3 Resources I Wish I Had When I Was in Full-Time Ministry

Christmas sermon resources

Christmas was easily my favorite holiday when I was kid. My family kept so many traditions that made the holidays special. However, it wasn’t until I became a youth pastor in my native Kentucky that I understood just how stressful Christmas could be. As anyone who works as a pastor or teacher in the church knows, Christmas time is filled to the brim with carol singing at nursing homes, choir practices, special Christmas events that bring the community into the church, and meetings to discuss the church’s plans for the coming year. On top of this, the congregation (rightly) expects to hear a word from the pastor and teachers about the nativity of our Lord.

As a youth pastor, I was tasked with teaching through the Christmas story with our teenagers. My resources, however, were pretty bad. I had a few single-volume commentaries on Matthew and Luke and the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a great book but not exactly prime study material. I was absolutely unprepared for what is arguably the heaviest teaching season of the year.

This Christmas, you and your teaching staff can avoid running into the “book barrier” by picking up key resources for preparing Sunday School lessons and sermons. Here are a few of the resources that I return to again and again for lesson prep.

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C.S. Lewis’ Ingenious Apologetic of Longing

sensuchtFor C.S. Lewis, the acclaimed Christian apologist and author, a permanent sense of longing characterized his deepest held beliefs about Christianity. He identified this feeling with the idea of sehnsucht, a German word meaning “longing” or “desire”. Sehnsucht appeared in many of Lewis’ favorite works of literature, including Norse mythology, the poems of Wordsworth, and the children’s stories of George Macdonald. It was “that unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of a bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World’s End, the opening lines of Kubla Khan, the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves.”
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The Simple Way to Save on Your Favorite Resources

bp-lineupWhenever someone asks me, “What’s the best way to get great books at the lowest price?”, I tell them to invest in another base package. “But I already own a base package, why would I need another one?”

The answer is simple: with Dynamic Pricing, you don’t pay twice for the same resources. If a base package that you don’t own contains resources that you already have, the price is reduced automatically.

And Baptist base packages? They include some of the most popular resources at the biggest discounts.

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New Baptist Titles on Pre-Pub and Community Pricing

Baptists have written many works that appeal to Christians from all theological traditions. Whether commentaries, church histories, or sermons, these works are perfect for both students, pastors, and researchers. If you haven’t placed your bid or pre-ordered these resources, do it soon before they ship. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on the chance to own them at the lowest price!

Founders Press Study Guide Commentaries (6 vols.)
founders press

Regularly $43.95—Pre-order for $30.95 (30% off!)
The Founders Press Study Guide Commentaries offer solid exegesis, clear explanation, and practical insights into eight New Testament books. These concise resources are the perfect marriage of study guide and commentary, offering scholarly exposition in an easily digestible form. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary distinguished professor of New Testament Curtis Vaughan works section by section through the books of Acts, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, James, and 1–3 John.

Helpful for both pastors and laypeople, these six volumes are packed with accessible and practical insights. These well-loved guides aid readers in understanding the biblical text and applying it to everyday life—as well as helping pastors and leaders in sermon preparation and Bible study teaching.

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An Interview with Tom Schreiner on the Old Testament Law


How should Christians relate to the Old Testament Law? Ever since Paul addressed this issue in his epistles, theologians have agreed that our relationship to the Law has changed on account of the death of Christ. But grasping the exact nature of that change has proved more difficult—not to mention controversial. Martin Luther proclaimed “whoever knows well this art of distinguishing between Law and gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture.”


Tom Schreiner has entered into this centuries-old debate with his work 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law, July’s Free Book of the Month. Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Praised by Simon Gathercole as “an enormously valuable volume”, this work contains timely answers to Christians’ questions regarding the role of the Law in the Christian life.

I sat down with Schreiner to learn how modern-day Christians should think about the Old Testament Law.

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Are Denominational Divisions a Good Thing?

IMG_3724“If Christianity is true, why are there so many denominations? Shouldn’t there just be one church?”

It’s common to hear skeptics both inside and outside of the church ask questions like these. If we’re honest, in our own moments of doubt we’ve wondered the same things. In our hearts we want to see a united church, a church characterized by “one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).” Though we may firmly hold to our own theological convictions, many of us may wonder, “Are denominational divisions ultimately a good thing?”
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The Theological Controversy That May Have Cost Charles Spurgeon’s Life

Charles Spurgeon
Conviction—it’s a word that most associate with Charles Spurgeon. The “Prince of Preachers” wasn’t known for backing down from necessary controversy. Between pamphlet writing, lectures, and preaching, Spurgeon clearly and passionately argued for the truth of Christianity against ministers who were backing away from orthodoxy.

