Archive for July, 2011

Electronic Resources for the Seminarian

July 23, 2011

If you are a Logos owner, this is specifically for you. I am not a fan of carrying a ton of books around to class or on trips. I also like the ability to study no matter where I am and this is possible with these resources via Logos through Concordia Publishing House (CPH).

Concordia Commentaries – Digital Editions

Leviticus: Dr. John Kleinig

Joshua: Prof. Adolph Harstad

Ruth: Dr. John Wilch

Proverbs: Dr. Andrew Steinmann

The Song of Songs: Dr. Christopher Mitchell

Ezekiel 1-20 & 21-48: Dr. Horace Hummel

Daniel: Dr. Andrew Steinmann

Amos: Dr. R. Reed Lessing

Jonah: Dr. R. Reed Lessing

Matthew 1-11:1: Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs

Luke 1:1-9:50 & 9:51-24:53: Dr. Arthur A. Just

1 Corinthians: Dr. Gregory Lockwood

Colossians: Dr. Paul Deterding

Philemon: Dr. John Nordling

Revelation: Dr. Louis Brighton

Note: Currently awaiting the arrival of following (HINT):

Ezra-Nehemiah: Dr. Andrew Steinmann

Ecclesiastes: Dr. James Bollhagen

Matthew 11:2-20:34: Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs

Concordia Electronic Theological Library - Note: Including classes that these texts are used in…

The Basic Scriptural Study Collection

  • The New International Version of the Holy Bible
  • Concordia Self-Study Bible Notes
  • Concordia Self-Study Commentary
The Biblical Background Collection
  • The Word Becoming Flesh (Isaiah and the Prophets and other Old Testament Exegetical courses)
  • The Word of the Lord Grows
The Religious Reference Collection
  • The Christian Cyclopedia
  • History of Theology
  • Churches in America (Religious Bodies of America)
  • How to Respond to Muslims
  • How to Respond to the Easter Religions
  • How to Respond to Judaism
The Lutheran Confessions Collection
  • The Book of Concord (Tappert)
  • Confessing the Faith: Reformers Define the Church, 1530-1580 (From Luther to Concord)
  • Historical Introductions to the Book of Concord (Confessions I & II)
  • Principles of Biblical Interpretations in the Lutheran Confessions
The Basic Theological Collection
  • The Christian Faith: A Lutheran Exposition – (Christian Doctrine – ELCE)
  • Summary of Christian Doctrine (Koehler) – (Christian Doctrine – ELCE)
  • Christian Dogmatics (Mueller)
The Reformation Collection
  • The Protestant Reformation: Major Documents
  • Luther’s World of Thought
  • Loci Communes (Melanchthon) (From Luther to Concord)
The Development of Lutheranism Collection
  • Structure of Lutheranism (Elert)
  • Post-Reformation Lutheranism (Preus)
  • Examination of the Council of Trent (Chemnitz) (From Luther to Concord)
The Dogmatics Collection
  • Christian Dogmatics (Pieper) – (Systematics I-III)
  • Loci Theologici (Chemnitz) (From Luther to Concord)
The Proclaiming Christ Collection
  • Two Natures in Christ (Chemnitz) – (Systematics II)
  • Law and Gospel (Walther) – (Homiletics I)
  • Ministry, Word, and Sacraments (Chemnitz) (various courses)
  • Church and Ministry (Walther) (Systematics IV)
  • Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries (Elert)
  • Foundations of Lutheran Education (Pastor as Educator)
Other Resources Available:
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions – A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord
Luther’s Works on CD-ROM – 55 volume American Edition
The Book of Concord (Kolb/Wengert)
The Lutheran Study Bible  (Notes and Commentary)

Some thoughts on Logos 4 and BibleWorks 8

July 23, 2011

Disclaimer: The Author owns both BibleWorks 8 and Logos 4 Platinum. Various specs and prices come directly from the respective websites.

