Has Christianity Failed You on FreeBookPreview.com

Ravi Zacharias

Zondervan and FreeBookPreview.com is offering a free opportunity to examine Ravi Zacharias’ Has Christianity Failed You. During the week of November 7–11, you can preview Has Christianity Failed You in its entirety on the free Logos Bible Software iPhone/iPad app.

Ravi Zacharias is known for tackling difficult issues with intellectual vigor and genuine sensitivity. In Has Christianity Failed You, Zacharias compassionately wrestles with many of the questions that cause believers to nurse silent doubts or walk away from the Church altogether. The odds are that if you are not struggling with your own crises of faith—you know someone who is!

Head over to FreeBookPreview.com and get instructions on how to get the free preview. Or simply download the free app and enjoy your preview.

The New Logos.com: 10 Features You Won’t Want to Miss

This week we revealed a complete redesign of Logos.com. The design includes lots of aesthetic updates and new functionality, plus lots of improvements under the hood that have laid the groundwork for future features.

Logos.com

We made thousands of updates. Here’s a quick roundup of the 10 new features we think you’ll like the most:

Faceted Browsing

1. Faceted Browsing

Faceted browsing is the feature we’re the most excited about. Instead of picking just a single product category to look at, faceted browsing lets you stack multiple categories, or facets, together. Mix and match your categories to get very precise results.

Before, you could only select one product category, like “commentaries.” But now, you can see all commentaries on Romans published by Baker and available on the iPhone.

With faceted browsing, you can:

These are just a few possible facets. There are an infinite number of combinations you can use to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

2. Improved Searching

There are now more than 12,000 books available for Logos Bible Software, and the time has come to upgrade the search engine to help you find the ones you’re looking for. We’ve added lots of functionality under the hood to make your searches faster and more accurate.

3. Updated Design and User Interface

We have made substantial changes to the look and feel of the website. These changes include updates to colors, fonts, layouts, and more. We’ve paid attention to every pixel, striving to make the minor details aesthetically pleasing and the website easier on the eyes.

Getting around the site has never been easier. You’ll find well-structured navigation and better menus. In fact, you can get just about anywhere on the site in just a couple clicks.

4. Smart Messages

With the new design, Logos.com displays more content that’s relevant to you, and less content that isn’t. For example, if you’ve never visited the Pre-Pub page before, you’ll see a message that introduces you to the program. But if you’re a seasoned Pre-Pubber, then we’ll assume you know what you’re doing. Once you choose not to see it, you won’t see it again (this will be automated soon). This is just one example of targeted content across the site—some of which you might notice, but most of which you probably won’t.

5. Recommended Collections

The new Logos.com tells you when a book you’re looking at is part of a larger collection. Big collections generally give you a better value per volume than buying books individually, so it’s usually a better idea to buy collections rather than individual books.

Many of our users regularly buy books, only to find out later they could have gotten a better deal had they gotten it as part of a collection. The new website makes these collections more prominent, so you never miss out on getting a better deal when you buy your book as part of a collection.

For example, let’s say you’re thinking of getting the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament for $59.99. The new Logos.com tells you that you could get it as part of the 14-volume Baker Hermeneutics Collection, which is on sale for $329.95. At 14 volumes, that’s $23.57 per book—a big savings instead of the $59.99 you would pay for it individually. Now you’ll always know if the book you’re looking at is a better value as part of a collection.

Logos.com

6. Never Buy a Book You Already Own

Have you ever purchased a book, only to find out that you already own it? It’s easy to lose track of what you own, especially if you have a large library. We hear from users all the time who buy a book, only to discover later that it’s already in their library.

We’ve incorporated this feedback into the redesign by graying out the Add to Cart button for any product you already own. When you hover your mouse over it, you’ll see a note telling you that you already own the book. (We’re still testing this feature, so let us know what you think.)

Please note that we are in the early stages of developing this feature. It’s not quite perfect—and we’re improving it—but we hope you find it useful.

Logos.com

7. Grid View and List View

The new design gives you more options for how you view product lists. View your products by list view or grid. And the product pages are only a click away.

Logos.com

8. New Sorting

The new design introduces several new sorting options. Now you can sort your products by bestselling, newest, oldest, savings, price, and title. On the Pre-Pub page, you can also sort by progress and by ship date.

Logos.com

9. Social Integration

Share your favorite books with your friends! Just go to your favorite book and click “Like” to share it with your friends. Spread the news about the latest book by sharing it on Twitter. Send an email to your pastor with a book recommendation. Sharing your favorite books has never been easier!

