Creating Collections in Logos Bible Software is a powerful way to manage your library and refine your searches for key words and phrases. The Logos website has some simple instructions on how to do this HERE and the user-created wiki-page has some more detailed instructions along with graphical illustrations HERE.
When I am training, I usually have several people ask about the rules I used to create the collections in my videos, so at long last I decided to post them here for your use.
In each box below I have shown you 3 specific items:
“MyTags” I added to selected books to ensure they are included in a collection.
“Collection” is the title I used.
“Criteria” is the actual rule I created to make the collection.
“Minus Collection” Some of my collections are used to help refine other collections and reduce duplication of search results.
Please feel free to leave suggestions for improvement in the comments section.
Collection: Apologetics Resources
Criteria: title:(apologetics, mormon, reincarnation, defending, horoscope, “jehovah’s witness”) OR subject:apologetics OR eugenics OR “social problems” OR author:chesterton OR mytag:Apologetics
Criteria: title:(archaeolog, archeolog, excavation) OR subject:(archaeolog, archeolog, excavation, pottery) OR mytag:(archaeolog, archeolog)
MyTag: Bible Studies
Collection: Bible Studies
Criteria: mytag:”bible studies” OR subject:(“Bible Study”, “Study Guides”)
Collection: Biography (Bible)
Criteria: (subject:(autobiography, biography) OR mytag:Biography000) ANDNOT subject:(paul, bible, jesus, apostles)
Criteria: mytag:counseling OR subject:(counseling, psychology) OR title:(counseling, psychology)
Collection: Favorite Devotional Bibles
Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english AND rating:>2 mytag:devotional
Collection: Dogmatics & Sytematics
Criteria: title:systematic OR title:dogmatics OR title:doctrine OR mytag:Dogmatics ANDNOT introduction
Collection: Exegetical Commentaries
Collection: Favorite Expanded Bibles
Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english AND rating:>2 mytag:expanded
Collection: Expository Commentaries
Collection: Grammars & Lexicons
Criteria: (type:(grammar, lexicon) OR mytag:gramlex) AND rating:>1
Collection: Biblical Hermeneutics
Criteria: mytag:hermeneutics OR title:hermeneutics OR subject:hermeneutics
Collection: History: Church
Collection: Homiletical Commentaries
Collection: All Journals
Criteria: type:(magazine, journal) OR subject:periodicals OR mytag:journal
– Minus Collection: Spanish Language
Collection: Outline Commentaries
Collection: All Reference Works
Criteria: ((type:(dictionary, encyclopedia) AND rating:>1) OR mytag:RefWork) ANDNOT (type:lexicon OR title:(cascadia, lexham, syntactic, illustrations) OR lang:spanish))
MyTag: Roman Catholic
Collection: Roman Catholic Spirituality
Criteria: mytag:”Roman Catholic”
Collection: Creation Science
Criteria: subject:(creationism, science, cosmological, evolution, biology, astronomy) OR title:(science, evolution, space, astronomy) OR author:”hugh ross” OR mytag:science
Criteria: (title:preaching ANDNOT illustrations OR title:sermon OR title:homiletical OR title:homiletics OR subject:homiletics) ANDNOT mytag:sermons
MyTag: Single Volume Commentary
Collection: Single Volume Commentaries
Criteria: mytag:”Single Volume Commentary”
Collection: Favorite Study Bibles
Criteria: type:bible AND lang:english AND rating:>2 mytag:study
MyTag: Untagged Commentary
Collection: Untagged Commentary
Criteria: mytag:”Untagged Commentary”
MyTag: Wesleyan Studies
Collection: Wesleyan Studies
Criteria: publisher:wesleyan OR collection:holiness OR title:wesley* OR author:(“John Wesley”, “Adam Clarke”) OR mytag:”Wesleyan Studies”
Over the centuries, the story commonly called “The Prodigal Son” has arguably influenced more poetry, art, and literature than any other told by Jesus. This parable has been the single largest inspiration for my faith over the past 15 years. Most notably, the story of the Prodigal Son inspired the name for my first church plant “Reunion”
Read the Gospels and you will see how Jesus’ message of Divine-hope was attracting those who were outcasts from Jewish society and those who were despised by the Jewish religious leaders. The first two verses of Luke chapter fifteen set the stage.
