I’ve had Logos Bible Software for some years. It’s a vast Bible study tool with tons of features and an enormous library of resources; I’ve only scratched the surface in my use. I recently had the opportunity to learn more about it and read one of their new resources that I’ve been anxious to read.
I like Timothy Keller’s preaching. He’s pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. I find his teaching intellectually engaging and biblically insightful, but also well-balanced. It would be easy for someone like me at STR to only listen to eggheads. That’s not healthy. I need my relationship with God to be challenged spiritually and emotionally in ways that may not come as naturally to me. So I listen to his sermons regularly. There are a lot of times he says something I want to remember, but I can’t write it down at the time. So when I heard Logos was releasing transcripts of his sermons, I was interested.
Keller often quotes an author he’s read that makes an excellent point. Listening, I’d try to remember or make a quick note to follow up. I’d Google it, and sometimes I found it, a lot of times I didn’t. Now I can search the archives and find the exact quotation and source.
I can also apply the lesson of the sermon better. After listening, I can read what I just listened to and make notes of the main points to remind myself and reflect on so I can learn and apply it better. Some circumstances in my life have changed pretty radically recently, and I’m trying to figure out the way forward. It was really helpful to be able to refer in print to a sermon on Philippians 4:1-9 I’d listened to recently. It helped me focus on applying the points: “Re-see all of your circumstances through the wise love of God by offering all of your petitions to Him through thankful prayer.” Remember your standing as a child of a loving and faithful Father. Practice the discipline of “the presence of God.” Even reviewing it from the text now is a really helpful reinforcement to practice this in my circumstances.
The transcriptions are great reading resources apart from the audio I listen to. I can tell Keller spends a lot of time preparing his sermons so they’re biblically sound. They have biblical depth and insight from the language, the culture, and the context. He’s apologetic-minded, and I get a lot of helpful insights, little points and big ones. I benefit most by how practical he is. He gets the lesson from the text, teaches the passage, and then applies it. His teaching has impacted my living.
The sermon archive is searchable chronologically, by passage, and topically. Did I say it’s 25 years worth of sermons? Great devotional material.
I’m really thankful that at about the same time I got this resource to read, we also got some in-house training from some of the Logos team. I learned about features and apps I wasn’t aware of that make it even easier to access the sermon archive. Here’s what I found out.
Logos is multi-platform, so my library of resources is available on them all, and they sync. So when I read Keller’s sermon archives on one device, all my marks and notes are available to me on all my devices, and I can pick up where I left off. Since they’re part of my library, they’re indexed and show up in my search results. The thing I was probably most excited to find out about was their book app called Vyrso. It’s like iBook and Kindle. There’s a bookstore with lots of great resources, including Christian fiction, so there’s more variety than the study library of resources. The coolest thing is that my library in Logos can be read in Vyrso – and all the marks and notes transfer over. It even syncs where I left off reading. It takes a bit of time to get used to navigating, but it’s worth it.
I was excited to learn about a Bible app that they’ve released – Faithlife Study Bible. Again, it syncs information with the other software once you’re signed in. Logos developed the resources for this study Bible to go deep and get insight about the passage and about the background. There is a customizable daily reading schedule. There are devotions. There is community. You can organize a group yourself, or join one, and study the Bible together because you can share notes. The leader can set the study plan, and everyone checks in when they can.