An Interview with John Bolt about Herman Bavinck, Part 2

John Bolt

Last week, we featured the first part of an interview with John Bolt, the editor of the new translation of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics. Dr. Bolt is Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary and has served as a pastor for several years. He is a member of the Dutch Translation Society, which produced the new translation. Part two of the interview with John Bolt is below.

Herman Bavinck’s theology is closely associated with Abraham Kuyper’s theology. How does Bavinck relate to Kuyper and other prominent contemporaries? What makes him distinct from Kuyper?

Kuyper was the movement leader in the renaissance of Calvinism that helped reform the church and also led the orthodox Reformed people of the Netherlands to become a cultural, social, and political force in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Bavinck’s writing, speaking, and practice fully supported this movement but his major contribution was that of a scholar whose theological and church work became the font of most of the developments in the Dutch Reformed churches of the 20th century. Kuyper was a dynamic, sometimes overbearing, and never-in-doubt commander of an army; Bavinck was a modest, even shy retiring man who strove to find the positive in an opponent’s point of view in order to incorporate it into his own.

Reformed Dogmatics

The publication of the new translation of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics has received favorable reviews from prominent Reformed theologians and historians around the world. The electronic edition Logos Bible Software is currently working on has attracted lots of attention. We get questions every week from anxious customers who are anticipating the completion of this project. Why have we seen such a renewed interest in Bavinck in the past few years?

Because he’s good! Seriously.

The last few years have also seen a renewed interest in Reformed theology more broadly. What are your thoughts on this movement? What is the future of the Reformed Resurgence?

I love reading these guys because they are edgy, funny, and straightforward. Calvin will always be relevant because even secular people can’t ignore his importance. Nonetheless, the Reformed (Calvinist) faith is a confessional faith (tied to an ecclesiastical tradition) and in spite of the occasional flashes of interest that we see right now, the fact remains that confessional Christianity has a terrible time in America’s overwhelmingly voluntarist religious ethos.

In addition to the two decades you’ve spent as a professor of systematic theology, you have also served as a pastor in two churches, and you continue to preach and teach regularly. Why is it important for pastors to read Bavinck? What is the significance of Reformed Dogmatics for pastoral ministry today?

As a scholar Bavinck has of course become the hub of the wheel around which I work—my scholarly work has been Bavinck and more Bavinck. But that’s only the formal part. More importantly, the content of Bavinck’s thought and the method of his theology have also deeply shaped me. Bavinck had an deeply sensitive eye for the revelation of God in the created world and in the providential guidance of human history and cultures. He sees deeply how the human quest for forgiveness, for meaning, for reconciliation, and for truth are part of our being created in God’s image and therefore perennially present in all the religious quests of human beings.

Remember, you still have a little more time to get Reformed Dogmatics while it’s on Pre-Pub. The print set normally retails for $179.95, but right now you can pre-order it for $99.95. This set ships in just a couple weeks, so you still have a little more time left to get this deal when you pre-order. Lock in your order now!

Logos Bible College Scholarship

Several months ago we created a Seminary Scholarship site, offering 3 seminary students per year a $1,000.00 tuition scholarship and a copy of Scholar’s Library. Upon launching it, we received numerous requests to start a similar program for those students attending a Bible College.
I’m happy to announce that, today, we’re launching a Bible College Scholarship program!
If you attend a Bible College or Christian Undergraduate University, then this scholarship is for you. Three times a year we’ll be giving away a $1,000.00 tuition scholarship plus a copy of Logos Scholar’s Library. The application process is simple, and takes less than 15 minutes to complete. So head over and apply now.

Sharing is Caring

With most scholarships, you typically don’t want to tell your friends about it because the more applicants there are, the less chance you have of winning. With our Bible College Scholarship, the exact opposite is true. The more of your friends who apply, the greater chance you have of being awarded the scholarship!
Everyone who fills out an application is asked how they heard about the scholarship. If a person puts your name in as the one who referred them to the site and they win the scholarship, then we’ll give you the scholarship too!
Not only do you have the chance to win a great Bible College Scholarship, you can help others win it too!

