Wilhelmus à Brakel – Struggles With Loving Our Neighbor

9 Jan
Wilhelmus a Brakel 1

1635-1711. Dutch Reformed Pastor in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, if one considers the conduct of many of the truly regenerate, how much they fall short of this standard! It is true: They love the godly because God loves them and because they love God in Christ. Their heart is knit to them in that respect—with the exclusion of all other men. They esteem them, their heart goes out toward them, they rejoice when they perceive the godly in their essential nature; but when it comes to their deeds, it is manifest how weak their love is. They keep to themselves and it is as if all others were strangers to them, or they exercise fellowship with only one or with but a few, and ignore others. If one of the godly has a fault, they will immediately render his godliness suspect. If he is perceived as a challenge to us and he does not act according to our wishes, then displeasure, wrath, strife, and backbiting surface, and one gives him the cold shoulder—acting as if their spiritual life did not proceed from one and the same Spirit. And in regard to the unconverted, where is the heartfelt affection for them? Where is the joy about their prosperity, the grief over their mishaps, and the exercise concerning their spiritual and physical welfare?

It ought indeed to be investigated why it is that there is so little love among the godly, so that everyone would be motivated to remove the causes of his lovelessness which he perceives within himself, and thus enhance his progress in the exercise of love.”

~Wilhelmus à Brakel~

The Christian’s Reasonable Service, ed. Joel R. Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 1992), 61.

Books by Wilhelmus à Brakel

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à Brakel’s Works on Logos Bible Software

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Introducing the New Features in Logos 7 – The Preeminent Digital Biblical and Theological Resource

22 Aug

As I mentioned in my previous post, Logos Bible Software released their newest update of their software today: Logos 7! Check out a special offer they have for readers of The Old Guys.

In the previous post I pointed to the new release and the resources and packages worth considering, here I’m going to highlight a few of the amazing new features.

New Features

Before I get to the books, let me introduce you to a few of the new features in Logos 7.

Sermon Editor Logos 7 Sermon Editor
One of the new things in Logos 7 is the Sermon Editor. This is a fairly capable text editor built specifically for sermon writing, and since it’s in Logos, it ties into to other features. So, when you begin building the sermon and setting your main points as headers, the editor automatically creates slides for you for those points. Also, when you enter a verse reference, the verse of your favorite translation is automatically pulled in. Once you’re done, you automatically populate and edit a handout and questions if those are things you use in your worship service or small groups. Finally, having all your sermons in Logos will no doubt be helpful in the future to search them and even see what your previous comments were on a passage.

View a video overview of this resource here.

Panel View Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 11.23.22 PM
The panel view in Logos 7 is actually really handy. Previously, you could pull up multiple, related texts in two windows next to one another, but this forced you to reconfigure your windows. Now, within one window you can bring up related texts that will stay perfectly in sync. This is extremely helpful when trying to read an English translation of the Bible along with the Greek or Hebrew, when trying to read two English translations beside one another, or when comparing the BHS and the LXX on a verse.

New Testament Use of the Old TestamentScreen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.22.18 AM
Studying the New Testament Use of the Old Testament is a very important, as well as profitable, exercise in light of how interwoven the two are. This new interactive feature that Logos has produced makes doing this really easy for any user. For example, previously if one wanted to examine all of the Old Testament citations found in the book of Romans they would have to identify these manually, but Logos 7 makes it a cinch. Just pull up the interactive, identify “citation” as your type of use, click on “Romans” to narrow down to that book, and then enjoying spending your precious time examining the list of citations in Romans right alongside their Old Testament counterpart in both English as well as in Greek and Hebrew.

Bible Manuscripts Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 11.27.33 PM
This feature is just another example of all the cool things that Logos is capable of producing that really help make things simple for the average user while exposing them to top-notch scholarship. This feature walks users through all kinds of data on the Biblical manuscripts while also exposing them to high-quality media of many of the actual sources. It’s an extremely helpful resource.

Systematic and Biblical Theology Keyed to Biblical Texts Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.34.40 AM
This is actually an extremely powerful resource that, in many ways, serves to leverage the Systematic and Biblical Theology’s you own for use when studying a passage. And Logos is to be thanked for doing the incredible work of tagging all of these resources to work in this way. So, if I’m looking at Ephesians 2:1-10 and I want to run the Passage Guide to start reading some of my resources on this passage, not only do my commentaries come up now, but also my Systematic and Biblical Theology’s (and even my journals) that address the verses in question. So, I can click over and see how some of the Reformed Systematicians used the verse in their sections on soteriology, but I can also see how Pentecostal’s have used it, and so on. A very incredible new addition to the Passage Guide! This is something that would be nearly impossible to duplicate with physical books.

View a video overview of this feature here.

Concordance Tool Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 11.51.19 PM
Finally, the concordance tool is just crazy. We are familiar with concordances that are produced for the English Bible, which will list every single word used in the Bible along with every single Biblical instance of its use. The concordance tool will do just that. But, there’s more. This tool will, nearly instantaneously, compile a concordance FOR ANY BOOK IN YOUR LIBRARY. So, instead of having to rely on a selective index at the back of a physical book to see if an author spoke on a certain topic, this tool allows you to see every instance of their use of a particular word, even words that may not have made it to the back of the physical book’s index. This is another incredibly powerful tool that we just would never have access to outside of a digital platform like this.

