Product Review: Logos Bible Software

I promised to get the word out about Logos Bible Software, as they provided me several books for review. The books were provided in electronic form, readable on various platforms including mobile apps. Head over to to get started with free software downloads, multiple Bible translations, and a starting library. The software is free, but from there, you may purchase access to individual books and to entire libraries for deeper research.

I discovered I loved the software! This will not be a review of Logos per se, but merely a description of how I, as a book reviewer, use it. My use is far less demanding than that of a college student or pastor, so I haven’t delved into the complex features of the software nor its collaboration functionality. For this simple book reviewer, that all looks positively daunting.

I am running both an Android version on a tablet and the Logos 5 version on my Windows PC. There is a notable difference between the two; Logos 5 is far more powerful. Consequently, I read the books on my tablet, highlighting text and recording notes as I go, and then I turn to the Windows software when finished to prepare reviews. There, I can quickly scan highlighted text, collect my notes, and view resources side-by-side like my favorite Bible translations or the Exegetical Guide. Because all of this runs on the Logos cloud server, there is no syncing required between devices. Fantastic!

Never will I actually prefer electronic copy to paper—I guess I’m too old for that—but this is pretty impressive when you want more than just a book reader. Note that a cloud environment does have its drawbacks: The occasional slowness in loading a new page; the required tether to a hotspot; the quicker battery depletion. Nevertheless, I shan’t be dragged kicking and screaming into the future, for the cloud is here to stay and these things will improve. It is possible to download and read offline, but you miss out on quite a bit of the functionality that way.

Definitely a useful product.

Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan

I promised to put the word out for this new documentary about homeless children in India.

David Trotter and Shawn Scheinoha traveled to India hoping to learn a little about how the country’s 31 million orphans lived. They happened upon a “family” of 25 (mostly) teens living by a railway, and joined them, sleeping in the streets. It’s a heart-wrenching peek into the struggle to obtain food, and then tobacco or cheap drugs to chase away the pain. Two out of three children are physically abused in India, almost all from within their own home, and many wind up homeless because the AIDS epidemic killed their parents. Then, of course, the children succumb to AIDS as well, through passing needles and sex trafficking.

A caste system in India leaves many children “untouchable,” so there is little hope for many of these orphans. They band together and learn from each other how to beg, how to brush their teeth with fingers and brick dust, how to avoid the police.

I hesitate to rate the documentary because it’s a call for action. If you would like to get involved, you may visit Mother India at

Book Preview: Chasing an Elusive God

So much did I enjoy the the prologue of Ray Vincent’s latest book that I asked permission to reprint it here. I’ll be providing a regular book review within a couple weeks, but for now…enjoy his opening, titled The Dream:

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At the beginning of history, human beings began to dream … Their dreams were their fears and their hopes. They dreamed up demons and spirits and hostile gods who caused disease, destruction and death.They dreamed up benevolent spirits who protected them, creative spirits who made the crops grow, happy spirits who made the flowers blossom and inspired people to dance and sing, mysterious spirits who gave them feelings they could not explain.

Then some people became richer and more powerful than others, and they dreamed up gods who protected their wealth and power and kept the poor in their place. They dreamed up national gods who helped them in their battles and defeated other nations. They dreamed up rebel gods who helped them overthrow those more powerful than themselves. They dreamed up power struggles in Heaven reflecting the power struggles on earth, myths to explain why the world is as it is.

Then someone said: “This can’t be right! Let’s be logical about it: someone has to be in charge of the whole lot. If there is ‘god’, there can only be one God”. And people agreed there could only be one God. But what kind of God?

So people dreamed up a God who controls everything, creating good and evil, light and darkness, life and death, a God against whom we are all helpless.

But those who were oppressed and abused said: “This can’t go on forever!” And they dreamed up a God of justice who favours the good and doesn’t allow the wicked to get away with it. And in the name of this God of justice the poor and the weak felt free, and sang songs of hope.

A Blog You Must Read!

A little ways down the right hand column of The Dubious Disciple, you’ll see a few of my favorite blog feeds. On the top of the list you’ll probably find one titled James’ Thoughts and Musings. I’m betting it will be on the top of the list because the most recent feed is always on top, and James posts multiple times a day! Here’s his blog:

James’ Thoughts and Musings

James is a Ph.D. student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, studying the History of Biblical Interpretation, and he comes up with some fascinating topics for discussion. I’ve long appreciated James’ posts, which are either insightful, thought-provoking, or inspiring (and sometimes all three!)

Well, I can no longer delay giving James a proper plug, because he took on the project of reviewing my latest book in bite-size chunks. The embarrassing part is that he often offers deeper commentary than my research for the book carried me! Who’s learning from who, here?

Anyway, here are the first few posts about John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened, which is available for purchase now from my website, and will be available in online and brick-and-mortar stores beginning March 1. Have a look if you’re interested in discussing the book.

Starting John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened

Who Was Nicodemus

What Kind Of Lamb and How Will He Remove Sin?

John and Realized Eschatology

Jesus and Elisha Disregard the Firstfruits