Not a Bible College Student? We Need Your Help

The only way we can continue this scholarship program is if you help us spread the word about it. Please take a moment and share about the scholarship on Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you know any Bible College students personally, please send them an email or give them a call to let them know about this great opportunity.

The “Network Effect”

AlexanderGrahamBellI would love to have been there when Alexander Graham Bell experienced his great “a-ha” moments. His first “a-ha” might have gone something like this, “Oh no. . . I gotta make two of these things!” Can you then picture Al showing off the first pair of telephones to friends and dignitaries who ask the questions, “Do you have to have two phones and a different set of wires for each person you speak to? Where are you going to run the wires? What do you mean, ‘switchboard’?”

Recently I was speaking with a friend who likened Logos Bible Software to the Amazon Kindle and the Sony e-Reader. His point was that we all represented similar abilities to read digital books. Our new iPhone app reinforced his analogy. I pointed out that his perspective was only true to a point. E-book readers have much in common with printed books: They are convenient, hand-held, self-contained, and portable. They are little more than a book that runs on batteries. They go beyond the printed book by serving as vending machines for additional books. But while they have some endearing features, they still only represent basic paper book utility: reading words on pages. With Logos Bible Software, reading words on pages is just the beginning.

Just as the utility of a telephone increases relative to the number of other telephones it is connected to, the value of each Logos book increases relative to the number of books and data sets it references. Logos books are worth more than 100% of the paper book utility. The quantity and quality of explicitly “tagged” links along with word, phrase, topic, and reference links and the sheer size of the Logos Bible Software formatted book count create a network effect dramatically superior to the utility of any individual or collection of stand-alone digital books. Stand-alone digital books are the raw ingredients of Logos Bible Software, not the end product.

A commentary linked to a Bible, linked to a dictionary, linked to an atlas, linked to each of the other books in the library offers a multiplier network effect to the value of every single book. Every combination of books is greater than the sum of the books. The network effect is seen clearly in telephones, radio, TV, Facebook, the human genome, and yes, Logos Bible Software.

One way of measuring this network effect is Metcalfe’s law:

Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). . . . Metcalfe’s law characterizes many of the network effects of communication technologies and networks such as the Internet, social networking, and the World Wide Web.

And I would suggest it also applies to linked books in the Logos Bible Software.

Let x equal the value of one book. Linked together in a network,

  • Two books = 4x
  • Three books = 9x
  • Four books = 16x

A thousand–volume Logos Bible Software Library has the utility of a million stand-alone resources and the convenience of your desktop, laptop, or your iPhone/iPad!

Logos 4.0c Is Now Available

It’s been six months since we shipped Logos 4, and today we’re releasing our third significant update to the Windows software. Version 4.0c, which will be available later today as a free download, brings many new features and improvements and fixes lots of little bugs. If you have automatic updating enabled (screenshot), which is the default setting, Logos 4 will notify you that updates are ready to be installed.

When you see the balloon tooltip window, right-click on the Logos icon in your system tray and choose to “Install update” (screenshot). If Logos 4 hasn’t downloaded the update by the end of the day and you just can’t wait any longer to get your hands on the latest release, type Update Now into the command bar (screenshot). This will force Logos 4 to check for any available updates (screenshot) and begin downloading them.

What’s New in 4.0c?

