Take a Class with N.T. Wright

N.T. Wright is one of the most—if not the most—well-known New Testament scholars alive today. His writings on justification have spurred much debate, and he’s been named by Christianity Today as one of the top theologians of our time. Formerly the Bishop of Durham, Wright now teaches at the internationally esteemed University of St. Andrew’s.

Right now you can save up to 30% on everything by N.T. Wright in Logos, including his books and courses.

Here’s a trailer for his course on Galatians. He also has courses on Ephesians, Philippians, and Acts.

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In addition to these courses, you can grab dozens of his books for up to 30% off.

Shop this limited-time sale.

What Is Biblical Hearing? Kevin Vanhoozer on Hearing and Doing

Photo by Ilya Ilford on Unsplash

By Kevin Vanhoozer

In perhaps the most famous Arabian Nights story, Aladdin discovers a magic lamp that, when rubbed, produces a genie who invariably responds, “Your wish is my command.” It is the classic response of a servant to his master: “To hear is to obey.”

But in real life there is often a gap, sometimes a yawning chasm, between hearing and obeying. Not everyone is as fortunate as Aladdin: sometimes servants hear, and do half-heartedly; at other times, they hear and do not do at all. Jesus told his own equally compelling stories that illustrate the all-important difference between hearing and doing.

Unusual teaching

The Gospel of Mark introduces Jesus as a teacher who astonished his hearers, “for he taught them as one who had authority” (Mark 1:22). He taught in the synagogue and, later, offered free seaside lectures (Mark 2:13; 4:1). The form of Jesus’ teaching is significant: “And he was teaching them many things in parables” (Mark 4:2).

A parable is an extended metaphor (“the kingdom of God is like …”), a metaphorical narrative—a story in which something extraordinary happens that subverts the ordinary way people think about things.

The first such story Mark recounts is the parable of the sower, which is about different kinds of hearers, represented by the different kinds of soil on which the seed of God’s word falls. Even the disciples did not understand it at first, and this despite Jesus’ obvious hint at the end: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:9). The parable they are to hear is itself about hearing God’s word. In particular, the parable explains the kind of hearing Jesus is after: a hearing in which God’s word takes root in a singular and wonderful way. Indeed, this is the extraordinary element in the parable: that a word-seed can multiply its growth a hundredfold.

To hear rightly is to correctly grasp the content of Jesus’ teaching, namely, the strange new world of the kingdom of God.

— Kevin Vanhoozer

This is also a parable of the kingdom of God. Jesus subverts his hearers’ conventional picture of a kingdom as something that can be established by swords and soldiers. Jesus instead proclaims a kingdom established by the right reception of the gospel—the right kind of hearing—rather than military conquest.

Jesus’ parables of the kingdom challenge the prevailing social imaginaries of power, be it ancient Roman imperialism or present-day geopolitics. Jesus taught with authority precisely by announcing a new picture to live by. To hear rightly is to correctly grasp the content of Jesus’ teaching, namely, the strange new world of the kingdom of God.

Hearing and doing

One qualification for being a disciple of Jesus is to be able to follow Jesus’ stories. Yet hearing, even with understanding and apparent agreement, is not enough. Toward the end of his longest lesson, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes an explicit contrast between hearing and doing: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. … And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matt 7:24, 26).

True disciples must be hearers and doers of Jesus’ words. The Greek term for the rock on which one builds—bedrock—shows up again later in Matthew 16:18, where Jesus says he will build his church “on this bedrock.” In other words, he who would build Jesus’ church on a rock rather than sand must build it on the bedrock of Jesus’ words. This is confirmed in Luke’s Gospel where, just after the parable of the sower, Jesus says, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21).

As rabbi or Master, Jesus did not want his followers simply to listen to his lessons and then continue living as before. To hear and not do is both to flout the authority of Jesus’ words and to flaunt oneself as lord. Moreover, to hear and not do is the opposite not only of obedience but also of learning. No one learns to swim or ride a bike simply by reading an instruction manual. Jesus desires followers who both listen and learn.