This is also a great way to get Pre-Pubs to make it into production more quickly, and it’s also a way drive down the price on Community Pricing titles by attracting more bids.

Logos.com

10. Lots More . . .

If you’ve spent only a few minutes on Logos.com, you know things are different. It looks and feels different. It’s sleek and fast.

The amazing thing is that there’s a lot more coming—a whole lot more, in fact. Even with all the changes, most of the work redesigning Logos.com actually happened under the hood. We spent much of our time building the infrastructure for all the new features and functionality we plan to add in the future. So far, you’ve only seen phase one—the phase that paves the way for a robust website that can handle all the cool features you’ve been requesting over the years.

20% Off Base Packages

We’re celebrating the new website with a 20% off sale on all Logos 4 base packages. Use coupon code REDESIGN at checkout to get the discount.

Upgrades are discounted, too! Visit the custom upgrade discount calculator to see what discounts you qualify for.

So What Do You Think?

The new Logos.com was built based on your direct feedback, and we’d love to know what you think.

What do you like? What don’t you like? What’s your favorite part? What should we do next? What haven’t we thought of yet?

Tell us what you think by leaving a note on our Facebook page. We are monitoring all the comments posted there, and all your suggestions will be logged and evaluated—and they will help us prioritize future phases of the redesign.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, head on over to Logos.com to see the new design!

You should follow us on Twitter here.

What Happened Between Augustine and Martin Luther?

Middle Ages
Today’s guest post is by Louis St. Hilaire, Content Manager on the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.Popular views of the Middle Ages are often shaped more by Monty Python caricatures than by reality. Far from being a parenthesis in the progress of human learning and achievement that can be mostly ignored, the religious, political and philosophical developments of the medieval era are crucial for understanding the subsequent history of the West and the shape of the modern world. This is particularly true for the areas of church history and theology.

From Gregory VII to St. Francis to Jan Hus, the late Middle Ages were alive with movements to purify and reform society and the Church that presaged the changes of the Reformation era and left their mark on every form of Western Christianity. Meanwhile, the formation of the scholastic synthesis—and its eventual unraveling—are critical for understanding many Reformation-era controversies.

Logos offers some great resources for delving into the Christian thought of the medieval world, including the Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles of Thomas Aquinas, the major works of Anselm of Canterbury, a collection of writings of the Venerable Bede, and a Catholic Spirituality Collection that includes writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Asissi and Thomas à Kempis.

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Seven Great Eschatological Resources

eschatology
Today’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.

“This is the end—for me the beginning of life.”

German pastor-theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke these famous last words to his fellow prisons at the Flossenbürg concentration camp where he was imprisoned as a conspirator against the Nazi regime.

For Bonhoeffer, and many of us, the end of our earthly life is the beginning of an even greater journey: eternal life with God. But for most of us, figuring out what this means exactly is a bit trickier. To further complicate matters, Christian eschatology (the systematic study of the Last Things) is often full of rabbit trails, speculation, and esoteric biblical imagery. Finally, there are so many different biblically supported positions concerning Eschatology; it’s difficult to know where to even begin.

Hopefully this list will be a nice primer on resources that might aid you in your Biblical studies of eschatology.

  • George Ladd—The Last Things: An Eschatology for Layman

    The late Fuller Theological Seminary professor is best known for articulating the “now/not yet” nature of the Kingdom of God. God’s kingdom has been fulfilled within history in Jesus Christ but awaits its consummation at the end of history. In this volume, Ladd guides us through the Biblical witness concerning the End Times.

  • Loraine Boettner—The Millennium

    In this volume, Reformed thinker Loraine Boettner examines the relative merits, weaknesses, and Biblical support for the three three major positions concerning the Second Coming of Christ and the future of God’s Kingdom: amillenialism, premillenialism, and Boettner’s preferred position: postmillennialism.

  • Thomas Oden—Systematic Theology (3 vol.)

    Life in the Spirit, the third volume of Methodist theologian Oden’s towering systematic draws from the deep cistern classical Christianity in examining the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church universal and the individual believer. Concluding with a discussion on eschatology, the Last Things are far from a theological addendum but instead includes both “the end and meaning of the whole of human history” (p. 371).

  • Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

  • Thomas Aquinas—Catena Auraea: Commentary on the Four Gospels

    Eschatology as a discipline didn’t begin yesterday. We have much to learn from the past. Summa Theologica is an outstanding source for any topic, but is especially important for providing much of the basis for Roman Catholic thought over the last 700 years. As a compilation of Patristic commentary on the Gospels, Catena Auraea is unique in that it affords you to get a sneak peak on how the Church has historically interpreted the Gospel passages concerning the End Times.

  • Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy and End Times

    As a dictionary, J. Daniel Hays, J. Scott Duvall, and C. Marvin Pate have edited a simple but thorough tool that helps you both identify the terms and issues surrounding prophecy in the Bible. As you study those often obtuse passages concerning the Last Things, this will be a resource your reach for time and time again.

  • The Future as God’s Gift: Explorations in Christian Eschatology

    Not for beginnings, but as a collection of scholarly essays concerning related topics such as the nature of time, the practice of hope, and the future of creation you’ll have food for thought on the ways eschatology might shape our Christian faith and practice in the 21st century.

It’d be a Shame to Waste All That Preparation

You spend hours each week preparing for your sermon or lessons, and you probably have more to communicate now than ever before. We’ve provided the tools you need to take your preparation to the next level, now it’s time to take your presentation to the next level too.

For nearly two decades we at Logos have digitized print books filled with biblical information. We have also developed state of the art search and retrieval technology enabling you to mine these electronic resources for those scriptural insights.

Using Logos Bible Software you can effectively exegete and study any passage in the Bible. Having thoroughly investigated the biblical text, you probably have page after page of notes, quotes, and anecdotes. If you’re a preacher, teacher, or Bible study leader you now have to organize and present that material so your listeners can understand and apply the passage.

It is great to have high-end professional-level tools like Logos Bible Software to prepare your sermon, but until now, you’ve been on your own to know how to preach it. We felt the next step was to provide you with professional-level presentation training from one of the most gifted and professional presenters we have ever met.

Toward that end, we have worked with Morris Proctor, of MPSeminars to develop “The I-Beam of Message Building” video training for our users.

As a Logos user you perhaps know Morris as the instructor at Camp Logos, the author of training manuals, and the producer of video tutorials. First and foremost, though, he is a pastor and expository preacher. Through almost 30 years of preaching and teaching God’s word, Morris has honed his communication skills. People who hear him preach are inspired by his insights into Scripture, his passionate presentation, and his down-to-earth communication style.

Because of the encouragement from others, Morris decided to organize and record his personal sermon preparation process into the I-Beam seminar. Using the analogy of a construction I-Beam, Morris shows you how to fulfill what he believes to be the two great principles of biblical preaching or teaching:

  • Be Faithful to the Text
  • Be Functional for the Times

After explaining these foundational principles, Morris then thoroughly—yet practically—walks you through six steps of preparing an expository message:

  • Interpretation
  • Incompletion
  • Impression
  • Implication
  • Intention
  • Indentation

After completing these six steps you will have a skeleton of a sermon or lesson. Morris then carefully shows you how to add flesh to the bones. He leaves no stone unturned as he teaches you, among other things, how to begin your message with an attention-getting, need-revealing introduction, powerfully state your main points, and smoothly transition from one segment of the message to the next. Wrapping it all up, he instructs you to boldly and practically end the message as you call for action from your listeners.

The I-Beam of Message Building is a video training course to watch on your TV. It works on a standard DVD player (or DVD software on your computer). It does not require Logos Bible Software. It actually picks up where Logos Bible study ends. If you teach or preach, you will immediately profit from this resource. The I-Beam program is like a video textbook on the art of preaching and teaching biblical truths.

You will learn from a master teacher as you watch these professionally produced videos and follow along in the I-Beam manual that is included with the set. Using the hyperlinked menus and the back / forward buttons, you can jump to or review any section you desire.

I-Beam picks up where Logos Bible study leaves off. It shows you how to organize your research into sermons or lessons that are both biblical in content and applicable in presentation.

If you are a preacher, teacher, or Bible study leader the I-Beam is for you. Whether you are a seasoned communicator or a beginning presenter, the I-Beam provides foundational principles and practical advice for your proclamation of God’s Word.

To watch the video demo and learn more, see The I-Beam of Message Building page.