There are hundreds of changes in 4.0c. Here are the two biggest ones:

  1. Legacy Reverse Interlinear Display: In Logos 4 we introduced a new layout for reverse interlinears. Most of you loved it, but some preferred the previous layout where the Greek or Hebrew text was directly below the English text. So we’ve decided to add it back in as an option (screenshot). Just click on “Display” and choose which lines you’d like to appear. You can use it along with or instead of the new-style reverse interlinear display.
  2. Passage Lists: Save your Bible search results as Passage Lists, which were called Verse Lists in version 3 (screenshot). There’s also a command to import Passage Lists from version 3 into version 4. Use “Import Passage Lists” to import just the Passage Lists, or use “Import All” to import Passage Lists, Highlighting, Notes, Favorites, and Prayer Lists. One cool new feature of Passage Lists in version 4 is that you can merge lists to get the union, intersection, difference, or symmetric difference or multiple lists.

To see a complete list of the changes in 4.0c, check out the support article “What’s New in Logos 4.0c.”

Time to Upgrade to Logos 4?

If you’ve been cautiously watching from the sidelines, waiting for the right opportunity to make the switch to Logos 4, now’s your chance. Logos 4 is better than ever. It’s had more than six months of extensive testing by thousands of users, and our team of developers has been fixing bugs, listening to user feedback, and adding some really cool new features.

There’s a lot more still planned. Version 4.0d is already underway, and we’re in the process of adding these additional features, as well as many others that we can’t tell you about yet.

There’s never been a better time to upgrade to Logos 4. It’s a powerful, stable, cutting-edge piece of software that just keeps getting better and better. Best of all, these regular updates don’t cost you a penny.

What about Logos 4 for Mac?

Progress on the Mac version of Logos 4 recently has been impressive. As Alpha 19.1 shows, it’s coming along quite nicely. We’ve doubled the size of our Mac development team, and they’re really cranking out new features at a fast pace. The consensus is that Logos 4 for Mac as an alpha is better than our previous generation software. So if you haven’t tried it yet, now might be a good time. Remember, you can safely use both Logos for Mac 1.2.2 and Logos 4 for Mac side by side. If you’re ready to help us test it, you can either upgrade your base package or download the core engine and start contributing in the Logos 4 for Mac forum.

Why the Göttingen Is the Most Important LXX Ever Published

Göttingen Septuagint

The Göttingen Septuagint represents the largest Septuagint project ever undertaken. Published between 1931 and 2006, the 24-volume Göttingen Septuagint contains the most authoritative critical apparatus of the Greek Old Testament ever assembled.

Combining textual evidence from countless manuscripts and ancient sources—including Philo, Josephus, and the Greek Church Fathers—the Göttingen Septuagint is the most detailed and elaborate critical edition of the Septuagint ever published.

The Göttingen Septuagint is the fruit of seven decades of research and publication work. Alfred Rahlfs began the project in the 1920s, and published the volumes on Genesis and Psalms before his death in 1935. William Kappler worked on the Maccabeus volumes before his death in 1944, and Robert Hanhart finished the volume on II Maccabeus and completed III Maccabeus in 1960. Between 1939 and 1957, Joseph Ziegler labored on the books of the prophets, as well as Ieremias-Baruch-Threni-Epistula Ieremiae, Sapientia Salomonis, and Ecclesiasticus.

At Logos Bible Software, we’re committed to promoting Septuagint scholarship and building tools and resources for effective research and study of the Septuagint. Now, we’re thrilled to announce that the Göttingen Septuagint is ready to go into development. Even though we don’t have quite enough orders to cover costs, this resource is simply too important for Septuagint scholarship to wait any longer.

Once this goes under development the price will jump, so you still have a few more days to lock in your order at the current price.

To give you an idea of how good a deal this is, remember that a print version would set you back over $3,000.00. Other digital editions cost $400.00 for just the Pentateuch. That makes pre-ordering the entire Göttingen Septuagint for $299.95 from Logos the right choice. That’s an amazing deal on 65 resources in 24 volumes!

Remember, when this goes into development in a few days, the Pre-Pub price will jump. But if you lock in your order now at $299.95, that’s the price you’ll pay for the entire Göttingen Septuagint on the day it ships.