BibleWorks http://www.bibleworks.com

Logos http://www.logos.com

Pricing:

BibleWorks: Full DVD Version $349, Qualified group rate $250 (offered by the CSL Bookstore in the Fall Quarter) Note: BibleWorks 9 has just been released.

Logos: Full Version Varies based on the package chosen

Christian Home – Christian Home Library gives you everything you need to study what the Bible says about marriage, prayer, faith, parenting, home school, devotions, and so much more! Christian Home Library comes over 80 Bibles and Bible reference books worth over $1,300.00 in print. $149.95

Bible Study Library – Bible Study Library gives you the tools you need to dig deep into Scripture, with almost 275 books worth almost $4,500.00 in print! $264.95

Leader’s Library – Leader’s Library is a comprehensive set of books and tools available for busy pastors and church leaders, with almost 350 books worth over $5,000.00 in print! $324.95

Original Languages – Original Languages Library is a complete library of Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Latin, and English resources for advanced biblical research, with over 300 books, grammars, lexicons, and more worth over $4,500.00 in print! $415.95

Scholar’s Library – Our bestselling library just got better! Scholar’s Library is newly expanded for Logos Bible Software 4, with over 475 books and commentaries worth almost $8,000.00 in print-an incredible value! $629.95

Scholar’s Silver – Scholar’s Library: Silver is a massive library for serious pastors and scholars, with almost 775 books worth over $11,000.00 in print! $999.95

Scholar’s Gold – Scholar’s Library: Gold is a massive library for serious students and scholars of the Bible, with 950 books worth almost $15,000.00 in print! $1,379.95

Scholar’s Platinum – Put an entire bookcase of theological and biblical resources at your fingertips. Scholar’s Library: Platinum is a massive electronic library for serious scholars, with more than 1,200 books worth nearly $19,000.00 in print. $1,689.95

Portfolio – Logos Bible Software 4: Portfolio Edition represents a major milestone in the publication of biblical and theological reference books, with almost 1,650 books worth more than $31,000.00 in print! $4,290.00

System Requirements:

BibleWorks (http://www.bibleworks.com/content/sys-req.html)

  • Windows® XP/Vista/7 (Mac users require additional virtualization software such as Parallels, Fusion, VirtualBox, or Boot Camp. Mac and Linux users, please see below)
  • Minimum 1024×600 display
  • Minimum 512 MB RAM
  • 1 GB hard drive space free (15 GB for full install)
  • DVD drive
  • Internet Explorer® version 7
  • Internet connection for updates

 Logos (http://www.logos.com/support/techfaq)

The minimum requirements for running Logos 4 on a PC are:

  • Pentium 4 1 GHz (or AMD equivalent- 1.3 GHz or higher)
  • 1 GB RAM (2GB for Windows 7 & Vista)
  • Windows XP SP3
  • DVD drive
  • 12 GB hard drive space on local drive (May require additional space depending on your library).
  • 1024X600 Display
  • 256 MB DirectX 9 graphics device
  • Internet connection required for activation & updates

The recommended requirements for running Logos 4 on a PC are:

  • Core 2 Duo 2 GHz
  • 3GB+ RAM
  • Windows Vista or Windows 7
  • DVD drive
  • 1280X1024 display
  • 512MB DirectX10 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • 20 GB hard drive space on local drive (May require additional space depending on your library).
  • Broadband internet connection

The minimum requirements for running Logos 4 on a Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • Intel only (PowerPC not supported)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 12 GB hard drive space on local drive (May require additional space depending on your library).
  • DVD-ROM

The recommended requirements for running Logos 4 on a Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Core 2 Duo 2 GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 20 GB hard drive space on local drive (May require additional space depending on your library).
  • DVD-ROM

Note: Logos 4 base packages can be downloaded immediately after purchase. Here are the download sizes for each of our collections:

Resources

Logos has digitized thousands of dollars-worth of print books consisting of millions of pages that fit nicely onto your laptop. BibleWorks has made language, diagram, and exegetical work so quick and easy that one is able to wrestle with the text itself longer before reading what others have said about it. Logos is always adding new products to their ever expanding library. They also run sales from time to time and offer what they call pre-pub sales in which you can purchase new titles for a much cheaper price than what the product will regularly run. BibleWorks only offers a handful of add-ins because their subject matter is much smaller than that of Logos.

