An Interview with Dr. Richard Gaffin on the Ridderbos Legacy

Herman Ridderbos (1909–2007) is acclaimed for bringing clarity to eschatology and redemptive history, among other important topics. His legacy as a theologian is far-reaching. We are very pleased to offer the Herman Ridderbos Collection (9 vols.) on Pre-Pub.

We recently talked to Dr. Richard Gaffin, professor emeritus of biblical and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, and editor of the Logos edition of Geerhardus Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics translation team, about Ridderbos’ influence and theological legacy.

Logos: Herman Ridderbos has influenced a range of theologians, from Joel Beeke to N. T. Wright. What have the writings of Ridderbos done for you personally?

Dr. Gaffin: He is among those from whom I’ve learned who have most deepened my understanding of Scripture, and so my knowledge of God and my submission to the saving lordship of Christ.

Logos: What does Ridderbos contribute to the discussion of the New Testament canon, and why is it significant?

Dr. Gaffin: He demonstrates the apostolic matrix of the New Testament documents, and so provides an exegetically based, redemptive-historical rationale for their origin and for the closing of the New Testament canon.

Logos: You and Ridderbos have both written on the topic of “redemptive history”—can you explain what it means, and why the concept is important?

Dr. Gaffin: Redemptive history begins following the original creation and at the entrance of sin. Subsequently, the concept largely incorporates the history of Israel, God’s old covenant people, until in the person and work of Jesus Christ it reaches its new covenant eschatological consummation with the realized–still future (“elliptical”) pattern.

All of the biblical documents, regardless of genre, have their origin and their content as a function of redemptive history. Sound understanding of the Bible turns on understanding its redemptive-historical origin and redemptive historically qualified subject matter.

Logos: Do you think the evangelical church today has a thorough understanding of the Kingdom of God? How would Ridderbos’ writings help inform that understanding?

Dr. Gaffin: In my perception, the majority of evangelical churches still view the Kingdom of God—along with eschatology in general—as entirely future. Their need is to appreciate and appropriate “elliptical” eschatology (the by now proverbial “already-not yet”), particularly as Ridderbos has demonstrated in The Coming of the Kingdom and elsewhere.

Logos: What does Riddebos bring to the study of eschatology?

Dr. Gaffin: He brings a clear and in-depth demonstration of the elliptical structure of biblical/New Testament eschatology; “eschatology” is to be defined in terms of what has occurred/arrived with the first coming of Christ, as well as what will take place at his second coming.

Logos: What do you consider to be Herman Ridderbos’ most important work?

Dr. Gaffin: Paul: An Outline of His Theology [included in the Herman Ridderbos Collection].

Logos: If I’m new to Ridderbos, which of his writings would be a good introduction?

Dr. Gaffin: I don’t hesitate to recommend When the Time Had Fully Come: Studies in New Testament Theology. Its short chapters provide excellent introductions to his thought and major works.

Be sure to pick up the Herman Ridderbos Collection (9 vols.) before the price goes up January 2!

Grow Your Library with a Master Bundle

Round out your library with a broad range of key titles across 19 disciplines. The master Bundles contain all the resources in the individual bundles—but with the Master Bundles, you get much bigger discounts.

Choose from four sizes at incredible discounts, all the way up to the extra-large bundle’s 1,196 volumes at 85% off the individual titles’ Logos.com prices!

On top of that, you’ll get a discount for any books you already own. This means if you’ve already purchased one of the smaller bundles, you’ll be getting a nice discount on the Master Bundles.

But don’t wait—bundle prices will double at the end of the day on January 2, 2013. You don’t have much more time to get hundreds of new books at rock-bottom prices.

