Mark Dever Explains How to Grow a Healthy Church

BSM_Blog_MayJuneIn the new issue of Bible Study Magazine, we sat down with Mark Dever to learn how to put our churches on the road to spiritual health. But where to start? Read on to discover the first steps every church must take.

You can read the whole interview in the May–June issue. Get Bible Study Magazine for only $19.99 when you subscribe today!

Mark Dever on developing healthy churches

Pastor and author Mark Dever has dedicated his ministry to building and encouraging healthy churches. He warns that developing a healthy church can take years.

It’s not like a light switch that can just be turned on. The process is as varied as an individual beginning to work toward health. But, generically speaking, churches should begin to preach God’s Word expositionally, regularly, and faithfully from the pulpit. Begin to understand what a church is, what church membership is, and what it means to join a local church. Begin to encourage growth and discipleship. A healthy church should always be clear on what the Bible actually teaches—particularly about the gospel, conversion, and evangelism.

Read our full interview with Mark Dever here!

Jules Martinez: Re-Evangelism in Puerto Rico

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I think we still struggle with illiteracy of the whole story of the Bible. People often tell me that they know what the gospel is and that there’s nothing new for them to learn there. You know what? You never will be able to graduate from the gospel. There’s no ‘next level’ of Christianity beyond that. The gospel is sufficient to encompass all your life and eternity. And it’s complex enough to keep you amazed at what God is doing in Christ to reconcile all things to himself.

Read the full interview here!

This issue of Bible Study Magazine is packed with content that will transform your Bible study.

You’ll get an interview with Mark Dever on building healthy churches, an eight-week Bible study on 1 Peter, an exploration of the themes of 1 Samuel, book reviews, a devotional, and so much more!

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Subscribe today for just $19.99—that’s over 30% off the cover price!

Bible Study with Logos 6

BSM_Blog_MarAprEach issue of Bible Study Magazine features a “Bible Study with Logos 6” section, which shows you how Logos 6 can help you gain insight and understanding by tackling a complex Bible passage.

Here’s an example from the current issue of Bible Study Magazine—see the power of Logos 6 in action:

Let Your Yes Be Yes

By Elliot Ritzema

I remember reading a description of a political meeting from the 18th century. In it, one speech was described as “pathetic.” That was jarring to me, since calling something or someone “pathetic” is an insult today. But back then, it merely meant that the speech was intended to move the listeners to compassion.

If word meanings change over time, even in the same language, imagine translating an ancient concept from one language to another! We often have to do this when we study the Bible, so it is always worthwhile to research the words’ ancient meanings. One example is the concept of oaths in James 5:12:

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Step 1: The Passage Guide

I often begin a study using the Passage Guide in Logos, which points me to commentaries, journals, cross-references, and ancient literature. Here I notice that Jesus’ statement about oaths in Matthew 5:33–37 is listed prominently among the cross-references. But for now, I want to use a feature that is new in Logos 6: the Cultural Concepts tool. I’m interested in how the concept of oaths was understood in the New Testament world.

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Step 2: Survey Oaths in the Bible

Clicking on “Oath” tab opens a Factbook entry on the concept of oaths: passages throughout the Bible, key verses, dictionary entries, different senses, and a list of ancient works all related to the concept of oaths.

The Bible list under the Cultural Concepts tab gives me 128 passages, only some of which specifically use the word “oath.” This is one benefit of exploring a topic with the Cultural Concepts tool rather than doing a word study. Here I find that oaths were used frequently by people including Abraham, Jacob, David, and God himself. How then did James get the idea that it was bad to swear an oath?

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Step 3: The New Testament Background of Swearing Oaths

To find an answer, it may be helpful to explore the concept in a dictionary or two. The Lexham Theological Wordbook says that “the perspectives on oaths and vows shift in the NT period. Jesus cuts through the cluttered and misguided practices of the religious leaders of his day in their swearing (ὀμνύω, omnyō) of oaths (ὅρκος, horkos) while at the same time pointing his followers to a higher standard than that of ot law (especially Matt 5:33–37).”1 This shift makes sense, especially since this passage from Matthew is from the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus explains how he fulfills the Law and the Prophets in unexpected ways.

