The Lie That Launched a Thriving Christian Ministry

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The Christian story is full of dramatic conversions and calls to ministry. When a young, philosophical rabble-rouser heard the voice of a child singing “Pick it up and read it,” he felt compelled to reach for a Bible. When he randomly opened it to Romans 13:13–14, he was confronted by his life of sin and gave his life to Christ.

We know that young man as St. Augustine.

When a law student was nearly struck by lightning during a thunderstorm, he cried out in terror, “Save me St. Anne! I’ll become a monk!” That young man was Martin Luther, and he made good on his promise—then he went on to launch the Protestant Reformation.

And then there’s Xi Zixhi, a Chinese pastor little known to most Westerners—in spite of his profound impact on Christianity in China. The story of his calling is markedly different from most others.

Pastor Xi’s ministry began when he cheated on an essay contest.

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Tim Challies and Going All in with Ebooks

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An open letter to Tim Challies, in response to a recent blog post.

Dear Tim,

The people in my office at Faithlife, makers of Logos Bible Software, read your post “Going All-in With Ebooks” with excitement—and not just because we sell ebooks (including quite a few of them to you, and some of them by you). We read with interest because we are interested in reading. We like books, as do our users, and we like all kinds of books: biography, history, fiction, memoir, and, preeminently, theology and biblical commentary.

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How To Search Logos.com (or Any Website) in a Flash

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Calling all nerd wannabes. I, on behalf of the Logos Pros, am about to share with you one of the most useful computer tips you will ever get. I mean that. I’m going to apply the tip to a narrow question: “What’s the quickest and easiest way to search Logos.com for a particular book or resource?”  The answer will help you with all the important sites you search online, from Google to Wikipedia to Beaniebabies.com.

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How Good Are the Sermons You Preach to Yourself?

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Even if you’ll never preach a single sermon in your entire life, you should still know what good preaching is. And not just so you can spot (and avoid) bad preaching; not even so you can seek out good preaching. You need to understand what makes a good sermon because every time you interpret the Bible, practically speaking, you’re preaching the Bible to yourself.

How good are your self-sermons?
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On Christian Trinkets and Bad Exegesis

Christian trinkets and bad exegesis

Internet meanderings recently landed me on the Amazon product page for the bookmark below. It’s the kind of bookmark you’re supposed to give to a friend or loved one, and it bears two Bible verses. Notice the citation from Genesis 31 in particular.

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The Sermon on the Mount: Finding Happiness in the Flood

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As a kid, maybe 10 or 12, I was leafing through my red-letter edition of the Bible and I noticed that there was one section of unbroken red text that was longer than any other. It was Matthew 5–7. I thought that was kind of cool, and if my memory serves me (sometimes it refuses), that’s why I read this sermon as a young pre-teen. I actually got to know it somewhat well, and I credit Jesus’ words with giving me a firm foundation in difficult times. That’s a vague way of saying it, but I have very definite instances in mind. Truly, the Sermon on the Mount became a rock for me to build my life on before the rains descended and the floods came.

Like all residents of my town, built around the Skagit River, I know it’s best to build your house before the rainy flood season. But even if you are in the middle of the floodwaters, you can reach out for the rock of Jesus’ words, clamber onto it, and find solidity in a world of difficulties. It’s never too late to heed the wisdom of this sermon.

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Why (and How) Protestants Should Study the Latin Vulgate

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Following the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century, the Latin Vulgate became the official Latin Bible of the Roman Catholic church—and that after centuries of dominance as the preferred Bible of the Western world. The Reformation revived interest in the original languages, and a slew of new translations followed. Following that, Protestantism largely left the Vulgate behind. But this ancient translation still has much to offer the serious student of the Bible, providing a unique glimpse into lost manuscripts undergirding modern translations, and illuminating how great theologians like John Calvin referenced Scripture.

I sat down with Andrew Curtis, a Latin-language editor at Faithlife and co-editor of the forthcoming The Lexham Latin-English Interlinear Vulgate BibleHe explained the history of the Vulgate, it’s importance for Bible study, and how Lexham’s new Interlinear opens up the Vulgate to anyone—even if they don’t know Latin.

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Christmas Reflections on the Birth of Our Savior

Charles Wesley

Now it happened that in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire. (This first registration took place when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to be registered, each one to his own town. So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered together with Mary, who was legally promised in marriage to him and was pregnant. (Luke 2:1–5 LEB)

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The Most Christmasy Book in the Bible Isn’t What You Think

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We’re celebrating Advent by giving away dozens of free books and beautiful Advent Art and featuring great articles on the meaning of this season of anticipation. In this post, Logos Pro Mark Ward explores what may be the most “Christmasy” book in the Bible.

What do you think is the most “Christmasy” book in the New Testament?

The obvious frontrunners are Matthew and Luke, especially their opening portions. One of the reasons these books will show up so often in Christmas-time sermons and Bible studies is that they were so self-conscious in their desire to continue the story of Israel begun in the Old Testament. Think of the way the words of Mary and Zechariah in Luke 1 both refer back to God’s promises to Abraham.

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Bible Translations and the Democracy of the Dead

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G. K. Chesterton:

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. (85)

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