View a video overview of this feature here.

Introducing Logos 7 with a Special Offer for Readers of The Old Guys

22 Aug

(Click through for overview video)

Many of you may have noticed through the years that I am a big fan of Logos Bible Software. And one of the reasons for that is because there is no other Bible software platform committed to bringing quality works from theologians old and new to the digital age as Logos Bible Software is. Check out their recent projects to translate, produce, and even print:

The vast majority of books I read and quotes I post come from Logos resources. And one of the things that makes Logos so great is that I am able to carry a library’s worth of books around in the palm of my hand or on my laptop, making reading books a breeze any time the opportunity arises. And not only that, but having books in Logos allows me to effectively walk into a massive curated library and search every book for exactly what I’m looking for. So, if accessibility to physical books is an issue for you or if you spend a lot of time doing tedious, page-turning research then you might consider giving Logos a look.

The reason I am bringing this up today, is because Logos is launching a new version of their software: Logos 7. This version builds on their previous work and adds many amazing improvements and new features. When I survey how accessible so many amazing works are in Logos and how powerful the tools are it provides for Biblical research I wonder if we, in the Christian world, are really using such unprecedented abilities to our advantage. I thank God for the advancements Logos is making

Special Offer

For readers of The Old Guys, Logos has created a special landing page at Logos.com. If you are interested in purchasing a new base package and do so through this page you will receive a special discount. On top of that, I’ve selected the first volume of Abraham Kuyper’s new “Collected Works in Public Theology” titled “Common Grace: God’s Gifts for a Fallen World – Volume 1” for FREE.

If you are new to Logos, but are interested in a base package, I would recommend checking out the Logos Reformed base packages. These packages combine resources for studying the Biblical text along with many Reformed works of theology.

In the Gold Package, for example, here are a few of the resources you would get:

– Multiple versions of the English Bible
– Calvin’s Commentaries (46 vols.)
– The Gospel According to the Old Testament Series (13 vols.)
– Wipf & Stock D.A. Carson Collection (5 vols.)
– Wipf & Stock Works of Meredith Kline (7 vols.)
– Mobile Ed: Preaching the Psalms
– Mobile Ed: The Gospel Message in the Early Church
– Sidney Greidanus Preaching Collection (5 vols.)
– NA28 Greek New Testament with Morphology
– BHS with Morphology
– Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (McNeil/Battles)
– The Letters of John Calvin (4 vols.)
– Tracts and Treatises of John Calvin (8 vols.)
– Geerhardus Vos’s Reformed Dogmatics (5 vols.)
– Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology (3 vols.)
– Classic Studies on the Heidelberg Catechism (16 vols.)
– Early Church Fathers (37 vols.)
– Select Works of Jeremiah Burroughs (7 vols.)
– The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks (6 vols.)
– The Works of John Owen (17 vols.)
– The Essential Works of Jonathan Edwards (11 vols.)
– J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols.)
– The Works of B.B. Warfield (10 vols.)
– Select Works of Geerhardus Vos (14 vols.)
– The Works of Cornelius Van Til (39 vols.)
– And much more

Get your special discount here.

John Owen: He Is, He Always Has Been, Precious

11 Aug

1616 -1683. Preeminent English Puritan theologian, pastor, and independent.

Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, he is, he always hath been, precious—the sun, the rock, the life, the bread of their souls—every thing that is good, useful, amiable, desirable, here or unto eternity. In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual and eternal life, light, power, growth, consolation, and joy here; with everlasting salvation hereafter. By him alone do they desire, expect, and obtain deliverance from that woful apostasy from God, which is accompanied with—which containeth in it virtually and meritoriously—whatever is evil, noxious, and destructive unto our nature, and which, without relief, will issue in eternal misery. By him are they brought into the nearest cognation, alliance, and friendship with God, the firmest union unto him, and the most holy communion with him, that our finite natures are capable of and so conducted unto the eternal enjoyment of him.

~John Owen~

The Works of John Owen, Volume 1: The Glory of Christ (ed. William H. Goold, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 5.

Books by John Owen

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Francis Schaeffer – A Dead, Ugly Orthodoxy

10 Aug


Let us emphasize again as we have before: we believe with all our hearts that Christian truth can be presented in propositions, and that anybody who diminishes the concept of the propositionalness of the Word of God is playing into twentieth-century, non-Christian hands. But, and it is a great and strong but, the end of Christianity is not the repetition of mere propositions. Without the proper propositions you cannot have that which should follow. But after having the correct propositions, the end of the matter is to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds. The end of the matter, after we know about God in the revelation He has given in verbalized, propositional terms in the Scripture, is to be in relationship to Him. A dead, ugly orthodoxy with no real spiritual reality must be rejected as sub-Christian.

~Francis Schaeffer

Two Contents, Two Realities, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer (vol. 3, Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 416.

