Archive - October, 2012

Wisdom and Vexation in Ecclesiastes

One of the issues involved in interpreting Ecclesiastes is the presence of what could be considered contradictions. The author declares that “much wisdom” comes with “much vexation” (Eccl. 1:18) and increased knowledge increases sorrow. But he also calls wisdom “good” and “an advantage” (Eccl. 7:11). The author argues that the dead are better off than the living (Eccl. 4:2­–3) and that the living are better off than the dead (Eccl. 9:4–6).

Sometimes these opposing statements appear in consecutive verses. In Ecclesiastes 8:12, the author says that “a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life,” and in verse 13 he states, “it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days.”

These contradictions have caused “much vexation” for many who read Ecclesiastes and try to find ways to explain away their presence. But these contradictions play a vital role in the author’s argument. They illuminate the book’s theme: that life is full of contradictions. For example, when the author compares wisdom and folly, he notes that wisdom is to be preferred (Eccl. 2:12–14a), yet he also observes that the wise and the foolish share the same fate (Eccl. 2:14b–16). This leads the author to despair because everything in life “is vanity and a striving after wind” (Eccl 2:17).

In Chapter 2 of The End of the Matter, I closely examine Ecclesiastes contradictions. I explore how different interpreters have dealt with them, and show how they can be understood as part of the book’s overall argument about the contradictory nature of life. Later chapters illustrate how the author’s declaration to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Eccl. 12:13) provides a fitting conclusion to his argument.

The End of the Matter ships October 25. Act now to add this resource to your Logos library while it’s still available at the reduced Pre-Pub price!

Study under History’s Greatest Minds

Study under Plato, Augustine, Aristotle, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Luther, Dante, Hobbes, Tocqueville, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, and others—all in a Christian cultural context. Knox Theological Seminary’s new online Master of Arts (Christian and Classical Studies) prepares you for modern ministry with the Great Books’ classical training. In this 48‐hour program, you’ll spend at least 18 hours reading the Western tradition’s greatest works. The program is designed to immerse you simultaneously in Scripture and in the Great Conversation, to which Scripture speaks more eloquently than any other voice.

The MACCS curriculum is distinctive because of Knox’s commitment to a careful reading and biblical analysis of classic Western literature. The curriculum is unparalleled by that of any other seminary in the world. It’s a classical preparation for the highest calling of all: the Gospel ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it’s completely online, so you can study anywhere.

Go deeper with Logos.

Your own Scholar’s Library: Platinum comes included with the program. Comprehensive, searchable, and worth nearly $18,000 in print, Platinum expands on the Great Books’ training with 1,200 books’ worth of answers and ideas, yours for the rest of your life. And with Logos’ smart searches, you’ll bring the MACCS curriculum’s thinkers into dialogue on any word or topic.


Earn your master’s for free with the Francis Schaeffer Scholarship.

Knox is offering one comprehensive scholarship and one hundred partial scholarships for a total of more than $200,000! Learn more and enter to win at KnoxSeminary.edu—it’s fast and simple.

Deepen your love for the Gospel and get classical training for modern ministry with Knox’s online MACCS. To learn more or apply now, call 1-800-210-6466 or visit SeminaryDegreesOnline.com/Degrees/MACCS.

Get Help with Sermon Preparation!

Week after week, pastors write sermons and plan worship services in a limited amount of time. No matter what else comes up, time doesn’t stop—Sunday is coming. Being creative isn’t easy under any circumstances, and working within looming time constraints makes it even more difficult to write something fresh and engaging.

Why not let Logos help? The Study, Apply, Share series jumpstarts your sermon planning process, saving you time and energy. Each volume explores a book of the Bible passage by passage, addressing each passage from three angles:

  • Study offers five to seven questions to help you think about the passage’s major interpretive issues as you craft your sermon. For example, James 1:2–8 includes the question, “Does the word ‘perfect’ in James 1:4 suggest the absence of sin?” Each question is accompanied by a link to a Logos resource that discusses the issue (The above question links to the New American Commentary: James by Kurt A. Richardson).
  • Apply includes two different application ideas for each passage, categorized by theme. For example, Hebrews 1:5–14 includes applications for the topics of angels and fulfilled prophecy.
  • Share includes professionally designed slides featuring statistical graphs that explore the book’s themes, ideas, and words and compare them to those of other biblical books. It also includes worship-service ideas that correspond to the application themes with practical ways to incorporate the themes into your Sunday service.

