Logos at its Best

Scott Oliphint
Logos At Its Best: The Reformation At Your Fingertips

As one whose Th.M. thesis was typed on a "state of the art" IBM Selectric typewriter, I continue to marvel at some of the technological advances that have been made over the past few decades. I remember walking into the Bookstore at Westminster Theological Seminary, some twenty years ago, and seeing a box containing "Logos Bible Software" on the shelves. I was stunned by the fact that it was possible to have the entire Bible, even many Bibles, on my computer (assuming the hard drive was over 100 MB!), as well as the ability to study Scripture in its original languages.

Though technology has its significant downsides, since my initial discovery of Logos software they have moved light years beyond their original product. They have continued to provide, in my estimation, unparalleled help for anyone, professional or lay person, interested in studying Scripture. The sheer amount of Bibles, and Bible study tools and resources, that they now offer is staggering. I cannot imagine how my Th.M. thesis, not to mention my sermons, would have been enhanced in those "early " days if I had been able to avail myself of just a fraction of what Logos has to offer.

A few years ago, when I rediscovered Logos, I was pleased to see that anything I needed to do, whether in Hebrew, Greek or English, was readily available to me on their, now significantly updated, software. The number of resources offered in their "base packages" was almost overwhelming. But what I discovered, after using it for a few months, was that there were some resources in their packages that were invaluable to me, but others I would likely never use or access. So, I wrote to them to see if there might be a way to "customize" a package, so that more, or most, of the resources in a base package might be tailored for the work that I do each day. At that time, their response was, "Not yet."

All that has changed. Logos has now begun to customize its vast array of resources, so that it would be more useful and helpful to those of us who live and breath in a particular theological tradition. Specifically, they have just released three "Reformed base packages" which are designed to provide an almost incalculable number of bible study helps, lexicons, commentaries, dictionaries and theology books that would greatly, and almost instantly, aid in the study and application of Scripture and of the Reformed theology that comes from Scripture.

These packages should be of interest to any reader of Reformation21. The sheer amount of Scriptural and theological resources is enough to fill, if owned in print, any pastor's library. So vast are these resources that it is impossible to list them here, but a sampling of what can be had might prove to whet your Reformed appetite and, at least for a time, satiate the insatiable. For example, suppose you are interested to know how Reformed theologians have thought about the doctrine of justification. You could begin, in Logos' most expansive Reformed package, to consult, within seconds, the following resources:
  • Outlines of Theology by A. A. Hodge
  • Westminster Confession of Faith, including the Larger and Shorter Catechisms
Historic Creeds and Confession
  • Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (95 Theses)
  • Infant Baptism and the Silence of the New Testament
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion (3 vols.)
  • Systematic Theology (Hodge)
  • Dogmatic Theology (W. G. T. Shedd)
  • Systematic Theology (Strong)
  • Works of John Bunyan
  • The Unexpected Jesus
  • The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 vols.)
  • God, Revelation and Authority
  • B. B. Warfield Collection (20 vols.)
  • Boice's Foundations of the Christian Faith
  • The Commentary of Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism
  • D. A. Carson "Love of God" Collection (3 vols.)
  • The Theology of the Christian Life in J. I. Packer's Thought
  • The Works of John Owen (24 vols.)
  • William G. T. Shedd Collection (13 vols.)
  • Summa Theologica: English and Latin Bundle (30 vols.)
  • Tracts and Treatises of John Calvin (8 vols.)
  • The Major Works of Anselm of Canterbury
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 vols.)
  • A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life
  • Herman Witsius Collection (11 vols.)
  • Louis Berkhof Collection (15 vols.)
  • Works of Robert J. Breckinridge (10 vols.)
  • A. W. Pink Collection
  • The Christian's Reasonable Service (4 vols.)
  • Christian Theology (Benedict Pictet)
  • The Works of Zwingli (7 vols.)
  • Samuel Rutherford Collection (9 vols.)
  • James Henley Thornwell Collection (10 vols.)
  • Select Works of Geerhardus Vos (14 vols.) 
  • Loraine Boettner Collection (8 vols.)
  • The Works of Augustus M. Toplady (6 vols.)
  • The Works of John Knox (6 vols.)
  • A. A. Hodge Collection (11 vols.)
  • John Huss Collection (7 vols.)
  • The Works of Thomas Goodwin (12 vols.)
  • Abraham Kuyper Collection (3 vols.)
  • Classic Studies on John Knox (15 vols.) 
  • A. W. Pink Collection (40 vols.)
  • Reformed Dogmatics (5 vols.)
  • The Works of Charles Hodge (29 vos.)
  • Robert Lewis Dabney Collection (11 vols.)

Perhaps you want to see how this doctrine has shown itself in the history of the church. If so, you could quickly search the following:

  • Creeds, Councils and Controversies: Documents Illustrating the History of the Church, AD 337-461, New Edition
  • Creeds of Christendom (Schaff)
  • J. N. D. Kelly's Early Christian Doctrines and Creeds (2 vols.)
  • History of the Christian Church
  • Studies in the Reformation (3 Vols.)
  • The Letters of John Calvin (4 vols.)
  • The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians
  • The Doctrine of Justification: An Outline of Its History in the Church and of Its Exposition from Scripture
  • Primitive Christianity: A Survey of Recent Studies and Some New Proposals
  • Twenty Centuries of Christian Worship (Library of Christian Worship: Volume 2)
  • History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (5 vols.)
  • James Isaac Good Collection (16 vols.)
  • Classic Studies on the Scottish Reformation (7 vols.) 
  • Classic Studies on the Scottish Church History (11 vols.) 
  • A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 1
  • A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 2
  • A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 3
  • A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 4
  • A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 5
  • History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (8 vols.)

As I said, these resources are just the beginning of what Logos provides in its Reformed base package. Four or five of those resources listed above would cost what Logos charges for the entire package. It won't provide you with the experience, still cherished by me and many others, of sitting down, book in hand, and working, page by page, through a theological tome. What it will provide is an easy and accessible way to read, to search, to research some of the best volumes ever published in the history of theology.

Now that I have been using Logos for a few years, I can't imagine studying Scripture and doing research without it. The good news is, it gets better and better with age. This newest iteration is by far its best advance. As soon as you are able, get the Reformation into your digital library with a Logos Reformed package. There's enough in one package for a lifetime of fruitful study.

Dr. K. Scott Oliphint is Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. His latest book is Covenantal Apologetics (Crossway, 2013).