Bundle Number of resources Price for individual books at regular price on Logos.com Cost of this bundle after January 2 Price of separate bundles that make up the Master Bundle Your price today
Master Bundle, S 142 $2,914.88 $1,499.90 $1,143.05 $67.50/mo. or $749.95*
Master Bundle, M 279 $5,664.93 $2,499.90 $1,977.05 $109.16/mo. or $1,249.95*
Master Bundle, L 758 $10,543.37 $3,999.90 $3,172.05 $116.11/mo. or $1,999.95*
Master Bundle, XL 1,171 $22,669.65 $6,999.90 $5,870.05 $199.44/mo. or $3,499.95*

What books are included?

The Master Bundles contain everything in the smaller bundles, so you’ll get books on archaeology, Greek and Hebrew, church history, Jewish studies, and biblical studies, and more. You’ll also get books from a wide range of theological traditions—including Catholic, Reformed, and Baptist resources—as well as dozens of resources on pastoral leadership, counseling, apologetics, and more.

There’s no overlap between the bundles and Logos 5′s base packages—if you’ve already upgraded to Logos 5, you’ll get hundreds of additional books at near–base package discounts.

Check out the complete list of books to see everything you’ll get!

*Your price could be even lower. On top of these discounts, you’ll also receive a discount for any resources you already own. Drop the bundle into your shopping cart to see your additional dynamic discount.

* * *

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. See the special pricing our Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator has for you.

All 12 Days of Logos deals good through January 2!

12 Days of Logos!

The 12 Days of Logos sale has come to an end, but this year’s deals have not. All the superb 12 Days deals will be available until 11:59 pm January 2 (PST). With over $800 in possible savings, these offers are too good to pass up. So don’t miss out on your chance to get bargains like:

The Essential IVP Reference Collection Version 3

Essential IVP Reference Collection Version 3

Regularly: $190
12 Days price: $109.95
Coupon code: 12Days201201

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (15 vols.)

Regularly: $499.95
12 Days price: $429.95
Coupon code: 12Days201204

Tyndale Commentaries (49 vols.)

Regularly: $224.95
12 Days price: $185.95
Coupon code: 12Days201207

NIV Application Commentary: NT

NIV Application Commentary: NT (NIVAC)(20 vols.)

Regularly: $382.99
12 Days price: $249.95
Coupon code: 12Days201211

Anchor Yale Bible (AYB)(83 vols.)

Regularly: $1,899.95
12 Days price: $1,689.95
Coupon code: 12Days201212

Don’t miss out—get any and all of these deals before time runs out! With the option of an 18-month payment plan,* Logos products have never been more affordable.

Head over to 12DaysofLogos.com to see all our deals in one place!

And be sure to check out all our other Christmas specials, too.

*18-month payment plans are available only for purchases of $1,900 or more. Call our sales team at 1-800-875-6467 if you have any questions.

Get an Archaeology Bundle Before the Price Goes Up!

Over the last century and a half, archaeology in the Middle East has flourished. From the Nag Hammadi library to Tel Dan Stele to the Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeological discoveries have informed biblical scholarship on several levels, giving us a more complete picture of the Bible’s land and culture.

Now, whether you want to dip your toe into the vast world of biblical archaeology, or enhance your library with 36 volumes of important research, we have a bundle just for you.

We’ve hand-selected four bundles of must-haves to start (or continue) your study of archaeology. And don’t worry; if you already own any of the products, dynamic pricing makes sure that you don’t have to pay for them again. Simply add the bundle to your cart to see your special price.

Small Archaeology Bundle (6 vols.)

The small bundle contains six volumes, including Louis Berkhof’s celebrated Biblical Archaeology and two volumes of Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, which talks about what major archaeological discoveries teach us about the Bible.

Medium Archaeology Bundle (10 vols.)

This 10-volume bundle contains all the content from the small bundle, and adds William Mitchell Ramsay’s The Church in the Roman Empire before A.D.170 and several other important works.

Large Archaeology Bundle (15 vols.)

Containing the content from the small and medium bundles, the Large bundle also adds Paul Ash’s David, Solomon and Egypt, in addition to a look at the Tel Dan Stele (the inscription famously referencing the “House of David”), and more.