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
The Pharisees and Scribes were watching Jesus teach. The whole time they complained that he was hanging out with the worst sort of people. Imagine their shock to discover that Jesus was eating with sinners! “Oh no! Not sinners!” Jesus, seeing their harsh criticism and judgmentalism, decides He needs to teach these Pharisees and Scribes a valuable lesson about God’s love for Man–His greatest creation. In trying to open their minds and hearts to a radically different Kingdom view, Jesus tells three parables.
The first parable is about a lost sheep being found and the second is about finding a lost coin. Both of these stories are designed to drive home a simple message that every one of us can understand; when you lose something of value, you will do anything to get it back and when you get it back, you will be excited. Kind of obvious, right? But, the third parable challenges the obvious. Do we really rejoice when the lost are found?
This parable is often called “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” which puts the emphasis upon the young son who is seen as wasteful of all that he has been given by the Father. The obvious problem here is that this title pulls the focus away from the story of the older son nor does it put a proper emphasis upon the love of the father. If I were to give a title to this parable, I think I would call it “The Unfinished Parable” because, as we shall soon see, this is probably the only parable that Jesus never finishes. The open-ended nature of this parable is discovered when we recognize Jesus’ use of chiasmus in Luke 15:11-32.
Jesus’ use of chiasmus in Luke 15:11-32
In a typical chiasm, the emphasis is placed on the center of the structure. In this parable, Jesus does something unique. In the first half, we see a complete story of the young son (A B C C’ B’ A’). In the second half, the story of the older son is left incomplete (A B C C’ B’ ?). Jesus ends this parable leaving us on the edge of our seats. There is no A’ to complete the chiasm. He leaves us wondering, “what will happen with this older son. Will the shame of his own sin and anger lead him to repent and embrace the Father’s mercy?” (B’) “Will the older son discover the joy of this family reunion and the pleasure of embracing his lost brother? “(A’) Or will he sit outside and stew; condemning his brother with every thought and look for the rest of his days?
Jesus does not finish this parable, because the Pharisees and Scribes, who are represented by the older son, must write the ending (A’). Just like the older son, their outward actions were commendable, yet their heart did not beat in unison with the heart of the Father who wanted only to have the lost come home (Luke 15:1-2). I don’t think this parable is a condemnation of the Pharisees and Scribes as much as it is an open-ended question asking them, “what kind of son will you be to the Heavenly Father?”
Now that you can see how this chiastic structure works, it is easy to see that this Unfinished Parable is an open invitation for us to live as a people of reunion. This parable is a challenge from Jesus, “what kind of son are you, my church, going to be?”
As I listen to to the voice of Jesus in this parable, I cannot help but remember an encounter I had back when I was a student at Penn State University. Our campus ministry put on an outreach to the homosexual community by inviting in a speaker who was once living a homosexual lifestyle and who now proclaimed the message of freedom in Christ. As the speaker got up to begin his talk, two-dozen or more students stood up from the crowd, made a circle around the room and took off their outer shirts to reveal t-shirts with a message of silent protest. As the speaker talked, I was drawn by God’s Spirit to pray for a young gay man who was standing nearby. By the end of the talk, I knew that God wanted me to speak with him. As we talked, I could tell he was very interested in hearing what God had to say about the sin of homosexuality and the forgiveness in Christ but his friends kept pulling him away. Finally, I knew my time with him was at an end but I prayed that God would give me something to say that would help transform this young man’s life. As I said goodbye, I knew what I had to do. I reached out and pulled this young man to me and gave him a huge hug. In the midst of my embrace, I could feel his body tense with anxiety. He must have been wondering, “I thought this guy said homosexuality was a sin. How then can he give me this hug?” As I released my hug, I told him that God loved him and wanted him to come home.
Whatever became of that young man I may only discover some day in heaven, but as I read this parable from Jesus, I am convicted that we can do a lot more to embrace the lost sons and daughters who only wish to come home for a family celebration.
Jesus is waiting for you and me to finish this parable. How will you respond to the Father?
When Ideology trumps truth, we are left only with religion. No matter the cause; animal rights, the environment, Social Justice, or the pursuit of Democratic Freedom, religion always places the end goal above the means.
Case Study #1
Oprah’s use, in 2006, of James Frey’s book “A Millioin Little Pieces” is one example. Oprah believed Frey’s book affirmed her hope that Man has the internal capacity to lift himself up from the uttermost depths to the highest peaks. When Frey was exposed as a fraud, Oprah’s first response was very telling. She asserted that despite the fact that his book was filled with lies,
“..the underlying message of redemption in James Frey’s memoir still resonates with me, and I know it resonates with millions of other people who have read this book.
