The Hidden Figure behind Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest

How would you like to become a bestselling Christian writer, author of a devotional classic that not only still sells well but actually gets read around the world? The only catch is that the book has to come out after you die. That’s the story of Oswald Chambers and his book My Utmost for His Highest.

And yet without one key, hidden figure in the story, there would be no devotional classic. It was Chambers’ wife, Gertrude—whom he affectionately called “Biddy” (from B.D., short for “Beloved Disciple”).

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3 Ways to Start Studying the Bible with the Logos Web App

What’s the easiest way to get started with Logos—without getting overwhelmed? You can certainly install the desktop or mobile apps as most users do, but there’s an even easier and faster option: the web app. We’ll use it for this tutorial.

Here are three ways to get started with Logos. [Read more…]

How to Be Truly Free: Become a Slave of Christ

In the opening verse of his most famous letter, Paul tells us the first thing he wants us to know about him. Here’s the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus. (Rom 1:1) (HCSB)

He is a slave to Jesus, the Jewish Messiah.

But there is some friendly debate over whether the Greek word being translated there should be rendered “servant” or “slave.” Here is the recent revision of the same translation, the Christian Standard Bible:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus. (Rom 1:1) (CSB)

Which one is right? [Read more…]

Thinking of Getting Logos? Read This.


I spent hours looking over Logos base packages before I bought one (Gold). I did the same before I upgraded (Platinum).

How can you make an informed purchasing decision? Which base package do you need? The homework necessary to figure it out may be daunting. I’m going to give you a few shortcuts, and I’m convinced you’ll come to the same conclusion I did: a Logos base package is the best way to buy a theological library.

(And right now, the deal is even better: you can get 20% off a base package for a limited time.) [Read more…]

What a Viral Video Tells Us about a Reformation Truth

There’s a makeover video on YouTube that is now clocking in at 25 million views. And it points, through a sad irony, to a truth recovered 500 years ago at the Reformation.

The timelapse video shows Jim Wolf’s stunning transformation from unkempt street guy to bespoke-suited executive. And yet Jim told interviewers later, “The outside matters nothin’. Like I say I’m totally a Christian, and what’s . . . inside you is [what’s] important to Jesus.”

It may not be that the outside matters nothin’ (faith without works is dead), but Jim understands what Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation fought to make clear: inside you is what’s important to Jesus. [Read more…]

Why Luther’s 95 Theses Start with a Critique of a Bible Translation

The first of Luther’s famous 95 Theses—whose 500th anniversary we celebrate today—is a critique of an erroneously translated phrase in Jerome’s translation of Matthew 4:17. In English we know this as, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Luther wrote in Thesis 1,

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, Poenitentiam agite, he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. (See Luther’s Works, 31:25)

Luther does not come out and say that Jerome erred—not on October 31, 1517. But by at least May 30, 1518, writing to mentor Johann von Staupitz, he feels that the Roman church was indeed “misled by the Latin term, because the expression poenitentiam ag[ite] suggests more an action than a change in disposition.” It makes Jesus sound like he’s saying, “Do penance.” And, Luther says, “in no way does this do justice to the Greek.” (Luther’s Works, 48:67–68) What Jesus really said was, “Repent.” And as Luther says in the second of the 95 theses, he meant “inner repentance” producing “various outward mortifications of the flesh.” (31:25)
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Why Logos’ Typography Matters

I once gave a presentation at my church on “Why Bible Typography Matters.” It was announced a month or so in advance, and people started making comments to me about it. Someone said, “You’re going to talk about Bible typology—like how Joseph prefigures Christ? I love that!” Someone else said, “How can you talk for a whole hour about Bible topography? What is there to say about levels of elevation in Bible lands?”

I tried to explain that typography is the art and science of arranging text on a printed page. This did not persuade anyone I was aware of to get excited, but they all dutifully showed up anyway.

They ended up paying great attention, and they asked truly great questions at the end. The sound guy later told me, “When I saw your topic I expected to be bored out of my mind, but I was actually on the edge of my seat!”

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Why Bible Teachers Should, Like, Care about Proper English

“Should we split infinitives? Can we say ‘to boldly go where no one has gone before’?” A sharp teenage girl in my church recently asked me this.

Great question. How do we judge what is “correct” English, anyway? And should Bible teachers even, like, care?

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Why Would a Church Ban the Bible?

We’re celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this month by exploring its hidden history. In this post, Dr. Mark Ward explains why publishing God’s Word was such a source of controversy in the Reformation era.

Learn more about the events that laid the foundation for the Reformation in our Reformation 500 timeline.

Maybe you’ve heard the story before: prior to the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church forbade the translation of Scripture into common languages.

Now, Protestants had plenty to protest in this era, but it simply isn’t true that vernacular translation was totally forbidden. But the Roman Church did forbid it in some places at some times—and England, 1408, was one of them.

Why?

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4 Ways to Thank Your Pastor This Pastor Appreciation Month

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. What do you give to a person whose calling is to spend himself for others? The key to good gift-giving is tapping into what the recipient values, even if it’s not what the giver values. Here are four suggestions of how to show your pastor some appreciation, written from the perspective of someone who’s actually done pastoral work.

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