Pop Culture, Church History, and St. Patrick

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While St. Patrick’s Day is rooted in religion, today’s pop culture has surrounded the holiday with drinking, luck, and Irish patriotism. This attempted marriage of religion and culture shows up most clearly in the contradictory definitions of St. Patrick’s Day’s most popular symbol: the shamrock.

On one extreme, the four-leaf clover has been commercialized to simply represent good luck. On the other extreme, however, many scholars argue that St. Patrick himself deemed the four-leaf clover a religious symbol, with the three leaves representing the Holy Trinity (one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Spirit) and the final leaf representing God’s grace. Between these two extremes lies a murky middle ground, where some argue that each leaf stands for a separate idea: one leaf for hope, one for faith, one for love, and the fourth for luck.

With this strange union of pop culture and religious history, the impact of St. Patrick on church history is often neglected—even on the day that was established because of the saint and his work.

So Logos is offering up to 40% off resources to help you delve deeper into church history and the work of St. Patrick. These resources will examine questions such as: Is St. Patrick responsible for single-handedly converting Ireland to Christianity? Was he the only true apostle of an embattled, crumbling empire? In short, these resources will help you learn why St. Patrick’s Day exists at all.

The Logos St. Patrick’s Day Sale will run from March 15 through March 17 only.

Save today on church history works:

St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland (2 vols.)

Regularly: $34.95

With coupon code STPAT1, it’s only $19.95

St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland presents two volumes on the life and works of St. Patrick: The Confession of St. Patrick and The Life and Writings of St. Patrick. These valuable volumes will especially interest students, professors, and those wanting to know more about St. Patrick and the history of Christianity in Ireland.

Christianity in the British Isles Collection (6 vols.)

Regularly: $119.95

Get it for only $79.95 with coupon code STPAT2

The Christianity in the British Isles Collection offers a comprehensive look at Christianity’s relationship with Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and England. The six volumes cover a variety of fascinating topics, including the history of Anglicanism, the little-known Free Church of England, the parallel Reformation experiences of the British Isles, and the outlook for the Church of England in a modern United Kingdom of many faiths.

The Reformation in Britain and Ireland: An Introduction

Regularly: $39.95

Just $29.95 with coupon code STPAT3

The Reformation in Britain and Ireland is a new and wide-ranging introduction to the Reformation throughout the British Isles. Full treatment is given to the fascinating and often very different but interrelated experiences in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

Christian History & Biography Magazine (issues 1–99)

Regularly: $149.95

Yours for only $109.95 with coupon code STPAT4

Since 1982, this quarterly magazine has examined the events and personalities that laid the foundations of modern Christianity, covering subjects ranging from Martin Luther to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from the Crusades to modern Christian-Muslim relations. In this massive collection of every issue of Christian History & Biography since 1982, nearly 2,000 articles by hundreds of authors cover every aspect of church history from the early church to the present day.

Lion Histories Series (10 vols.)

Regularly: $89.99

Get it now for $79.95 with coupon code STPAT5

Lion Histories is a major new series aimed at those seeking accessible introductions to key periods, people and themes in Christian history. These histories are excellent resources for pastors, students, Bible-study leaders and Sunday school teachers to gain an understanding of these important events and people in Christian history. This series covers the world of Jesus and Paul, and shows how Christianity expanded throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, rev. ed.

Regularly: $150

Now $109.95 with coupon code STPAT6

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, since its first appearance in 1957, has established itself as the indispensable one-volume reference work on the church’s every aspect. This revised edition, published in 2005, builds on the unrivalled reputation of the previous editions. Revised and updated, it reflects changes in academic opinion and church organization.

Exploring Church History

Regularly: $11.99

Use coupon code STPAT7, and get it for only $7.95

James Eckman walks you through the church’s past from Pentecost to the present. This basic, chronological, introduction emphasizes the development of the church and how it came to a consensus on what the Scriptures taught. Through it all, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and richness of your faith and its splendid heritage.

Additionally, St. Patrick: The Man and His Work is now available on Pre-Pub and Classic Studies on St. Patrick is now available on Community Pricing.

Save on Hundreds of Titles—Round 3 Begins

March MadnessLogos March Madness began with 64 authors, and we’re now down to just 16. Voting for Round 3 is now open—vote now!

Over 400 titles are now on sale! Here’s a quick breakdown:

Round 1 features works from 32 authors at a 30% discount. Featured authors include:

  • R. T. Kendall
  • J. C. Ryle
  • June Hunt
  • C. K. Barrett

Get Round 1 deals!

