I enjoyed my Hebrew courses. I like languages. And one of the first big rewards of learning Hebrew is translating a small book like Jonah or Ruth. I say it’s a reward, because it is fun; you get a sense of satisfaction that you’ve actually learned something.
The difference between this . . .
. . . and this . . .
. . . consists largely in the skill with which the latter photographer used the complicated tools on his SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera—and the complicated software tools used for post-production.
Likewise, the difference between an adequate sermon or Bible study and an excellent one may come down to the time you put in understanding and using the tools you have—including, preeminently, Logos Bible Software. Here are five ways you can begin to master Logos features so you can move from Logos novice to Logos pro.
I remember the first time my personal devotions finally started to click. After growing up in the church, earning a Bible degree, and working in ministry, I developed the habit of separating my “study time”—which I spent preparing sermons, lessons, and Bible studies—from my own “personal devotions.”
For my “study,” I used resources like commentaries, biblical encyclopedias, systematic theologies, and lexicons; for my “personal devotions” I used resources like an open Bible, pen, paper, and a journal.
An experienced pastor I greatly respect, a truly world-class Bible expositor whose series through Ephesians changed my life, sat in a room with a bunch of skinny, exegetically deficient young preacher wannabes. I was the skinniest. He was trying to mentor our motley crew, providing one piece of wisdom after another, pieces I have always, by God’s grace, followed.
Except one. This pastor told us young men to get one Bible and stick with it. His point was not so much to stick with one translation (he himself checked multiple translations regularly) but to have one edition that you really get to know.
The New Testament’s use of the Old Testament has been described as the “master problem” of Christian theology. Jesus’ and Paul’s words on the subject are direct and, in a way, simple: Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law but to “fulfill” it (Matt 5:16–17); and Paul says we are “not under law, but under grace” (Rom 6:14). But how do you harmonize those and other NT statements about the law, and how do you work out their specific implications? That’s the master problem.
Biblical theology is notoriously difficult to define. As one clever theologian has quipped, “. . . everyone does that which is right in his or her own eyes and calls it biblical theology.” One reason for the confusion: a slim monograph on the the theme of social justice in the book of Amos, and a massive overview of the entire Bible could both properly be called biblical theology.
How could such a diverse array of resources be a part of the same discipline?
When seeking to determine the contextual meaning of a biblical word, it’s helpful to see where that word is used elsewhere in Scripture. Often times where and how a word is used in other parts of the Bible shed light on its meaning in the passage we’re studying.
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When you’re trying to make a point, the way you talk changes. Maybe you change your rhythm. You switch from long, rapid sentences to short, slow fragments where every word carries more weight. Or you might drastically change your volume. You drop to a whisper or raise your voice in excitement or passion to draw your audience in.
Great preachers utilize numerous techniques to make their main points resonate with the people who hear them. Likewise, your sermon slides can visually emphasize the main ideas you want to get across.
Here are four ways your sermon slides can make your main points pop.
The tendency to emphasize the good of the spiritual realm to the neglect of the physical world has led many Christians to an unbiblical view of the world and a false dichotomy between the ‘sacred’ and ‘secular.’
—Kenneth T. Magnuson, professor of Christian ethics, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary