Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Bible Study for a New Generation

Leslie Basham: Scott Lindsey and Nancy Leigh DeMoss ask, “Do your kids know how much you value the Bible?”

Scott Lindsey: If your children do not see the Word of God being a priority in your own life . . . so, dads and moms, if they don’t see you studying the Bible, if they don’t see you reading Scripture, you can’t expect it in their lives.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: There’s no reason for them to think it really matters if it doesn’t really matter to you.

Leslie: This is the Revive Our Hearts podcast with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Yesterday, we heard an extended conversation about some hi-tech tools to study a timeless book. Nancy’s going to pick that conversation back up, here on this special podcast-only version of Revive Our Hearts.

If you appreciate being able to download Revive Our Hearts, remember, it’s possible thanks to listeners who donate and make the ministry possible. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: We’re talking in this series about cultivating a whole new love and hunger for the Word of God, getting into the Word and getting God’s Word into us. We can’t talk about the Word of God without being drawn to Psalm 19, that wonderful passage about the Scripture which says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (v. 6).

That’s the purpose of this program, reviving hearts. The Law of the Lord is what does that.

The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold. (vv.7-10)

Better than a double pay raise. The Word of the Lord is more valuable than that. "Sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by [the Word of God, the words of the Lord, is] your servant warned, and in keeping them. In keeping [God’s rules and His law] there is great reward” (v. 11).

We want you to get into God’s Word and get God’s Word into you because it is sweet, it is rich, it is powerful, it is life-changing, it is eye-opening. You will never experience any greater rewards here on this earth through any other means or any other pursuit than getting into God’s Word and getting God’s Word into you.

Well, can you tell I’m passionate about that? I am! That’s why we’ve taken a few days in this series to talk with my friend Scott Lindsey, who is Ministry Relations Director for a company called Logos Bible Software.

Scott has become a good friend, a helper to me in this teaching ministry through the resources that are available through Logos. I asked Scott if he would come and be on the broadcast, because I want you to be able to enjoy some of the resources that have been helpful to me in cultivating my own personal Bible study.

Scott, welcome back to Revive Our Hearts. Thanks so much for sharing with our listeners what you’ve shared with me over the years.

Scott: It’s been wonderful. I’m excited about your passion for the Word, and I’m excited about, hopefully, reversing the trend that we see all over the country with people not being in the Word of God.

Nancy: And we do want to see that reversed. I believe it can be through resources like the one you’ve made available to us. I want to ask you first, because I know some of our listeners are wondering (we should have probably asked this on the first day), Logos, what does that mean? Why is the program called Logos?

Scott: That’s from the Greek. It’s from the first chapter of John, when Scripture says, “The logos became flesh . . .” It can be pronounced logos (first “o” short), logos (first “o” long), I guess it depends how educated you are, if you’ve had a seminary background or not, but that’s where we got the name for the company.

Nancy: So, it’s the Greek word for “word” and when we talk about the “logos” or “word” in Scripture, we’re talking about the written Word of God. God has revealed Himself through His Word. Augustine said, “When the Bible speaks, God speaks.” That’s why this is a serious thing. God has spoken through His Word, through the written Word, the logos, and also through Christ Who is the living Word of God.

As we get into this written Word, it’s not just ink on paper. It’s alive, it’s powerful, and it’s how Christ reveals Himself to us. I know you’re passionate about Bible study, and it’s made a real difference in your own life, in your family, and in thousands of people that you’ve talked to about some of these resources.

I know you speak at a lot of conferences, women’s conferences—we’ve been on the same platform numbers of times—men’s conferences, pastors’ conferences. You’re hearing a lot of teaching and preaching by other people across this country.

As you listen to the kind of Bible teaching that’s going on in this country today, is there anything that concerns you?

Scott: Yes, I would say, not only with some of the teaching I’m hearing, but also with some of the Bible study practices I’m seeing that are becoming the popular way, if you will. It really is this issue of deductive versus inductive. I will explain that.

Actually, to give a great example . . . I don’t watch a lot of TV. We don’t even have TV at home. We play games. That wasn’t the case two or three years ago. The Lord just had to do His work in that. We just want to be together as a family, study Scripture and have a good time.

But in a hotel recently, I would say a couple months ago, I was flipping through the channels and came across Christian television and there was a popular pastor/preacher, and he quoted Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you use will be measured back to you.”

Then he spent about thirty minutes preaching on sowing seed into the ministry, and money, and it frustrated me, because that is so out of context. If you read the verse just before, the context of “give and it will be given to you,” is forgiveness. It’s not about money.

That is a trend I’m seeing that really scares me.

Nancy: So he had a point he wanted to make, and in order to make it he found a verse that he felt supported that point, rather than going to the Scripture and saying, “What point does the Scripture make?”

Scott: That’s deductive versus inductive. Deductive comes from simply reading. We all need to read the Bible . . . we all need a reading plan, but inductive comes from systematic study. You have to take your reading to the next level, and that is inductive study.

You have to allow the Scripture to speak to you versus you trying to support some idea that you have, if you will. I don’t have enough time to really get into this whole issue of inductive versus deductive—inductive basically involves four main steps.

There’s observation. We just ask the honest question, “What does the passage say?” This is where Logos is amazing, because in a nano second, just type a verse and click one button, you’ve got scholars and theological input, instantly right there on the screen.

Then you’ve got the second step, interpretation. “What does the passage actually mean?”

Thirdly is correlation, and this is huge, this is really, really huge. “How does the passage relate to the rest of the Bible?” Cross-referencing. We just read that Luke scripture. If you had just read the verse before it, you wouldn’t be able to go down the road of money, money, money.

Then fourthly, application. “How should this passage affect my life? How do I submit myself to the authority of the Word of God?”

Deductive, and this is the trend I see, has three main steps: The first one is imagination—“What idea do I want to present?” Notice the difference here? It’s not, “What does the Scripture say to me?” It’s, “What do I want to say?”

Secondly is exploration. That’s when you start looking all over the Bible to find that verse that supports your idea, then thirdly is application. “What does my idea mean?”

Notice, in deductive reading, there is no number three (no correlation, like you have in inductive study). This is dangerous, because there’s no relation to the rest of the Bible. There’s no cross-referencing, no solid scholarship for orthodoxy, no biblical language analysis, no real context.

Nancy: So, just simplify again. Give us those four things that are an important part of inductive Bible study, because every believer ought to be studying God’s Word with these four things in mind.

Scott: Yes, inductive’s just observation, so just being honest. What does the passage say, who is it written to, what’s the context here, what’s the historical insight that could help me understand . . . What is Paul saying here in Ephesians? That kind of information.

Secondly is interpretation. What does it actually mean?

Thirdly, correlation. How does it relate to the rest of the Bible? And this is that one step I just see completely missing today from a lot of pop-culture Christianity, a lot of Bible study methods that I’m seeing out there.

Then fourthly, application. Again, the conviction comes in, the Holy Spirit presses upon you, change needs to happen here . . . sanctification . . . let’s go. So application is a huge part.

But with deductive again, there is no more observation; it’s imagination: I have an idea that I’d like to support, so where is that verse that best supports my idea? Secondly again is exploration: I need to find the verse that best supports that idea. Thirdly is application: What does my idea mean?

So here’s the issue. In deductive reading, Scripture only serves as a prop to the interpreter’s idea. The Bible is not the foundation, but rather a decoration, and the Bible was never meant to be a decoration. It’s your foundation.

Logos Bible Software provides you with the tools to do proper inductive study. Another word for this is exegesis. If you’ve ever heard that word, that’s just sound. .You’re exegeting the text; you’re walking through the verses. You’ve allowing the Scripture to have authority in your life.

Again, that only comes from study. One of the things I’m really trying to do when I’m up there on stage at a conference is saying, “Yes, reading is important." I get up in the morning. I have my cup of coffee. I have my time with Jesus, and I read the Bible. It's a huge part of my walk with the Lord.

But there has to be study. You have to be systematically studying Scripture.

Nancy: Prior to the Reformation in the Middle Ages, the mindset for centuries was that only the spiritual leaders should be studying the Word, and the lay people were just supposed to take it for granted. They were just supposed to listen to the paid clerics preach the Word or study the Word.

A keynote of the Reformation was that lay people should be able to read the Bible in their own language, should be able to have a copy of the Bible, and to be able to study it for themselves (of course with the help of people who  had studied the Scripture more thoroughly).

I think we need a reformation again today, to get us as lay people back into studying the Word, because we tend to think, “Let the pastor do it for me. Let this author do it for me.”

