5 Interesting Facts About John Wesley

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, turns 308 today. Like any looming figure in Christian history, Wesley has his share of both theological supporters and detractors. But there are very few that will question the fervency and urgency Wesley felt when it came to evangelism and church work. As Prime Minister, Lord Baldwin, said of Wesley, “I am supposed to be a busy man, but by the side of Wesley, I join the ranks of the unemployed.”

To celebrate Wesley’s birthday, I wanted to take a few moments and look at five little known facts about his life.

    1. John Wesley came from a huge family.
      The child mortality rate in eighteenth century England was unbelievably high. Statistics suggest that 70% of all deaths were children under ten. So it is not surprising that many families had an abundance of children. John Wesley’s mother—Susanna Wesley—was the 25th of 25 children and she went on to bear a number of children as well. John was the 15th of 19 children. Susanna lost nine of her children in infancy. When Susanna died in 1742, she was only survived by eight of her children.
    2. John Wesley was a victim of bullying as a child.
      John, a short and intelligent boy, was bullied relentlessly as a child. This abuse affected him for the rest of his life. Accounts tell of how, as an adult, Wesley would tremble when discussing the barbaric treatment he received from his peers.
    3. John Wesley vehemently opposed slavery.
      Wesley was inspired to join the anti-slavery movement when he read a pamphlet by Quaker abolitionist Anthony Benezet. He was so moved that he frequently preached against the slave trade and authored Thoughts upon Slavery—a pamphlet publicly decrying the practice. Wesley’s last letter was written to convert and fellow abolitionist William Wilberforce. In it he wrote:

      “O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.”

      This letter was written in 1791, and sixteen years later Parliament finally outlawed England’s participation in the slave trade.

    4. John Wesley is one of history’s most traveled men.

Biographer Edward T. Oakes states that Wesley traveled over 250,000 miles by horseback in his lifetime—that’s ten times the circumference of the earth.

    1. John Wesley is credited for coining the phrase “agree to disagree.”

Wesley often found himself at odds with George Whitefield. Whitefield, who shared Wesley’s enthusiasm for evangelism, clashed openly with Wesley on issues of soteriology. Eventually, the rivalry between Wesley and Whitefield’s theologies introduced an impassioned partisanship among their followers.

In a memorial sermon delivered after Whitefield’s passing, Wesley minimized the schism saying:

There are many doctrines of a less essential nature . . . In these we may think and let think; we may agree to disagree. But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials . . .

This sermon is widely recognized as the first time “agree to disagree” appeared in print.

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Logos Helps Me Hit the Ground Running

Given that we’re in the midst of Forum Week over in the Logos forums, it’s fitting that today’s blog post is by Forum MVP Thomas Black. Thomas is a pastor in Illinois passionate about Acts 6:4 ministry and a longtime user of Logos Bible Software.

Friday: I am home from the Moody Bible Institute Pastor’s Conference—time to hit the ground running.

Saturday: I’m sure glad I finished that sermon before I left, having free time with my family makes it worthwhile.

Sunday: Spending an awesome day in God’s presence.

Monday: The phone rings, “Pastor, I need you….” I’m there. The day is spent in home and hospital visits. Why not add a meeting or two just in case I have any unaccounted for free time?

Tuesday: I don’t even know where today went, It started with discipleship and ended with counseling though I know Bible study prep is in there somewhere.

Wednesday: Finally, it’s Wednesday morning. Time to study. . . but it’s not going to happen. I head out of the office to sit and pray with the wife of a dear friend undergoing critical surgery. Time with family is a priority today, but I can’t forget there’s the prayer meeting this evening.

Thursday: This week has me breathless as I begin to study—the phone rings. I glance at my clock and cringe. . . .

Friday: It’s Friday morning, the phone is turned off and Sunday’s coming. In prayer this morning, I recount the week behind me. A week full of emergencies, counseling, meetings, hospital visits (three hospitals in three different towns!), discipleship sessions, and the plans I had that didn’t pan out. I open my Bible prayerfully and pause wondering, “Lord, how am I going to effectively study this passage well enough to preach it to the congregation with integrity and accuracy on Sunday? This is your Word, help me to take it into my own heart so I can share it with theirs.”