Our exploration reveals that, although swearing oaths was a common occurrence in the Old Testament and in the cultural milieu of the New Testament, Jesus changed the attitude toward the practice. James continues that teaching, exhorting Christians to be honest at all times—not only when they have sworn an oath to do so.

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To get more articles about using Logos for Bible study, subscribe to Bible Study Magazine today! Plus, subscribers get special discounts inside each issue.

  1. Daniel DeWitt Lowery, “Oaths and Vows,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014). []

Beth Moore Is Back

BSM_Blog_MarAprNow is the perfect time to transform your Bible study with Bible Study Magazine, and the March–April 2015 issue will help you do just that.

Get encouraged by Beth Moore and a one-year subscription to Bible Study Magazine for only $19.95 when you subscribe today!

Bible Study Magazine‘s editor in chief, Rebecca Van Noord, gives us a glimpse of how this issue explores the book of James:

Some instructions stick. For me, growing up, it was James’ warnings. Laced with poignant imagery, they didn’t just exhort; they captured my imagination . . . This issue, we delve into James’ concerns for the early church, including pure and undefiled religion, the tendency of double-mindedness, and myths about temptation and sin that are still common in modern Christian culture. We hope this issue helps you reflect on James’ teaching, and that his passion for the gospel sticks with you. May you, empowered by the Spirit, live a life that reflects that passion.

This issue not only takes a deeper look at the book of James, but also allows you to learn from renowned authors, teachers, and scholars like Beth Moore and Dr. Jacob Cherian.

Here’s a closer look at the March–April 2015 issue:

Beth Moore: an uncommon love

‘The beauty of putting in decades of Bible study is that you build a Rolodex of knowledge,’ says author and teacher Beth Moore. ‘I often look at young men and women who are just starting to have those light bulb moments and just beginning to get ravenous about the Scriptures, and it’s inspiring. I remember feeling that I could never get enough of God’s Word. I’d slap my desk constantly, thinking, “This is the most thrilling thing I’ve ever seen.” Now, 30 years in, I’ll see a word or a phrase in Scripture that immediately brings to mind a connection elsewhere in the Bible. It’s fun to be a part of that.’

Read the rest of the story by senior writer Jessi Strong in Bible Study Magazine’s March–April 2015 issue.

Dr. Jacob Cherian on teaching the Bible in India

While less than 3 percent of the population in India identify as Christian, according to official census data, the Indian church is growing at an enormous pace. And Dr. Jacob Cherian, vice president of Southern Asia Bible College, is working to get Bible study resources into their hands. ‘In many American churches, pastors have at least one theological degree. Here in South Asia, God is raising up churches. We have many churches where pastors have not received any formal training.’

Read the rest of the story by senior writer Jessi Strong in Bible Study Magazine’s March–April 2015 issue.

Commit to grow

Bible Study Magazine is full of inspiring content that will help you in your commitment to grow in your relationship with Christ. Every issue delivers tools and methods for Bible study and insights from respected scholarly and church voices. From feature stories and Bible study tips to Not Your Average Bible Study and A Moment with God, there’s something for everyone.

Bible Study Magazine is a great way to study, grow, and get into the Word.

Subscribe today for just $19.95—that’s over 30% off the cover price!

Pastor Appreciation Month: Get Huge Discounts

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“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” —Hebrews 13:7

As Pastor Appreciation Month continues, so do the savings. The month is halfway through, which means many of the deals are live!

Go to our Pastor Appreciation Month page to see today’s deals.