“Me? Study the Word?” And we’re saying, “Yes, you can study the Word yourself, and you’ve got to be studying the Word yourself.”

Scott: I’m so thankful to be living in the age in which we live, with the Internet and radio and TV. We have access now to some of the best teaching out there . . . Revive Our Hearts (my wife is a huge fan) and we love Kay Arthur and John Piper and John MacArthur.

That’s great to actually hear the Bible taught by people that have invested their lives studying Scripture. But that’s no excuse to not study the Bible for yourself. You can’t live off of somebody else’s faith or somebody else’s walk. They can edify you; they can help you understand things a little better.

Nancy: But it’s no substitute for your own study.

Scott: I think people have given a cop-out or excuse today that, “We have so much great teaching out there now, why should I study?”

Nancy: They do all the work; they get all the blessing. I’m saying to our listeners, “If you’ll do some of the work yourself, with the help of tools such as this Logos software program that can make it a lot easier for you, if you’ll do the work and dig in, even for minutes a day; you will experience the joy and the blessing and the reward that other Bible teachers are experiencing because they’re getting in and digging for themselves.”

I want you to take us, Scott . . . We’ve both got our laptops open. I wish our listeners could be here in the studio with us. If you’ll go to our website, ReviveOurHearts.com, there’s a link to the Logos website that will give you a four-minute video demo of the kind of thing we’re going to walk through just now, and it will be really helpful to you.

Some of our listeners are in a van right now, or they’re at work, and they can’t get to that website right now. Say we want to study the woman at the well, John chapter 4. That’s a passage I love. I read it recently in my journey through John, and we want to dig into that passage and exegete the text—observe it, interpret it, see the correlations, and apply it to our lives.

Maybe I’m getting ready to teach a Sunday school class, maybe I’m teaching a Bible program for my own kids, maybe it’s just for my own study and growth. But I come to John chapter 4 and I want to study that passage. Help us walk through that on this Logos 4 software.

Scott: That’s the amazing thing about the new software, Logos 4. It’s now available on Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad. We have a web browsing app. So you can be at your buddy’s house . . .  you’re at a women’s Bible study, and you’ve forgotten your laptop. But you still have access to your library and your tools.

The wonderful thing about the new version of Logos is that it is so easy to use. So you mentioned the woman at the well. Let’s say there’s a listener right now that knows that it’s somewhere in the book of John, but they might have to flip some pages.

You don’t even have to type “John 4:1-26.” You can just type “woman at the well,” click one button, and Logos responds, “Okay, we know where that’s at.” And it will find it for you.

So let’s go ahead and do that. We type in “woman at the well,” which is John 4:1-26. I click “go.” That’s all you need to know to use this software. Type the verse or the topic and click one button. In about five seconds, what we’re looking at on the screen now, is about fifty to sixty hours worth of Bible study, done.

So the first section is our commentaries.

Nancy: Before the commentaries, it brings up the text.

Scott: That’s right. The Bible’s the most important part of your library.

Nancy: So we’re looking at the actual Scripture here, John chapter 4, verse 1, “Now when Jesus learned . . .” So we’re going to read the Bible and use these other things.

Scott: You get to pick whatever your favorite translation is. I happen to like the English Standard Version, but I’ve actually got my favorite five right there at the top. I’ve got New American Standard, New King James, NIV, King James. You can pick whichever ones you want.

Before we get into the research, Logos just found a lot of information there—commentaries, cross-references, so on. But one of the things we really want the listeners to start doing, to get interested in, is original language study.

And some of the listeners might be saying, “Oh, I’m not a pastor, I didn’t go to seminary.”

Nancy: This is actually fun.

Scott: It is fun. To me, that’s where Bible study starts.

Nancy: I’ve got my cursor here on the text, and what I love here is, say you go down to verse 24 in this text, where Jesus says to this woman, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

If I just take my cursor—I don’t even have to click—I just float it over the word “truth.” Tell us what’s coming up here.

Scott: All your word study information is done. Over on the right hand side, a window opened up that actually does all your word study look-ups.

Nancy: And it will do it for every word in the text.

Scott: Any word in the text. So no more having to get out the Strong’s Concordance, the Vine’s, the lexicons, the dictionaries. Any words you see, you float your cursor on the word and it does the word study look-up for you automatically.