Logos Bible Software is God’s tool for enabling me to serve and preach.

In moments I have a passage guide, my passage, and a commentary. Bible word studies are popping open with regularity as I consult the Greek (or Hebrew) of my text. Prayers are whispered. The Spirit of God coaxes. Notes are taken. Soon I have more notes than time to cover them. My understanding grows and thoughts begin to distill as an outline and body take shape.

But before I can finish the sermon and crawl into bed, it’s off to the local Boy Scout carnival to spend three hours in a dunk tank.

Saturday: Today there is a lawn to be mowed and a family to be enjoyed—but I need to remember to get the Sunday School prep done too and I can’t forget the Sunday Evening message.

Sunday: A glorious day in the presence of Christ and His body the church.

Monday: I wake up on the morning that should serve as my Sabbath, but every pastor knows what I mean when I say Sunday’s coming. . . .

Not every week is quite like this one, but the speed and efficiency made possible with Logos Bible Software enables me to serve and preach His Word with integrity, accuracy and passion.

Do you have a testimony about how Logos Bible Software as helped you in your life or ministry? We would love to hear it! Leave us a comment and tell us about it. Then head over to the Logos forums to check out Forum Week!

Celebrating 50,000 Forum Users

Considering how popular Facebook and Twitter are, it may surprise you to discover that there’s another social community growing about nine times faster than either of these—the Logos Forums. (You read that right: Nine times faster than the ubiquitous, über-popular Facebook and Twitter!)

In fact, one member calculated that the forum community has grown at the rate of 66 users a day and nearly 2,000 new users a month for the past year!

What makes the forums so popular?

Simply put, the forums are one of the best ways to learn about Logos the software and Logos the company.

In the forums you’ll find all sorts of helpful and exciting things. You’ll find:

  • tips, tricks and workarounds to tackle Bible study problems
  • advice on which resources will help you the most from people who already own the them
  • screenshots and videos explaining about how to do things with Logos 4 you didn’t even know where possible
  • a community that likes to share encouragement and insights from their own study
  • tips on what great deals are available at any give time
  • a group of users more than ready to help you push an exciting Community Pricing or Pre-Pub title into production
  • comments straight from Logos about what our plans are and why we do things the way we do
  • opportunities to give feedback to Logos that helps direct the future of the software and company
  • much, much more!

And if you can’t find any of the above in the forums already, all you have to do is ask. With other users in literally every time zone around the world, the odds are pretty good you can get an answer in a couple hours if not in mere minutes.

No wonder the forums are growing so fast! They’re better able to handle all things Logos than any other social channel.

Cause to Celebrate

Just this past week we reached 50,000 forum users. To celebrate, we put together Forum Week—a week of great deals and fun “events” to show new users what this community is all about.

Since this is Forum Week, we decided the best place to post the deals and events (there will be prizes) is right in the forums themselves.

To take part, simply head over http://community.logos.com and look for the forum called “***Forum Week***” at the top of the page. But note, you must be logged in to your free www.logos.com account in order to be able to see this special forum and take part in the festivities.

A Landmark Event Deserves a Great Deal!

To kick things off, we’re offering an incredible discount on Camp Logos Live. Since much of the forum conversation is learning oriented, there couldn’t be a more fitting title to discount in honor of the community than the #1 tool for getting more out of Logos Bible Software 4. For the forum-exclusive price, be sure to check out Forum Week.

Make sure you check in early and often! Some of the deals and events are time sensitive and will be announced without warning.

Natural Disasters, Oil Spills, & Providence

Seminary Scholarship Winner: Eddie PainterAwarding scholarships to our SeminaryScholarship.com and BibleCollegeScholarship.com applicants has become an exciting opportunity for us to gain a little insight into winners’ lives.

Last time, we learned about Charissa M.’s desire to live in a third-world country. The time before that, we received very appreciative follow-up email from Joseph K. and his family which explained a little about how receiving the scholarship was a blessing and answer to prayer.