If you compare the add-ins that they have in common, the base price is cheaper at BibleWorks. If you factor in the CSL discount (ask IT) on Logos, then they are almost dead even. Head-to-head, I would give the advantage to Logos because of the wider audience that they appeal to and the quantitatively more add-ins overall.

Bible/Word Study

Logos has similar functions in terms of exegesis and bible study tools that BibleWorks has. Logos certainly has more study tools about the bible than BibleWorks. However, I personally believe that if one is studying the Bible, he or she should wrestle more with the text rather than seek another’s understanding of what the Bible is saying. BibleWorks is much more equipped for intense Bible study than Logos.

Usability

At first, Bibleworks 8 is difficult to use and Logos is pretty much ready to go. However, there is a learning curve to both. This again boils down to what you want and are looking for in Bible Software. I would give the early advantage to Logos and the learned advantage to BibleWorks.

Strengths and Weaknesses

BibleWorks 8

BibleWorks is strong in terms of the original language resources that come as part of its base package. It contains, for example, the Juoun-Muraoka Hebrew Grammar, the Waltke and O’Connor Hebrew Syntax, and the Wallace Greek Grammar as part of its base package. The optional add-on modules available from BibleWorks are all related to original language research. BibleWorks is a no-frills program, and this no-frills approach makes it affordable. BibleWorks has an incredibly fast response time. It does searches of the biblical texts in milliseconds and gives you instant information from lexicons and grammars. In my opinion, it can’t be touched in terms of speed of access to lots of exegetical data.

The main weakness of BibleWorks is that it does not come in a Mac version. However, it can be run on a Mac by using software such as Parallels Desktop, but ideally, it could be offered in both a PC and Mac version. BibleWorks also does not yet have the syntax search capabilities available on Logos. The format for BibleWorks resources is poor. You cannot mark them up or take notes in them. BibleWorks has a lot of great resources, but they are very limited in what they offer in terms of types and number of resources. They have stepped it up recently, but are still far from being in the same league as Logos. I love having hundreds of commentaries as electronic resources. I use them daily.

Logos 4

Logos’s resources are great and enable you to do about as much to them as you can to your own print books—and more. You can underline, highlight in lots of different colors, and apply a limitless number of markups. You can also add notes within the resources. In addition, you can change the font and font size for easier reading. Logos is also the only program that currently has any kind of syntax search capability for the original languages. The Logos interface is one of the most intuitive of the two. It resembles a basic website interface. The amount and kind of resources is very helpful. To be able to do a search and see results in original language resources, commentaries, sermon illustration books, etc. is a strong point. There are between 6000 and 7000+ resources available for Logos (The number actually grows daily). Logos cannot be touched in terms of the sheer amount of great resources that they offer. There’s no real alternative for one interested in building a primarily digital library. The syntax tools are great. They are going to significantly change the study of the original language texts—both (1) in what they can do that couldn’t be done before and (2) in saving time doing more efficiently what could be done before only very inefficiently.

The one of the main weaknesses of Logos is the cost. Even with the available discounts, the high price could be out of the reach of many pastors and seminary students who are trying to make ends meet. Some of which is being combated by offering payment plans. The other weakness of Logos is a byproduct of one of its strengths – namely the large number of resources. In the first place, most users will probably find a large number of these resources to be extraneous. Second, the large number of resources slows down searches – sometimes dramatically. Another weakness is speed, but this is only due to the vast amount of resources included with each package.