Some of the listeners might say, “Why would I need to do that?” You just mentioned the word “truth.” Jesus said those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. What does the word truth mean? We float on the word “truth,” and what we’re finding out is that the Greek word here actually means "to hide nothing, to bear all.” That’s very insightful regarding what truth means. It means you can’t hide, just lay it all at His feet, be honest, don’t hide.

Nancy: No pretending . . .

Scott: No pretending—that’s what truth is. The other thing is, you can click the little speaker icon and Logos will actually pronounce the Greek for you. So if you want to actually know how the word was pronounced in the text, click, and it pronounces the word for you.

For any listener that has been at all interested in doing word studies, which again is a huge part of that issue of correlation and context—because this really helps you understand the Bible in context—you just float your cursor on a word and your word studies are done for you.

Nancy: And then, some other incredible resources here . . . you mentioned the commentaries and many of them, different ones. The first one I have up here is Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. That’s a devotional commentary which I really love.

I have Warren Wiersbe and John MacArthur and others. You can get these different resources. You’ve got the commentaries—see what other Bible teachers have said—and then this whole section on cross-references.

Scott: Yes, and so as we’re walking the listeners through this, we typed in “woman at the well,” we click one button. The first section would be the commentaries—so, what did scholars, theologians say about this particular passage? Then we have the the cross-references. In my opinion, this is probably one of the most important steps that is missing from a lot of people’s Bible study. Again, we’re looking to find the other verses that relate to what we’re studying.

Logos automatically finds the cross-references that relate to the passage. It looks them up for you, so you don’t even need to worry about trying to find those verses. There’s John 7:38, there’s Isaiah 2:6, Romans 3:1 .  . . automatically looked up.

Then we get down to parallel passages. Is this given in any of the other gospel passages? It will line it up for you, then we come down to a great section called “handout.”

Nancy: I like this one.

Scott: One of the goals in Logos 4 is, we not only want your listeners excited about actually studying the Bible, we want them making disciples. We want you home-schooling your kids in the Word. We want you leading family devotions and worship. We want you teaching a Bible study in your church.

Handout actually walks you through how to do a four-page handout, automatically. It's super easy, right there in the software. So if you want to show up at Bible study this Sunday and have something to hand out to the group on the woman at the well . . .

Nancy: You could have a map on it of where Samaria is, lots of different resources can be on that handout. You can customize that to your group.

Scott: Customize as you want. It's so easy to use. I’m not much of a techie guy, so if I can use it, you can use it. Biblical people—it will actually show you the relationships of people in the Bible. Then we have a section here called "Biblical Places."

Samaria’s mentioned, obviously, in the woman at the well. So there’s a map where Samaria is. You can click a link and go to Google Maps and see it today from a satellite image. Again, this is all automatic. I don’t have to go anywhere else to get this information.

Nancy: It’s all on one screen.

Scott: Biblical things: a well is mentioned, water’s mentioned, a clay jar. What did that look like back in biblical days? We’ll show pictures and things. We'll do topical analysis, we’ll do a comparison of translations, we’ll bring in audio messages, if you want to hear somebody teach on the woman at the well.

Nancy: Music?

Scott: Music. We’ll actually find songs that relate to the passage that you’re studying, but again what the listeners need to realize is, we got all this information, literally fifty to sixty hours worth of biblical research and word study information and Bible study information, all by typing “woman at the well,” and clicking one button.

Nancy: I’m very excited about this resource. It’s been very helpful to me. I know a lot of other Bible teachers and students and friends in our ministry, staff in our ministry, who use this. There are different versions available, and the one I’d encourage you to look at first is the scholar’s version.

You say, “I’m not a scholar.” The neat thing is, you don’t have to be. This resource will help with that. There’s another smaller library called the “Bible Study Library,” and others.

If you’ll go to our website, ReviveOurHearts.com, it will give you a link that will take you to the Logos website, to a special page for Revive Our Hearts listeners. If you type the letters ROH into that code box, you get a special discount that Scott and our friends at Logos are making available to our Revive Our Hearts listeners.

That code is ROH, as in Revive Our Hearts. There’s an 800 number you can call if you have questions. There is terrific customer service, help available through Logos. You can talk to a live person about how this actually works, how to download it, how to use it.

There are some wonderful training videos available on the website, short, about different aspects of this software. It can do a gazillion more things than what people like me will probably ever figure out. But the things I can figure out have been so very helpful.