X-Large Archaeology Bundle (36 vols.)

This bundle gives you the most bang for your buck—all the content from the previous bundles, plus a remarkable array of essays and other writings on early Palestine, the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, and so much more. Dig deeper into the discoveries that help us understand the context of Scripture.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get a wealth of good reading on the fascinating field of archaeology.

Don’t Miss Our Other Bundles!

These are just few of the ways you can customize your library—we have lots of new bundles that cater to your specific interests. Pick up bundles that focus on:

Can’t decide which ones to add to your library? That’s okay—we’ve compiled all this content into three sizes of master bundles. Add tons of new books to your library by picking up the small Master Bundle (142 vols.), the medium Master Bundle (279 vols.), the large Master Bundle (758 vols.), or the extra—large Master Bundle (1,171 vols.).

Already picked up a couple bundles and now want to add one of the Master Bundles to your library? Dynamic pricing will subtract the cost of the items you already own. Simply drop the bundle you want into the shopping cart to see your adjusted price.

Don’t Wait! These Prices Will Go Up

 The price of all of our bundles will double January 3. That’s right—all these bundles will revert to their regular prices so don’t wait. Add incredible content to your library at amazing prices today.

*  *  *

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. See the special pricing our Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator has for you.

Last Chance for 12 Days Deals: Anchor Yale Bible

12 Days of Logos

Today’s is the last deal of the 12 Days of Logos 2012, and it’s a big one. Today, the Anchor Yale Bible is on sale for $1,689.95—that’s over $200 in savings! This 83-volume collection has set the standard for exegesis for decades. Drawing on the wisdom and resources of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from around the world, it represents the pinnacle of biblical scholarship.

These 12 Days savings are almost unbeatable, but there’s a way to make the Anchor Yale Bible even more affordable. A payment plan breaks down your bill into bite-size chunks—you can pay only $146 per month over the course of 12 months instead of $1,689.95 right now. Already on a payment plan? No worries—you can just add these payments to it. And if that moves you into qualifying for an 18-month plan, you might even lower your monthly payments. Call our sales team for more information at 1-800-875-6467.

So what are you waiting for? Get the Anchor Yale Bible today for only $146 per month with the 12 Days of Logos! But act fast—a deal this awesome won’t last long.

Take Advantage of Logos’ Christmas Deals through January 2!

Christmas is right around the corner, but there’s still time to save big on Logos’ Christmas deals! Don’t miss out on great bargains like:

15% off base packages

This is the perfect time to pick up a base package for yourself or someone you love. Throughout the season, base packages are 15% off! Logos gives you the tools to explore the Christmas narrative beyond the manger scene, understand the significance of the virgin birth, and see how the whole of Scripture centers on the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ.

Up to 75% off hand-selected book bundles

Customize your library with bundles on the subjects you love. Through the end of our Christmas sale, you’ll save up to 75% off individual title prices. But act fast—bundle prices double after January 2.

Win Logos 5 & a Surface tablet

Enter for your chance to win one of five Logos 5 base packages. We’re giving away Starter, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and ­Platinum—and, with Platinum, a brand-new Surface tablet running Windows 8 Pro! Already have Logos 5? If you win, we’ll refund your purchase in Logos credit.

You can see all the exciting offers by checking out the Logos Christmas deals page. But don’t wait too long—seasonal discounts end January 2.

What Is Your Reasonable Service?

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”—Romans 12:1 (KJV)

Wilhelmus à Brakel was a major theologian and scholar in the Dutch Puritan Reformation of the seventeenth century. He took Romans 12:1 to heart, applying its message to his character with sincerity and piety. For his congregations and Reformation movement, he desired nothing besides godliness and holiness. The Christian’s Reasonable Service exemplifies his heart as he systematically presents a theology of piety.

