Standing Without iPology

Tim Challies is on board with Apple now, and he “iPologizes” for his rejection of Macs in the past.

No apologies here. I haven’t been arrogant about Macs, just truthful.

On the other hand, I must admit that I am tiring somewhat of having to run my most important program, BibleWorks, in a separate operating system. Will someone please write a version of BibleWorks for OS X and send it to me? I’ll pay.


Logos Deal for BJU Students Ends Thursday, February 5

The twice- or thrice-yearly BJU Logos Bible Software sale is on, but only for another week and a half.

I use and appreciate Logos Bible software. I recommend it as a close-to-essential (that is, close to BibleWorks) tool for seminary and ministry.

A McLuhanesque Caveat

As time passes, however, my concerns do grow about the message contained in the medium of electronic books. You don’t want to write a dissertation, for example, by reading all of your sources piecemeal the way electronic books subtly make it easy to do.

But your sermons and school papers would probably benefit from a heavier seasoning, even in small doses, of good books. And Logos will help you do that in this busy world.

This is what I encourage people to do: sit down with the whole list of Logos books, look up on Amazon (via Ubiquity) the actual value of the books you will actually use. (Do not include the books which are available free elsewhere or are not worth much.) Add up that value. If it’s greater than the cost of the package, get the package if you have the money. For me, that meant I bought the Gold package a few years ago. I haven’t regretted it.

Another note: some sharp people disagree with me on this, but I don’t think you’ll read Pilgrim’s Progress or any other lengthy book on your computer screen (though I’m hoping to change my mind by getting my Logos books on a Kindle). So focus on reference works, books made for quickly looking up relatively brief passages of information. Commentaries, dictionaries, even journal articles fit here.

One last tip: get with someone who knows books and the classes which are likely in your future and show him the list you’ve created of 1) books you’ll actually use 2) with their Amazon prices included. Get him to tell you where you’re wrong: books you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) use, and books you missed.

Ok, Now the Sale Info

It’s 30% off for students, 50% off for professors, and 25% off for staff/alumni.

All the major packages are available, plus a few other resources, some of which I requested for you:

  • Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible: 129.95
  • Word Biblical Commentary: 599.95
  • Anchor Bible Dictionary: 159.95
  • Theological Journal Library, vols. 1-10: 339.95

Compare libraries here.

For more information or to make a purchase, click here or call (800) 878-4191 6:00AM – 6:00PM Pacific Time.

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Google Books, However!

Google Books has become my constant companion during my dissertation research. You can see it up on my extra monitor below (I’ve been studying this past week at a basement hideout in a secret, no cellphones location far from South Carolina!).

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I’m reading again through a very helpful book, Faithful Feelings by Matthew Elliott (it was his dissertation at Aberdeen), and I frequently check Google Books to see if I can read more of the pages he cites. For example, he cites Davies and Allison’s ICC volume on Matthew on the page open before me. So I looked it up. Sure enough, I found the citation and a few more tidbits besides. I happen to be studying “love” more or less at the moment, so a quick search of the whole volume showed me where I might get some of those tidbits.

Google Books has enriched my footnotes—and, more importantly, my knowledge—immeasurably by making available to me immediately (so I don’t lose my train of thought) books that, at best, could reach me in a few days otherwise. As that last sentence may reveal, my train of thought likes to jump to parallel tracks and then back, so this is a great boon!

I couldn’t help noticing something funny, however, in the “key words and phrases” Google automatically generated for the following book. Seems like the guy must qualify himself a lot!

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The Sins of the Bloggers

I publish these comments from the latest Themelios with some trepidation: I don’t want to be guilty of these sins. But I publish these comments with some hope: I don’t want to be guilty of these sins!

D. A. Carson:

Because the Internet is spectacularly accessible, almost anyone can voice an opinion or make a claim. In this sense, it is the most “democratic” of the media. Occasionally this means that voices otherwise silenced, voices that should be heard, are indeed heard. Much more commonly, voices multiply that are ill-informed, opinionated, often pretentious and arrogant. A higher percentage of these voices were weeded out when the distribution was via print, radio, or television; by democratizing the delivery system, every voice can be published, and it becomes culturally unacceptable even to suggest that some voices are not worth publishing. This does nothing to enhance either discernment or self-discipline. As Michael Kinsley likes to ask, “How many blogs does the world need?”

Carl Trueman:

The title ‘scholar’ is not one that you should ever apply to yourself, and its current profusion among the chatterati on the blogs is a sign of precisely the kind of arrogance and hubris against which we all need to guard ourselves. Call me old-fashioned, but to me the word ‘scholar’ has an honorific ring. It is something that others give to you when, and only when, you have made a consistent and outstanding contribution to a particular scholarly field (and, no, completion of a Ph.D. does not count). To be blunt, the ability to set up your own blog site and having nothing better to do with your time than warble on incessantly about how clever you are and how idiotic are all those with whom you disagree—well, that does not actually make you eligible to be called a scholar. On the contrary, it rather qualifies you to be a self-important nincompoop, and the self-referential use of the title by so many of that ilk is at best absurd, at worst obnoxious.

N.B.: Don’t miss the latest Themelios. Trueman is always worth your time, as is Carson. And check out Keller (who in turn relies helpfully on Jonathan Edwards).