If you’re interested in the Septuagint, you might also want to take a peek at Biblical Languages: Reference Grammars and Introductions (19 Vols.), which contains Thackeray’s Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek, Conybeare and Stock’s Grammar of Septuagint Greek, and Swete’s Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek.

Video Tutorial: Biblical Places Information

Video Tutorial

Walter McDougall, professor of international relations at the University of Pennsylvania, has said, “We all must learn geography in order to learn history.”

This is valuable advice. Geography provides the context for history, and location genuinely matters if you want to understand many of the nuances in historical developments and situations. This is true for a well rounded biblical understanding as well.

In today’s video tutorial we are going to look at the Biblical Places feature that makes it easy to find information on over one thousand places named in the Bible!

ETD: Where Your Books Come From

Today’s guest post is from Brittany Young, a member of our Electronic Text Development team.

As one of Electronic Text Development’s Book Designers, the most common question I hear is, “Wait . . . do you have to type out the whole book by HAND!?” That’s when I get to give them a little insight into the text development process.

ETD is a vital part of Logos’ structure. Without us, there wouldn’t be any books to ship to your digital library. Those books also wouldn’t have hyperlinks, Greek, Hebrew or Transliterated language tags, images or any of the number of things that make Logos’ software unique.

How texts are developed

Usually, we’ll receive text files from the publisher of the book and format those files to match the print version. The book goes through many stages, first to a group of people called Reference Taggers. They add Bible tags and other data tags to our—over 100 different—data types (like the Works of Josephus, Strong’s Numbering, or The Laws of Hammurabi), and jump tags both to internal references and to other existing Logos resources. Then, the book heads to the Book Designer who does work on overall edits, final tagging, formats like indentation, font size or style, image insertion, and the list goes on. We use XML code and internal tools to help with the bulk of work, which are imagined and built by our talented Book Developers. The book then goes through an in depth series of final checks and corrections by our Team Leaders before it’s sent off to the boss to be shipped. After that, your book is ready for use in Logos 4!

Is ETD the best department at Logos?!

In my opinion—biased as it may be—ETD is by far the best department to work for at Logos. We are the undefeated champion of the annual departmental Christmas Decorating Contest, we have a history of Top 3 contenders for the many Cook and Bake-offs (yours truly placed third in last year’s Pie Bake-Off), and we’re often found spending time together in book clubs, bible studies and softball leagues. This might sound like a great time, but now you know that there’s more to Text Development than just fun, games and candy.

So, the next time you’re opening up a new title in Logos 4, think about the different steps it takes to get there. Depending on the size of the book, each one requires special attention and takes a different amount of time to complete. For example, consider your best friend, The Anchor Yale Bible Commentary set. This enormous series required a colossal amount of work and took over a year to complete. Sometimes we fly through the books, sometimes they take a bit longer, but either way we are committed to delivering Logos users the most detailed, accurate and exciting product possible.

Introducing Deborah Mickens

Marketing has been very happy to incorporate some new talent from within the company. Deborah Mickens joins the marketing team after being an important part of our Customer Support team for two-and-a-half years.

When asked to write a blog to introduce myself, I thought, “where do I start”? I figured the best way to start would be to give a bit of history as to how I started working for Logos. In August of 2007, I decided to take a “leap of faith” and move from California where I had lived all my life and move to Bellingham, Washington to start working for Logos. For the first two and a half years, I worked for the Customer Support department and I am sure that I spoke to many of you while I worked in Customer Support. While in Customer Support, I was one of the ”People Behind the Product” interviewees. When the opportunity came up to work in the Marketing department, I figured this would be a good opportunity to try my hand at something new. My responsibilities include gathering and compiling information for the various Pre-Pubs that we post. The most recent Pre-Pubs I have worked on are