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Francis Grimke – A Spurious Evangelism

9 Aug

francis-j-grimke1-604x528There is an evangelism that is genuine… that means accepting Jesus Christ in reality and not in pretense–an evangelism that carries along with it brotherhood, that so presents Jesus Christ that men see, and see plainly, what is involved in accepting him. The Apostle Paul who understood what was in solved in it, and who preached the true evangel, says: ‘Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there can not be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.’ An evangelism that permits men to believe that they can be Christians without making an earnest and honest effort to rid themselves of race prejudice is a spurious evangelism.

~Francis J. Grimke~

“Evangelism and Institutes of Evangelism” The Works of Francis J. Grimke, Volume 1: Addresses (ed. Carter G. Woodson, Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., 1942), 524.

Books by Francis Grimke

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Charles Spurgeon – Self-Congratulation vs. Wonder

8 Aug


There is, however, a truth that is even more significant and instructive than that. It is not merely true that we were once Christ’s enemies, and that we were also utterly insignificant, and unworthy of his notice; but it is wonderful that he should lay down his life for such unworthy friends, even as friends, as we are. There are some professing Christians who can speak of themselves in terms of admiration; but, from my inmost heart, I loathe such speeches more and more every day that I live. Those who talk in such a boastful fashion must be constituted very differently from me. While they are congratulating themselves all upon the good things that they find within themselves, I have to lie humbly at the foot of Christ’s cross, and marvel that I am saved at all, for I know that I am saved. I have to wonder that I do not believe Christ more, and equally wonder that I am privileged to believe in him at all;—to wonder that I do not love him more, and equally to wonder that I love him at all;—to wonder that I am not holier, and equally to wonder that I have any desire to be holy at all considering what a polluted, debased, depraved nature I find still within my soul notwithstanding all that divine grace has done in me. If God were ever to allow the fountains of the great deeps of depravity to break up in the best man that lives, he would make as bad a devil as the devil himself is. I care nothing for what these boasters say concerning their own perfections; I feel sure that they do not know themselves, or they could not talk as they often do. There is tinder enough in the saint who is nearest to heaven to kindle another hell if God should but permit a spark to fall upon it. In the very best of men, there is an infernal and well-nigh infinite depth of depravity. Some Christians never seem to find this out. I almost wish that they might not do so, for it is a painful discovery for anyone to make; but it has the beneficial effect of making us cease from trusting in ourselves, and causing us to glory only in the Lord.

Charles Spurgeon

“Sermon #2986: One Aspect of Christ’s Death” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 52 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1906), 225.

Books by Charles Spurgeon

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Spurgeon’s Works on Logos Bible Software

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Charles Spurgeon – Resolve to Keep Close to Christ

6 Aug


There is yet another stone wall which I will mention, namely, firmness of character. Our holy faith teaches a man to be decided in the cause of Christ, and to be resolute in getting rid of evil habits. “If thine eye offend thee”—wear a shade? No; “pluck it out.” “If thine arm offend thee”—hang it in a sling? No; “cut it off, and cast it from thee” True religion is very thorough in what it recommends. It says to us, “touch not the unclean thing.” But many persons are so idle in the ways of God that they have no mind of their own: evil companions tempt them, and they cannot say, “No.” They need a stone wall made up of noes. Here are the stones, “no, no, NO.” Dare to be singular. Resolve to keep close to Christ. Make a stern determination to permit nothing in your life, however gainful or pleasurable, if it would dishonour the name of Jesus. Be dogmatically true, obstinately holy, immovably honest, desperately kind, fixedly upright. If God’s grace sets up this hedge around you, even Satan will feel that he cannot get in, and will complain to God, “hast thou not set a hedge about him?”

Charles Spurgeon

“The Broken Fence” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 59 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1913), 558–559.

Books by Charles Spurgeon

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Spurgeon’s Works on Logos Bible Software

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John Calvin – The Holy Spirit is the Bond of Our Union with Christ

5 Aug


We must now examine this question. How do we receive those benefits which the Father bestowed on his only-begotten Son—not for Christ’s own private use, but that he might enrich poor and needy men? First, we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us. Therefore, to share with us what he has received from the Father, he had to become ours and to dwell within us. For this reason, he is called “our Head” [Eph. 4:15], and “the first-born among many brethren” [Rom. 8:29]. We also, in turn, are said to be “engrafted into him” [Rom. 11:17], and to “put on Christ” [Gal. 3:27]; for, as I have said, all that he possesses is nothing to us until we grow into one body with him. It is true that we obtain this by faith. Yet since we see that not all indiscriminately embrace that communion with Christ which is offered through the gospel, reason itself teaches us to climb higher and to examine into the secret energy of the Spirit, by which we come to enjoy Christ and all his benefits… the Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually unites us to himself.

~John Calvin~

Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1, p. 537. Book 3.1.1

Books by John Calvin

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Martin Luther – How to Hear God Speak

4 Aug

He who wants to hear God speak should read Holy Scripture.

~Martin Luther~

Luther’s Works, Vol. 41: Church and Ministry III, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 41 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 332.

Books by Martin Luther

Luther’s Works on Logos Bible Software

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