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Presenting Theology in a Fresh New Way

with Scott Lindsey | May 24, 2010

Technology can be helpful in every aspect of our lives. We shouldn’t be surprised then that there are high-tech resources to aid bible study as well. Today Scott Lindsey, Ministry Relations Director for Logos Bible Software, reveals the exciting new developments in their Logos software.

Technology can be helpful in every aspect of our lives. We shouldn’t be surprised then that there are high-tech resources to aid bible study as well. Today Scott Lindsey, Ministry Relations Director for Logos Bible Software, reveals the exciting new developments in their Logos software.

Presenting Theology in a Fresh New Way

With Scott Lindsey
|
May 24, 2010
| Download Transcript PDF

Scott:  The latest statistic I’ve found is that the average household has at least three copies of the Bible in the house.  You know what I’m always asking people is I just say, “Look be honest with me.  Are you studying the Bible”?  They kind of look down and say, “No, not really.”  I just say “why,” and they say – the number one excuse that we all give is “I don’t have enough time.”  One of my favorite quotes is from a great teacher Howard Hendricks.  He says, “We know enough to own a Bible but we don’t know enough for the Bible to own us.”

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, May 24th.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife Dennis Rainey and I’m Bob Lepine.  We’re going to talk today about how all of us can utilize technology to dig down deeper into God’s word, and find the treasure that is there.

Welcome to FamilyLife Today thanks for joining us.  Okay I was listening back to some old FamilyLife Today programs not long ago.

 

Dennis:  How old were they?

 

Bob:  Well, we got started 1992 right – do you remember back then?

 

Dennis:  I do.  They were encrypted all the way back then? 

(laughter)

Bob:  I think this one I had pulled out was from either ’97 or ’98 but here’s what was funny.  We were talking about internet safety for children and you asked the guest, “Now explain to our listeners just what the internet is?”  I mean you go back to 1997 and 1998 that was kind of new.  Novelist Al Gore had just invented the Internet back then right?

(laughter)

Dennis:  Yes – okay!

Bob:  So, it’s just amazing to think about the technological revolution that we’ve lived through in our lifetime—not just in our lifetime; in the last decade.  It’s been amazing, and I don’t see it slowing down.

Dennis:  It’s interesting a huge portion of the Internet is used for evil, and a huge portion of the Internet is being used for good.  I think the question for all of us is how do you use technology in your family to strengthen your family, to strengthen your walk with God? 

We have a guest today who I believe has a tool that’s every bit as useful as a shovel.  If you were going to start a garden which parenting can be compared to growing a garden for future generations.  We have a guy who has some software tools that are going to help you address your children, meet them where they are, and equip them to live life where they’re going to live it – in a very high tech age.  Scott Lindsey joins us on FamilyLife Today – welcome back Scott.

Scott:  It’s good to be back!

Dennis:  I’m amazed you came back!  You know Bob and I well, we weren’t rough on you last time but we were pretty tough on you because you’re a tech guy.  You are the Ministry Relations Director for Logos Bible Software and you really have a passion for the church and individuals to be able to tie in the scriptures, and to be able to not only understand it themselves, but pass it along to others.  This really is what we’re about here on FamilyLife Today – helping families, helping marriages apply scripture in their lives everyday.  It’s what you’re about too right?

Scott:  Yes, I mean technology is greatly impacting just about every area of our life, and yet sadly much of our Bible study practice is years past.  So, what we’re trying to do is introduce people to Bible study using technology. 

Statistically just ask any denomination or major ministry that focuses on Bible study and getting people in the word – it’s a sad statistic on who is actually studying scripture.  So, the passion at Logos is to say look do you have a computer?  Do you get on the computer?  Hey let’s study the Bible on the computer.

Dennis:  Let me give you an illustration of what I think has happened.  The other day I received something that I couldn’t believe was sent to me.  It was wrapped in a clear, plastic wrapper, and when I got it I literally burst out laughing.  You know what it was?

Scott:  I have no idea!

Dennis:  Yellow pages!  I thought why is the telephone company sending this to me?  If that thing is still alive five years from today it will be a miracle wouldn’t you say?

Scott:  Oh right, right!  You’ll see it on Antique Road Show. 

(laughter)

Dennis:  Yes, and you’re saying a lot of Bible study being done today by followers of Christ is like using the yellow pages.

Scott:  Right – right exactly right!  See I know that many people just heard the word technology or the word software, and a little chill went up and down the spine.  I understand that.  What they need to know is that all we’re doing is taking the books they’ve trusted for years – authors that they’ve trusted for years:  MacArthur, and Piper, and Josh McDowell and people that have spent their lives studying scripture – we’re taking those books and putting them on the computer so we’re not changing anything.  What we’re changing is the format in which you study.  The benefit though is how fast we can get you answers to biblical questions.

