June 26, 2014

The folks at Logos Bible Software asked me to review the new Logos 5 Bible software and also the new Lutheran package, Lutheran Gold. You are all undoubtedly aware of the variety of Bible software on the market. You may even have older versions of Logos. My impression of Logos 5 is that it is Bible software on steroids! Focusing all the pertinent resources of your library onto a specific topic or verse with a single click is amazing. “Drilling down” into nuances of words in various contexts enables the user to mine richness from God’s Word in a few minutes rather than hours.

One example: As you know, I frequently use passages dealing with life from conception to death. I have studied some of these passages intensely. But when, for example, I did a search on Psalm 139:13-14, I found that others have studied it intensely as well and brought resources and insights to bear on these powerful words that I had not.

Logos 5 is a valuable tool for the academic studying the Divine text. But it is invaluable for the parish pastor who wants to do quality exegesis for Bible study or sermon preparation but is often constrained by the demands of parish life. Logos has done the work. Pastors reap the innumerable benefits. There is a short video about Logos 5 that can be accessed at www.logos.com.

Lutheran Gold offers a package of good Lutheran and other resources. Many of Luther’s classic works are there, although his complete works would truly make this worth purchasing. Notably missing are great Lutheran classics like Walther’s The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel and Francis Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics. R.C.H. Lenski’s Commentary on the New Testament would be another great addition.

As someone more interested in practical theology and application of theology to our present culture, I find some of the works a bit outdated. For example, although there are works on Christian ethics, what about some of the more modern ethicists such as Dr. Robert Benne or Lutheran ethicists like Dr. Gilbert Meilaender, Wesley J. Smith, Dr. Robert Wiese, and Dr. Richard Eyer? In an era of stem cell research, human cloning, and bioengineering, Lutheran pastors need more current and applicable ethical writings.

In summary, there are many resources in Lutheran Gold that would probably not be used by the typical Lutheran pastor and there are several Lutheran works that one would wish to see included. Nevertheless, there are enough valuable resources here to make Lutheran Gold worthy of consideration by any Lutheran pastor. I invite you to check it for yourself here