That's right, nerds. Get your fix right here. The Hobbit theme, metal version. You can't do anything but love it! You're welcome.
People who know me know that I am a pencil and paper guy. I like to take notes in a Moleskine, and prefer reading from actual books I can open and close. I don't own a Kindle or an iPad (for now). It's not that one way is better than another, I just work better with pencil and paper. But even I understand the great benefit of a strong Bible software program to help in study and research. A few years ago I stepped into Logos Bible Software (3.0) and was greatly helped by the resources and the speed at which I could work. Well, Logos 5 has dropped and it is blowing me away, making me more of a user than I had been previously.
If you're unfamiliar, Logos Bible Software 5 is a high-end desktop app that helps people study the Bible in highly customizable ways. Logos digs deep into the Bible and hundreds of books with fast, precise searches, rich original language tools, and a smart theological library. It runs on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android.
I use Logos as a part of my sermon prep. After reading the passage and sketching out my thoughts in my Moleskine, I fire up Logos and enter the passage into the engine. Here's what I'm working on this week.
From commentaries, to original language tools, to Systematic Theology, and history, I have searchable helps that are immediately accessible. I'm still learning the ropes with 5.0, but find it to be easy to use. I am now directing more of my "book budget" toward adding resources for use in Logos.
For those looking for Bible software, I highly recommend Logos 5. If you are a current Logos user and are wondering about upgrading, please see this note in the Logos forums that answers some questions that came up with the release of 5.0.
Hey there. Thanks for reading my blog. Seriously. I write because I know it's good for me and I hope it's good for others. It's certainly encouraging to know that people are reading and passing on these posts to others. So, thanks! If you're here you are likely reading other blogs, and I hope you are able to dial in on the good stuff: blogs that challenge, encourage, inspire, provide good resources, and are fun. But as a blogger, who reads a few blogs himself, let me remind you (only if needed of course) that reading blogs is not enough. Their shorter form and electronic delivery makes them easy to read. But the short form also prevents blog posts from being truly thorough treatments on any subject. For example, there are 126 other reasons I should give to explain why reading blogs is not enough, but this is a blog after all, and I don't have time for that kind of stuff.
The nature of blog posts and the culture of the internet makes to skim without giving much thought. Many of us tend to rush through blog posts rather than give them the serious consideration which could yield better fruit. It's just so easy to "read" online while rapidly clicking from one thing to the next, moving between multiple open tabs on our browsers, all while the latest episode of Parks and Recreation plays in the corner of the screen.
I encourage people to read blogs, selectively, considering them to be supplemental to our reading diet. Blogs are good, but books are better and more important. Good books are better than good blogs because they generally offer a more serious, sustained, carefully edited and reviewed work focused on a given subject. A book will lead you to slow down, properly ingesting and digesting the words and ideas. Books are, I believe, better teachers. Blogs teach as well. I love blogs! But I hope you are reading more than the stuff in your feed reader.
My general encouragement to people not reading books is to attempt one book a month. This gives you a deadline, helps to create an approximate number of pages to be read per day, and will prove invaluable by the end of the year. And don't sweat it. If it takes you two months to finish--great! It's not a race.
It's the end of September, so let's say you were going to start reading more books in October. If you don't know where to begin, ask you pastor for some guidance on what to read. Talk to your friends who read. Browse WTSBooks and see if anything piques your interest. Family, Christian living, theology, biblical studies--they have it all. Or, if you want my suggestions, here are three.
Concise Theology by J.I. Packer. This is an amazing little book summarizing Christian doctrine in a way accessible to everyone. If you aren't ready to drop into a full Systematic Theology, this is a great place to start.
All Things for Good by Thomas Watson. A little "Puritan Paperback" that will guide the reader through God's sovereign purposes in our best and worst days. I've seen God use this book to lead the suffering to faith in Jesus.
Christless Christianity by Michael Horton. The first in Horton's trilogy, this book will help the reader see the most common and dangerous problem in American churches today (a genuine absence of the gospel). But this isn't just a critique, it is a call to gospel faithfulness. I love this book.