A primer for Barth’s “Church Dogmatics”

At the Logos Academic Blog,  Charles Helmer offers five areas of suggestions to help ease readers’ paths into Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics. As an overarching suggestion, Helmer recommends,

Armed with the following tips and a healthy dose of Spirit-inspired courage, the theologian can do no better than to sit down with one of Barth’s volumes, crack it open, and get to the hard yet rewarding work of reading.

For Helmer’s full discussion, see his original post at theLAB.

Bates, Abraham, and allegiance in the gospel

At the Logos Academic Blog, Tavis Bohlinger has part 4 in his interview series with Matthew Bates about Bates’s recently released Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King (Baker, 2017). Bates comments, in part,

My preference for “allegiance” springs from the conviction that the proclaimed gospel centered on Jesus the royal messiah, and this suggests that the “allegiance” portion of the range of meaning of pistis is in play in some crucial New Testament texts pertaining to salvation…. It is extremely unlikely that Paul felt that pistis was something that was ultimately in tension with or contradictory to embodied activity (i.e., good works as a general category). Paul’s complaint with works (of Law) lies elsewhere, as I explain in Ch. 5.

For the balance of the interview, see the original post at theLAB. Apparently, I’d overlooked part 3 of the series, which is, of course, also available at the LAB. So, for prior discussion of the volume, see also Bates at theLAB, part 2Other discussion of Bates, “Salvation by allegiance”Bates interview at theLAB, and Bates, “Salvation by allegiance alone” and some theological forebears.

Logos 7 Basic for free

Choosing a platform for Biblical Studies software can be tricky, inasmuch as trying things out for yourself is probably the best mechanism for finding what will work for you. But, obviously, you want to do that trying out before you commit to one of the options. This process is now a bit simpler with Logos 7 Basic, which is available for free.

HT: Tyler Smith. For available trial versions of other Biblical Studies software, including Logos, see Trial versions of Biblical Studies software.

Irenaeus and Jonah resources

In addition to special offers around John Frame’s Salvation belongs to the Lord, Faithlife has some other noteworthy deals this month:

  1. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, trans. Alexander Roberts and W. H. Rambaut, is free via Verbum.
  2. Irenaeus, Demonstration of Apostolic Preaching, trans. J. Armitage Robinson, is $0.99 via Verbum as a companion deal to Irenaeus’s Against Heresies.
  3. Via mobile ed, the Logos Pro Team has made available for free “a case study on Jonah 1:1-16, [through which] you’ll learn to Observe, Interpret, and Apply the Bible, an efficient and rewarding method you can use with any passage of Scripture.”

Bowald, “Rendering the word” at theLAB

Bowald, "Rendering the word" coverFor the moment, visitors to the Logos Academic Blog site are being invited to subscribe via email. Email subscription unlocks a coupon code for a free copy of Mark Bowald’s Rendering the Word in Theological Hermeneutics: Mapping Divine and Human Agency (Lexham, 2015). According to the book’s blurb,

What is the relationship between divine and human agency in the interpretation of Scripture? Differing schools of thought often fail to address this key question, overemphasizing or ignoring one or the other. When the divine inspiration of Scripture is overemphasized, the varied roles of human authors tend to become muted in our approach the text. Conversely, when we think of the Bible almost entirely in terms of its human authorship, Scripture’s character as the word of God tends to play little role in our theological reasoning. The tendency is to choose either an academic or a spiritual approach to interpretation.

In Rendering the Word in Theological Hermeneutics, Mark Bowald asserts that this is a false dichotomy. We need not emphasize the human qualities of Scripture to the detriment of the divine, nor the other way around. We must rather approach Scripture as equally human and divine in origin and character, and we must read it with both critical rigor and openness to the leading of God’s Spirit now and in the historic life of the church.

From this perspective, Bowald also offers a fruitful analysis of the hermeneutical methods of George Lindbeck, Hans Frei, Kevin Vanhoozer, Francis Watson, Stephen Fowl, David Kelsey, Werner Jeanrond, Karl Barth, James K.A. Smith, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.

For more information about the volume, see it’s page on the Logos website. Or, see theLAB site to subscribe via email.

Frame, “Salvation belongs to the Lord” free from Logos

Frame, "Salvation belongs to the Lord" coverAt Logos Bible Software, this month’s free book is John Frame’s Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology (P&R, 2006). According to the book’s blurb,

Beginning students of theology and church leaders looking for a theological refresher or teaching tool will welcome this remarkably clear introduction to the doctrines of Scripture. In an almost conversational style, Salvation Belongs to the Lord explores all the major biblical truths, explains key terms of systematic theology, and reflects on their implications and connections under the lordship of Christ.

This month’s $1.99 companion volume is Brian Vickers’s Justification by Grace through Faith: Finding Freedom from Legalism, Lawlessness, Pride, and Despair (P&R, 2013).

HT: Tyler Smith

Biblical references in systematic theologies

At theLAB, Rick Brannan has an interesting post about the most frequently cited verses in a selection of systematic theologies. Especially by comparison with the size of the two testaments, New Testament references vastly outnumber Old Testament references (90% to 10% in the top 100 most frequently cited texts). As a supplement to the analysis, it might also be interesting to see a bibliography of the exact systematic theologies involved in the accounting would be interesting, as well as whether there would be some way of calculating whether the sample size is large enough to be statistically significant (e.g., within the publication date ranges represented).

Rick promises “a follow-up post that uses the same approach to Biblical Theologies.” That post is sure to provide some interesting results too. Meanwhile, see the full text of Rick’s current post at theLAB.

Creating series in Logos

Logos Bible Software logoUnder the heading of “keeping your Greek and Hebrew skills sharp,” Mark Ward has some helpful advice about creating a serial biblical text in Logos Bible Software. For instance, if you create a series between BHS and NA28 and you have BHS open, you can type a New Testament passage in the go box and run straight there. Logos will treat the two resources as combined.

I’d had this done at one point, but then a subsequent software update disrupted that connection, and I’d been looking for a good way to reestablish the connection. Using Mark’s principles, I’ve now got serial relationships established among BHS, LXX (based on the current German Bible Society version of Rahlfs), and NA28 texts. The combination allows movement from any one of the texts to any other. For texts occurring in more than one of the resources (BHS, LXX), it looks like Logos may follow the priority system established via the library.

For the moment, the serial relationships don’t seem to get passed from the desktop version to iOS. But, one can hope that’s on the road-map for a future iOS app update.