Why Difficulties in the Bible Are a Good Thing

bible difficulties

Jen Hatmaker recently launched a kerfuffle in the evangelical blogosphere (meteorologists have started to assign these kerfuffles their own names, like hurricanes) by reconsidering her stance on a hotly contested biblical doctrine. I won’t get into that particular issue here (though I do not think it is trivial). It’s part of her reasoning for changing her position that interests me in this post:

Thousands of churches and millions of Christ-followers faithfully read the Scriptures and with thoughtful and academic work come to different conclusions…. Godly, respectable leaders have exegeted the Bible and there is absolutely not unanimity on its interpretation. There never has been.

Empirically, she’s got a point. Lots of them, actually. Logos sells the Counterpoints series, after all. Christians of all sorts disagree about all sorts of Bible statements. Combine this fact with our culture’s viewpoint that what one sees has everything to do with where one is standing—and what do you get?

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How to Get the Most Out of Sermon Editor

sermon editor
Some pastors spend 30 hours or more preparing a single sermon. Even if you treasure every moment of those hours, there are parts of the process of writing a sermon that take longer than they need to—and more importantly, distract you from focusing on the parts that matter. Logos 7’s Sermon Editor feature helps you transition from studying to sermon writing, and from sermon writing to preaching.

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If the Bible Is Clear, Why Are There So Many Opinions?

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Leaders of the Protestant Reformation, particularly Luther but also Calvin, affirmed the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture. Basically, the doctrine (as it has developed) teaches that all Christians can and should read the Bible with spiritual profit, no magisterium necessary.

And yet one of the biggest arguments against this view is the sheer size of the Logos Bible Software products list: if the Bible is so clear, why do we have so many commentaries and journals and books and dictionaries, all of which by no means agree and some of which exist for the major purpose of disagreeing with all who have gone before?

In a series of three articles, I want to clarify the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture, show the value of Bible difficulties, and suggest a way forward in a world full of conflict over the Bible.

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Finding Truth in the Mysteries of Scripture

Majesty of Mystery Quote 2

Eternal. Infinite. Omnipotent. Omniscient. Holy.

We describe God in these abstract, maximalist terms, but how fully do we feel their weight? Each of these terms reaches as far as it can to describe our infinite God, but ultimately none can fully describe him, and we cannot fully comprehend him.

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3 Logos Shortcuts You Can Use Right Away

logos shortcuts

Bible study isn’t supposed to be fast. It takes time to mine biblical riches. But it’s the digging that should take time, not the shovel selection process. That’s why I use keyboard shortcuts, so I can call up tools fast and put them to use. Keyboard shortcuts are almost always faster than using the mouse.

Here are three Logos shortcuts you can start using in your study right away.

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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.

Special offer: Save over 70% on 95 essential Reformation resources with our limited-time Reformation Day Bundle!

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4 Keys to Kindling Your Love for the Book of Revelation

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I am an inveterate reader, and since I was five years old that has included fantasy and science-fiction. The idea of mixing science with fantasy, of letting my imagination fly in terms of the universe God created and what may be included in it, has always sent my pulse racing. Since I discovered it as a teenager, I have read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy every five years. One time I read the entire set in five days—I basically didn’t sleep nearly the entire time. Yes, it is also my favorite movie as well.

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2 Digital Bible Study Tips for Busy Moms

tips-for-busy-momsMy wife regularly works domestic miracles. Case in point: she actually reads her Bible first thing in the morning.

She’s a mother with young children and a lot of responsibility. We never know how much sleep Mommy will get on any given night, and she occasionally has to microwave her first cup of coffee several times before being permitted by circumstances—three circumstances between the ages of 2 and 6, to be exact—to drink any of it. So she doesn’t read her Bible every day. But every time I glance over her way at church I see that the ESV Readers Bible I got her has plenty of notes and marks in it; this is a mother who never stops trying to know and live the Bible.

She wants her Bible study to be rich and rewarding; she wants to hit the veins of gold sometimes far beneath the surface.

So I put my copy of Logos on her iPad (this is completely legal, by the way), and she has access to the same Bible study resources I use in pastoral work.

Busy moms—like the one to whom I’m married—are often pulled in a hundred different directions. They may be excused for thinking they have no time to learn complicated Bible software. Logos does have a learning curve, but you only have to go a short way up it to see a big difference in your Bible study. Here are two tips for doing just that (two instead of the usual three—since moms are busy and who has time to read the middle point in a blog post?).
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Are You Parenting with Mercy?

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paultripp_bio2 Paul David Tripp is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and has written more than a dozen books on Christian living, including his newest book Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles Than Can Radically Change Your Family.

One of the biggest errors Christian parents make is to forget. Not forgetting the baby’s diaper bag. Not forgetting to pack the school lunch. Not forgetting to pick the teenager up after practice.

No, there’s something much bigger that we forget.

When we, as earthly mothers and fathers, forget the daily mercies we’ve received from the Heavenly Father’s hands, mercies we could have never earned, deserved, or achieved, it becomes much easier for us not to parent our children with mercy.

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3 Reasons Not to Panic over Bible Translation Revisions

dont-panic-esvCrossway recently released the English Standard Version in a 2016 “Permanent Text” edition (the updated text will be free for Logos users who own the ESV). The ESV, it was announced, would remain “unchanged forever, in perpetuity.” As Christianity Today rather cheekily titled its article on the new edition, “Bible Translation Becomes Unchanging Word of God.”

I wrote a lengthy article on this topic, most of which is below; but yesterday, after much internet chatter, Crossway reversed their decision.
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