Our latest SeminaryScholarship.com winner, Gene (Eddie) Painter (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary), and latest BibleCollegeScholarship.com winner, Jenna Guthmiller (Biola University) have provided similar appreciation. While corresponding with Eddie, we learned that his recent past reads like a sequence of newspaper headlines. Eddie, his wife, and his daughter attend NOBTS. In his own words, here is the path they’ve taken to get there:

In 2006, God made it plain that He wanted me to continue my education. I resigned the church where I was pastoring and moved my family to New Orleans. We were in the first group of families to move on campus after Hurricane Katrina. During those first months, I worked for UPS and campus police while going to school full time.

In April 2007, God called me to pastor Barataria Baptist Church, about 20 miles from New Orleans. This is a community on the bayou with many commercial fishermen who have lived here all their lives. In early 2008, I bought a boat and began crabbing as a means of becoming a part of the community.

In September 2008, Hurricane Ike flooded our community and we lost our home. Many thought we wouldn’t return. However, God called us here and we were back (living in a Sunday School room) within days. This really cemented us as a true part of the community. God continued to bless my crabbing during this time also. (Here’s a link to a local article written during that time.) God also greatly blessed us in restoring our home. The church put in a new modular home and generous fellow Christians donated so that we could buy furniture for it. We moved into our new home in August 2009.

When the oil spill hit in 2010, we wondered what would happen. I couldn’t crab for the summer to earn money for tuition. My wife had two part-time jobs and lost both of them. That’s when God opened another door. My boat was hired to work the oil spill. I wasn’t able to captain the boat, so I hired a captain and deckhand. Because of this great blessing, we were able to pay off debt and my wife began working at NOBTS on degree in counseling.

God has been faithful to us. Last fall, our daughter was called to the music ministry. This fall, three of our family members will be at NOBTS. I sometimes wonder how we will manage to pay for this, but your scholarship was evidence that God is still providing!

Gene (Eddie) Painter

Over the past five years, Eddie and his family have had first-hand exposure to some of the United States’ major headline events, yet he sums it up with, "your scholarship was evidence that God is still providing!"

It is such a blessing to learn our scholarships are blessing winners. As both Eddie and Jenna will likely read this, why not take a second to leave a comment and congratulate them on being our latest winners?

Then, consider applying yourself. Hopefully next time we will be able to hear your story. But we won’t hear it if you don’t first apply.

Going to Seminary? www.SeminaryScholarship.com
Going to Bible College? www.BibleCollegeScholarship.com

Logos Wins Prestigious Software Industry Award

Logos Bible Software 4: 2011 CODiE Award WinnerLogos Bible Software 4 has been named the winner of the SIIA’s prestigious CODiE Award for Best Educational Reference Solution.

With the release of Logos Bible Software 4 back in November 2009, we knew we had something special. Logos 4 was all-new. It was like no other product out in the marketplace, and like no other product we had produced before. We knew we had introduced a brand new award-wining software. It just wasn’t offical, until now.

Logos 4 has just been recognized by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) as the Best Educational Reference Solution.

Since 1986, the SIIA’s CODiE Awards program has showcased the software and information industry’s finest products. The award holds the distinction of being the software industry’s only peer-reviewed award as SIIA members are comprised of leading companies in the business software, digital content, and education technology industries. Throughout the award’s history, this is the first time Bible study software has not only been named a finalist, but has also gone on to win the SIIA’s CODiE Award in its category.

Due to the large undertaking in rebuilding Logos from the ground up—instead of simply reusing 15–20-year old code for an update—we hoped Logos users would find Logos 4 to exceed their expectations. It did. Logos users quickly navigated past the initial learning curve Logos 4 posed, and discovered a new way of doing Bible study. And the CODiE Award judges got to see exactly what makes Logos 4 so special.

Judges put Logos 4 through a stringent review process consisting of evaluating product-specific material and online support articles and training videos. Finally, a live online product demonstration was coordinated so judges could see a first-hand demonstration before evaluating and scoring Logos 4. Part of the evaluation focused on the program’s customization features, ease of use, navigation, richness and focus of search results, and use of graphics, among other components.

Based on the above components, Logos Bible Software 4 seemed to be exactly what the Best Educational Reference Solution category was intended for. Among others in the same category, Logos 4 beat out NBC News Archives on Demand from NBC Learn.

Some 425 products and services were nominated this year. Then third-party judges reviewed and evaluated each item before determining finalists. SIIA members then reviewed the finalists and voted to select the winners.