Each volume of the Study, Apply, Share series frees up your time, enabling you to minister to others without sacrificing the quality of your sermons and lessons. Pre-order the volumes today before the price goes up!

Get a Look inside Lexham Bible Guide: Ephesians

You’ve read how the Lexham Bible Guides both simplify and maximize your study time. Each chapter presents an overview of a passage, that passage’s structure and place within the book and biblical canon, key word studies, and an application overview.

You’ll find the crux of the research in the Issues at a Glance section, which explores topics from the passage and presents a list of curated links to your Logos library that cover the range of viewpoints on those topics. But what does that look like? In Ephesians 2, Paul discusses several weighty theological issues and introduces the concept of the “new man.” How may Paul have understood that concept and explained it in his letter? Lexham Bible Guide: Ephesians presents the major interpretive options for you. Let’s take a look.

One New Humanity

According to Eph. 2:15, the purpose of the invalidation of the law is the creation of one new man (hena kainon anthrōpon), or, as other translations (e.g., NIV, NRSV) often put it, “one new humanity.” What did Paul mean by this phrase, and who is included in this “new humanity?” Most interpreters fall into one of two camps: those who understand the “new man” to refer to the regenerated believer, and those who take the “new man” to refer to all believers in Christ in a collective sense.

  • Ernest Best notes that the text may refer either to a new group of individuals or to two groups—Jews and Gentiles—now made into one. After listing several points in support of both positions, Best maintains the former.
  • Andrew T. Lincoln uses both individual and corporate language to explain the concept of “one new man.” He describes Paul’s ecclesiology, here dependent on Adam, in terms of a corporate identity in the new person, Christ.

Lexham Bible Guides gather the major interpretive options on a biblical book’s content in one place, helping you understand difficult concepts and original language words. Not only do they jumpstart your research and sermon preparation—they make it easy to share that information through professionally designed slides and slide templates.

Maximize your study time and make the most of your Logos library with the Lexham Bible Guides. Lexham Bible Guide: Ephesians ships October 23. Pre-order it now at the Pre-Pub price.

Jarrid Wilson Talks Social Media and His New Devotional

If you’ve never heard of Jarrid Wilson, then get ready, because it won’t be long before his name is mentioned alongside top ministry leaders.

Jarrid represents the new wave in ministry, one that uses social media and technology to preach the Gospel. Jarrid’s use of Twitter, Facebook, his podcast, and his blog has enabled him to spread the Word to tens of thousands of people all around the world.

Jarrid was kind enough to talk to us about his ministry and his brand-new devotional, 30 Words: A Devotional for the Rest of Us.

What compelled you to write a devotional?

30 Words is more than a devotional: it’s an experiment for an everyday person who is looking to gain further knowledge of God’s character. I wrote 30 Words in hopes that it would be set apart from other devotionals, something people can reread whenever they are looking for a fresh wind of encouragement or inspiration.

How is this devotional different from others?

There is plenty of material both for individuals brand-new to their faith, and for those looking to become the next great theological mind. But what I realized is that there fails to be much content for the middle man. “A devotional for the rest of us” is for anyone looking to deepen their relationship with God, no matter where they are on their walk with Him. 30 Words is a bridge.

What drew you to publishing with Kirkdale Press?

Simple. Kirkdale Press is family. Not only are they incredibly gifted at what they do, but they have an incredible heart for authors who are passionate about their work. I am truly honored to work with Kirkdale Press, and I am thankful God allowed me to publish my first book through them.

Social media plays an important role in your ministry. What do you find so compelling about social media?

Matthew 28:18–19 is a simple statement that encapsulates my yearning for ministry through social media. We are called to make disciples of “all nations,” and I believe that through the power of social media, we are able to take the Gospel to the homes of millions across the world. Social media has a tendency to turn the everyday introvert into an everyday extrovert. And by using that to my advantage I am able to speak words of truth, hope, grace, and love to people all across social media platforms.

What are some challenges and potential benefits for the church in incorporating social media into its reach and mission? 