One of the best parts for working for Logos is the various cook-offs that occur at least 4 times a year. A couple months after I started working here, it was time for the Annual “Dessert Cook-off”. I decided it would be a fun opportunity to enter with my Butterscotch Eggnog Stars and see what it was like to participate in a Logos Cook-off. In preparation I baked somewhere around 150 cookies, it was a lot of work—but well worth it as my hard work paid off by being rewarded with a 3rd place finish. I have also participated in the 2008 & 2009 Chili Cook-off, the 2008 Bake-off and the 2010 Soup Cook-off. Another memorable part of my time at Logos was the summer of 2009 when four of my coworkers and I traveled to Eastern Washington to set up a fireworks show for the 4th of July. We had a great time setting up the show, and seeing how many people enjoyed the work we did. We are all looking forward to this year’s show!

The Logos Pre-Pub feature is a great way to get in on the “ground floor” of pricing for your favorite products! Be sure to take a look at what we have available!

Wolfhart? What Kind of Name is Wolfhart?!

pannenberg
Today’s guest post is from Johnny Cisneros, Product Manager for Systematic Theology, and co-instructor of Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software.

In a previous blog post, I mentioned a theologian that influenced Millard J. Erickson—that theologian is Wolfhart Pannenberg. He was Erickson’s postdoctoral mentor. In fact, Pannenberg was one of the three people to whom Erickson dedicated his book, Christian Theology.

You may never have heard of Wolfhart Pannenberg, which is a tragedy, because his theological influence is monumental.

But who was Pannenberg? The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says this about him:

“[Wolfhart Pannenberg is a] German Protestant theologian. In 1950/51 he studied theology under K. Barth in Basle, proceeding to doctoral work in Heidelberg in 1951. During his Heidelberg years he co-operated with a group of younger theologians in the development of a new approach, both exegetical and systematic, to the theology of revelation. This led to the book, Offenbarung als Geschichte, ed. by Pannenberg (1961; Eng. tr., Revelation as History, 1968). After teaching appointments in Wuppertal and Mainz, in 1968 he became Professor of Systematic Theology in the Protestant Faculty at Munich, where he remained until he retired in 1993)” (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, page 1222).

Pannenberg is best known for this three-volume work, Systematic Theology. One scholar says that in Systematic Theology Pannenberg offers “a voluminous account of every question before offering his own construction. Thus one may count on him for thorough background to most any debate, or one may move directly to the end of the section for Pannenberg’s own argument” (The Dictionary of Historical Theology, page 420). In other words, if you want to get into theology, you need Pannenberg.

Pannenberg also wrote: Anthropology in Theological Perspective, which is also available in the Science and Theology Collection (9 Vols.).

For an introduction to the theology of Pannenberg see God and the Future: Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Eschatological Doctrine of God, which is also part of the Theology and Doctrine Collection (16 Vols.).

Pannenberg is also regularly cited when God’s revelation to us is discussed. For an overview of Pannenberg’s view of divine revelation, check out God, Revelation, and Authority (6 Vols.) by Carl F. Henry, which is included in Gold, Platinum, and Portfolio.

Software Developers Walking

Today’s guest post is from Ed Ball, Software Architect here at Logos. Ed has been with Logos since 1995. From time to time he blogs at the Logos Code Blog.

For more than a decade, a small group of Logos software developers has been taking daily walks near the office, just before lunch, rain or shine. Back in Oak Harbor, the standard walk was to the City Beach Park. Here in Bellingham, we have many roads and trails to choose from, and can be spotted just about anywhere within a mile of the office. We frequently walk along the beautiful Whatcom Creek Trail.

Our most infamous walk, however, is what we call the Death March, a three-mile hike to and from the observation tower in the Sehome Hill Arboretum. The entire walk takes about 45 minutes on a good day, which is a pace of nearly 4 miles per hour, climbing (and descending) over 500 feet.

(If you have Google Earth installed, you can see the hike in 3D.)

Just getting to the entrance is more of a hike than our typical walks.

The stairs up the observation tower provide the final ascent.

The payoff of the long walk is the stunning view of Bellingham and the bay.