Winning the 2011 CODiE Award now puts Logos Bible Software in the company of past CODiE Award winners such as Adobe, Dell, Cision, Red Hat, SalesForce, Wall Street Journal Professional, and Zendesk.

In the nearly twenty years Logos Bible Software has been around, winning the CODiE Award is a crowning achievement for an excellent product, but more so, for the world-class team here at Logos who is dedicated to providing the best Bible study tool available.

Moving forward, we are committed more than ever to excellence and to being a leader in educational technology. Please leave a comment letting us know how Logos Bible Software 4 has changed the way you do Bible study. And if you are still haven’t upgraded to Logos 4, isn’t it time you discovered what you’re missing?

The Chesterton Birthday Sale!

Gilbert Keith ChestertonSunday, May 22, marks the birthday of British writer, G. K. Chesterton, and Logos is celebrating with a huge sale on the eleven-volume G. K. Chesterton Collection. Today through June 3, 2011, you can get the G. K. Chesterton Collection for over 60% off the retail price! For more information on how to take advantage of this deal, check out the end of this post.

Who is Chesterton?

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, writer of approximately 80 books, around 200 short stories, over 4000 essays, several plays, and hundreds of poems, is often considered one of the great minds of the early twentieth century.

Involving himself in many of the important discussions of his day, Chesterton showed great aptitude and intelligence across a wide spectrum of disciplines. He was well known as a Christian apologist, poet, playwright, journalist, lecturer, debater, literary critic, biographer, philosopher, novelist, and even as a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Contemporaries of Chesterton knew him to be both a deep and profound thinker as well as incredibly witty and jovial personality. George Bernard Shaw, who was both a friend of Chesterton’s and a frequent philosophical sparring partner, called Chesterton “a man of colossal genius.”
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Last Chance: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary Shipping Soon!

Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (44 vols.)A few years ago, a core group of Bible scholars began to dream of what a new Bible commentary could look like. What if a new commentary series could be published—a kind of commentary pastors could use for sermon preparation, and a standard reference work seminary students could consult for exegetical research? What if this commentary was designed and written primarily for a digital environment—and especially for use in Logos Bible Software?

The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary began out of those conversations. Now, that dream is about to become a reality. In less than two weeks, the first volume in this brand new commentary series will be released.

Think of what a milestone this really is. It’s the first major Bible commentary series to be published in many years—long after everyone said it couldn’t be done. It’s the first Bible commentary series ever to be written with a digital environment in mind. It’s the first major Bible commentary where the authors are using Logos Bible Software to research and write the commentary. (Maybe you’ve asked yourself: “Would *insert your favorite commentary name here* have been better if all its authors had used Logos in their research?”) This list goes on and on.

We’ve been amazed and humbled by the number of people who have gotten behind the project—who’ve supported it, endorsed it, and pre-ordered it. If there was ever a question of whether a new commentary series was needed, that question has now been answered by all the people who have committed to making it happen.

Want to see it for yourself? Preview the first section of commentary from Ezra.
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Read Beth Moore’s The Beloved Disciple for Free!

This week (May 15–May 21, 2011) Logos Bible Software is featuring Beth Moore’s The Beloved Disciple: Following John to the Heart of Jesus on FreeBookPreview.com. This means that through the end of this week, you can read The Beloved Disciple in its entirety!

Are you looking to grow your faith as you increase your understanding of God’s love? Let popular author Beth Moore encourage and edify you with lessons culled from the life of the apostle John. Follow John all the way from the thick of Jesus’ ministry to witnessing His death and resurrection. Experience John’s exile to Patmos and the wisdom of Revelation. Moore has mined the depths of John’s life and—in The Beloved Disciple—brings forth gem after gem of comfort and conviction.

How do I get the free preview?

Free book previews are featured in our free iPhone app.

Simply:

  • Download the free Logos Bible Software iPhone app.
  • Sign in or create a free Logos.com account.
  • Enjoy your Free Book Preview!

If you have another mobile device with web access, simply head to FreeBookPreview.com and follow the directions to check out Beth Moore’s The Beloved Disciple.

If you have a friend or relative with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch let them know how they can read The Beloved Disciple this week for free! And be sure to check out FreeBookPreview.com to see what previews are coming up.