Bob:  I want to back you up because you said that the statistics related to studying the Bible are pretty grim.  We live in an age where we have more access, we have more tools at our disposal, people in their homes many of them have five, six, seven, eight, a bunch of copies of the Bible and yet I was just with Dr. Woodrow Kroll who’s the President of Back to the Bible and he said, “People just aren’t cracking the book open.”  What is going on?

Scott:  Yes, the latest statistic I’ve found was that the average household has at least three copies of the Bible in the house.  And yet one of my favorite quotes is from a great teacher Howard Hendricks, and he says, “We know enough to own a Bible but we don’t know enough for the Bible to own us.” 

That’s really what we’re trying to do at Logos is the number one excuse – I’m always asking people, “Look be honest with me – are you studying the Bible?”  They kind of look down and say “no, not really.”  I just say “why,” and the number one excuse that we all give is “I don’t have enough time.”

The wonderful thing about Logos is literally by typing in a Bible verse or a topic – the word “tabernacle,” what does the Bible say about marriage, I want to know about David, or I’m studying Romans chapter 8 or my Pastor’s going through Acts.  Just type the verse or the topic, click one button and Logos literally does fifty to sixty hours worth of biblical research in about five to ten seconds. 

Bob:  I know this because I have Logos on my computer and I use it regularly.  It opens up to the right page - whatever books you have in your Logos library.  It opens them up to the right page says here’s where this author addressed this passage, or this subject or whatever else and so you get to scan every reference to that subject or that passage instantly, and see what everybody in your library had to say about that subject, right?

Scott:  Yes, it’s not only having a library because that’s important.  If you’re going to get serious and have a systematic approach to Bible study you have to have a good library.  You have to have a couple commentaries, a couple dictionaries, and a couple translations.  So, not only are we bringing you the library but Logos is literally like having theologians that kind of live with you that teach you the Bible. 

It’s like having historians that bring you back to the world of the Bible, and it’s even like having your own scholars that kind of live with you that can help you even with the biblical languages. 

So, it’s not just the books that come with the library, but it’s the back end technology that literally gets you to what you want to find in a matter of seconds.

Dennis:  Okay we don’t have a television camera that is focused on us so we can show our listeners what we’re actually looking at here but I have Logos up on my computer.

Bob:  No wait, I’m looking.  You have the older version, don’t you?

 

Dennis:  I have the older version, Scott!

Bob:  You haven’t upgraded to Logos 4!

Dennis:  Bob indicated he had a later version than I did – can you explain how that happened Scott?  I don’t think you can – can you Scott?

(laughter)

Scott:  Uh – where’s the exit?

(laughter)

Dennis:  Okay there are three categories that a person can do some searching on.  The first one is a passage of scripture – you can do a verse right, or a passage right, or you can pull up the whole book.  Okay the other categories are study a word.  So you take a word, and I’m going to ask you to do this in just a second.  Or the last one is to study a topic. 

Can we illustrate that for our listeners?  Tell me a verse to type in and then tell our listeners what is unpacked before them after they’ve typed this verse in.

Scott:  Well, I just recently taught at a women’s conference and I wanted to show the practical use of Logos.  What’s interesting is you don’t even have to know the verse as long as you know the name of the story.  So, I just went into that one little box and typed “woman at the well”.

Bob:  You typed that into the passage – to the verse box?

Scott:  Into the verse box.  I just typed “woman at the well”.  Logos says, “Oops Scott you mean John 4: 1-26.”  I said yes that’s exactly what I mean and I just click one button.  Now when I clicked the one button literally in a matter of seconds Logos did 50 to 60 hours worth of biblical research. 

So, it opens my Bible and it opens a commentary.  It links those so that as I scroll through my Bible my commentary follows.  It also brings back all the other commentaries I have, cross references this is a huge part in understanding the Bible as a whole is linking the passages you’re studying to the rest of the Bible – Old Testament, New Testament, brings in parallel passages so you know is this parable in the other Gospels – it will show me that. 

It brings in biblical people so who’s mentioned in the passage, and then their genealogies, and their relationships.  I mean Logos automatically finds all the relationships for a particular person throughout the whole Bible, and there’s 3,600 people mentioned in the Bible.  It will find all their genealogies for you. 

That’s especially important for the Old Testament because it gets really confusing – who’s this person, who are they related to.  It will also find biblical places so if there are any city names we’ll bring you to maps to kind of illustrate that place.  We’ll even link you to Google, satellite image maps if you want.

Dennis:  Well, illustrate how important that is to the woman at the well – why is the location important there?

