Lecture Series Event Recap

Logos marketing assistantMark VanDyke, who has been instrumental in promoting the Lecture Series, shares this retrospective.

This past Monday, Logos presented the first Lecture Series event to a standing-room only crowd at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

More than 160 peopleturned out to hear featured lecturer Dr. Rod Stiling of Seattle Pacific University, who spoke on “Interpretations of the Genesis Flood Before and After Darwin”.
The lecture focused mostly on American geology during the scientific revolution, specifically as it related to Noah’s flood.

One of the highlights of the night was Dr. Stiling’s incorporation of art into his lecture – often referring to how painters in the late 19th century viewed the flood.

The lecture was followed by a stimulating question and answer session filled with pointed questions about the effects that science can have on one’s faith and how Christians should approach the Bible with some knowledge of empirical evidence for what they believe.

The feedback submitted after the lecture was overwhelmingly positive – which is particularly gratifying due to the diverse crowd that had gathered to hear Dr. Stiling speak.

The next three lectures in the series are already lined up, so be sure to visit the Lecture Series page for all the details!

March 26, 2007Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable? Dr. Phil Long, Regent College

April 14, 2007Exploring the New Myths of Science and Science FictionDr. James A. Herrick, Hope College

May 5, 2007The Psalms and Our Destiny: Understanding the Message of the Book of PsalmsDr. Mark Futato, Reformed Theological Seminary

Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth

Today’s post is an excerpt from a recent NewsWire mailing

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” —Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)

I still choke up when I read that verse, and I pray that I always will.

Isaiah 40:8speaks volumes. It conveys more depth and richness of content in fifteen short words than some authors getacross in their entire collected life’s works.This powerfuldeclaration remindsus why we are here at Logos. We believe in this verse with all our hearts, and want to do everything in our power to make sure that during our brief time on this earth,we doas much as we areable to advance the study of God’s Word.

You have probably heard the story behind the founding of Logos Bible Software before: A couple of young Microsoft programmers with their entire careers of high-pay and lucrative Microsoft stock options ahead of them, dropped everything to join a partner and risk it all on pursuing their dream.

They weren’t satisfied with using their skills to help businessmen have access to the latest and greatest in technology just so they could be more productive or do better in business…

They wanted more.

They wanted to use those same skills to help God’s people in every walk of life have better access to the treasures of God’s Word.

They wanted to use the latest and greatest in technology to create tools for taking people deeper into Bible study than they ever thought possible.

“Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth”

Before anything else, we have a passion for God’s Word. In order to help you get the most fromGod’s Word, we relentlessly push technology to the limits, and make sure we are always up on the latest and greatest.

It is that passion that keeps everyone at Logos pushing technology forward. It is that passion that keeps us experimenting with the latest software and tools out there wherever they come from. It is that passion that ensures that your Logos Bible Software will continue to get better and better.

We promise that we will continue to push technology to the limits to make studying the Bible deeper, easier and better in every way possible.

Really, we are serious about this!

The most obvious benefit of our passion to help you get the most out of your Bible study is the ever-improving Logos Bible Software engine (the Libronix Digital Library System).Our passionfor making sure we are up on the latest and greatest technology ensures that you have uninterrupted access to the best Bible studysoftware in the world even when Microsoft releases new operating systems like Windows Vista, and new browsers like Internet Explorer 7.The latest version of Logos Bible Software is ready for both: Get it now.

Honestly, there is no catch!

Keeping up to date with the core engine in Logos Bible Software doesn’t cost a thing. There is no reason not to download the latest versionand stay current. Take a moment and make sure you are using the latest and greatest in technology by updating your engine for free: https://www.logos.com/support/download/30update

Experience just how far our passion has taken us…

There is no catch to the download. You can make sure you have the latest core engine at no cost just like we mentioned above…

…but if you are looking to do more than just keep your software current with the latest operating systems,or you want to see just how far our passion has taken us to create extra tools and add-ins to bring you new ways to dig deeper, read on.

After you update your core engine you should check out the individually customized upgradesale that is about to expire on collection upgrades. Download the update first, then if you want to jump light years ahead in your Bible study and add more great tools, add-ins and resources for pennies on the dollar, you should really check out our custom collection upgrades that are still on sale for just a month or so more at: https://www.logos.com/upgrade

Digital Exegesis How-To & Review of Personal Book Builder

The latest issue of Christian Computing Magazine includes two articles pertinent to Logos Bible Software.