What is relevant is that he was a drug addict who spent years in turmoil from the time he was 10 years old drinking and tormenting himself and his parents, and stepped out of that history to be the man that he is today and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves.”
Oprah would later “clarify” her statement which undermined the importance of truth, but still there remained an underlying hope that despite the facts the basic narrative remained viable. And of course the publisher of Frey’s book had no problem allowing truth to suffer the cause of profit. “Frey’s publisher Nan Talese herself, actually took what had been a novel and rechristened it a memoir, hoping for the kinds of sales only afforded to “true stories.” This is no shock that a publisher and author would lie about a book to increase sales.
When ideology trumps truth, prosperity becomes god.
Case Study #2
In 2007, Jesse Macbeth, became the poster boy for many in the anti-Iraqi war movment. He claimed to be a war veteran who had killed women and children all at the behest of the US Army Rangers. But numerous holes in his story lead Macbeth to plead guilty to charges he faked his war record. Despite the lie, there are still people who embrace the narrative.
“If Jesse MacBeth is or isn’t who he claims to be, so what? Does being a fake change the fact that this war is grossly illegal, corrupt and immoral? Does it change the fact that the U.S. administration lies, condones and practices torture, illegal captivity, kidnapping, rape, use of napalm … uses depleted uranium on its own troops as well as on foreign soil? My point is this, even if Jesse is a fake, (which I don’t think he is!) we all know that the occupation forces has already committed astounding atrocities against the people of Iraq and other nations on this planet.”
“What difference does it make if he is a fake or not. I would bet that there are things like that going on over there. Anyone that trusts our government to tell the truth is a moron.”
These quotes illustrate a class of people who have given up on truth and replacec it with opinion.
When ideology trumps truth, perception becomes reality; and that is a path to certain destruction.
Case Study #3
Anyone who watches the political landscape in America knows that things are getting nasty. It seems that on every front, ideology has become the master of truth. One example is the 2004 scandal created by reporter Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes. In what would later become known as “Rathergate”, CBS News aired fabricated documents that they claimed “proved” George W. Bush shirked his duty to his country during the Vietnam war. Bernie Goldberg has observed that despite knowing the documents were false, they chose to air the story because it fit their ideological agenda. Goldberg writes,
Mapes had information prior to the airing of the September 8  Segment that President Bush, while in the TexANG [Texas Air National Guard] did volunteer for service in Vietnam but was turned down in favor of more experienced pilots. For example, a flight instructor who served in the TexANG with Lieutenant Bush advised Mapes in 1999 that Lieutenant Bush “did want to go to Vietnam but others went first.” Similarly, several others advised Mapes in 1999, and again in 2004 before September 8, that Lieutenant Bush had volunteered to go to Vietnam but did not have enough flight hours to qualify.
The lie was eventually exposed by bloggers and Dan Rather was fired for his actions, but some people still held onto the narrative that Bush was a “draft-dodger” despite the lack of evidence. This kind of distorton is not just an accident, it is a strategy designed by thinkers like Saul Alinsky. According to The American Thinker, Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals, “…gives “the complete outline for throwing Judeo/Christian principles and honesty to the winds of revolutionary fervor.”
When ideology trumps truth, perception overpowers reality.
Case Study #4
“Wanted: Dead Or Alive” leaflets sent out by New Black Panthers offering a $10,000 bounty for George Zimmerma
In 2012, probably the most egregious case of ideological fervor came when NBC aired doctored tapes of George Zimmerman’s 911 call to make it look like he was a racist who profiled a young black teen in a white neighborhood.
They aired an audio of Zimmermansaying:
This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.
But the unedited tape reveals the truth of Zimmerman’s conversation with a 911 dispatcher.
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
No one know the what truly happened that night and it might be true that Zimmerman is a bad guy… time will tell. But as of today, despite the truth that these tapes were intentionally altered, there are still people convinced Zimmerman is a racist simply because it fits their larger political agenda. The New Black Panthers even put a $10,000 “Wanted Dead or Alive” bounty on Zimmerman’s head. The biggest danger of all, is that…
when ideology trumps truth, the destruction and dehumanization of any individual becomes acceptable.