I believe that God has gifted us with many tools in sharing the Gospel, and that one of those tools for today’s age is social media. I can’t begin to understand why a Church wouldn’t want to use this tool to help their mission in sharing Christ. Although not everyone is social savvy, you’d be surprised by how many people you can reach through a single tweet or Facebook post.

What are some great and not-so-great examples you’ve seen of social media being used by Christians?

I can’t begin to explain how many people I see who claim to love Jesus in their bios, but who have yet to resemble Him in their tweets or posts. It hurts my heart to see people tweet malicious statements in the name of Christ, all because they have the comfort of hiding behind a username. We are called to be the difference, and I believe our greatest struggle in the social media world will be to not conform to how the world uses it.

Jarrid’s devotional 30 Words is published through Kirkdale Press, and it’s available now.

Limited-Time Offer on the Welwyn Commentary Series

Most pastors and Bible teachers rely on more than one commentary to help them formulate their sermons and lessons. Some commentaries offer literary context, discussion of the original languages, and in-depth exegesis, while others provide practical insight, illustrations, and expository thoughts. The Welwyn Commentary Series belongs in the latter category. It’s a terrific resource for personal study, preaching, and teaching.

Until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, the Welwyn Commentary Series (49 vols.) is 59% off—that’s $490 off the retail price! Use coupon code WEEKLYWCS at checkout to get this discount.

A Commentary for Leaders

The Welwyn Commentary Series’ 49 volumes of Bible exposition are designed to help you teach God’s Word in a practical and straightforward way. With numerous maps, illustrations, book outlines, and study questions, these commentaries will help you communicate the biblical story to your congregation or small group. They’ll help you make the Word relevant with clear areas of application.

If you’re leading a small group or Sunday school class, the Welwyn commentaries will help you steer the discussion toward Scripture. They’ll give you clear analogies to help you drive home the point of the text.

Save Big for a Limited Time

Through Thursday night only, this comprehensive commentary series is on sale for 59% off retail. Save $490 when you order the Welwyn Commentary Series (49 vols.) before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, with coupon code WEEKLYWCS. Get it now!

Chart a Course through the New Testament with the Lexham Bible Guides

Ephesians ships Oct. 23

Information is good, and more information is better. But in the digital age, the volume of information available to us can be overwhelming—and this is no less true when it comes to information about the Bible. The Lexham Bible Guides help you chart a course through the forest of biblical study and theological commentary.

Created by Logos’ Bible reference team, each Lexham Bible Guide focuses on one literary unit of Scripture at a time. In a clear and easy-to-follow format, the guides provide—

  • An outline of the passage’s structure
  • An overview of the passage
  • A description of important exegetical and theological issues
  • Explanations of key original language words
  • Curated, annotated links to your Logos library
  • An application summary

The Lexham Bible Guides give you a comprehensive picture built on the best and most in-depth research available. They elegantly synthesize biblical and theological commentary with historical and literary background. For busy pastors and teachers, the guides include slide templates and prebuilt word-study slides to make it easier to present the information to an audience.

At each point on the map, though, the Lexham Bible Guides offer you the opportunity to delve deeper—without getting lost.

Written to take full advantage of the Logos platform, each Lexham Bible Guide links to relevant content in your Logos library. With one click, the annotated bibliography opens up into a more extensive exploration of a full range of theological perspectives from top scholars. Learn more about how God’s Word has been understood by scholars—faster, and without stumbling over the details.

New Lexham Bible Guides have just been released for several New Testament books. In addition to Lexham Bible Guide: Ephesians,* Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Peter are also available. Pre-order your Lexham Bible Guides now!

*Lexham Bible Guide: Ephesians ships October 23—get yours while it’s still on Pre-Pub!

Logos 4: Create an Update Shortcut

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.

Ok, I’ll admit. I’m like a little kid when it comes to expectation. I can’t wait. I like walking to the mailbox to see if the mail has arrived. I periodically look out the window, hoping the UPS truck is coming down the driveway. All my life well-meaning people have reminded me about that proverbial watched pot and boiling water. Yet I still jump the gun.

With Logos I’m no different. The software’s developers periodically add new features and update resources, which automatically download into the system. I can’t wait, though. I want to make sure I’m up to date with the latest and greatest. I, therefore—more times than I care to admit—initiate an update. If you’re like I am, you may want to apply this shortcut:

  • Type these two words in the Command box: update now. (A)
  • Drag Update now (B) from the Tools dropdown list (that appears under the Command box) to the Shortcuts bar. (C)
  • Notice that Logos places a down-arrow icon on the Shortcuts bar.