Recommendations:

For the seminarian or pastor who is using a PC, I would recommend investing long term in Logos. It has all of the tools of BibleWorks with the added benefit of commentaries, word studies, and research resources. My next follow up blog will include some of the resources that may be of assistance for LCMS parishioners, teachers, deaconesses, seminarians, and pastors.

Jonathan Udo Ekong – The Log-Bell Ringer

July 23, 2011

Have you ever wondered how Christianity establishes itself among different cultures? Have you ever wondered about what trials and tribulations shaped future patriarchs throughout the Lutheran church? ?Jonathan Udo Ekong – The Log-Bell Ringer? offers this view directly from the man himself with assisted commentary to explain and set the stage from selections of Jonathan’s memoirs. The book provides insight to the trials and tribulations of his path to bring the one true religion and education to his native people, his views on the affects of his culture and religion, government and civil responsibilities, and very important views on conflicts and change in his society. The one true religion is the religion where the Word of God was not compromised by the cultural rituals or norms. In other words, if it was contrary to God’s Word then it should not be tolerated.

In the year 1910, a journey for the son of Chief Udo Ekong Ndem Ekping changed after being initiated into the Ekpo cult and then later turning away from their ways by the calling of God. Affectionately known to his parents as Kponesip (growing big to become small again), he was later to be named Jonathan after his baptism by missionaries. This story is broken up into four parts that are not dealing with particular parts of his life, but deal with concerns and issues. The first section covers Jonathan’s struggle to bring the Word of God and education to his people, the neighboring villages, and finally Nigeria. The second section contains Jonathan’s reflections on issues of cultural practices in Nigeria, specifically in his area. The third section portrays his views of government and social/civil responsibilities. In the final section Jonathan reflects on conflicts and change in communities.

Jonathan was born in 1881. When his ministry began in 1910, he was 29yrs old. After many trials and fast starts he traveled to the United States in 1928 (47yrs old) to attend summer training at Howard University. From there to the following fall, he attended Elementary/High School. So, we can only imagine the humility and perseverance one would have to have to sit in classes with children at this stage of his life. Moving forward I will intermingle some of the important dates corresponding to the Lutheran church in Nigeria. In 1934, Jonathan spoke at the Lutheran Synodical Conference (LSC) on August 8-13th). It was here that the LSC passed a resolution to undertake aggressive mission work in Ibesikpo (Jonathan’s home area). In1935, a Lutheran survey team departed to investigate the mission field in Ibesikpo. In 1936, he completed his Bachelors of Science at the age of 55. During this same time, Dr. and Mrs. Henry Nau arrived in Nung Udoe to begin the mission work in Ibesikpo. In 1938, Jonathan addressed a Lutheran Convention in Chicago to discuss the cultural practices and manner of life. Dispelling myths about ?the Dark Continent? and sharing his own personal experiences, he continued to be a missionary for not only his people in Nigeria, but of the church as well. The next month, Jonathan finished his seminary studies at Immanuel Lutheran Seminary by graduating and being ordained (57 yrs). Finally, in 1938, Jonathan returned home to his people educated and trained to help bring the Word of God and increased education to his people. His ministry continued with establishing churches and shortly thereafter establishing a school in that same area. In 1971, Concordia Seminary in St. Louis awarded him an honorary Doctorate Degree of Theology in recognition of his faithful and fruitful service to the our Lord and His church (90yrs). On January 6, 1982, just four years before the Lutheran Church of Nigeria celebrated her golden jubilee, he was called home to our Lord around midnight (101yrs).