The first is a review of Personal Book Builder by writer, editor and cartoonistRob Suggs, who was the subject of a recent post here on the Logos Blog.

In the second article, a Logos user offers tips on how he uses Bible software in the task of exegesis—including the 12-step pattern he follows when preparing a sermon. As we hinted in a another recent blog post, Logos Bible Software will soon include a built-in tool to help structure your Bible study workflow using a variety of study methodologies.

Without further ado, here are leads for the two CCMag articles.

Special Feature – Bible Software’s Best Kept Secret, Libronix Book Builder

by Rob Suggs

It happened sometime in the late nineties. As a Christian magazine editor, I attended a training session for a Bible study software program called Logos. Morris Proctor, our teacher, demonstrated the many pleasures of the Word Made Electronic. The only problem was that, as a publishing firm, we had an office full of Apple equipment, and Logos for the Mac was still on the drawing board.

Read the entire article… (PDF )

Doing Good Digital Exegesis

Higher Power with Kevin

by Kevin A. Purcell

In the book and paper world, biblical exegesis is a time consuming, but useful task. Without it, you cannot faithfully preach the Word of God. A computer and Bible Study software will help you do high-quality, biblical exegesis in far less time than it would using stacks of books and a legal pad. And your study will be more advanced as you utilize powerful original language tools, even if you don’t know Greek or Hebrew.

Read the entire article… (PDF )

Want Help Cleaning Your Desk?

I hope everyone took advantage of National Clean Off Your Desk Day last month…I did not.

But the last few times I cleaned my computer desk at home (which happens precisely as often as we’re expecting overnight guests, since the computer is in the guest room) I noticed a particular kind of detritus that accumulated around and under my monitor and keyboard. I’m not talking about dust (which was also plentiful) but note scraps.

That’s right, little bits of paper with important stuff written on them. Like the username and password for the website I built for my brother-in-law last year. Or the name of a book I heard about on NPR during my drive home one day, scribbled on the corner of a napkin, and deposited near the computer “for later”. Or library card numbers (which the library website unhelpfully refuses to store on my behalf, forcing me to re-enter them every time my kids’ Sesame Street videos need to be renewed).

So when I heard about a simple note-taking application being cooked up by Bob Pritchett, members of the Logos development team, and our graphic artist…I got pretty excited about its potential to help me get (at least slightly) more organized.

NoteScraps: Simple. Elegant. Cheap.

This new application is called NoteScraps and it’s the ideal place tostore bits and scraps of information. The stuff you might write on a post-it note and stick to your monitor…or keyboard…or litter around your desk. The notes that you might not need right now but are pretty sure you’ll need later…long after you forgot where you put them.

There are other note-taking programs out there butNoteScraps is cool because of its simplicity. It sets out to do one thing only and do it well.

  • Taking notes is quick and easy: my phone rings, a quick keystroke opens a new note, and I can start typing as my caller talks.
  • Finding notes is instantaneous: another keystroke (or click in my system tray) brings me to the find box, I start typing a word, and the appbrings forwardnotes that contain the word.
  • Using the app is fun: the design is thoughtful and balanced, and there’s just enough eye candy to enhance the experience by shuffling my notes on the screen as I interact with them.

NoteScraps is designed for Windows Vista but we also offer a version for Windows XP. Be sure to check out the demo video and download your own copy—the trial version is free!

Appendix: What Does NoteScraps Have to Do With Logos Bible Software?

In the words of Bob Pritchett, “Nothing specific — but we’ve all got little notes to manage.” And as he elaborated in our beta newsgroup, “NoteScraps has also served an important role in helping us explore and master the next generation technologies. Before we try to use .NET 3 and WPF in Logos Bible Software we want to play with them in a smaller sandbox.”

Logos/SBL Paper Awards: Just 10 Weeks Left…

Way back in late September, we announced that Logos Bible Software was partnering with the Society of Biblical Literature to give away nearly $18,000 inawards for papers that use the syntax tools in Logos 3 to advance biblical scholarship.

The May 1 contest deadline is drawing near so consider this an encouragement, an exhortation, a friendly nudge to get your paper done and submitted.

Full contest details are at the SBL site.

Need some inspiration for things to write about? Try trollingthe dozens of past posts on syntax here at the Logos Blog.You may also want to spend some time with the syntax videos we’ve posted at Logos.com.

Some of the videos hosted on that page are from a CD-ROM we put together for the ETS/SBL annual meetings in November. Now that entire disccontaining 33 Syntax Demonstrations can be ordered for a nominal fee from Logos.com.