Round 2 features works from 16 authors at a 35% discount. Featured authors include:

  • Warren Wiersbe
  • Craig Blomberg
  • J. B. Lightfoot
  • Dwight Lyman Moody

Get Round 2 deals!

By voting for your favorite author, you’re moving their works closer to a 75% discount!

Ways to help your favorite author win:

Each author from this round is guaranteed a 40% discount on a selection of their works—but if they advance, that discount increases to 45%. Vote now!

Know the Arguments for Skepticism and Common Sense

The rationalists relied on reason, not sensory experience, to explain the world. In turn, the empiricists—John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume—argued that knowledge comes from experience, not pure reason. Taken as far as logic allows, that entails some astonishing claims about reality.

Primary and secondary qualities

For Locke, primary qualities exist in the world, and secondary qualities in the perceiver. Solidity, extension, shape, motion, number—these exist whether they’re perceived or not. But attributes like color, sound, and scent exist only when perceived; there can be no image without an eye. (He didn’t reject reason altogether; rather, he thought that knowledge comes from the application of reason to sensory data.)

Berkeley, moved by Locke’s arguments regarding the uncertainty of secondary qualities, went further: he rejected Locke’s primary qualities, too. Berkeley thought that the distinction between qualities invites all sorts of skepticism. If we know only our own ideas, how can we trust them without ever comparing them to unmediated reality?

Perceptions, not material objects

The solution is simple: deny the existence of matter. If an apple is not only our collection of perceptions but also a material object, we may doubt that object, and such doubt is abhorrent to common sense. But if we define the apple as nothing more than our perceptions, it is beyond doubt.

The world doesn’t exist on its own, Berkeley argued—only perceptions do. Being is nothing more than being perceived.

Do objects come in and out of existence as we perceive them? Not quite. God always sees all things; thanks only to his perception, objects persist.

Hume’s doubt of the self

Hume, the most rigorous of the empiricists, developed Berkeley’s claims against the world to their logical end. People, he argued, “are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement.” Since there is no perception of self, there is no self.

This has some incredible consequences:

  • It invalidates Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am,” which now merely assumes the “I” it would prove.
  • It erases the distinction between self and world, which had so long dominated Western thought.
  • It precludes the soul.

But that’s ridiculous!

Hume took empiricism so far that, for most people, it became unbelievable. In turn, Thomas Reid argued that belief in the world is the basis for meaningful philosophy—that if you don’t believe in the world as perceived, philosophy is useless. The difference between object and sensation, he argued, is obvious to common sense. In response to Hume’s doubt of the self, Reid noted that, in order to talk about philosophy, you must believe that you’re talking with another person. If you don’t, you’re insane, and not worth engaging in conversation. Refreshing, no?

On Reid’s common-sense foundation, Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff developed the modern notion of Reformed epistemology, which defines belief in God as “properly basic”—belief that need not be proven from other truths. Despite the lack of irrefutable arguments for other minds, we believe in them; believing in God is just as reasonable.

Understand skepticism and common sense

Together, the Classics in Empiricist Philosophy Collection and The Works of Thomas Reid give you Locke’s, Berkeley’s, Hume’s, and Reid’s essential arguments, all searchable and cross-referenced. You’ll know the evidence for and against empiricism and common-sense philosophy, and you’ll understand Reformed epistemology’s foundations. Both collections are on Community Pricing for around 80% off; with more bids, the price could go even lower.

Know the arguments for skepticism and common sense—place your bids today:

Then sign up to get news and updates about more classic works of history, literature, and philosophy:





 
Keep reading—now that you know the empiricists, who were the rationalists?

4 Outstanding Reformed Systematic Theologies

Of the similarities between natural science and systematic theology, Charles Hodge writes: “If the object of the one be to arrange and systematize the facts of the external world, and to ascertain the laws by which they are determined; the object of the other is to systematize the facts of the Bible, and ascertain the principles or general truths which those facts involve.” Similarly, Michael Horton, in his The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, writes that systematic theology “is like the box top of a jigsaw puzzle, and every believer is a theologian in the sense of putting the pieces together. If we fail to recognize there is a box top (i.e., a unified whole) to Scripture, we will have only a pile of pieces.”

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

For nearly 500 years, Calvin’s Institutes has been a bastion of Reformed systematic theology. Calvin wrote the first edition in Latin in the mid–sixteenth century, with a French edition published shortly thereafter; several English translations have appeared through the nineteenth century from both the Latin and the French editions. The Institutes is comprehensive and surprisingly pastoral, originally meant as an introduction to Christian faith and doctrine. Calvin’s magnum opus is still used in seminaries around the world today, and several translations are available in Logos, including the definitive English translation by John McNeill, available for pre-order.

