Logos 4 is out

Libronix has come out with Logos 4. Here is a video introduction of the new product. It looks really great, but I will wait till they get the Mac kinks worked out before I make the leap. Can’t wait to keep everything in Logos synced on my iPhone.

I am still using the old Logos on my Windows XP virtual machine and quite happy with it. Logos 4 looks like a good reason to make the upgrade to the Mac version when it is ready.

why philippians?

Matt Chandler gives the top ten reasons he selected to teach through the book of Philippians for a small group video Bible study. I especially liked reasons 1, 2 and 9 below, but go check out the whole list.

  • How the church began. Acts 16: Lydia is a wealthy Asian (Thyatira); the slave girl is an oppressed Greek, and the jailer was a middle class Roman. All were transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the diversity of that cast.
  • The book teaches that the gospel advances regardless of circumstance (Phil. 1:12-18). In an age where it is not uncommon to hear that you can put God into your debt by behaving, I thought this was extremely important.
  • ……

    It gave me a chance to remind everyone that Philippians 4:13 isn’t about playing sports, making the team, or being successful in business.

    biblical illiteracy

    Randy Alcorn is concerned about the level of Biblical illiteracy in the church today, even among its leaders. It is a very real concern.

    Biblical illiteracy among Christians is arguably at an all time high, with chilling implications that can hardly be overstated. I know that various things in the church will inevitably change, such as songs and hymns taking on new forms, and that’s fine. What isn’t fine is for God’s people to neglect His Word.

    ….

    Most importantly, the Bible itself is a book, sixty six books in one. If our young people are not readers, then they will not be readers of God’s Word. If they aren’t readers of God’s Word, their spiritual lives will dead end. The church’s future leaders will not know what God has said, and when that happens how can the church function as the body of Christ when it is disconnected from the mind of Christ?

    We’re already seeing the first wave of biblical illiteracy among many current church leaders. When Scripture says an elder must be “able to teach” this implies much more than communicative skill. It requires an active working knowledge of God’s Word. In my opinion, no one should be a church leader—whether an elder or overseer or pastor who anyone who gives direction to the church—unless he is a daily student of God’s Word and knows it far better than he knows the contestants on Survivor and American Idol. And he should be far more passionate about Scripture than about television programs, movies, golf, football, NASCAR, politics, blogging, or other interests.

    ……

    …if pressed to name the twelve tribes of Israel (in many cases, even the apostles), they wouldn’t get more than a couple. Ask “give two passages that indicate Christ is the only way to God,” and you won’t have to wonder why people are not sharing their faith in Christ. They don’t know what to share. How can you share what you don’t know? How can you know if you do not know God’s Word?

    God promises His Word will not return to Him empty, without accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it. God’s Word, in the hands of His Holy Spirit, has the power to transform lives, to shape them for eternity. But our sanctification, as individuals and families and churches, can only go so far if we are not steadily gazing into God’s Word. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth.”

    while we are on the topic of preaching

    Here are John MacArthur’s ten reasons for preaching the word.

    first the intro paragraph:

    Faithfully preaching and teaching the Word must be the very heart of our ministry philosophy. Any other approach replaces the voice of God with human wisdom. Philosophy, politics, humor, psychology, homespun advice, and personal opinion can never accomplish what the Word of God does. Those things may be interesting, informative, entertaining, and sometimes even helpful—but they are not the business of the church. The preacher’s task is not to be a conduit for human wisdom; he is God’s voice to speak to the congregation. No human message comes with the stamp of divine authority—only the Word of God. How dare any preacher substitute another message?

    then the list. Go over there to read the rest of them.

    2. Because It Is the Good News of Salvation

    4. Because It Stands as the Authoritative Self-Revelation of God
    …..
    6. Because It Is the Means God Uses to Sanctify His People

    just thinking out loud here

    I noticed some similarities this weekend between John 1:13 and Romans 9:16

    Ephesians 2:9 and Romans 9:11

    reckon if maybe there is a point here that we miss most of the time? just wondering.