Interestingly enough, even at Jonathan’s age, when he returned home to his native land, he planted churches and schools, moving between the villages by bike, living with his family in mud huts, and sleeping sometimes in open sheds, while his peer missionaries drove about in cars that were considered luxurious on the roads of Nigeria. His people and those of surrounding areas chose for him to be their representative, the one charged with finding the one true religion, and the one who would return home to spearhead these ministries. Jonathan was respected and humble among his peers. Jonathan is characterized as a mirror image of Paul of the New Testament. E.W. Amamkpa describes Jonathan in this manner:
“The evangelist was tested and passed by his people as one who was ready to render willing, selfless service to his God and his people. One who was ready to leave his house and home, with no provisions for their maintenance. One who would not sue his people to court for failure to send money for his maintenance in America…And one who had the love of God and His service in his heart, so that after obtaining academic qualifications, he will not resign from the church.”(p. 54)

This is the story of Jonathan’s struggle to bring Christianity and education to his people in “Ibesikpo.” It is a story that began with the Word of God being proclaimed and ends with the Word of God being proclaimed. Jonathan Ekong was a son, husband, father, friend, missionary, ambassador, and teacher. These were his vocations, but they all followed his first vocation as a child of God who was eager for God to use him to proclaim His Word. At the time of his death, not only were there churches and schools in every Ibesikpo village, there were also Nigerian Lutherans serving with distinction all over Nigeria, in virtually every occupation and profession. He is the founder of the Lutheran Church, Missionary to both the USA and Nigeria, and patriarch of the church. This book of some of his memoirs is recommended to all who are involved in Christian Mission work.

Yet, this story about Jonathan Ekong continues long after the book stops. I think that thus far I have maintained an objective review on this book. If you have not noticed yet, I have not referred to him as Reverend or Doctor in my review. He has never been either of those to me during the time he was alive. He was simply Papa or Grandfather. I struggled with this book review because I have knowledge that even the author of this book did not seek. Grandfather Ekong (GFE) married Dinah also known as Mama Dinah to the Nigerian church and he had three children from this marriage: Hosea, Victor, and Dorcas. Even though Lutheran Hour Ministries helped work on this book, I found it very peculiar that while GFE’s oldest son, Hosea, was right here in St. Louis attending Concordia Seminary, they never tried to reach out to him for input or direction. I also question the completeness of these memoirs. That is not to say the information provided by this book is incorrect, but that it is incomplete. I know this because GFE’s memoirs are in the possession of my father. His oldest son is now a LCMS pastor, his middle child Victor has his doctorate and has taught in the US and Nigeria, his daughter Dorcas is Deaconess in the Lutheran Church of Nigeria. Countless other family members have gone on to be pastors and one in particular now resides as President of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, Chris Ekong.

Reading my grandfather’s words is both humbling and inspiring. To see literally how the proclaimed Word of God changed him and delivered him from a culture that practice all types of rituals. Seeing him being humble while being educated at the age of 47 was a shock. I really do not know what I expected, but reading him going through grade/high school at that age was surprising. I guess the running joke is all the Ekong men are second career men in the ministry. I will add that knowing who your grandfather is versus actually reading a book dedicated to his work that includes his thinking and recollection of events are two different things. After reading this book, I see the similarities between my grandfather, father, and me now. The approach to life and the ministry is very similar, with the only difference being my father and I still walk by God’s direction while feeling the weight of standing in the shadow of GFE.

Reading this book immediately sparked a sit down with my parents during the summer vacation to discuss some of the readings. A few things that came out of the conversation is possibly doing a joint project to revise this book or write a new complete works of Rev. Dr. Jonathan Udo Ekong, or pushing my father to finally sit down and transcribe all of GFE’s journals. I hope that this will be accomplished in the near future so that the information is not lost as we continue to grow in our respective ministries. It is a hard read at times, jumping from GFE’s memoirs to explanations by Udo Etuk. GFE’s memory is close to flawless and our family joked that my father and I share that trait or ability when it comes to life events. Truly, it is a great book to read, and it no doubt has lit a fire under my butt and probably added a new layer of pressure to live up to what I think his expectations would be for me if he were still alive.

