The 2019 Christianity Today Book Awards were announced recently, and Logos is happy to announce that a number of these books are available for your Logos library and on Faithlife Ebooks.[Read more…]
In your first year at seminary, you will inevitably be on either the giving or receiving end of what is probably the oldest seminary joke in existence, perhaps dating back to the time of Jesus himself.
“Why do we have to buy all these textbooks? You would think that the only textbook we need is the Bible itself! Har har har.”
Everyone will give a hearty laugh and then go on with their day. But behind that joke is a serious edge that has plagued seminarians for centuries. We know that the Scriptures are a primary means by which God makes himself known and keeps us. And yet, with all the reading and studying one can do in seminary, it not only pulls you away from your time with the Scriptures, but it can make our source of life into a source of drudgery. Who wants to read the Bible devotionally when you’ve spent so many hours picking it apart and debating it and discussing it and learning how others have done so in the past?
A sad reality of seminary is that for many (perhaps even most!) seminarians, one of the first casualties in one’s devotional life is any personal Bible reading. You get to that place where you just don’t want to read it–or, more precisely, you want to, but just don’t have the spiritual strength to do it (anyone who’s been a Christian for any length of time probably knows what I mean).
But there’s one tool that God has given me that he consistently uses to draw me back to himself in those times when the Bible has lost its luster: a good Children’s Bible. (Here’s mine.)
Here’s my method: when I need to, I go through one story each night and then journal right on the page about how I saw Christ in that story.
I have found this to be so helpful and life-giving. I only use it for as long as I need to; as long as the Scriptures seem like heavy-lifting. In those words, I hear our family stories told anew. I don’t get haunted by wondering what the Greek or Hebrew is, the historical-critical methodologies that seem to be evident in the perspective of this writer, or various other discussions one can have about the text. I just sit on the lap of my God and ask him to tell me a story and let it shape me.
And so, every few months or so I find myself flipping open the pages of my Children’s Bible to the next un-journaled story and reading to see how my God has moved among his people, pointing towards his ultimate work of Christ on the cross.
Moral of the story: every seminarian—nay, every Christian—should be armed with a good children’s Bible they can turn to when their “grown-up Bible” just seems to have temporarily lost its flavor. So get yours. You will meet God. He will meet with you. I promise.
Have you thought about sharing your seminary journey with the world? Perhaps you are interested in pontificating about how seminary could be better, or have questions that you’re not finding answers to regarding your seminary journey. Maybe you already have a blog, but not the readership you’d like to have.
Now is your chance to build readership, pontificate about seminary to your heart’s desire, or give blogging your first go around. AND, we’re going to give you your choice of an e-reader to do it.
Submit your 500 to 750 word article on whatever topic you like as long as it has to do with seminary. You must currently be a seminary student and the articles must be original work not previously posted or submitted to another website.
Out of the entries we’ll select the four winners. Those winners will then submit three more articles, one per month, over the next three months. At the end of those three months they will get their choice of the e-readers. A Kindle, a Sony e-reader, or a Nook. All four writers will have their choice! Or if a new ereader is on the market around the $259 price tag we’ll gladly substitute it instead.
To submit your article email it to justaguy[at]goingtoseminary.com. We’ll announce the four winners on April 1st. And this is most certainly not an April Fool’s joke. 🙂
Submission deadline is 3/30/10
Thank you to all who entered. We’ll announce the winners on Thursday April 1. We had several entries in the last few days so it will likely be Thursday afternoon before we announce.
BUY THIS BOOK!
It only costs $2.50
This book is for you.
“Before and above being learned, a minister must be godly. Nothing could be more fatal, however, than to set these two things over against one another. Recruiting officers do not dispute whether it is better for soldiers to have a right leg or a left: soldiers should have both legs… in your case there can be no ‘either – or’ here – either a student or a man of God. You must be both.”
The book, by B.B. Warfield is only 15 pages long, but it will serve as a constant reminder of your duty as a theological student.
I received this book as a gift from a very dear friend, to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude and so much more.
Trying to decided if God is calling you to seminary or not can be difficult. While you could give the magic eight ball a try, there is probably a better way to determine what God is calling you to do.
For me, I found Finding the Will of God by Dr. Bruce Waltke to be tremendously helpful. While I already knew a lot of what Dr. Waltke had to say, it was refreshing to be reminded that I was on the right track as I sought to discern God’s will.
In the book Waltke reminds us that God is not some conman trying to hide his will from us… Rather, God is our loving father and his will is probably easier to discern than we sometimes think.
Waltke spends the first 1/4 of the book bringing correction to what he calls “Christian divination” that appears to be nothing more than what every pagan does when trying to conjure the will of the gods.
After his professorial/pastoral rebuke, Waltke offers biblical council on how we can rest assured that we are hearing and following our glorious and loving father.
Incredibly practical and biblically based, I often recommend this book to friends and family who are struggling to make big decisions.
If you’ve never heard of the Christian Classics Ethereal Library you are missing out on a truly great, FREE, resource.
The Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) seeks to build up the church by making classic Christian literature widely available and promoting its use for edification and study by interested Christians, seekers and scholars. The CCEL accomplishes this by selecting, collecting, distributing, and promoting valuable literature through the World Wide Web and other media.