Francis Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology

Francis Turretin pastored a church in Geneva, and was known as a strong defender of orthodox Calvinism. His seminal work is often called one of the most undervalued systematic theologies in Reformed history. Institutes of Elenctic Theology has been praised by the likes of Richard Gaffin, John Frame, James Boice, Wayne Grudem, and Norman Geisler. These volumes were required reading at old Princeton, and were dutifully studied by such giants in systematics as Charles Hodge, B. B. Warfield, and Louis Berkhof. R. Scott Clark writes, “One of the greatest of the seventeenth-century Reformed dogmatic works, it has retained its influence through its use at old Princeton. These three volumes put in your hands an excellent representative of high Reformed orthodoxy and polemical theology.” See it on Pre-Pub.

Benedict Pictet’s Christian Theology

Pictet, like Turretin and Calvin before him, also hailed from Geneva. His Christian Theology is a well-organized and convincing presentation of theology. Anyone familiar with, for instance, Warfield’s views on plenary inspiration will recognize the same strain of thought in Pictet’s writings, and will find excellent hermeneutics and exegesis employed in Pictet’s use of Scripture, out of which all his theology flows. This excellent volume is now available for pre-order.

Geerhardus Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics

A couple hundred years later, Geerhardus Vos wrote this remarkable systematic theology. Vos wrote in Dutch, but the English translation (with Dr. Richard Gaffin leading the translation team) is available for pre-order. Like Turretin’s Institutes, Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics is written in a succinct Q&A format, which makes it an immensely helpful reference tool and research aid. Here’s an excerpt, demonstrating Vos’ brevity and clarity:

“What is the relation between God’s decree, His free knowledge, and the free actions of men?
God’s decree grounds the certainty of His free knowledge and likewise the occurring of free actions. Not foreknowledge as such but the decree on which it rests makes free actions certain.”

Want More Systematics?

Check out the volumes mentioned above, plus more, on Community Pricing and Pre-Pub. Help us get these important systematic theologies into Logos!

Leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite systematic theology!

What’s the Purpose of the Gospel?

Pastorum 2013 is quickly approaching, and we’re excited to have speakers such as Michael Goheen, Ed Stetzer, Mark Futato, and others.

At Pastorum 2012, some of the top internationally recognized scholars gathered to dig deeper into God’s Word. Here’s Pastorum 2012 speaker Scot McKnight on the purpose of the Gospel and evangelism:

 

Join Mark Glanville and Lynn Cohick at Pastorum 2013 and unpack the purpose of the Gospel.

“The biblical story is the story of God’s recovering his purposes for creation through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, and calling people to live as signs to Christ’s restorative reign. How to think of this, how to preach this, how to lead for this, how to gossip this in our churches . . . . these are the questions of Pastorum.”

—Mark Glanville

“I would like to encourage pastors and leaders in reading Scripture well. At Pastorum we will focus on the reality of Jesus as a first-century individual and Jew. We will make connections between our twenty-first century world and the biblical world. We will learn the importance of hermeneutics in our study practices.”

Lynn Cohick

Register now—we’ll see you at Pastorum!

Easily Manage Your Devices and Downloads

iPhoneWith Logos 5, you can access most of your library on multiple devices. Now, it’s easier than ever to manage your devices and downloads.

Managing Your Devices

When you download any free app from Logos (Logos Bible Software, Faithlife Study Bible, or Vyrso) on your iOS or Android device, and sign in with your Logos.com account, your device will instantly be logged on your account page. Under the heading “Mobile Devices,” you’ll see all your devices and downloaded apps.

Device MgmtAbove, you can see the apps I have on my Sony tablet and Motorola phone. Let’s say I have one tablet for home and one for work, and I get them confused. When I hover over either of the devices, I’m given the option to edit their names to make it easier to remember which is which.

Device MGMTII

If I were to lose, break, or sell either of these items, I could simply hover over the device and choose to “Remove.”

Managing Your Downloads

I like to keep a couple books downloaded to read when I’m lounging around or have some time to kill. Managing those downloads is a cinch. Here are three ways you can manage your downloads:

1. Download books directly from the device

Click the information icon (i) to the right of any book in your library and you’ll get a pop-up with a button to download the resource to your device (iOS or Android).

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Click to enlarge

2. Download books from your order page

When you purchase a single volume, you’ll be taken to the order summary page. If you have devices on file and want to download your new book, you can do so here.

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Even if it’s a book you purchased a while ago, you can go to your order page, scroll down to the order history, click the order number, and choose where to download it.

3. Download books from Logos 5

My favorite way to manage my downloads is directly in Logos 5. Click on the Library icon, right-click on the bar to choose the information displayed, and check “Devices.” Once you choose for your library to display devices, you can see the books already downloaded.