So polish up (or begin writing) your paper and send it in! We look forward to all the great new research that will be produced as part of this contest!

Logos for the Mac: Status Update

Logos for the Mac

We sent out the following letter this week to all the people subscribed to the Logos for the Mac email list.

Dear Mac User,

I wish I had more news! It certainly seems like I have more Mac enthusiasts clamoring for it every day. (Those commercials must be working!)

While progress is being made on Logos for the Mac every week, the reports on progress make for pretty dull reading. (There’s an example below.) I can say that we’ve received another internal drop, and some very important features like licensing, license synchronization with the server (to let you move backup licenses or restore them from a Windows installation), and “data type highlighting” are up and running.

The features we all want to see and play with, though, are still under development: searching, reports, etc.

And there is no good answer to the question I’m asked almost daily: When?

The best we can say is: When it’s done.

In the past few months almost all of the progress has been inside the application; the only new screenshots we could provide would be of some pretty dull dialogs for license management. Once the work on searching, reports, etc. “breaks through” to the UI surface we should be able to provide more interesting (and encouraging) updates.

Thanks again for your patience.

Bob PritchettPresident & CEO, Logos Bible Software


[Read more…]

The Serendipity Curve

Note: Creating Passionate Users is a secular blog, unrelated to Logos, and as such may use terms or images we wouldn’t choose.

Creating Passionate Users is a seriously smart and interesting blog on user-oriented product design. A recent post on the site entitled “Add a little more random to your product” encourages product designers to consider ways to boost the serendipity quotient of productsby adding randomness. Give users more opportunities to be surprised and they will enjoy the product more.

The article uses the example of the iPod Shuffle, which forces users out of a listening rut and exposes them to more of the songs they own.

Think about all the music on your (non-Shuffle) iPod, computer, or vintage CD rack. Now think about the subset you actually listen to regularly. For most of us, it’s a pathetically small set. By literally forcing people to listen to randomly-chosen songs, the Shuffle was constantly delighting, surprising, rewarding, stretching users. And users loved it.

Here at the Logos Blog, we’ve shared some of our thinking on this very topic, encapsulated as “Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery.”

F-S-D serves as a description and guiding principle for the way we design Logos Bible Software to invigorate, refresh, suprise and inspire users in theirBible study.

F-S-Dalso speaks to the approach we take to ensure that users receive more value from their electronic library…even as the number of books in that library grows into the thousands. That is, we design features and automated reports that help people find information they didn’t even know they were looking for…often in books they didn’t even know they owned.

Now I’m eager to hear feedback from you, the Logos user…

  • Do you have a story to share about your own serendipitous discovery?
  • What’s your favorite serendipity-producing feature in Logos?
  • Have you used or seen someone using Logos in an unusual way?
  • Where does Logos fall on the Serendipity Curve?
  • How could we boost the serendipity and randomness of Logos in ways that would make you happier?

Converting the Pastor

I received the following story from Rob Suggs, a reviewer and enthusiastic user of Logos. I share it with Rob’s permissionbecause of how well itillustrates the “aha” momentwe love to provide for new users.

If you want an easy way to help your friends and family discover Logos Bible Software, check out the Refer a Friend program. –Daniel Foster

I’m attending a Saturday morning meeting of Bible study leaders. Since the topic is biblical interpretation, I’m planning on taking my laptop and doing a Libronix System X demonstration. I had lunch today with my pastor and told him my plans, asking, “By the way, are you a Logos user? What do you use to prepare a sermon?”

He gave me rather a blank look and said, “[Major Bible study site]on the Web.”

I said, “No kidding. How is that working out for you.”

He looked a little embarrassed and said, “Well, I click the passage, then wait for it to load. Then, if I want to compare another translation, it takes about six more clicks and waits to get to that screen . . .”

I said, “No kidding.” This pastor is not a remnant of the old days—he’s younger than I am.

I began to tell him about Logos. He asked, “Is it a Web site?”

I said, “No, it’s right on my hard drive.”

“Wow!” I’m seriously trying not to laugh here. This is my pastor.

I spent about ten minutes describing the things that take place within ten or fifteen seconds on my Libronix desktop; the quick reports and passage studies; the quick links to original language research. I happened to know that he studied at Trinity and his mentor was D. A. Carson. “Logos has a whole disk of D. A. Carson resources,” I said casually. “Most of his major writings, all of them searchable and fully integrating with the rest of your 25 or 30 Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries, and other resources.”