The CCEL is truly amazing as they have hundreds of classics all digitally tagged and available to read online and/or download in numerous formats. Every time I go to the site I am amazed at the efforts of the project… with a few clicks of the mouse I can have access to the church fathers, both well known and obscure.
This is a great site that everyone should have bookmark.
The other day we got a comment from Eric in our 6 ways to save money in seminary post about a book meta search site called addall and I was reminded that it is almost time to go book shopping. One of the great joys of being a seminary student is the opportunity to build your library… it is also a great challenge since books aren’t cheap. So, I’m going to share with you how and where I shop for books and hopefully you’ll share your tricks and tips as well.
Step one for me when shopping for my seminary books is to make a master list of all the books I need for the semester. Much like Santa, I make a list and check it twice… but mostly to make sure that I haven’t missed any as I shop. I typically do all my buying online, so having the list ensures that I don’t miss a book. The list is also helpful since it is rare that one site will have all the books I need. So, as I purchase a book I can check it off the list.
Step two is an easy one for me. I go to www.wtsbooks.com. Over the years I have found that WTS has some of the best prices online (95% of the time beating amazon). The kicker with WTS is in the shipping… $5 FLAT RATE (UPS Ground) no matter how many books you buy! See, shipping is going to typically be the kicker on many sites… you always need to keep in mind that a) shipping will be expensive or b) shipping will be slow. I don’t like either of those, so WTS gets bonus points in my book.
Step three is to consult the list and see how many books I have left. Now, I typically go to amazon on my second round of shopping for three reasons. First, amazon has a huge selection of books and, remember, when you buy across less sites you cut down on shipping costs… so knowing that I can get most all the remaining books I need in one spot is nice. Second, amazon typically has really great prices… not the cheapest all the time, but they are usually competitive with other sites (WTS excluded) within a couple dollars. Third, if you have amazon prime then 2 day shipping is free (free shipping is NICE! Also, if you don’t have amazon prime, just ask around and find a friend that does… or you can wait the 10 days for “super saver” free shipping). The fourth and final reason I use amazon is that I am an amazon associate which means I get a percentage of all sales generated off anyone who clicks one one of these amazon links… however, more so, if I use the link and then go buy something, then I get a percentage (I think up to 6%) back on my purchase. So, in all, amazon is just a good second stop.
Step four is for the books that WTS and amazon don’t carry. Typically, there is some obscure book that a professor wants you to get that neither of these places carry. In this case, the biggest time saver is to go to your seminary’s store. If it is on a professor’s syllabus, you can usually be confident that it is on the shelf at your seminary’s store.
Using the above plan, this is how my upcoming semester turned out:
WTS: 8 books = $135.20 (w/ $5 shipping incl.)
Amazon: 5 books = $90.06 (w/ free shipping incl.)
Seminary: 3books = $56.57 (w/ $11.45 shipping incl.)
Note: Yes I had my seminary ship my books… I live 20 minutes from campus, so it is a time/gas saver… and I might be a little lazy…
Ok, I found this about 8 seconds ago and was so interested that I had to post about it.
Apparently this company, Chegg, rents college textbooks. The cost to rent for a semester is about 55-65% off the list price. Now, yes, I think you should buy all your seminary books and keep them as a resource for the rest of your life and then pass them along to someone when you die… However, if money is tight, this might be a good solution.
I did a quick search for “systematic theology” and it returned 213 results. So, it looks, at first glance, that they would have the books you’d need. Also, I found that if you use the code: Rent4Spring you can get a 5% discount.
Finally, as you might notice in the ad, they’ll plant a tree for every book you rent… so that is always nice.
As for book renting… I don’t know… if anything it is interesting. Your thoughts?
Professor, pastor, and theologian, Dr. John Frame wrote a pamphlet called, “Learning at the feet of Jesus: A Case for Seminary Training.” This is a quick and easy read that will, hopefully, help you in your decision making process.
Here is an excerpt from the opening page:
LEARNING AT JESUS’ FEET:
A CASE FOR SEMINARY TRAINING
At some point in their walk with Jesus, many Christians ask whether they should attend seminary — either to earn a degree or just to take a few courses. I’ve been teaching in seminaries for thirty-five years, and I’ve done some thinking about this question. In this pamphlet, I’ll encourage you to go to seminary if you can, and I’ll try to help those who are seeking guidance for this important decision.
So, one of the books that helped me the most in finally making the decision to attend seminary was Bruce K. Waltke’s book, Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? In his book Waltke masterfully addresses an issue that is all too common in the church, namely divination.
Somewhere along the lines we have come to the conclusion that God is some con-man trying to pull a slide-of-hand trick with us and keeping his will from us. So, with that in mind we try all kinds of cooky ways to try and find out what God’s will is (anyone else played bible roulette before?).
Waltke points out that what most Christians try to pass off as “finding God’s will” is really nothing different from pagan divination. To remedy the situation Waltke offers (the last half of the book) practical suggestions on how a believer can “know God’s will.”
Now, I’m not typically the kind of guy who like “step” books… 12 steps to a better prayer life, 101 ways to evangelize the lost… But Waltke’s recommendations are so simple, practical, and pastoral, that I couldn’t help myself from saying, “Duh… I knew that… maybe I should remember that next time.”
Now, pretty much, if I know someone who is trying to make a big life changing decission, I recommend this book… So, to you trying to decide if God is calling you to seminary… check it out.