Logos 4: Create Your Own Study Bible

mp|seminars Tips

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

With Logos Bible Software 4 you can in essence create your own study Bible. Think about this: a study Bible is simply the biblical text along with notes attached to verses. You can easily replicate this resource with you own notes. As you study the Bible along with commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, and the like, you pull from each book the best it has to offer about specific verses. Why not save all of this research in a note file for future use: thereby creating your own personalized study Bible? Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose File | Notes to create an Untitled Note File
  • Name the file something like My Notes
  • Open any Bible to any verse
  • Right click on any word within that verse
  • Select from the right menu Reference ‘your verse’
  • Select Add a note to ‘your note file’ at the bottom of the menu

Logos creates a note in the file with the name of your verse. Underneath the note name is a content box. You can type or copy and paste text into this box. So as you investigate those commentaries, dictionaries, etc. copy text from them into your note file.

Notice in the Bible a yellow box next to your verse. Rest your cursor on the box to see a preview of your note. By the way, this yellow box is placed in all of your Bibles! Click the yellow box to jump to the note file.

Replicate these steps for each verse you study. After a while, as you read through the Bible, you’ll have yellow boxes next to many verses. Your own study Bible is well underway. Also, remember the note file does not need to be open to see the yellow boxes in the Bible!

Introducing the SBL Greek New Testament

Logos Bible Software has partnered with the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) to produce a new, critically edited edition of the Greek New Testament called The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition, abbreviated as SBLGNT and also known as the SBL Greek New Testament.
The SBLGNT is edited by Michael W. Holmes, already well known for his edition and translation of the Apostolic Fathers. For the SBLGNT, he utilized a wide range of printed editions of the Greek New Testament, all the major critical apparatuses, in addition to consulting the latest technical resources and manuscript discoveries as he established the text. The result is a critically edited text that differs from the NA/UBS text in more than 540 variation units.
I’ve had the privilege of being involved since the get-go on this, and it has been a load of fun.
Before the details, here are the basics:
1. It’s Free From Logos
The SBLGNT is available via SBLGNT.com. You can freely unlock the SBLGNT and its apparatus (!) for Logos Bible Software. The Logos version is fully morphologically tagged, with Louw-Nida reference annotation. The license is generous, and is fairly similar to that of the Lexham English Bible. At present, you can get plain text or XML files for your own personal use.Note for Mac Users: There is an issue with Logos 4.0 for the Mac and the SBLGNT; this issue is known and we will make a service release of Logos 4 Mac available in the next few days to fix the problem. You can still use the resource, the problem is with navigation by book/chapter/verse.
2. Available in Print
The SBLGNT will be published in print by the SBL. Copies will be available at the Annual Meeting of the SBL in Atlanta this November and subsequently can be purchased from the SBL web site. Curious to how it will look? Check out this sample of John 1:1–4:15. PDF will be available for download in late November or early December.
3. Available on the iPhone, iPad, and Biblia.com
The SBLGNT and its apparatus are or will shortly be available on Biblia.com and also for the Logos iPhone, iPod and iPad app.

4. Revised LEB
Hall Harris has revised and updated the Lexham English Bible (LEB) New Testament to be a translation of the SBLGNT. If you are a Logos user, and you have the LEB (which is also freely available if you don’t have it yet), then the update will be available to you as well. If you use Logos 4, the update will come automatically if it hasn’t already. If you have a Logos 4 package that includes a reverse interlinear to the LEB, that will be updated (to reflect the SBLGNT) as well. We hope for this update to be released by the end of this week.
5. Free PDF
To make the textual relationship between the SBLGNT and the LEB as transparent as possible for even those who are not Logos users, we’ve produced a PDF version of the Lexham English Bible English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament. Using this material, you can see how different words/clauses/phrases of the SBLGNT were translated by the LEB, in context. This is available on the SBLGNT Download page and scroll down to find it.
Now, the details:
You can head to the SBLGNT web site for more detail. Read the Preface and the Introduction to learn more about why and how the SBLGNT was created. And it’s sure to be discussed on the Logos forums, so check there too.
And, if you’re a Logos user, there will be even more SBLGNT-related goodness coming in the next week.
The bottom line:
We’re really excited about this new edition of the Greek New Testament. We think it will be useful not only in the context of Logos Bible Software, but also for those studying, analyzing and working with the text of the Greek New Testament on a regular basis.

Get Your Bible Study Tip Published

Torrence

Today’s guest post is from Rebecca Kruyswijk, the Associate Editor of Bible Study Magazine.

If you subscribe to Bible Study Magazine, you may have come across a new section in the Nov-Dec ‘10 issue: Bible Study Tips. In this issue, we’re publishing Bible study tips from readers like you.