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Click to enlarge

If there’s a particular item in your Logos 5 library you want to download, open the book, and then click the information icon.

Information

Now you can choose the device and app(s) where you want to download your book.

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We’re serious about Bible study. Not only do we want to give you the best tools available, we want to make managing those tools as easy as possible.

Do you have any suggestions that we could implement to make our tools easier to use? Leave us a comment; we’d love to hear them!

See It All: from Genesis to Our Time

Logos’ Timeline maps out every major event and time period in biblical and church history—from Adam to our time. You’ll see how all of the Bible’s people, places, and things interconnect with events that span millennia.

Both events in your preferred Bible and dates in select Logos resources link to the Timeline, so you can get the big picture fast.

Learn more about Logos’ Timeline, and be sure to check out all of Logos 5’s new features.

Discover connections you never knew existed—get Logos 5 today.

3 Reasons to Participate in Faithlife’s Resurrection Reading Plan

fsbeaster300x300Over at the Faithlife blog, we’re preparing for Easter with a reading plan focused on the Resurrection. Designed to help Bible studies, worship teams, families, and individuals explore the power of the Resurrection, it leads groups through 14 biblical passages on the Resurrection.

Here’s why you should participate:

  1. You’ll study the Resurrection with your friends and family. Faithlife allows you to share comments and questions within your group. With the Faithlife Study Bible app, each group member can view the same Logos-powered study notes with their preferred Bible translation. And with the Faithlife Prayer Widget, your group can share both prayer requests and how their prayers were answered.
  2. It’s free and easy to join. With the free Faithlife Study Bible app, the reading plan fits in your pocket or purse. You can catch up on the readings or join in discussion whenever and wherever you want.
  3. You’ll dig deeper and save time. The Resurrection reading plan is powered by the world’s leading Bible software, Logos 5, and each day’s reading is already planned out for you. And because Faithlife and Logos 5 connect seamlessly, your group can explore the Resurrection with the Faithlife Study Bible notes and of Logos 5′s tools and features.

Ready to join? Click here for instructions on how to join Faithlife and a reading group.

Logos 5: Active Layout

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

For years, I’ve had the privilege of training people around the world how to get the most out of Logos Bible Software. At almost every seminar, I’m asked this question:

Is there an easy way to see which layout is currently open on the Logos desktop?

I’ve always had to answer no—until now. The recently released Logos 5.0b contains a feature known as Active Layout. Among other things, the Active Layout places layout names to the right of Logos Bible Software on the application title bar.

Try this:

  • Arrange your Logos desktop any way you like
  • Choose the Layouts menu
  • Click Save as named layout on the NOW snapshot (this is also a new 5.0b feature) (A)

  • Type a name in the text box
  • Press the Enter key to save the name
  • Close the Layouts menu
  • Close all panels on the desktop
  • Choose the Layouts menu
  • Click the name of your recently saved layout to load it (B)

  • Notice the name of your layout to the right of Logos Bible Software on the application title bar! (C)

 

If you like this Logos 5 feature, make sure to check out the What’s New in Logos 5 training DVD now on Pre-Pub.

 

Get Updates on Products in the Anglican Tradition

Book of Common PrayerLogos is adding resources that focus specifically on the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition. To that end, Logos has made me the Anglican product manager and tasked me with identifying important works from the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition that we can add to our existing Anglican products. As someone who just completed a thesis on early nineteenth-century Anglicanism (particularly the Oxford or Tractarian Movement), I am aware of many products we can add and very enthusiastic about the pairing of Anglican products with Logos’ powerful platform.

Often considered the Via Media (middle way), Anglicanism has historically drawn on resources from a wide variety of Christian traditions in addition to its own. Consequently, Anglicans will benefit from having their own specific resources integrated into Logos’ extensive product line (some 32,000 titles from all Christian traditions).

The Anglican tradition has significantly influenced other Christian traditions. The King James Version of the Bible was produced at the command of King James I for use in Anglican worship. Anglican bishop Thomas Ken wrote the familiar Doxology “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” The poets John Donne and George Herbert were both writing from the Anglican tradition. More recently, the influential writings of C. S. Lewis, the biblical scholarship of N. T. Wright, the theology of J. I. Packer and John Stott, and the evangelistic/educational Alpha Course have all come out of Anglicanism. So, whether you are Anglican or not, this new product is good news. You’ll have access to the wealth of Anglican resources alongside the abundance of resources from other Christian traditions.

Under the mercy,
Benjamin Amundgaard

Get updates on all our Anglican products by joining our email list!