2011 SEMINARY SUNDAY MATERIALS AVAILABLE NOW

July 23, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2011

ST. LOUIS—In the coming weeks, Concordia Seminary will send a packet of Seminary Sunday materials to the pastor of each Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation. A special bulletin insert, an adult Bible study, a sermon, and other worship resources are available to assist pastors and congregations in observing Concordia Seminary Sunday. The materials are not dated and may be used in a variety of ways throughout the year.

The theme and text from Colossians would be appropriate for use at many times during the church year. Therefore, you can choose the best time for your congregation to use the materials and emphasize the importance of seminary education.

It is our hope that Concordia Seminary Sunday will serve as an annual opportunity for you to: emphasize the importance of forming men for service in the pastoral ministry and women for service as deaconesses, and enlist prayer support for this activity; inform your congregation how pastors are formed for ministry; and encourage your congregation to assist in the crucial process of identifying, informing, and encouraging our future pastors and deaconesses.

Churches must place their orders at least two weeks before they want to use the materials to allow for mailing. For more information or to order Concordia Seminary Sunday materials, contact creative services, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7362; curlessj@csl.edu.

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GREEN AND GOLD DAYS’ COMING UP AT CONCORDIA SEMINARY

July 23, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2011

ST. LOUIS—The first of three Green and Gold Days will take place on Friday, October 14, 2011 at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. A visitation day for college students thinking about the pastoral or deaconess ministry, Green and Gold Days are one-day events with opportunities to explore what Concordia Seminary has to offer.

Each Green and Gold Day will provide a quick opportunity for college men and women to come and see all the Seminary offers. Each guest will attend classes, worship in chapel, and speak with members of the faculty. To end the day, all participants are invited to join the Seminary community for Oktoberfest (October 14 date only).

The next two Green and Gold Days during the 2011-2012 academic year will take place on Friday, January 6, 2012 and Friday, March 16, 2012. There is no registration fee to attend Green and Gold Days. Housing will be available on campus for all dates. All meals are also provided free of charge. Transportation to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will be provided if needed. The registration deadline is two weeks prior to each event (September 30 is the first registration deadline).

For questions or to register by phone, please call 1-800-822-9545.

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SEMINARY VISITATION EVENT FOR PROSPECTIVE PASTORS AND DEACONESSES

July 23, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2011

ST. LOUIS—Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is pleased to invite prospective students and their guests to attend Contemplate… to be held October 6-8, 2011 on the Seminary campus. Designed for those who are college age or older, the structured visitation event provides an effective means for learning more about life in the Concordia Seminary community and the preparation that leads to service as a pastor, missionary, chaplain, or deaconess in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Check-in and campus tours take place on Thursday afternoon. Those who arrive earlier are invited to observe a class in session or visit the bookstore. A welcome reception and dinner provide a unique opportunity to meet Seminary faculty in an informal setting. After dinner, participants will hear a presentation on the formation for ministry, meet the Student Ambassadors, and attend an evening chapel service.

Paired with a current student, participants will attend chapel and observe classes on Friday. Sessions will focus on the spiritual and personal aspects of the decision-making process, as well as provide opportunities for presentations on the academic program, resident field education, vicarage and internship years, financial assistance, and housing.

An occasion for further dialogue with current students occurs during the student panel discussion Friday evening. Married and single student housing tours and individual appointments with admissions counselors and the life transitions office are made available to participants on Saturday morning. The visitation event concludes with a farewell lunch.

The second Contemplate… event of the academic year will take place on March 8-10, 2012. There is no charge to attend Contemplate…, and all meals and lodging are provided free of charge. Round-trip transportation to Concordia Seminary from the airport is provided.

For more information, contact the admissions office at 1-800-822-9545 or admissions@csl.edu.

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To view or search the list archives, join or leave the list, or change your subscription options, see the web page at http://LISTSERV.CUIS.EDU/cgi-bin/wa?A0=CSLNEWS
To unsubscribe via email, send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.CUIS.EDU with the words “UNSUB CSLNEWS” as the body of the message.


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