It has been argued that this is the best work in Puritan literature. Reformed believers in the Netherlands and England instantly found this work as endearing as à Brakel himself. As his magnum opus, The Christian’s Reasonable Service contains the compelling doctrine of à Brakel’s experiential theology.

What is your reasonable service? It is a reasonable question—one that à Brakel ponders as a way to assess our Christlikeness, guiding the reader through this biblical theology at the same time. Pre-order this classic four-volume Puritan masterpiece and help us get this spiritual systematic theology into Logos for the benefit of all who take Romans 12:1 to heart.

*  *  *

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. See the special pricing our Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator has for you.

Logos 5: Popular Highlights

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.

In Logos 5, several features connect us to other Logos users: Community Tags, Community Ratings, sharing with Faithlife Groups, etc. Another community feature, Popular Highlights, appears throughout our resources. This new visual filter reveals how others mark up the text.

For example:

  • Open the daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest.
  • Note the gray underlining, followed by the number of highlights, scattered throughout the book. (A)

Example of popular highlighting in My Utmost for His Highest book

These markers merely show frequently highlighted text in the Logos community; all specific user info is anonymous. You may be encouraged to see the insights others found helpful, or you may wish to disable Popular Highlights.

To hide Popular Highlights in one resource:

  • Click the visual filters icon (A) on the resource’s toolbar.
  • Uncheck Popular Highlights. (B)

Hide popular highlights in one resource

To hide Popular Highlights in all resources:

  • Click the visual filters icon (A) on a resource’s toolbar.
  • Right-click on Popular highlights. (B)
  • Select Do not show in any resources. (C)

Hide popular highlights in all resources

10 Christmas Sermons Just Waiting to Be Preached

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

Christmas is upon us, and it’s a vital time for good preaching. Students are coming home, families are gathering in their hometowns—and more people are pouring into your church. Maybe you’ve planned ahead for all the visitors. Maybe God has blessed your church with faster growth than you expected. Either way, Logos 5’s Sermon Starter Guide makes it easy to brainstorm Christmas sermon (or any sort of sermon) ideas in seconds.

In fact, we can come up with 10 exciting Christmas sermon concepts right now.

5 Passage-Based Christmas Sermon Ideas

Let’s say I want to preach about the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18–25. There’s a lot of content here, though—and lots of message ideas. The Sermon Starter helps me identify plenty of clear message ideas.

Clicking any one of these gives me more to go on, and even spawns new sermon ideas. For example, when I click “Angels as God’s messengers,” I see a scriptural overview of the messages angels relay. I can zero in on one of these passages and compare it to the message the angel gives Joseph in Matthew—yet another sermon idea!

And just like that, I have five Christmas sermon ideas to work with:

  1. Just how human was baby Jesus? (Jesus: Humanity theme)
  2. What makes this baby special? (Jesus: Divinity theme)
  3. Did Mary and Joseph see Christmas coming? (Prophecy: Jesus)
  4. God’s message from God’s messengers (Thematic outline on angels)
  5. The true story of Jesus’ birth (thematic outline on Jesus’ birth)

 5 Theme-Based Christmas Sermon Ideas

Now let’s say I want to find some Christmas sermon ideas, but I don’t have a particular starting verse in mind. The Sermon Starter works with themes as well as passages, so I just type in “Christmas.” It suggests the theme of “Jesus: Birth,” which I select.

Wow—plenty of sermon ideas here! The first four ideas link to the Topic Guide, which is an awesome place to see relevant Scripture and background information. The last points to Isaiah 9:6–7, where I could use the Bible Word Study to understand what “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” and “Prince of Peace” mean.

This gives me five more starting points for more Christmas sermons:

  1. What is the origin of Advent?
  2. Jesus: God in the flesh
  3. The original Nativity
  4. Star of wonder, Star of light
  5. Four more names for baby Jesus

The Sermon Starter Guide makes it far easier to come up with sermon ideas—and it brings to light some concepts I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise.