Case Study #5
DNC Flyer circulated on Facebook featuring their talking points and intentionally distorted quote from the LA Times
Politics is no stranger to deception. Take for example this August 2012 exchange between CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In the interview, Cooper confronts Wasserman:
“I don’t understand why in a fundraising appeal you would, it seems, maybe accidentally, but you completely misquote the L.A. Times and you make it sound as if they’re saying something that they’re not saying, and you’re using that as evidence to back up your position,”
“Anderson, it doesn’t matter.”
Despite repeated attempts by Cooper to confront Wasserman with her abuse of the facts, she sticks to her idealogical agenda and says without shame, the facts don’t matter because her agenda is what matters.
When Ideology trumps truth, deception becomes our sheild.
Let’s put our political beliefs aside and try and grasp the bigger picture of what these five case studies illustrate. They demonstrate in small ways, how our culture has placed ideaology above truth. We have forgotten that no matter how noble ones goal, truth does matter and if the evidence does not support ones ideology then maybe it is time to discard the ideology.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I may not always know which politician is lying, or which “news” organization is editing the facts…, but I do know that my hope rests in the historical reality of a Messiah who was, and is and ever shall be.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 17-18, 58
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me…
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied…
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
When truth trumps ideology, the dehumanization of the individual is never acceptable.
When truth trumps ideology, reality overpowers perception.
When truth trumps ideology, serving God becomes our prosperity.
When truth trumps ideology, we are shielded from deception.
Having been out of the church culture for a few years, I have become increasingly troubled over the “us against them” mentality that has been fostered through some apologetic programs. Case in point, Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project. The Truth Project is comprised of 13 one-hour lessons designed to counter a “downward slide within the body of Christ” because “today’s believers live very similarly to non-believers.”
A few years ago I had the opportunity to participate in the program and my experience with it was perplexing. I expected to gain rational tools to defend my faith however, as the class progressed I became increasingly agitated over the reaction of the participants to the material. Comments during discussions betrayed the growing sentiment that it was believers vs. the deceived, truth vs. lies and there was a battle to be won. It reminded me of a high school pep rally where participants were encouraged to “Go! Fight! Win!” Despite the reminders of the video host that our battle was not against flesh but against principalities and powers, the evangelistic fervor that resulted appeared to be aimed more at individual “targets” than against any powers that be.
I use this experience to illustrate my concern. I have no argument with apologetics nor a Christian worldview. I happen to hold a Christian worldview. The point of this post is not to examine The Truth Project or to criticize it. My concern is that apologetics, which is by nature a rational sharing of information, has become for some an emotional tool of conflict creating a divide rather than reconciliation.
When I worked in ministry I was a quick defender of the Church. Working for an evangelistic ministry put me on the front lines of faith reaching out to those who did not have a saving relationship with Christ. Often I heard the critics level the charge of hypocrisy and those who had left the church claimed to have found more acceptance outside the realms of the body of Christ than within it. Properly employed, apologetics is a discipline which yields understanding between individuals. Exercised with the above mentioned mentality, apologetics creates barriers instead of common ground.
I am still a believer in the Church and in rendering a proper defense of our faith but am increasingly dissatisfied with how some in the church conduct themselves when engaging in apologetics. Our fervor to defend the faith may be alienating the very ones that Christ would have us reach. While the Holy Spirit is quite up to dealing with the walls we might construct, I am concerned that we, the Church, have created a false dichotomy—the Church vs. the World. In creating a worldview that focuses on this divide, the very Truth we possess becomes a lie that causes the people whom Christ loves to run away.
In my early years of church planting starting in 2005, I had the immense privilege to be in a great network of church planters through Seattle Church Planting. Gary Irby, our fearless encourager, came to speak with our church in those early years and he shared an inspiring story of how The Bridge Church made a huge impact on their community. Their approach to living out the Gospel totally changed the way the non-Christians in their community view Christians and the Church. I wanted to share the story with you, so I set up an interview with one of the Elders, Daniel Espy, who was involved in the early days of The Bridge.
ME: Daniel, I have heard some great things about what God is doing at The Bridge. Could you give my readers a brief history of the Bridge and tell folks what you do in service to the church?