Deal of the day: sneak peek

Here’s a look at upcoming daily deals:

Day 15 (tomorrow!): J.A. Broadus Preaching Collection (3 vols.) 
Broadus was a master of both clarity in communication and sympathy with his audience. In this collection, you’ll discover not only his instructions for effective preaching, but also the text of 21 sermons and addresses he delivered. His History of Preaching is a fascinating guided tour of preaching practices, trends, highlights, and low points, from Old Testament figures through his own contemporaries.

Day 16: NavPress Spiritual Formation Collection (15 vols.)
This collection biblically and practically presents numerous spiritual disciplines that can transform your heart, mind, body, soul, and social life. It’s a comprehensive how-to for changing your complacent behavior, analyzing your heart’s intent, and transforming your life to an intentional pursuit of an authentic relationship with Christ.

Day 17: Welwyn Commentary Series (53 vols.)
Dedicated to the practical exposition and exhortation of Scripture, the 53-volume Welwyn Commentary Series contains over 13,000 pages of commentaries designed for pastoral ministry and preaching. Combining exegesis, hermeneutics, history, and pastoral insight, these scholarly resources are carefully crafted to meet the day-to-day needs of pastors as they grapple with the Word of God.

Day 18: Works of R.A. Torrey Collection (26 vols.)
Find nourishment for your mind and food for your soul as you explore the Bible’s details with the 26-volume Works of R.A. Torrey Collection. Torrey is one the great evangelists of our time, with an eye for exegesis and the practical wisdom of a seasoned servant.

Get your free book

Download The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 14 for free the entire month!

Thank your leaders

It’s not too late to honor those who labor in the gospel for us. Take time to do something special for them this month—big or small, it makes a difference! Rake their leaves, walk their dogs, make a delicious casserole for their family to enjoy—the possibilities are endless. Pray for and bless those who give their time and energy to you and spreading the gospel.

Don’t miss a single deal—sign up to hear about every Pastor Appreciation deal. Plus, get 30 days of Proclaim Church Presentation Software for free!




What do you most appreciate about your pastor? Tell us in the comments!

Pastor Appreciation Month Keeps Getting Better

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“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
—Jeremiah 3:15

Pastor Appreciation Month is off to a great start as pastors around the world are acknowledged and honored for their hard work and sacrifice. Our Pastor Appreciation Month sale lasts all month long, and it’s chock-full of great deals on popular resources!

Plus, get The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 14 for free the entire month!

Deal of the day

Get the best price with the deal of the day. A new deal will drop at midnight Monday–Saturday, but the price will only last 24 hours. Make sure you never miss a deal—visit Logos.com/Pastor-Appreciation-Month now to see today’s deal.

A new sneak peek

Here’s a look at upcoming daily deals:

Day 9 (tomorrow!): Baker Illustrated Reference Collection (6 vols.) Collection
Studying the Bible can be difficult, or even mundane, if you can’t fully grasp a passage’s historical, social, political, or geographic context. This collection presents six comprehensive, accessible, and illustrated volumes to deepen your understanding of the Bible and guide you through its many layers of context and meaning.

Day 10: The New Daily Study Bible: New Testament (DSB) (17 vols.)
In this fantastic commentary for pastors, teachers, students, and laity, the words of William Barclay continue to inspire readers with his scripturally sound exegesis. Barclay’s purposefully accessible writing style is evidence of his passion for bringing the Word of God to laity as well as to biblical scholars.

Day 11: The Life and Works of George Whitefield (13 vols.)
In these volumes, you’ll find hundreds of letters and journal entries that illuminate George Whitefield’s character and his earnest desire to bring all whom he encountered to Christ.

Day 13: Teach the Text Commentary Series (6 vols.)
This series gives pastors the best in biblical scholarship and presents the information needed to move seamlessly from interpretation to communication for each book of Scripture.

Celebrate all month long

Have you taken time to honor your church leaders this month? It’s never too late to let them know how much they mean to you, so be sure to take time to show your gratitude.

Don’t miss a single deal—sign up to hear about every Pastor Appreciation deal. Plus, get 30 days of Proclaim Church Presentation Software for free!




Have you honored your pastor this month? Share your story in the comments!