Friday, December 16, 2011

Evangelistic website and Bible Software

Before going on, in my series on Spirit baptism, to deal with the lynch-pin of universal church dispensationalism, 1 Corinthians 12:13, which I will, Lord willing, begin to discuss next Friday, I wanted to make blog readers aware of two other matters.

1.) The evangelistic website “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” at
has had, for a while, material dealing with large numbers of specific false religions, from Roman Catholicism, to Lutheranism, to Reformed paedobaptism, to Islam, to the classic cults, etc., as well as pamphlets for charismatics and evangelicals.  The site has now recently been updated with links to material in a significant number of foreign languages.  Material in Spanish, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Burmese, Tagalog, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, French, Russian, and Polish, has been added.  If you have to call your bank, get a telemarketing call, etc. you can ask the person you are speaking to over the phone the following question:  “If you would like to be 100% sure that you have eternal life and fellowship with God, I can give you a website that can let you know how you can be sure you have these things.  Would you like the web address?”  Some people will want it, others will not, but it is a way to give out a gospel tract, as it were, over the phone.  Furthermore, if you are going door to door or are in some other setting and you don’t have anything with you in one of the languages linked to on the website, you can give the web address so people can get material in their language.  The pamphlets for the various false religions are also very useful.  I have two bumper stickers on my car, one that says “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) and another one with the web address, so that people can find out about salvation simply by being near your vehicle.  These bumper stickers can also be acquired via a link on the website.  Links for conversion testimonies, the way of life literature church directory, and sermons from Bethel Baptist Church in El Sobrante, CA are also present, and a “contact us” link is also present.  You can get the gospel to people in India who call you to telemarket without ever having to buy a plane ticket.  That phone call may be the only time the person who calls you will ever speak to a Christian—you should use every opportunity you have to get out the gospel.

2.) In my opinion, the best Bible software program in the world, in terms of search capabilities for the inspired original language texts, is Accordance link here.  Accordance is designed for a Macintosh, but it can run on a PC.  Bibleworks is also valuable as a PC product link here.  I own both Accordance and Logos, a program that works on both the Mac and the PC.  It is not as easy on Logos link here to do the most complex original language searches, but it has a tremendous search capability and can give you a tremendous Bible study library for a small fraction of the cost—and with far greater ease of use—than physical books.  Let me give you an example of its library capability.  Recently, as I was doing some research into the Welsh revival of 1904, I ran across a reference to the National Eisteddfod.  Not having a clue what a National Eisteddfod was, I typed “Eisteddfod” into my Logos program.  Four books in my library had the word, the most useful link being to the Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals where I found out it was a Welsh poetry festival and also obtained other useful information.  Do you want information on Ignatius of Antioch, the early patristic?  In my library, he is discussed or mentioned in 139 different books, with a total of 486 articles.  Furthermore, one can buy commentary sets for prices far lower than print volumes, and in a format that is far more easily searchable and accessible than print volumes, and far less of a hassle to carry around—you can have the entire commentary with you on your cell phone or other electronic gismo.  On the way to work and back, I have enjoyed having my electronic device read to me a variety of systematic theology books on soteriology I have on Logos (McCune, Hodge, Geisler, Bavinck, Chafer, Strong, Berkouwer, Ryrie, Packer, etc. are on my program), as I am currently teaching a class at Mukwonago Baptist Bible Institute on the topic.  Furthermore, with Logos all one’s commentaries on a particular passage are available to examine with far greater speed than one could employ with physical books.  Finally, Logos has recently made available, free, hundreds of searchable books in classical Greek and Latin, many of them with English translations.  This resource is not available for Accordance or Bibleworks.  How is this useful?  For example, some have affirmed that Ephesians 5:18 should not be translated “be filled with the Spirit,” alleging that the Greek phrase is not used for the idea of content in the Greek of the day, and so the verse does not refer to being filled with the Spirit.  Do you want to see if that syntactical claim is true?  (It isn’t, by the way.)  You can get vast amounts of data from extrabiblical sources with tremendous ease with Logos.  Do you want more information about what the “tittle” of Matthew 5:18 is?  There are only two NT references to the word, no references in the LXX, none in the apostolic patristic writers, and only one reference each in Josephus and Philo—but there are 91 hits for the word in the Logos classics collection (they call it the “Perseus” collection), giving you references from Plutarch to Lucian to Appian.  This classics collection is a tremendous resource.  If you wish to study the Bible in depth, sell your shirt (or keep a sweater on but turn the heat down in your house in the winter) and buy Bible software.  At our church we also recently gave a reasonably sized Accordance package to one of our pastors, and I believe we will be reaping the benefits in the preaching we hear for years to come, unless the Rapture happens first.

For the next few weeks (and I mean few, like a little over two, after which I won’t be able to do this anymore) I can make available the base packages for Logos, and the large commentary sets (Expositor’s Bible Commentary; New International Critical OT/NT Commentary; Word Biblical Commentary; New International Greek Testament Commentary; Hermeneia; Anchor Bible Commentary, etc.) for 5% off what you will be able to get them for on the Logos website.  That is, if a base package is 15% off on the Logos website, I can get it to you for 20% off.  If you qualify for an academic discount, I can get the product you want for less than what you would pay with the academic discount.  If you are interested in taking advantage of any of these deals, you can contact me by e-mail at:  t r k j v 2 (“at” symbol; @) y a h o o . com (I spread it out this way to avoid, hopefully, becoming a spam target).  Unfortunately, I don’t have any special way of getting discounts on Accordance or Bibleworks.  (I asked them shortly before I began teaching Greek this Fall, so I could let my students know, but they would not give me any special offer.)
If you believe getting a Bible software package is a good use of money, but you don’t want to spend money you don’t have (a very good idea), if you have good credit you may be able to get $1,000 by opening a Chase credit card that will give you $500 for fulfilling a few requirements and $500 for getting a Citibank credit card that will do the same thing. (See link here.) You have to spend $3000 on the cards in three months to get the $500 bonus, but you can make deposits of cash into, say, a Zecco forex (link) investment account using a credit card, and then take the money out later, so you don’t need to actually spend all that money.  You should not open any credit cards accounts if you carry balances and pay the confiscatory credit card interest rates, rather than paying them off in full every month.  If you don’t pay them off in full every month, you should cut up the credit cards you have and use cash or a debit card instead, and get out of debt.  “The borrower is servant to the lender,” Proverbs 22:7.  However, if you are responsible and are able to pay them off in full each month, getting $1000 for opening two accounts is a great deal, in my opinion.  If you are married, both you and your spouse can open the accounts, and you can get $2000.  (You can also get hundreds of dollars by opening a few bank accounts; type “$200 bank bonus” or “$150 bank bonus” on Google and look around.)  By the way, you should not be hasty to spend money.  In my family, we never make a purchase above a certain dollar amount the same day;  if we think something is worth getting above that amount, we wait, pray, and then either decide to get it or not get it at least 24 hours (for bigger purchases, 48 hours) later, minimum.
I don’t have any intention of trying to turn this blog into a house of merchandise, and I am not very likely at all to post anything like the above about credit cards and banks again any time in the near future.  However, I thought that numbers of blog readers would be interested in the Logos deal above, especially since the newly added search capabilities are unique to its Bible software program and are very valuable, and paying for a Bible software package, or a valuable exegetical commentary set, without busting one’s budget, by simply spending 15 minutes opening two credit card accounts, seemed like it was worth mentioning as well, and could be good stewardship.


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