DANIEL: My name is Daniel Espy and I am married to a wonderful woman named Leah and we have two wild and crazy kids. Josiah is three years old and Aletheia is 21 months. About five years ago a man came and spoke in my missiology class in seminary and told about a church he was starting in Lake Stevens, WA. That was the beginning of my journey with The Bridge Church. My wife and I came up in the summer of 2005 to check out what was going on and returned a year later after graduation with the plans of being bi-vocational and helping start new churches. My previous education and experience was in managing golf courses so God used those skills to find me a job running the construction division of a landscape company while we lived in someone’s basement. After doing this for about a year God provided a way for me to quit and start being a pastor full time. Since that time, the original planter has moved back to North Carolina and I have become the directional elder for the church. What that means in the big scheme of things is that I oversee the daily operations of the church, lead discipleship classes and preach on Sunday morning. I try as much as I can to push ministry out to the edges so there are many others who lead and carry out the vision God has given us in ways that I never could.
The church itself started in a living room and then moved to a school shortly thereafter. It officially launched in March of 2006 and remained in the school until 2007. At that time God unexpectedly changed the direction of our church. To make a long story short, another church in our area was not in the best of shape and our school had come up to be remodeled so we needed a place to meet. The other church did not have a pastor so we agreed to have our service at a separate time from them yet also perform their service for them. Well after three months the two churches decided they liked each other so much that they wanted to get “married” and form a new church calling itself The Bridge Church. Just imagine how fun it was to try and orchestrate the merger between an equal number of mostly new believers who had an average age of 35 with and established church whose median age was 60. Needless to say that it has not always been easy but God has done amazing things holding us together under the banner of Christ. This past year we saw 14 people get baptized in a baptistery that had not been filled up in more than 3 years before the merger. Though the plans changed from what we thought God might do he gave us a building and 5 acres that is mortgage free and near the corner of two major highways.
ME: That is a great story brother. What a great beginning! I have heard some other great stories about The Bridge. Our mutual friend Gary Irby of Seattle Church planting, tells me that you guys came into the community with a heart for service that really changed perceptions about Christianity. Can you share with us some of the history behind the Strawberry Festival?
DANIEL: When The Bridge started in Lake Stevens, churches and Christians were not looked on very favorably. Just prior to our arrival some Christians had picketed City Hall and the mayor and there had been some strong sentiment that Christians should not be allowed to gather and have public worship services city parks. The Bridge went in and asked the mayor if we could pray for him and promised to never picket him. We asked him as a sign of good faith if there was anything that we could do to serve the community that no one else would do. He popped up and said that they always need help with trash at Aquafest, which is the big yearly event in town. We said yes not having any clue what we had just committed to. This event has upwards of 30,000 people come through town in 3 days and about 10 people had just committed to pick up trash and keep the streets clean for the entire thing by themselves. Needless to say we were completely overwhelmed and exhausted after filling up 2 of the largest industrial dumpsters you have ever seen with trash from the cans and trash that was supposed to go in the can. By offering to do this for the city a relationship of good will was built which prompted them to ask us to perform a worship service in the park the following year and every year since then on Sunday morning before the days activities begin. We also pick up trash in conjunction with another church the next town over, Snohomish. The event there is called Kla Ha Ya Days and though not on the same scale in size as Aquafest has allowed us to build good will in the community. The other big event we do each years is called CAREfest (www.carefestsnoco.org). What started with one church just 3 years ago had 10 churches participate last year. (Contact Gordon Everett at Snohomish Community Church for info and ideas) We go into the community and do as many projects as possible in one day. We do whatever the schools can’t do for themselves such as painting, clearing blackberries, rearranging classrooms, etc. Also, one of the local car dealerships opens up his mechanics garage and fixes cars all day for us.
ME: What a great story of how being a servant can bring real change. Okay, so here is my final question. I see from your website a real heart for serving others continues on through your “Common Cause” groups. Could you tell us a little bit about these groups and how they influence the life of your church Family?
DANIEL: We take our idea for Common Cause groups straight from Acts 2:42-45. These groups are the missions arm of the church. They are responsible for ministering to one another, a concept we call “No one stands alone.” They eat meals together, fellowship together, study the Word together and serve together. They are responsible for coming up with their own projects and carrying them out. We allow them to announce to the church what they are doing so people can see others besides the elders and deacons serving. If they need help with a project it is their responsibility to go and enlist the help of others in the church. This way we aren’t seen as showing favoritism to one group or project over another and they find out that they are capable of carrying out the love that the Bible commands us to show. Our two most recent projects have involved our Senior High group collecting supplies for the homeless and distributing what was collected to the people where they congregate and another group raised money and food for families in need within the church who have been effected by the recent economy.
ME: Daniel, thanks so much for your time in doing this interview. I hope all my readers are inspired to find ways in their own communities to be a real bridge to Christ.
To all my readers, what inspires you most about what you read today?