I want to encourage our listeners—this would make a great tool for your son or daughter who’s going off to college and they have an interest in the Lord, and you want to keep them interested in Bible study. This is how they are learning today.

It’s a great resource for your own study, for your own teaching and discipleship, but ultimately, the point of all this is to get us to Christ, to the Living Word, and to see our lives changed by the written Word of God. It's not just to get our heads filled or our computer filled with all this amazing information here, but to get our hearts filled and changed.

Scott, I’ve watched you over the years. I know both you and your wife came out of difficult backgrounds, had a lot of baggage when you came to the Lord and started your family. As you reflect back on these past dozen years, as you’ve been involved in Bible study more deeply, how would you say that studying God’s Word has changed your life, your marriage, your family? What difference has it made?

Scott: It’s made all the difference. I have an amazing job. I get to hang out with amazing people. I teach at great conferences, but that’s not enough to really do the work of sanctification in my own heart. I have to be in the Word of God myself; I have to have a plan for the Word.

I’m glad you said that, because one of the things I pray when people are thinking about purchasing . . . We do not want you to buy this to sharpen your “Sword” to “behead” a buddy or just to sharpen your theology. It’s to know Jesus; it’s to grow in your knowledge of Him.

The more He is high and lifted up, the more you see how absolutely wonderful and great He is—and that only comes from studying—it’s amazing how much easier you can get through those trials and tribulations. So I would say that in our dedication to Scripture and having a reading plan and studying the Bible that the fruit of that has just been absolutely tremendous in our family.

Nancy: As we were talking over dinner with another friend last night, and we were listening to more of your story and your background, the thought crosses my mind that you and Michelle would probably not be married today if it weren’t for the influence of the Word of God in your lives, yours and hers, and in your marriage. Do you agree with that?

Scott: One hundred percent, absolutely!

Nancy: The Word has been healing. I think of Psalms that says, “He sent His Word and healed them.” It has been light to your path; it has changed your thinking; it has delivered both of you from issues in your past (I listened to some of your story last night and I hope you don’t mind my saying this you were very open about it.)

I said, "It’s amazing you guys aren’t loony today, but you’re not. You’re vibrant followers of Christ who have children with a heart for God. That is the difference that the Word of God has made in your lives.

Scott: Let me just challenge the listeners. It’s great to be part of a wonderful church and to have your kids involved, but if your children do not see the Word of God being a priority in your lives . . . Dads and moms, if they don’t see you studying the Bible, if they don’t see you reading Scripture, you can’t expect it in their lives.

Nancy: No reason for them to think it really matters if it doesn’t really matter to you.

Scott: Right. One of my favorite quotes that I’ll close at conferences with is from Howard Hendricks. He says that "we know enough to own a Bible, but not enough for the Bible to own us." That is really my goal. I want the Bible to so saturate my mind, my life, my walk, that I just submit to the authority of it and I walk in it.

The more I do that, the more healthy my marriage becomes, the better dad I become, the better employee I become, the better friend I become. It really is in direct proportion to how much time I spend with Jesus in His Word.

Nancy: I want to encourage every listener to take steps forward, to move forward, in the process of studying God’s Word and getting to know Christ through it. This Logos 4 software is a tremendous tool, a great resource. I will say, in this economy people may feel this even more, it’s not cheap. It is an investment.

But you think about all the things we’re spending money on that, really, in the light of eternity, don’t matter. I want to say that I don’t know that there could be a greater investment you could make in your walk with the Lord. You may need to do without a few less Starbucks—oh dear, I’m going to get in trouble for saying that. You’re from Washington, the Seattle area—but a few less something-or-others.

It will be worth it to build into your heart, your life, and into your children’s hearts, your children’s lives, and those others that you influence, a heart and a love for the Word of God. There is just nothing that is nearly rewarding as that pursuit.

Leslie: If you think Logos Bible Software might be helpful as you pursue God’s Word, I hope you’ll check out the details. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com and follow the link to the Logos website. Like Nancy said earlier, the discount code at the Logos site is ROH. Again, our website is ReviveOurHearts.com.

The Bible is unique. That doesn’t sound like much of a statement, but when you really take time to consider how unique the Bible is, you’ll be filled with wonder. Nancy will show you, next time on the podcast edition of Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries

 

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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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