10 Practical Tips for Family Devotions This Christmas

christmas-family-worshipIf I thought I was a pretty scintillating Bible teacher, the kind that makes people sit on the edge of their seats, the kind that is also able to put the cookies on the lower shelf and interest even kids, that thought was shattered when my own kids got old enough for family devotions (age 2). You have never seen such bored kids, kids achieving new and powerful levels of bored. I confess that this caused no small level of frustration for me. Nothing tests my sanctification more than trying to promote theirs.

But what good is all the stuff I learn about the Bible in my extensive Logos Bible Software library if I can’t teach any of it to the three little people in the world whom I love most? And at Christmas, I feel extra pressure: candy canes, presents, and Rudolph are fun, but how do I stoke wonder and even excitement about what we’re actually celebrating, one of the most precious Christian truths, the incarnation?

After some trial and error, and error, and error, and error, and a few times basically giving up, I’ve been having “Bible time” with the kids with reasonable consistency for a good while now. Here’s all I know.

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How to Create a Lectionary Calendar Using Favorites in Logos

lectionary

At a recent Camp Logos I was explaining how to use Favorites as an electronic filing cabinet and preaching calendar. A pastor from a liturgical tradition excitedly responded, I get it! I can use Favorites as my lectionary calendar to save things as I do advance preparation.

He is 100% correct. Since then I’ve received several emails asking how to set up a lectionary calendar in Favorites so I’ll share those steps with you today.

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Why Do So Many Christians Disagree over the Bible?

bible difficulties
Does widespread human disagreement over Bible interpretation reveal some flaw or weakness in God or his word—or some flaw or weakness in us? Or neither, or both?

This is the third of three articles on the clarity of Scripture. I’ve clarified the doctrine to show what it’s actually claiming, I’ve shown some of the benefits of interpretive difficulties in the Bible, and now I want to go a bit beyond what Protestants have historically agreed on and give a pastoral response to the sometimes very emotional question: why do so many Christians disagree over the Bible?

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How to Easily Convert Biblical Measurements to Modern Equivalents

biblical measurements conversion

Biblical authors often referred to weights, measurements, and distances that certainly were understandable in their context, but are foreign today. For example in Luke 2, 12-year-old Jesus is separated from his parents and verse 46 states after three days Joseph and Mary find him in the temple. Why did it take so long to locate Him? Verse 44 contains a clue. After departing from the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem they travelled a “day’s journey” before they noticed their son wasn’t with them.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t refer to a “day’s journey” in my normal vocabulary. So how far did they travel? Fortunately for us there’s a simple Interactive in Logos 7 which quickly converts biblical measurements to modern equivalents.

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5 Reasons You Should Get This Month’s Free Book Today!

Five 5 letter vector. Five logo icon template. Five symbol silho

As you may have heard, we partnered with Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries International to offer the immensely popular Precept Upon Precept® : Philippians absolutely free during the month of November!

Here are 5 reasons you should take advantage of this unprecedented offer right now.

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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 Find Everywhere the New Testament Uses the Old Testament

new testament use of old testament

Years ago as a young Christian I was involved in a discipleship class. I remember very well studying Satan tempting Jesus in Matthew 4. My mentor emphasized how Jesus quoted Deuteronomy to counter the enticements of the enemy. He explained this wasn’t the only time Jesus quoted Scripture, but rather he often used the Old Testament in his life and ministry. My teacher concluded by encouraging the other students and me to do likewise.

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

bible

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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How to Find Every Time Peter Addresses Jesus

logos tutorial

Throughout the Bible there are conversations or dialog that the Logos team calls Reported Speech. In a previous version of the software, the Speakers in the speech were identified, and now in Logos 7 the Addressees have been tagged, too!

Perhaps we think, and rightly so, that we don’t need assistance identifying senders and receivers in a conversation. A simple reading of the biblical passage usually reveals that information.

The real value of labeling Speakers and Addressees, however, lies in searching! For example, traditionally we say Peter speaks up to Jesus when others tend to remain silent. In Logos 7 we can test that claim by easily and quickly find where Peter speaks to Jesus.

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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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