Scott:  The location is important because she was from an area that Jesus was not supposed to associate with these people.  So, Logos will find that cultural background for you as well which is really important.  You should start studying a Bible first by getting the cultural perspective, the historical background.  These are the types of things that Logos just does for you automatically.  Interesting as I scroll through the woman at the well the other passion at Logos is word studies. We’re a big word study company so we want to get you into the Greek, into the Hebrew.

Bob:  Well, and I have to tell you anytime I talk to Dennis who’s been using his Logos that’s what you do more than anything else isn’t it?

Dennis:  It’s about 50/50 now.

Bob:  Is it between passage study and word study?

Dennis:  It is.  Right!

Bob:  Dennis will say I was just doing this word study on whatever word that you want to drill down into and what Logos gives you is just not like a concordance.  It will tell you where that word is found in the English translation of the Bible but it pops up the Greek, it pops up other use, I mean it takes you deep into understanding the words.

Dennis:  But it does it in plain English that’s what I like about it.

Scott:  Not only plain English but very simple!  The problem if you will with people that want to do word studies is again you have to go buy a lot of books – very expensive books actually, and it’s very tedious and time consuming.  So, the thing about Logos:  Here I am at verse 24 where Jesus responds to the woman and says, “That God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” 

All I have to do with Logos is float my cursor – just float my little mouse – the little arrow on the word truth.  You know I’ve read this passage so many times I kind of theologically understand what Jesus is referring to when He says that they must worship in spirit but I’ve always wondered what does it mean to worship in truth? 

So, I float my cursor and instantly Logos brings up the Greek for the word and pronounces the Greek for me.  I don’t want to show up at Bible study and say the word agape here for love.  Right it’s “agape.”  We’ll pronounce the word for you but what I’m finding out is instantly it’s saying that the word here means to hide nothing.  The word truth means to hide nothing!  It means to come to the Lord, lay down everything at His feet, don’t hide.  Be honest.  I mean that’s the kind of insight that we’re getting from these types of tools, and all I did was float on the word truth.

Dennis:  As you were talking I couldn’t help but go back to a class I took from Dr. Howard Hendricks:  You quoted him earlier.  “Prof” as I refer to him has been a mentor, and a friend.  I slipped in the back of his classes in 1971 at Dallas Theological Seminary.  But, he taught a class that was renowned.  It was Bible study methods.  It basically was teaching what you’re talking about here.  He taught about how you find the context for a passage of scripture, how you understand its meaning within that context, and then how you study it, and ultimately apply it.

Bob:  People hear you talk about a seminary class on Bible study methods and I think some of them will think well okay that’s for seminary people.  But the reality is if any of us are going to be serious students of the Bible which by the way the Bible calls us to be:  Study to show yourself approved a workman who is rightly dividing the word.  If you’re going to be a serious student of the Bible you don’t just open it up and say well I hope I get this.  You have to have some basic understanding of what the principles are for getting it right. 

Scott:  Right – this is my thirteenth year at Logos.  One of the things that I’m having to do now when I teach at a conference that is different than maybe ten years ago is I now have to spend about five to ten minutes explaining the difference between exegesis, and isagesis.  Exegesis comes from the Greek root meaning to lead out of.

Bob:  Now, let me just say you’re not talking about Jesus – that’s gesis!

Dennis:  Well, and these are big words but I want moms and dads, husbands and wives, single folks to listen because what Scott’s about to talk to you about is in my opinion one of the biggest problems of how Christ followers are misappropriating and misusing the Bible today.  They’re really missing the benefit of what the scripture teaches because of this very issue.

Scott:  Yes, everybody has a hermeneutic.  A hermeneutic is simply the process in which you interpret the Bible.  Even a non-believer has an opinion or framework in which they interpret the Bible.  Hopefully it is different for somebody that has the mind of Christ. 

There’s really only two ways in which we formalize that hermeneutic – there’s exegesis, and isagesis.  Now exegesis again comes from the Greek root meaning to lead out of so this is the process in which we interpret the text by what it actually says.  So, this is where the text leads you in the interpretation.

Now, isagesis is from the Greek root meaning into so this is the process of – now listen here – misinterpreting the text by introducing your own ideas.  So, this is where you lead the text in your interpretation.

Bob:  And you get it to say what you want it to say or what you think it should say rather than it telling you what it’s actually saying.

Scott:  Right, and I hope I don’t have to stress to the FamilyLife listeners that exegesis is good, isagesis is bad.  There are four main steps to exegesis just to continue with this train of thought. 

The first one is observation – so we simply ask the question what does the passage say?  Then there’s second – interpretation:  What does the passage mean?  And then thirdly, and this is so, so important is correlation:  How does the passage relate to the rest of the Bible?  And then fourthly application:  How should I submit to the authority of scripture, and what I’m learning here?  So, that’s the four main basic steps of exegesis.

Now, isagesis contains mainly three steps.  Number one is what I call imagination.  So, what I did.  What do I want to present here?  Secondly is exploration—what scripture passage seems to best fit my idea, and then thirdly application but a little different here:  What does my idea mean? 