This post is adapted from chapter 3 of Hearers and Doers by Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Lexham Press, 2019).

Learning Logos: How to Easily Navigate Workflow Steps

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If we ask 10 Logos users, “What’s the most significant addition to Logos 8?” half will probably say the new Notes tool, and the other half, Workflows. Workflows are literally step-by-step suggested methodologies for biblical research. [Read more…]

Free Logos Bundle: Theology Guide + Survey of Theology

We’re giving systematic theology some love right now at Logos.com, with a unique offer too good to pass up.

For a limited time, you can try the Logos 8 Theology Guide—a feature exclusive to Logos 8 Silver and up—free until June 17.

It also comes with Lexham Press’ Survey of Theology. Together the tools help you get a quick lay of the land on hundreds of theological topics, and then guide you in digging deeper. And the more systematic theologies you have, the heftier the guide is.

To get access to this bundle, just go here and add Logos 8 Basic to your collection. (You won’t lose any books or features you already own.)

It’s that simple.

You’ll have until June 17 to use the Theology Guide to your heart’s delight, and you can fill it out even more by grabbing systematic theologies on sale—up to 44% off. (The resources stay with you even after the trial ends.)

Featured authors in this theology sale include:

  • Millard Erickson
  • Norman Geisler
  • John Frame
  • Carl F.H. Henry
  • Michael Bird
  • Michael Horton
  • Thomas Oden
  • John Calvin
  • Herman Bavinck
  • And more

There are also several Mobile Ed theology courses available.

Get the Logos Theology Guide and Lexham’s Survey of Theology free, then pack your library with other systematic theologies while the sale lasts.

Jump on these offers.

What People Are Saying about the ICC Series—Now on Sale

The lauded International Critical Commentary Series (ICC) (62 vols.) is 40% off in May. As one of the most thorough critical commentaries around, this is a stellar deal.

Here’s what serious students of Scripture like you say about this renowned series. [Read more…]

New Series from Lexham Press: the Best of Christianity Today

Since 1956, Christianity Today has been the leading voice for evangelicalism in America—a bellwether of theology, politics, and culture for evangelicals. Some of the most influential and respected modern evangelical leaders have written for the magazine, including John Stott, Carl F.H. Henry, F.F. Bruce, Cornelius Van Til, J.I. Packer, and others.  

Now, the best of Christianity Today is being collected into books, and the first three are available for pre-order today.

These books mark the beginning of a three-year project between CT and Lexham Press, the publishing imprint of Faithlife, makers of Logos Bible Software.

Here’s a bit about each book.

The best of Carl F.H. Henry

Architect of Evangelicalism

No one is better equipped to provide a clear understanding of evangelicalism than the late Carl F.H. Henry, the founding editor of Christianity Today and an extremely influential theologian of American evangelicalism in the twentieth century. Architect of Evangelicalism helps us gain a better sense of the roots of American evangelicalism by giving us the best of Carl F.H. Henry’s Christianity Today essays.

 

 

 

Leading scholars on essential doctrines

Basics of the Faith

This work is an overview of essential Christian doctrines from some of the best minds of mid-twentieth-century evangelicalism around the globe. Originally appearing in the pages of Christianity Today in 1961–1962, this collection includes essays from influential theologians and biblical scholars. Basics of the Faith includes an introduction by Kevin J. Vanhoozer that lays out their original context and evaluates their ongoing significance.

 

 

 

John Stott on Jesus’ lordship

Christ the Cornerstone

The late Anglican pastor John R.W. Stott was committed to the notion that Jesus’ lordship has ramifications for all of life. Out of this conviction grew his contention that the whole mission of God includes both evangelism and social action. Christ the Cornerstone recovers several decades of his writings on this topic from the pages of Christianity Today, including the regular “Cornerstone” column he wrote from 1977–1981.