Update Logos Now

Now, anytime you’re wondering if you’re completely current with your Logos Bible Software, just click the new shortcut. Logos will instantly check for updates (D) and, through a popup message (E), inform you if they’re available or not.

I won’t confess how many times I click this icon!

Pastor Appreciation Month Roundup: Oct. 13

To celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month, we’re revealing a new sale item every weekday through October 26. If you’ve been watching the Pastor Appreciation Month page, you’ve seen the deals released so far. But if you’ve missed them, here are the live specials for the second week:

A. T. Robertson Collection (15 vols.)

Retail: $365.87  Regularly: $249.95

Only $179.95 with coupon code PAM06

The 15-volume A. T. Robertson Collection contains the grammars, commentaries, lectures, and sermons of one of America’s foremost Baptist scholars. A founding member of the Baptist World Alliance, a Greek scholar, and prolific preacher, A. T. Robertson devoted his entire career to equipping others for ministry.

Tyndale Theological Studies Collection (5 vols.)

Retail: $123.00  Regularly: $99.95

Only $74.95 with coupon code PAM07

The Tyndale Theological Studies Collection brings together five diverse works from Tyndale Seminary Press. From collected essays on dispensationalism to a discussion of important pastoral topics, these resources are informative, highly practical, and theologically rich.

Deluxe Printed Training Bundle

Retail: $150.00

Only $100.00 with coupon code PAM08

Logos Bible Software 4 is packed with dynamic and innovative tools for Bible study. Morris Proctor’s Deluxe Printed Training Bundle will help you get the most out of your software. In this bundle you’ll get volumes one and two of the Logos 4 Bible Software Training Manuals, plus Inductive Bible Study with Logos Bible Software, the I-BEAM of Message Building Training Manual, the Logos QuickCard Set, and the Logos 4 Keyboard Shortcuts Mousepad.

The Works of Zwingli (7 vols.)

Retail: $201.65  Regularly: $69.95

Only $54.95 with coupon code PAM09

Zwingli preached against ecclesial corruption, fasting, the requirement of celibacy for the clergy, the veneration of saints, excommunication, and more, setting the stage for the Swiss Reformation. The Works of Zwingli (7 vols.), which assembles some of Zwingli’s most important works translated into English and includes historical works about his life and legacy.

Contemporary Theology Collection (6 vols.)

Retail: $284.80  Regularly: $119.95

Only $79.95 with coupon code PAM10

The Contemporary Theology Collection brings the eternal truth of God to bear upon the contemporary considerations of the modern intellectual condition. In six volumes, the collection examines the ontology of God, the Trinitarian nature of atonement, forgiveness and truth in the modern world, and much more. Each volume is marked by rigorous academic inquiry and timely appraisal of the issues.

Keep watching the Pastor Appreciation Month sale page for new deals. All coupon codes expire October 31!

Read Along with Your Faithlife Community

It’s easy to connect with your Faithlife groups using custom reading plans. Whether it’s for your church, your small group, or your Christian book club, you can create a plan around your schedule and needs. Maybe you already have a Faithlife group you want to transition into a reading group, or maybe you want to form a group around a certain text. Creating a plan is simple.

Once you have the group you want, it’s time to select the book. In order for everyone to participate in your group reading plan, everyone must own the resource you want to read. Just like in a face-to-face book club, you can’t read if you don’t own the text!

If you’re looking for a book to get started with, the Faithlife Study Bible is a great place to start. It’s free through March 2014, and it integrates seamlessly with the Faithlife community. Download yours now!

Here’s a quick step-by-step to get your custom reading plan up and running:

1. Open Logos 4.

2. Under File, select Reading Plan.

3. Select the text you want, how often you read, when you start, when you want to finish reading, and what group you want to share with.

4. Click “Generate.”

Now you’re ready to read with your group. A reading schedule will automatically appear in Faithlife’s “Today’s Readings” widget to keep you on track. You’ll be able to talk about the text, share your insight, and so much more from within your group on Faithlife. Get started today!

*Don’t have a Faithlife account yet? Sign in using your Logos account, or get started now with a free account. Then tell your friends and start building your online community.

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