But notice here there’s no number three – correlation!  How does the word, how does the text relate to the other parts of the Bible?  So, there’s no cross referencing, there’s no solid scholarship orthodoxy here, no biblical language analysis, no real context, and that is really dangerous.

Dennis:  As you were talking Scott I was thinking about my Mom.  One of her most prized possessions was her Scofield Bible, and the reason she liked it was because of all the cross-references that were found in the pages of that Bible, and the work that a scholar had done to create that.  If you compared Logos to the Scofield Bible give me some comparison?

Scott:  Oh, it would be like comparing a lemonade stand to Super Wal-Mart or something like that.  I mean there are so many more options.  There’s just so much more insight and that’s really what we want to provide for everybody that wants to get serious about Bible study.  I don’t think there’s any more excuses because of technology because we provide a great theological library but also the technology that gets you to the answers really quickly.

Bob:  I was really excited at graduation a year ago when my son said to me you know what I’d really love to have for graduation from high school is a Logos library on my computer.  He’d seen mine.  He’d seen me work with it.  He’d seen how quickly I could get stuff done and he said I would love to have the Logos library for graduation. 

Well, so you think I’m going to go get him something else?  You think I’m going to buy him a camera?  You think I’m going to buy him a… Come on if your son wants that for a graduation present we’re getting him loaded up with the best one we can get him.  He’s been thrilled to have it and to use it as he’s gone off to college.

Dennis:  Here’s the reason why that’s so important – 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training and righteousness.”  Now who doesn’t need all four of those from time to time – I do! 

That the man of God may be competent equipped for every good work.  If there has ever been an age when families needed to be multiplying a godly legacy that knows how to handle this book it’s today because it’s not getting any easier to apply the truths of scripture today.  There are all kinds of fresh opportunities including the Internet to be able to disobey the scripture, and to get off into sin that’s going to trap you.  The scripture equips us for every good work!

That’s really what we’re talking about here.   We’re talking about families doing a better job bringing the Bible home and teaching their children what they should be doing which is how to apply it in their lives.

Bob:  Well and Scott and the team up at Logos have really done a favor for FamilyLife Today listeners.  They’ve put together a special offer that is available for a limited time for FamilyLife Today listeners.  If you’re interested in ordering any of the different Logos libraries in the new Logos 4 software you can save money by identifying yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener. 

Here’s what you do:  You go to our website FamilyLifeToday.com.  There’s a link there that will take you to an area of the Logos website and all you have to do is type in the coupon code “FLT” after you’ve looked at what you want to purchase, and there’s a discount available for those of you who are listening to FamilyLife Today.

So, Scott thanks to you guys for making that available for our listeners and for any listeners who are interested go to FamilyLifeToday.com follow the link.  Make sure you use the coupon code “FLT” if you are interested in any of the software libraries, and then the folks at Logos will get it sent out to you and be there to help you and support you with any questions that you have as you install it or if you have questions as you start using your software.

It really is a wonderful tool!  I love using the software and am in it regularly and have really profited from having this tool available.  So again go to FamilyLifeToday.com click on the link to the Logos software website or if you want to call us here at FamilyLife Today call 1-800-FL-TODAY we can pass along a phone number and you can do the whole thing by telephone if that’s easier.  Either go online at FamilyLifeToday.com or call us at 1-800-FLTODAY for more information about the Logos Bible study software.

Now a quick reminder for our regular listeners—next Monday is the last day that we have available to receive donations to try to meet the matching gift fund that has been established for us here during the month of May.  If you’ve not heard about this we’ve had some friends who came and pledged to match every donation we receive on a dollar for dollar basis up to a total of now almost $350,000 that has been pledged. 

We are hoping to take full advantage of that, we still have a ways to go, and we have essentially a week left to do it.  So, if you can make a donation today either online, at FamilyLifeToday.com or by calling 1-800-FL-TODAY, that donation is going to be matched dollar for dollar, and we’ll be a step closer to being able to take full advantage of this matching gift opportunity.

I’ll tell you what?  It couldn’t come at a better time with all of the stuff we have going on here at FamilyLife as we head into the summer those are typically leaner months for us as a ministry.  So anything you’re able to do we just want to say thanks in advance for your support and for helping us take advantage of this matching gift, and we do appreciate your partnership with us here at FamilyLife Today.

We hope you can be back with us tomorrow.  We’re going to talk more about how we can use technology and especially how we can utilize technology to do a better job as parents of bringing our children up in the instruction of the Lord.  We’re going to talk about that tomorrow.  I hope you can be with us for that.

I want to thank our engineer today Keith Lynch and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our host Dennis Rainey I’m Bob Lepine.  We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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