 

 

Learn more at LexhamPress.com/Christianity-Today.

Own a $10,000 Library for $55 a Month

If you’ve been wanting to invest in Logos Bible Software but were waiting for a big discount, your patience has paid off.

All Logos 8 packages are 20% off for a limited time—all of them.

Here’s the quick rundown on why packages in Logos are such a good investment, and how you can own a library worth more than $10,000 in less than two years by paying just $55 a month.

Get the right library for you

Libraries aren’t one-size-fits-all. Choose from dozens of different libraries based on your needs.

For example:

  • Standard libraries
  • Academic libraries
  • Denomination-specific libraries

Standard libraries

These libraries are for people looking for a well-rounded library representing the best of evangelical and traditional Christian theology. You’ll find respected works such as the Pillar New Testament Commentary series (PNTC), The New American Commentary Series, and loads of Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, devotionals, and sermon outlines.

Academic libraries

These packages are built with academics in mind. (Bonus: if you’re a student, faculty, or academic staff, you can save 30% or more on Logos 8 packages when you enroll in our Academic Discount Program.) These Academic packages contain more scholarly research helps and original language resources than our Standard packages.

Denomination-specific libraries

These packages are specially curated to major on resources in line with your preferred tradition. Denominations and traditions available include:

  • Baptist
  • Methodist & Wesleyan
  • Pentecostal & Charismatic
  • Reformed
  • And more

Take a look at what’s in each library to see which package is the best fit for your ministry.

Get tools for faster, deeper study

Whether you’re a student, Bible teacher, pastor, or missionary, time is of the essence.

One huge benefit of Logos is that all your books stay open right where you left them, so you never lose time getting back into your studies.

But that’s just the beginning. You can also:

  • Launch a Word Study with one click
  • Scroll resources in sync
  • Automatically cite your research
  • Analyze Scripture with interactive visual aids
  • Run searches on just about anything

Plus, Logos 8 comes with exciting new features like the Theology Guide, Workflows, Canvas, and updated Notes for even more streamlined study.

Learn more about the Bible study tools in Logos 8.

Get a giant library now for just $55 down

The packages you can get in Logos are an incredible value—in most cases, you’re saving around 90% when you buy a Logos package compared to building your library book by book.

Even so, we don’t want cost to keep you from getting tools that could have a massive impact on your ministry.

That’s why you can get payment plans on purchases over $100. You can get the leading Bible software for one short-term monthly payment, and then permanently own Logos in less than two years.

And now’s the time to buy, because all Logos 8 packages are 20% off this month.

So let’s say you’re considering Logos 8 Silver. Here’s what a payment plan would look like:

Regular price: $999.99
Price of library if books were bought separately: $10,898
Sale price: $799.99 (20% off this month!)
Due today: $55.14
Monthly payment: $54.99
Last payment date: 15 months from today

Logos payment plans allow you to progressively buy a package interest-free—it’s not a subscription. The only extra you pay is a $5/mo. administrative fee that covers overhead costs. Your payments are set for the length of time you choose, and they only continue if you decide to get more Logos products on payment plans.

Got more payment plan questions? Check out our FAQ, or call one of our resource experts at 800-875-6467.

How to choose the Logos payment plan option

Just follow these brief steps:

  1. Add your favorite Logos 8 package to your cart.
  2. Look at your cart. On the left side, you’ll see payment options.
  3. Choose the monthly payment that fits your budget best, and enter your phone number.
  4. Hit Next, then enter your payment info.
  5. That’s it! Once you’ve made your initial payment, your payments automatically deduct from your account each month. We’ll send a reminder a few days before the payment goes through.

Get Logos 8 today.

Are We Sincere about Biblical Authority?