Near the end of his life, Spurgeon became entangled in a controversy that became so heated, it may have contributed to his death at the age of 57.
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Incorporate David Platt’s Sermons into Your Bible Study

David Platt Sermon ArchiveGod is passionate about missions. As an influential textbook on missiology boldly declares, “The clear affirmation of Scripture is that our God is a missionary God.” Not only has God sent his Son Jesus to be the savior of the world’s sins, he has also given believers the privilege to share this message with our friends and enemies, neighbors and strangers, those at home and those abroad. The Bible is clear that God’s blessing goes with us as we take the message of salvation to others: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom. 10:15)

David Platt has spent years teaching and preaching on God’s heart for the nations to hear the good news of the gospel. His runaway best seller, Radical, inspired readers to abandon the American dream and pour themselves out for God. In 2014, sensing the call to equip the next generation of missionaries, Platt became the president of one of the largest missions organizations in the world, the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Platt’s desire to teach the gospel, “making disciples, sharing, showing, and teaching God’s Word in everyday life,” has led to a prolific preaching ministry at the Church at Brook Hills in Alabama.

Now, for the first time, hundreds of Platt’s sermons are available for pre-order on Logos.com!

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Better Understand Baptist Theology with Founders Press

Founders EmblemWe’re proud to announce that Founders Press titles are now available for pre-order in Logos Bible Software! Devoted to teaching Baptist churches about ministry and theology, Founders Ministries has published numerous titles to help congregations in their mission to teach and preach the Bible. Now, these works are interconnected with the tools and features in Logos to make biblical references and historical events easier to follow, helping you to gain insight from both the Bible and Baptist history and theology.
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Last Chance: The Works of Jonathan Edwards Shipping Soon

the-works-of-jonathan-edwardsJonathan Edwards was an American theologian who left his mark on Reformed theology through his fiery preaching and extensive writings and is widely read by pastors, in seminaries, and the academy.

The critical edition of his writings—produced by Yale University Press—is one of the most important intellectual and publication achievements of the past century, containing notes, sermons, and treatises that have remained unpublished until now.

On January 19, we’ll ship this monumental collection and provide you with access the most dynamic edition of Edwards’ works available today.

Make sure to place your order in order to take advantage of the reduced Pre-Pub price of $899.95—30% off the regular price!

America’s premier theologian

Jonathan Edwards was the only son of Timothy Edwards, a minister, and Esther Stoddard, the daughter of a respected minister from Massachusetts. At 13, Edwards entered Yale College where he studied natural sciences along with theology and the humanities—graduating in 1720 as valedictorian. While at Yale, he began writing extensively on science—even drawing up a plan for a magnum opus on “natural philosophy” that was never completed. After graduation, he preached in a Presbyterian church as their “pulpit supply,” but not their pastor, while also teaching at Yale College.

In 1720, he began to record his famous “Resolutions” and felt overwhelmed by the grace of God, something he previously feared and hated. By 1727, he was ordained minister of the church at Northampton where his grandfather also pastored. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierpont, who also hailed from a family of ministers. Though his early years in Northampton were difficult, revival broke out in the congregation and began to spread throughout New England, becoming what we now call the first Great Awakening. Though criticized by traditional and Enlightenment-minded clergy, Edwards vigorously defended the revival from its critics, penning A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God to document the events first hand and to counter Old Light theologians who scoffed at the revival as “mere enthusiasm.”

Although a sought-after speaker throughout the region and abroad, Edwards was never very popular in his own church, and after withholding communion from erring members of his congregation, he was removed from the pulpit at Northampton. He took up the pastorate of a church in Stockbridge before replacing Aaron Burr Sr. as the president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University). Jonathan Edwards died on March 22, 1758 from complications from a smallpox inoculation.

Edwards, the writer

Edwards’ writing spans a variety of topics, including theology and history, as well as natural and theoretical philosophy. Many of his writings came in the form of sermons, the most famous of which is “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”—an exposition on the fate of unrepentant humanity.

He also wrote penetrating theological treatises, such as Freedom of the Will, The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended, and Religious Affections—each of which provided forceful defenses of God’s activity in the world and of traditional Reformed doctrine.

Arguably his most intellectually creative work, The End for Which God Created the World, is a fascinating exposition that John Piper describes as “a vision of God” that “took me captive thirty years ago and has put its stamp on every part of my life and ministry.” Edwards also edited the diary of influential Native American missionary David Brainerd, helping to ensure its preservation.

With Logos, Edwards’ works are completely searchable. Whether you’re looking for every occurrence of the word “hell” in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” or “grace” in Religious Affections, Logos finds exactly what you are looking for. And whenever you perform a search in the Passage Guide or Sermon Starter Guide, Edwards’ relevant sermons are pulled into your results, allowing you to glean the most important material for your study. Edwards’ writings are now in a format that will benefit students, pastors, and scholars alike in both research and writing.

Get a glimpse into how you can use these works in your studies:

This discount is going away soon!

The Works of Jonathan Edwards will ship January 19. Until then, you can take advantage of this amazing content at an incredible price. Pre-order this collection for $899.95 (30% off the regular price) before it ships!

Don’t wait—pre-order The Works of Jonathan Edwards before January 19 and save!