about the Gospel, even to understand the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to be enacted, embodied, and performed. Childers and Schmit show us how we preachers can better enable our listeners to not only hear but also perform the Gospel. One of the best books on the craft of preaching that we’ve had in a long time.”—Will Willimon, bishop, North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church

Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition by Calvin Miller

“One of our best preachers and writers tells us what he does best—and why and how.”—Eugene Peterson, pastor, scholar, and author

Preaching as Worship: An Integrative Approach to Formation in Your Church by Michael J. Quicke

“Michael Quicke’s winsome and insightful exploration of preaching as an integral component and reflection of Trinitarian worship is a welcome contribution to thoughtful literature on both preaching and worship. For too long, one has been viewed as simply a prelude or culmination of the other. Quicke helps us understand how worship and preaching function organically and holistically to honor the persons of the Godhead who also comes to us as one.”—Bryan Chapell, chancellor, Covenant Theological Seminary

Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons That Connect with Our Culture by Zack Eswine

“Zack Eswine moves the Christ-centered preaching movement forward with this volume. He not only calls us to carefully contextualize our message to various cultures, sensibilities, and habits of heart, but he also gives us a host of practical tools, inventories, and guidelines for doing so. All the while he assumes and strengthens the foundational commitment to preaching Christ and his restoring grace from every text. A great contribution.”—Tim Keller, senior pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

Preaching to a Postmodern World: A Guide to Reaching Twenty-First Century Listeners by Graham MacPherson Johnston

“Here is a significant book, one that urgently needs to be in print. Well written, biblical, and practical, it opens the stained glass windows. For anyone desiring a ministry of impact in today’s postmodern society, Graham Johnston has provided an understandable and useful focus for both the professional and the casual reader.”—Howard G. Hendricks, emeritus distinguished professor of Christian education and leadership, Dallas Theological Seminary

These five titles represent less than a third of the resources available in the Baker Contemporary Preaching Collection. And while these resources are on Pre-Pub, you can add them to your library for only $189.95. Don’t wait. Pick up these resources while they’re available at this low Pre-Pub price!

Logos 5: Locate Imperatives in 2 Timothy

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

A few days ago, a Logos user emailed me the following question:

For a sermon on April 21, I would like to find all the commands in 2 Timothy. How do I do a search in the Greek for all the imperatives in this letter?

Here’s my response, with easy-to-follow instructions so you can locate those same commands:

  • Open the Search panel
  • Select Morph as the search type (A)
  • Select a Bible that contains the reverse interlinear option, like the ESV, from the dropdown list (B)
  • Select Logos Greek Morphology from the dropdown list (C)
  • Create a 2 Timothy verse range
    • Click the verse range dropdown list (D)
    • Type 2 Tim. in the New reference range box (E)
    • Click Save (F)

  • Type the @ symbol in the Find box (G)
  • Select Verb from the Part of Speech menu (H)
  • Select Imperative in the Mood column (I)
  • Click outside the menu to close it and save @V??M in the Find box
  • Press the Enter key to generate the search

  • Click Aligned when the search results appear (J)
  • Notice 33 results in 25 verses (ESV) (K)
  • Click a Bible reference to jump to that location (L)

 

Save 10% at the National Worship Leader Conference!

Proclaim church presentation software is a proud sponsor of the National Worship Leader Conference, the premier conference for worship leaders and their teams. The first of three conferences is May 13–15 in Lancaster, PA. With over 60 workshops, NWLC helps any leader from any size church learn and grow. At NWLC, worship is more than music—it’s a way to communicate biblical thought and understanding.

Get your ticket before April 19 and use code PRO10 at checkout—you’ll save 10%!

Visit the Proclaim blog today to learn more about the conference and save your seat.

Not in Pennsylvania? Don’t worry—you’ll have two more opportunities to attend the NWLC and save. Stay tuned!