You’ll find all the tools we used today in Logos 5 Bronze and higher. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and subscribe to the Logos blog as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

Joseph in the Matrix

Are you familiar with the movie The Matrix? I’m not so worried about the plot of the movie here; instead, I’m wondering about a particular effect created in the film: time essentially stopped or slowed incredibly, but the main character (“Neo,” played by Keanu Reeves) appeared conscious in the midst of the slowdown. Do you think this was a new technique? I remember watching it, thinking that it wasn’t just cool, it was innovative.

What if I told you about a noncanonical story of Jesus’ mother, Mary, circulated among early Christians—one that used a similar technique? And what if I told you it happened right at the point when Jesus was born? Well, it did, and that story is also known as the Protevangelium (or “Proto-Gospel”) of James (though in all likelihood, James, Jesus’ brother, had nothing to do with it). It tells a story of Mary’s parents, her birth, how she was raised, how Joseph came into the picture, and—of course—the birth of Jesus.

The Protevangelium of James is found in a group of writings usually called “apocryphal gospels” or “New Testament apocrypha” or sometimes even simply “noncanonical gospels.” I’ve been working on a version of the apocryphal gospel material available in Greek. We recently expanded it to a two-volume collection. One volume includes “Texts and Transcriptions”; this is the Greek material with morphological analysis. The second volume includes “Introductions and Translations”—newly written introductions to each document, fragment, or excerpt, as well as newly compiled bibliographies, and translations of all the material. It’s pretty cool (at least I think so); check it out if you’re interested. Most of the work is done, and we hope to release it early in 2013.

Anyway, back to Joseph in the Matrix. Here’s the setting: Joseph and Mary are traveling to Bethlehem for the census. Mary is at pretty much full-term pregnancy. On the way, though, Mary says to Joseph, “Take me down from the donkey, for that which is within me presses hard to come out.” (Prot. James 17.3) Now, any father-to-be can identify with Joseph here. His task is to find a place for Mary, and quick. So, according to this version of the story, Joseph finds a cave, drops Mary off there, and immediately goes to find a Hebrew midwife to assist with the birth.

And here is where the shift happens. The story was in the third person, but in Prot. James 18.2, it shifts to the first person singular, with Joseph as speaker.

“Now I, Joseph, was walking, yet I did not walk. And I looked up to the air and saw that the air was astonished. And I looked up unto the vault of heaven and saw it standing still, and the birds of the sky at rest. And I looked upon the earth and saw a dish laid out, and workmen lying by it, and their hands were in the dish. And they that were chewing did not chew, and they that were lifting food did not lift it, and they that put it to their mouth had not put it there. And behold, there were sheep being driven, and they did not go forward but stood still; and the shepherd lifted his hand to strike them with his staff, yet his hand remained up. And I looked upon the stream of the river and saw the mouths of the goats upon the water, yet they did not drink. And suddenly all things were restored to their course.”

Joseph notes, “I was walking, yet I did not walk.” Other people and objects are described in a similar state of being, but not moving; essentially stuck: “there were sheep being driven, and they did not go forward but stood still; and the shepherd lifted his hand to strike them with his staff, yet his hand remained up.” The picture is of a moment, frozen in time. Joseph is caught in that moment, similarly frozen, but consciously aware of it. And then, as suddenly as the moment comes, it leaves: “And suddenly all things were restored to their course.”

After this experience, Joseph conveniently and immediately locates a Hebrew midwife, and returns to the cave with her. Joseph and the midwife then find out that Jesus had already been born.

So why even mention this story at Christmastime? Not because it is canonical (it isn’t) or because it accurately supplements the story of Jesus’ birth (it probably doesn’t). But this is another way that some early Christians—particularly those who were struggling with the concept of the virgin birth—told that story. They told it in a way that allowed them to believe the virgin birth actually happened.

Not only that, it’s a good story, though I do like Luke’s version better.

Pick up your copy of Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha today.

*  *  *

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. See the special pricing our Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator has for you.