In my previous post, I noted that the right context for interpreting the Bible accurately isn’t the history of Christianity in any of its creedal distillations or denominational forms. But I went even further—I said that the biblical context isn’t any modern world context, period. The right context for understanding the Bible is the context that produced the Bible. That seems simple, but experience has taught me that commitment to this patently obvious truth isn’t easy. [Read more…]

Pastor as Spiritual Fitness Trainer—Preparing People for Daily Discernment

By Kevin Vanhoozer

The church is the body of Christ, and its core—the community of disciples, the faith corps—enables its characteristic bodily movements: witnessing to the gospel, worshiping the God of the gospel, maintaining the health of the body, performing works of love.

To perform these movements, and to have the strength to work and keep on moving, the church needs to attend to its core. In a word, the church needs theological exercises: training in godliness.

Spiritual fitness training

I describe the pastor-theologian in various ways, but here the metaphor I want to develop is that of a spiritual fitness trainer. To make disciples is to train men and women to perform the characteristic bodily movements that enable the local church to perform its roles as an embassy of the kingdom of God, a Christ corps.

To make or train disciples fit for purpose involves certain kinds of exercise. I have in mind not simply bodily exertions for the sake of physical fitness, but all sorts of actions intended to improve a specific skill, like finger exercises for the piano, a military exercise, and exercises at the end of every textbook chapter. [One essential skill] is reading Scripture theologically in order to take every thought, and imagination, captive to Christ in order to walk the Way of Christ and become more Christlike.

Spiritual exercises

Seeing the Christian life as a series of exercises is, of course, nothing new. The most famous example is the sixteenth-century classic Spiritual Exercises by Ignatius of Loyola, a collection of prayers and meditations on what it means to live in relationship to God as a follower of Jesus.

The exercises are not bodily but interior: they are designed to strengthen not muscle but the heart, what the apostle Paul calls our “inner being” (Rom 7:22; Eph 3:16). They are recommendations for maintaining and improving the health of one’s soul: “We call Spiritual Exercises every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid itself of all inordinate attachments, and . . . of seeking and finding the will of God in the disposition of our life.”1 The ultimate aim: to orient the heart to God, and to find God in all things.

Reality—the world we live in, the only world there is, the world created by God—always and everywhere presents everyone with a choice, an unavoidable “either-or”: “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Josh 24:15)

Discernment and decision

An important part of the exercises is learning to discern one’s own “spirit,” that is, the inner motivation for our actions. Hans Urs von Balthasar, a Roman Catholic theologian, believes that this emphasis on choice lies at the center of the Ignatian exercises: they’re all about helping persons to discern the heart of God, and the orientation of their own hearts, so that they choose God’s choice for them in joyful obedience.2

C.S. Lewis, though no Ignatian, had a similar concern for the centrality of “the choice” in the life of the disciple, as Joe Rigney explains: “Every moment of every day, you are confronted with a choice—either place God at the center of your life, or place something else there.”3

Reality—the world we live in, the only world there is, the world created by God—always and everywhere presents everyone with a choice, an unavoidable “either-or”: “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Josh 24:15), either the one true God (the Father of Jesus Christ) or some false god, be it money, sex, fame, power, or something else—their name is Legion.

Discipleship involves waking up to the realization that there is a choice, and we must stay awake to the lordship of Jesus Christ long enough to make the right one: to obey, and thereby to exercise, like Jesus, genuine freedom.4

***

Kevin J. Vanhoozer (PhD, Cambridge University) is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of several books, including Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine and Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity, both Christianity Today Theology Books of the Year (2015, 2017). He is married and has two daughters.

This post is excerpted from Dr. Vanhoozer’s new book, Hearers and Doers: A Pastor’s Guide to Making Disciples through Scripture and Doctrine, now available from Lexham Press. See the table of contents and preview pages. This post’s title and headings are the addition of an editor.

Learning Logos: Enhancements to Notes in 8.4

Perhaps the greatest addition to Logos 8 is the new Notes tool. Understandably then, the makers of our software continue to tweak and enhance this incredible database. The recent release of 8.4 brought several such improvements, so in this blog, I’ll highlight a few. [Read more…]