True confession: I turned off the Logos home page within the Logos desktop software when it came out in Logos 4. I lazily assumed there was nothing there I wanted to see.
I was, to use a word favored by theologians and exegetes everywhere, wrong.
I now check the desktop home page pretty much every day.
Don’t repeat my error. If you are, you’re missing some good content, and free content.
For example, I really like the short videos featuring the MobileEd professors. Quite a number of them have written books or commentaries I’ve read, and when I see them on a short video being interviewed or giving me a minute or two of their MobileEd courses, I have that same feeling you get when you hear a word pronounced that you’ve only ever read. When reviewers said on the back of Doug Moo’s Romans commentary, “Moo towers over the field,” I didn’t realize they were talking about him, not just his book. Thanks to MobileEd’s short videos, now I know.
There are other things the home page can do for you: like me, you may enjoy the occasional reminder of what’s in your library. I don’t need that help with my physical books. I see their spines every day. But my Logos library is big—and invisible—enough that I find I sometimes need to be reminded what I have. I follow Baylor literature professor Alan Jacobs in believing in a Christian vision of whim and serendipity when it comes to reading.
Case in point: The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise. I knew the tragic story of this couple, a story that has become a small part of the heritage of every person in the West. But I had never read the two lovers’ actual words. So one day when Logos randomly brought this volume to my attention, whim and opportunity came together and I launched in. I ended up staying up way past my bedtime; it’s stunning stuff. So intense and personal and erudite and galling and enriching and—and I never would have remembered I had it without a reminder from the Logos desktop home page.
Will these love letters help me be a better student of Scripture or a better communicator of it to others? Will they bring me closer to God and neighbor? Actually, yes. I have been thinking off and on for weeks about Heloise’s justification of her actions, and of Abelard’s cool responses. It’s in the course of human events that the Bible displays its value and takes on its richest meaning.
There are good rabbit trails and bad ones. The Internet can lead you down a lot of good rabbit trails and a trillion bad ones. The Logos desktop home page can lead you down a much more manageable, somewhat less overwhelming, ten thousand (let’s say). But that ten thousand is much more likely to be good, because they begin within a library you selected, from a company (namely Faithlife) which has the same goal you do: to grow in the light of the Bible. Rabbit trails that start on the Logos home page are more likely to bring you to useful Bible study information than rabbit trails that begin with clickbait headlines in the middle of your Facebook feed.
And there’s more. You can:
- Add your prayer list to the home page
- Find your reading plans, biblical or otherwise
- Access your favorite devotionals
- See Faithlife news and blog posts
- Peruse blog posts from one of the best redheaded bloggers at Faithlife
- View pictures from across your library
- Choose your preferred Bible
Spend some time right now customizing your Logos desktop home page. Just click the little settings icon and check off the things you’d like to see when you open up the program:
The Logos home page is included in every Logos base package since Logos 4. If you have no home page, you need to talk to one of the Logos Pros about what you’re missing. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark L. Ward, Jr. received his PhD from Bob Jones University in 2012; he now serves the church as a Logos Pro. He is the author of multiple high school Bible textbooks, including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption.
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