Logos and Apologetics: the Argument from Utility

by | Jun 20, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

As a veteran apologist and Colson Fellow, I’ve found Logos Bible software indispensable to my research and work! Having my books, journals, notes, and highlights available in the same search engine that lets me work through advanced Scripture study at great speed without sacrificing quality is a game-changer. Today, I want to share some of those benefits with you: organizing and expanding your library and some examples of apologetics use. 

Organizing and Expanding Your Library

Reading Plans

One of the first Logos features that hooked me was the reading plans, and Faithlife has substantially expanded its capabilities in Logos 9! These tools are handy for students and reading groups, especially for making consistent reading habits and completing reading projects with deadlines. For example, take Colson Fellows and college: most books in seminaries and Colson Fellows are available in Logos, which allows you to take the thinking out of your scheduling. Just set reading plans for each book for the deadline, and let Logos tell you how much you need to read every day to finish the books on time—no more trying to figure out how many chapters per week or pages per day. You can even customize when you read, such as marking for reading only three days a week and letting Logos accommodate you. And, once created on the computer (the mobile app can’t yet, create end dates), the plan will sync to your phone, so you can take your reading with you and keep track; no bookmark needed! 

Collections

Another phenomenal tool is dynamic collections. Other digital programs let you add books to collections or shelves, but most don’t allow you to create rules for that. So, for example, I’ve created an apologetics collection based on “tag:apologetics;” as I add resources to my library, all I have to do is tag those new resources, and Logos adds those to the collection. The other significant benefit of these collections is that I can filter searches for just this collection, which I’ll go into in some of the later points today. And, to be clear, this is not the only collection I have. I also have collections for commentaries, books I have or haven’t read (based on tags #ReadLater, Reading, and Finished), books on parenting and marriage, different traditions, reference books, and favorite authors. And the terms can be as simple or complex as I want. Or, I could create a collection of all books from a specific publisher published between 2000-2010. Or only books published between 300-1000 AD. Or only resources in Spanish. 

Key Resource Packages

Combining two other benefits of Logos, we have great packages and dynamic pricing. With dynamic pricing, you don’t pay twice for resources (the only exceptions I’ve seen so far are the two Essentials Packages). So, if a resource is in two different packages, and you own it because of buying one, you’ll get a discount on the other package, which leads up to packages. Let’s go through a couple of them now:

Expansion libraries

These are terrific packages that include many great resources for your studies. For example, there is one specifically on apologetics. Philosophy is a substantial part of apologetics. And understanding church history helps with many questions about things like the development of the Canon. Also, look at the Medium and Large versions of the same!

Lexham Research Commentaries

https://www.logos.com/product/189697/lexham-research-commentaries

These are, by far, my favorite commentaries. If you have the money to get these, get them, as they function as windows into dozens of other commentary series. Each entry includes segments from other commentaries, so you get insight from many series for one purchase.

Individual authors:

Lastly, there are also individual apologetics authors. There is a Norman Geisler Collection, a C S Lewis Collection, and books by Sean McDowell, Natasha Crain, Nancy Pearcey, Alisa Childers, and more. So it’s not just tenured scholars, experts in their fields, but also individuals leading their own ministries that you can add directly to your Logos library! 

Specific Apologetics Application Examples:

Now, let’s get down to business. Not just the resources but the actual use. 

New Testament Use of the Old Testament/Jesus speaking

One of the common arguments I hear today is that Jesus didn’t accept the Old Testament as the authoritative Word of God. Logos makes it easy to test that via the “New Testament Use of the Old Testament” tool. You can filter by only Jesus speaking and by which book of the Old Testament you want to see Jesus referring to. If you don’t already, you will start reading Scripture differently when you start seeing how often and much of the Old Testament Jesus and the rest of the New Testament are referenced.

The particular study I’m currently using this tool for is to filter by Jesus speaking and each Gospel. Then, I look at all the references and see if there is any indication that Jesus questioned or corrected the Old Testament. I’m finding that Jesus clearly did not reject or doubt the Old Testament.  

Adam’s first breath and Abortion in Numbers 5

Abortion is unquestionably one of the most contentious subjects in America today and one that reflects the heart of society. Some people have tried to argue that the Bible actually supports abortion, using Adam’s first breath and the test for infidelity in Numbers 5 as evidence for that view. Logos helps to address this view. 

The first big help is that with Logos, you can search for verses by more than just the literal text, which will help you find sources talking about the issue without meeting specific texts. How? You can search for “<Numbers 5:22>”. Using the < and > tells Logos to look for any time that verse is tagged, even if it’s the passage.

For the second big help, we’ll turn to the beginning of life. When someone points to Adam’s first breath as evidence that the Bible counts life beginning at the first breath, they have to ignore all of the passages about the womb, of which there is plenty in Scripture. But what do those words mean? Where are they used? Well, do a quick search for the word womb in Scripture, and then right-click on it and open the Bible Word Study. Now you have every instance of that word in Scripture, according to the original language, and can see different ways it’s translated. You can compare it among dictionaries and lexicons and see that Scripture treats life in the womb as valuable as life outside the womb. 

For these and so many more reasons, I’ve found Logos truly revolutionary for my studies! I’d love to help you with more questions: just stop by Logos Bible Tips & Tricks and say hi. Let’s study Scripture together! 

Logos Coach, David Wolcott

May those who love the Lord love His Word

David Wolcott is a Colson Fellows, a graduate of the Crossexamined Instructors Academy, and a veteran social media apologist. He supports a number of other ministries, helping to moderate social media events and groups, and spends his free time reading.

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