The vision of Bible Study Magazine is to get people into the Word. We’re not looking for a niche readership. We believe that, given the right tools and methods for Bible study, anyone can be a theologian. This has been our mission since Bible Study Magazine went to press two years ago, and it’s still our goal today. (As a side note, it is our birthday and we do accept cake donations.)

It’s not just the experts that have something valuable to say about Bible study. We’re looking for Bible study tips from anyone who is passionate about studying the Word. That’s where you come in. Contribute a Bible study tip. Join the conversation, and perhaps someone might benefit from your perspective.

How can you weigh in for future issues? It’s simple. Go to our Facebook page and “like” us—if you haven’t already. Then post your Bible study tips on our wall. Tips can be short or long, general or specific.

James Hamrick contributed this tip to the Nov-Dec ’10 issue:

“Write down every verb used for God. The God of Genesis is one who sees, learns, walks, speaks and maybe even wrestles.”

And RC Clyde added this:

“Keep it simple: 1) Get a Bible you can understand. 2) Pray to God before you start. 3) Let God show you His Word; don’t draw your own answer. 4) Find a good commentary.”

Take a moment to consider your own Bible study methods, and then share them with the rest of the Bible Study Magazine community. Join the conversation and help someone else get into the Word.

Improving Your Bible Study with Dictionaries

TorrenceToday’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.

“Don’t let commentaries rob you of the joy of discovery!”

This little bit of advice from my New Testament professor has really stuck with me, and shaped the way I study the Bible. Rather than simply reaching for one of hundreds of great commentaries out there, I now look for another way. It’s not that my professor was against commentaries and forbade us from using them. Far from it. He simply recognized that studying the Bible should be a thrilling adventure full of twists, turns, detours, and discovery. For the student of Scripture, jumping to a commentary was akin to skipping to the final chapter of a novel: you get the gist of what happened, but you miss out in the process. Instead, the commentary should be a conversation partner that helps balance your own discoveries with someone more experienced than you.

This didn’t mean you could simply open a Bible, read a passage once, and expect to understand it completely. There are occasional obscurities and difficulties that need assistance to resolve before we can reach that place of discovery. To aid us in our discovery, he recommended a whole host of tools to put in our box: lexicons, grammars, apparatuses, and my favorite of the bunch—dictionaries.

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Discovering Community on the Logos Forums

collections

Today’s guest blogger is Kevin Becker, a Logos Forum MVP.

My first foray into Logos’ forums was on the day that Logos 4 was released. I was looking to download a particular file but I couldn’t find the download link on Logos’ website. Sure enough, the helpful forum folk provided the link.

I downloaded my software and it started indexing. As I poked around, I realized that, while many things were familiar from Libronix, other things were foreign. I knew I needed help, so I returned to the forum, and I’ve been reading and posting ever since. It’s rewarding to help someone figure out how to leverage Logos to do Bible study. I love imagining people sitting around the world having “Aha!” moments, not just from figuring out how to use Logos’ power but from the discoveries they make as they study God’s word. The forum has become a ministry.

I’ve also reaped great benefits from learning many things from the collective wisdom of forum participants. I wouldn’t know how to use the syntax search with any confidence if not for other gracious forum members teaching me. Logos’ leadership and employees also participate in the forums. My confidence in my e-book investment has grown as I’ve seen them act with grace and wisdom. They really listen to user suggestions; I’ve seen numerous suggestions make their way into Logos 4.

I also love the community on the forums. There are active users from all over the world. I’ve enjoyed learning about different cultures; American, British, and Australian flavors of English are all present, plus many for whom English is a second (or third or fourth or fifth) language. It is a blessing to have a close reminder of the global scope of Christ’s bride.

The most unique cross-cultural experience I’ve had has been helping Ghebreab, an African man living in Germany who uses Logos to prepare for a Bible study. One day, he was having trouble understanding a particular thread on the forum so we started corresponding via email. We then began talking on the telephone and using remote desktop software so I could interact with his computer and show him what I was talking about, step by step. We don’t always understand each other, but I love actually getting to hear the moment when something clicks for Ghebreab, when he grasps how he can use a particular feature of Logos 4 to help him study the Bible and then bring it before his study group. And I get to be a part of it—how cool is that!?

So, in the end, it is not learning how to use Logos, catching the latest news about the company, or running up a ridiculously high post count that keeps me coming back to the forums but the sense of community there, in studying the Bible and helping others. If you don’t use the forum , please stop by and ask your questions and contribute ideas and solutions. I think you’ll find, as I have, that you’ll learn a lot more than how to use your Bible software.