Archives for August 2019

Apply to Be a Logos Partner

A Logos Partner is someone who can tell others about Logos while helping their own cause (because we share the same cause!). [Read more…]

Did Yahweh Father Cain?

Cain Kills Abel by Paul Gustave Doré,

Christians are often taught to interpret the Bible literally. I wrote about the problems that can come out of overemphasizing literal interpretation, but I should point out that most people who advocate literalism do so to prevent self-serving or idiosyncratic interpretations. If we interpret the text at face-value, so the idea goes, we’ll more often than not be interpreting Scripture correctly. This approach—though well-intentioned—isn’t always the best strategy, for several reasons. One is that the most straightforward reading can produce bizarre outcomes. [Read more…]

Learning Logos: How to Leverage the Fully Redesigned Context Menu

One of the most significant changes in the recently released 8.7 update is a redesigned Context (right-click) menu. If you use this menu, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy the improvements. If you’ve yet to discover the power of the right-click menu, this is a great opportunity to give it a go. [Read more…]

Extended Deadline: Show Us Your Favorite Logos Features, and You Could Get Logos Credit

Last month, we told you about a fun way to get $100 in Logos credit, and today, we’re extending the deadline to September 1!

The deadline for what, you ask? [Read more…]

Are You Using the Same Preaching Illustrations Over and Over?

By Matthew Kim, adapted from Preaching Points: 55 Tips for Improving Your Pulpit Ministry.

I once sat under the preaching ministry of a pastor who loved his people. He cared about them. Everyone knew it. Everyone felt it. But after years of listening to his sermons, it was overtly clear that his illustrations came primarily from one source: quotations.

He would share lengthy quotes from his favorite preachers, famous pastors, and other well-known people. Those quotations served as the source of his illustrative material. He seldom deviated from using quotations.

Now there’s nothing wrong with using quotations. They can really shine light into a particular moment. Those exact words need to be expressed. But we know that illustrations could use some diversifying. I want to encourage you to diversify your illustrations.

Illustrations do primarily three things. They function to explain, prove, or apply, as Haddon Robinson explains in Biblical Preaching.

Some concepts need to be explained. Therefore, we’re going to use an illustration that explains the text.

Sometimes we want to persuade our listeners. We want to prove that the biblical concept or event actually occurred and validate its accuracy. So in those moments, we want to persuade or prove. To do so, we might tell a story from life to bolster persuasion.

Lastly, we want to apply the text. We want to help listeners put into practice exactly what is being taught. So we find an illustration from life that applies the concept.

Now where do we get illustrations? Illustrations can come from any source. You can think of personal examples. Think of the moment when you were driving down the highway and someone cut you off. Share with your listeners the things that you wanted to say, but couldn’t say or didn’t say. Give them examples of showing restraint in a moment of anger or frustration. You can think of a story that you tell your children at bedtime. Stories are powerful ways to illustrate what we’re trying to communicate.

We can also use movie clips with discernment. Sometimes a clip from a movie will convey what we’re trying to communicate in the sermon. We can create hypothetical situations. We can find them in newspapers or by observing people and how they interact with one another. Illustrations can come from statistics or novels. 

Simply put, illustrations can come from any source when we use our creativity. Instead of relying on one form alone, diversify your illustrations. Find creative ways to illustrate your points as you explain, prove, and apply the text. Diversify your illustrations.

Note: The Sermon Starter Guide in Logos is a great way to find new illustrations. It pulls illustrations, quotations, and more from your resources for passages and themes. Learn more and watch the video below.

This post is adapted from “Preach to one person at a time,” by Matthew Kim in Preaching Points: 55 Tips for Improving Your Pulpit Ministry, edited by Scott M. Gibson (Lexham Press, 2016).

3 Free Logos Features That Make Seminary Easier

If you go to seminary, there are certain tasks you will be asked to do. I don’t have to know which school you’re going to or what classes you’re taking. You’ll be doing these things. Three of them. Promise.

I’ve used pretty much all the major tools out there to do them, and I’m going to show you the best ones—and how to get them for free.

You should also check out Logos’ back-to-school sale. You can get essential books for seminary up to 40% off.

[Read more…]

Does Jesus Contradict the Old Testament on Polygamy?

By David Instone-Brewer, adapted from the forthcoming Moral Questions of the Bible: Timeless Truth in a Changing World (Lexham Press, 2019).

Jesus used the same Old Testament text to teach monogamy as used by the Jews of the diaspora and at Qumran. Polygamy had been useful in times of war for childless widows, but now it was causing hardship. [Read more…]

6 Facts You Might Not Know about Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

95 theses

An obscure monk hammers a list of grievances onto the doors of a church: what could be more revolutionary—or more symbolic of the Protestant Reformation—than that?

But when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg Church door on October 31, 1517, he wasn’t launching a fully formed movement in a single act; he was giving voice to ideas that had been brewing in Christendom for years. Though many Christians see that act as the launch of the Protestant Reformation, the truth is a little more complicated.

Here are six facts you probably didn’t know about Martin Luther and his 95 theses, all drawn from Dr. Jennifer McNutt’s Mobile Ed course Milestones of the Protestant Reformation. [Read more…]

5 Ways Right-Clicking Just Got Better—Logos 8.7 Update

Here’s what’s new to Logos 8 with the Logos 8.7 update release.

Right-clicking in your Bible is one of the fastest ways to leverage the powerful tools in Logos. In the latest version, we’ve made the Context menu—the one that pops up when you right-click—more compact and easier on the eyes.

But we haven’t just updated the look; we’ve made it simpler and more useful.

[Read more…]

How to (Mis)Interpret Prophecy

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, David Roberts (1796–1864)

There’s no shortage of advice on how to interpret the Bible. One maxim that I’ve already mentioned advises, “When the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.” I’ve heard it quoted when it comes to biblical prophecy—encouraging people to interpret literally, at face value. Although that sounds like good advice, some New Testament writers didn’t get the memo. [Read more…]