    Bible translations and study

    as I said before, I am kind of a nut about Bibles. The bottom line is that I think everyone should get one that they will read and then read it for all its worth.

    Having said that, at Bible study yesterday morning the importance of using a literal translation in your study became apparent. (in my next post above, I will explain why I use the ESV as my primary translation) We were looking at Colossians 1:24 as a case study for how to approach a difficult verse.

    Here it is in a literal translation, the ESV:

    “24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,”

    Paul is telling the Colossian church that Christ’s afflictions lacked something and he is filling up that lack with his own suffering. Wow. That is a presumptuous thing to say. It sounds arrogant and borderline blasphemous. Time to wrestle with the text and figure out what he is saying.

    Now look at the same verse in a paraphrase, the NLT:

    “24 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church.”

    Do you see the difference? In the NLT, the interpreters have already done the wrestling with the text for you. They decided that what Paul meant was that he was participating in Christ’s continuing sufferings through His body the church. Then that is how they wrote the verse.

    I think it is a very important part of Bible study for each individual christian to see the text in as close to the original languages as possible. The Berean Jews examined the scripture for themselves to see if what Paul said was true. They couldn’t do that if somebody else had already interpreted away portions of the text and put into the text what they thought it meant.

    If this verse is studied as it is rather than how it is interpreted to be, then a student might go to Philippians 2:27-30 and find a similar locution by Paul. They might see that what Paul believes was lacking in the service by the Philippian church and in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice is delivery of the message. Then the student could see the beautiful thing that Paul is saying. That he is willing to put his own body on the line in much physical suffering in order to make sure that the colossian church and other churches like them all over Asia minor and Greece get to hear about Christ’s sufferings. The student might then reflect on the verse in Romans 10 where Paul, quoting Isaiah, called the feet of gospel messengers, “beautiful” and think about what those feet actually looked like after walking hundreds of miles to share the gospel. Dirty, blistered, gnarled, calloused, feet with bone spurs are beautiful because they are part of the suffering that completes Christ’s incomparable affllictions on the cross.

    As part of the priesthood of the believers one of the spiritual sacrifices that we offer is sincere, disciplined, serious, regular study of the book that God breathed out for us.

    In order to perform this task most effectively, we must study the text that we have that is as close to the one God breathed out as possible. I love the Bible.

    The Bible you will actually read is the best one for you. Too many christ followers never pick up a Bible at all except to take it to church for an hour on Sunday morning (or Saturday night or whenever their group assembles in a big box with the chairs all facing same way). So first and foremost, get one that you can read and one that you will read.

    But in order to do what Paul told Timothy to do, to engage in a disciplined effort to study scripture and get to know God better, you need to find and study a literal translation rather than a paraphrase where somebody else has already made decisions about the meaning of a difficult verse.

    the importance of Bible Study

    I had a question this week about why we need to spend time studying theology. My answer was that a right view of God is necessary when a storm comes into our lives and destroys something. At that point of loss do we think that God “allowed” it or do we think that God “intended” it in His perfect sovereign will? The former view implies that God might have stopped it if we had been better people, prayed harder, had more faith etc. The latter accepts that God’s plan is perfect and that it is all encompassing and that it is righteous holy and just.

    Anyway, I say all that to say that we must study (be diligent, exercise great effort) to show ourselves approved as workmen (and women) who aren’t ashamed.

    here is some of what Said at Southern says on this topic.

    But people will be most evangelistic when they are equipped according to the model of Ephesians 4, and that equipping includes rigorous and substantive Bible study. When believers are most convinced of the authority and relevance of Scripture, we become the most effective in evangelizing.
    ……..
    The tendency of most churches is to focus most of their educational energies on children and youth. But Scripture tells us not to neglect the edification of the adult saints, either. Adults who do not regularly feed on the meat of God’s word will find that they have become stunted in their spiritual growth. It is the church’s responsibility that the Bible study it provides its members is the best possible.

    Go read all of the post for ideas on curriculum and settings to encourage adults to engage fully with the text of scripture.