Leave us a comment and let us know what you books would like to see previewed.

N. T. Wright Collection Ships Soon: Last Chance to Pre-Order!

N. T. Wright Collection (34 vols.

N. T. Wright is one of today’s most important and well-known theologians. His work touches many disciplines—New Testament backgrounds, Pauline scholarship, the doctrine of justification, and much more. Wright was named by Christianity Today as a top theologian, and he is a respected scholar of the New Testament—especially New Testament backgrounds. He’s also known for writing in a style that makes complex scholarship accessible for a large audience.

A few months ago, we announced a project to make 34 of Wright’s books available in Logos. The collection includes 15 books in the For Everyone series, plus volumes on eschatology, the life of Jesus, Scripture, and much more. It also includes the bestselling Simply Christian.

In the next couple weeks, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on this massive collection, which means you have a little more time to pre-order it at a discount. Once it ships, the price will jump. That gives you one last chance to add 34 N.T. Wright books to your library at a phenomenal price, so pre-order it now!

In case you missed it, check out some clips from our recent interview with N. T. Wright:

N. T. Wright in Bible Study Magazine

The May–June 2011 issue of Bible Study Magazine features N. T. Wright. Subscribe in the next two weeks to get the N. T. Wright issue!

Leave us a comment and let us know what titles in the N. T. Wright Collection interest you the most.

Remembering A. W. Tozer

A. W. TozerMay 12 marks the passing of author, pastor, and editor Aiden Wilson Tozer. During A. W. Tozer’s forty-four year ministry, he pastored several churches and wrote more than 40 books. Although Tozer has been gone for 48 years, his words, through his books and sermons, still minister to the world today.

A Few Facts about Tozer

  1. As Tozer was walking home from his job one afternoon, he heard a street preacher say, “If you don’t know how to be saved…just call on God.” When Tozer got home, he did exactly that by going into his attic and praying.
  2. Tozer used an area in his family’s basement to spend time in prayer and meditation. Tozer’s friends say that he spent at least 5 hours a day in prayer by himself without contact with anyone else.  Tozer once said, “As a man prays, so is he.”
  3. After preaching, Tozer often refused to stand at the church door to shake hands with the congregation because in his mind, that was “glad handing people and setting himself up to be flattered and thus self-deceived.”
  4. Tozer served as pastor of Chicago’s Southside Alliance Church for thirty-one years. During his time there, the congregation grew from 80 to 800 members.
  5. The Moody Bible Institute radio station, WMBI, broadcast a weekly radio program from Tozer called “Talk From a Pastor’s Study,” which focused on Tozer’s studies at Southside Alliance Church. Because of these broadcasts, Tozer was asked several times to minister to Chicago-area Bible colleges.
  6. Tozer often quizzed his seven children on what they were reading and created special bedtime stories for them.
  7. In 2007, the A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary was established as part of Simpson University. The seminary offers graduate degrees in Bible and Theology within a “Tozer culture,” in which they strive to honor, respect, and cheer for one another.

What have others said about Tozer?

“If a sermon can be compared to light, then A. W. Tozer released a laser beam from the pulpit, a beam that penetrated your heart. If you have never read Tozer—what are you waiting for? Thirty minutes spent in a Tozer essay is often better than a week at a Bible conference.” —Warren Wiersbe, Bible Teacher

“Tozer lived for and preached Jesus Christ. Contemporary Christians can benefit by discovering—or rediscovering—his writings.” —Franklin Graham, President/CEO, Samaritan’s Purse

“Tozer was a man of incisive words and momentous thoughts. Their forcefulness and acuity make his writing richly rewarding to contemporary readers.” —Christian Reader

“A. W. Tozer’s books reflect a unique blend of genuine piety and downright common sense. He challenged every sort of spiritual pretension while evidencing a devotion to Christ that was every bit as sincere as compelling.” —Charles W. Colson, Author

Explore Tozer’s Words

The fifty-seven volume A. W. Tozer Collection contains books written by Tozer or compiled from his sermons and editorials posthumously. This collection is a great way to discover Tozer’s thoughts on a variety of subjects, read his powerful sermons, follow daily devotions, and look into major themes throughout his books.

Several individual titles from Tozer are also available including:

Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite Tozer book, quote, or sermon!