By this time there was a serious line of drool extending from the lip of his mouth almost to the surface of the table. Other diners were beginning to stare at us.

As we left, he said, “Bring your computer. Show it all to me. I’ll bring my credit card.”

Visualizations are Cool

I’m not a programmer but my geek streak gets fired up by new visualizations of data, especially visualizations that are interactive. Logos 3 includes a ton of neat-o (and useful) visualizations—from wee, data-dense sparklines tothe “word wheel” graphs in Bible Word Study,and Timelines of biblical people and events.

So last week I was excited to come across three different sites with creative and useful visualizations—one exploring data of a political nature and two biblical.

Following President Bush’s State of the Union address, The New York Times website offered an interactive visualization that makes it easy to explore vocabulary usage trends across the president’s 7 State of the Union addresses.

Then, at the Blogos blog (whose author Sean Boisen now works here at Logos), there was this interactive treemap that makes it easy to see which pericopes are common or unique among the Gospels.

The ever-interesting ESV Blog lit up the blogosphere with their visualization of New Testament social networks based on proximity within the text.

As the ESV Blog aptly notes,a more reliable map of actual relationships between biblical people could be produced via semantic tagging. This involves identifying or “disambiguating”each person in the Bible and describing the relationships between them.

The Biblical People addinin Logos Bible Software 3 is a first pass at portraying these relationships, though at this point the data is limited to explicit family ties expressed in the text. You’ll see a richer data set at some point in the future.

For many of us, exploring biblical information in such a visual way is a new experience. Here at Logos, we strive to incorporate stunning new technologies and visualizations into our products in a way that demands little or nospecialized knowledgeon the part of the user. In other words, we want to hire people who are super smart about linguistics, library science, programming, and visualization…so you don’t have to be!

That said, you might be inspired, as I have been, to grow your familiarity with the concepts and basic vocabulary of visualization. So here’s one final link to some “knowledge maps”—visualizations that help explain visualizations—at Visual-Literacy.org.

In particular, besure tocheck out the very cool Periodic Table of Visualization Methods, which provides examples of visualizations such as the “iceberg,” the “hyperbolic tree” and “mintzberg’s organigraph”.

Bible Study on the High Seas

Today’s guest blogger is Landon Norton, who works in ministry relations at Logos and is a veteran of the 2006 Bible Road Trip.

Logos in the “bar”

As a member of the Ministry Relations team whose privilege it is to present Logos Bible Software to large crowds at conferences around the county, I am sometimes tasked with traveling to remote andcold places (sorry if you’re reading this in one of them!).

This past week made up for a lot of those trips as I was granted an opportunity to present these amazing Bible study tools on the January Bible Study Cruise to the Bahamas hosted by Templeton Tours, a Christian Cruise vacation company… In fact, you may remember receiving the email offer to join us! If you are not one of the nearly 80 Logos users who turned out for the cruise, let me tell you what an awesome time in the Word you missed!

Landon and Jerry Vines

On the M/S Celebration, I shared the stage with speakers like Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. Jerry Vines, Phil Waldrep, Johnny Hunt and others, presenting people with tools to study and teach God’s Word. Moreover, each night, Logos users gathered in a large “bar” (there’s no alcohol on board for this Christian cruise!) for orientation on the essentials of how to use Logos Bible Software. Each night our little “family” grew as people heard and saw what amazing things they could do using Logos. This is where my passion for equipping people with the tools and tutoring needed for better Bible study really kicked in! People were just blown away at what this software does for personal study. I like to think Logos brought the “Bible study” to the Bible Study Cruise!

“Driving” south

The boat left Jacksonville on Monday and headed to Freeport, then to Nassau on Wednesday and Half Moon Cay on Thursday before returning to Jacksonville by late Friday night. The sights were amazing when we headed into town. Everywhere I went people were pointing me out as the “Logos Guy”. (Guess all those Logos shirts really paid off!) Seriously, though, it’s great to be known when you’re known because of the awesome tool you show people how to use! As I’ve said many times, it’s not about me, it’s about what I show people for better Bible study.

So now that I have my land legs back, let me be the first to invite you to come along next time! We just finalized booking a March 5-10 trip back to the Bahamas – this time with In Touch Ministries and Charles and Andy Stanley!

What’s more – learn about the awesome deal Logos is offering for $300 in “Logos bucks” when you join us for the cruise! Check out all the details here...

I hope to see you next time Logos takes Bible study to the high seas! Actually, you can’t miss me…I’ll be the one in the Logos shirt…