All posts by Terry Delaney

The Pocket Puritans Series

Banner of Truth has done us a great service by publishing what they are calling the Pocket Puritans. On the back of every book they include this quote from Sinclair Ferguson that best introduces the series:

To read the work of a Puritan doctor of the soul is to enter a rich world of spiritual theology to feed the mind, heart-searching analysis to probe the conscience, Christ-centered grace to transform the heart, and wise counsel to direct the life. This series of Pocket Puritans provides all this in miniature, but also in abundance.

Continue reading The Pocket Puritans Series

A Comparison Between Logos Scholar’s Library and BibleWorks 7

I have recently reviewed both the Logos Scholar’s Library and BibleWorks7 (BW7) and have heard many say that they prefer one software system over the other for various reasons. After having reviewed both of them, I thought it would be good to offer a comparison of what I have found and open it up for discussion amongst the readers here at Said.

There is nothing technical about this; I am simply offering what I found to be the strengths and/or weaknesses to the two programs as well as a comparison of the add-ons each offers. In many ways, this was a lot like comparing apples to oranges because each program is geared for a different person. Unless otherwise noted, I am comparing the two products as base products.

Cost: For a base price of $629.95 ($440.95 for students), you receive over $6,000 in print resources with Logos. For $349.00 ($250.00 if you take advantage of a group discount), you receive the best exegetical tool money can buy in BW7.
Advantage: Logos

Resources: Logos has digitized thousands of dollars worth of print books consisting of millions of pages that fit nicely onto your laptop. BW7 has made language, diagram, and exegetical work so quick and easy that one is able to wrestle with the text itself longer before reading what others have said about it.
Advantage: Depends

Bible Study: Logos has similar functions in terms of exegesis and bible study tools that BW7 has. Logos certainly has more study tools about the bible than BW7. However, I personally believe that if one is studying the Bible, he or she should wrestle more with the text rather than seek another’s understanding of what the Bible is saying. BW7 is much more equipped for intense Bible study than Logos.
Advantage: BW7

Add-Ins: Logos is always adding new products to their ever expanding library. They also run sales from time to time and offer what they call pre-pub sales in which you can purchase new titles for a much cheaper price than what the product will regularly run. BW7 only offers a handful of add-ins because their subject matter is much smaller than what Logos is.

If you compare the add-ins that they have in common, the base price is cheaper at BW7. If you factor in the 30% discount, if you qualify, on Logos, then they are almost dead even. Head-to-head, I would give the advantage to BW7, but because of the wider audience that Logos appeals to, and thus the quantitatively more add-ins overall, I would have to say:
Advantage: Logos

Usability: At first, BW7 is difficult to use and Logos is pretty much ready to go. However, there is a learning curve to both. This again boils down to what you want and are looking for in Bible Software. I would give the early advantage to Logos and the learned advantage to BW7.
Advantage: Even.


I realize this is not as detailed as many were looking for, but this only serves as an introduction to both programs. As I said earlier, in many ways, this was comparing apples to oranges because Logos has a completely different overall market than BW7. I would think if you were going into missions or were the pastor of a small church, then I would recommend Logos because of the digitized print feature. You can build your library in a very cost effective manner.

However, if are a serious student of the Bible, and the languages are appealing to you, then I would recommend BW7 over Logos. BW7 is more than worth the investment if you are looking to work with the original languages as you prepare your sermons and lessons. There is so much more that can be done at an exegetical level with BW7 that you are truly able to wrestle with the Word of God much more.

Depending on what you are looking for, both of these bible software programs are loaded with features that are appealing. If you can swing the cost, you might be best served to own both. I do not think that you can say one is better than the other without qualifying that statement with a “for ____.” The only thing that ultimately matters is what features you are looking for in bible software.

What do you think? If you use one what do you find so nice about it? If you use both, how would you rank them?

Software Review: BibleWorks7

BibleWorks7 (BW7) is a computer software program designed for in depth study of the Bible itself. The “getting started” page begins, “BibleWorks is one of the most powerful and easiest-to-use Bible concordance and morphological analysis programs available.” They are not attempting to sell the product; they are serious about this claim. This program comes complete with 15 different Hebrew and Aramaic texts, 19 Greek texts, 38 different translations of the Bible, and just about every other major language that the Bible has been translated into. It also includes numerous lexicons and reference works while additional modules may be purchased later on an as needed basis. Continue reading Software Review: BibleWorks7

The Missionary Call by M. David Sills

Sills, M. David. The Missionary Call: Find Your Place in God’s Plan For the World. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008. 246 pp. $13.99.

Introduction and Background

missionary-call-book-david-sillsDr. Sills is the A. P. and Faye Stone Professor of Christian Missions and Cultural Anthropology, the Director of Great Commission Ministries, and the Director of the Doctor of Missiology program for the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. As if that was not enough, he also leads many small-group, short-term missions trips for the Seminary as well as his church, Ninth and O, in Louisville, KY. You can read more about him on his faculty bio page. He has a website and a blog that is a valuable resource in addition to this book. Check out the website here. You can read his blog here. He also has another website, Reaching and Teaching, chock full of free missionary resources and other pertinent information to Dr. Sills’ ministries. Continue reading The Missionary Call by M. David Sills

Software Review: LOGOS Bible Software

Logos Bible Software is designed with the Bible student in mind.  It does not matter if you are seminary trained or not.  Anyone can use this software as they seek to study the Bible and mine it for its gold.  Shoot, you don’t even have to be a Greek or Hebrew scholar with this software to better understand the Word of God in its original languages.

While I am familiar with some of Logos’ software, I will be writing this review from a very non-technical perspective and sharing what I have found as I learned how to operate the system and use it to my advantage.  Continue reading Software Review: LOGOS Bible Software

Software Review: Book Collector Book Collector

You have attended Dr. Whitney’s “seminar” on how to organize your books and you are thinking to yourself, “Man, I wish I had a secretary who can copy my title page and file my books for me the way Dr. Whitney showed me.  Well,” you go on, “I might as well start cataloguing my books as I go.  I might not have the time to get them as well organized as Dr. Whitney, but I can at least get started in that direction.”

That is the conversation I had with myself and others after Dr. Whitney took some of us into his office and showed us the wall-to-wall file cabinets full of files with book titles and news clippings in them organized by topic.  I loved how he had it set up and I loved that he had a running record of all the books in his library.  I also knew that I had over 2,000 books in my own personal library and that I was in seminary full time, working full time, fathering three children full time and being a husband full time.  In other words, this was not going to happen any time soon.  There was also the issue of getting my secretary wife to organize my books, though she has threatened to put them in Dewey decimal order!


If you have had this thought and have been unable to get your library catalogued the way you wanted, then I have some excellent news! has a computer program that will catalogue your books quick, fast, and in a hurry as my drill sergeants used to say.  Book Collector is designed with ease and quickness in mind.  Continue reading Software Review: Book Collector

The Letters of Samuel Rutherford

Loveliness Of Christ BookThe Loveliness of Christ ($14.00)

This was originally going to be a book review on The Loveliness of Christ, the new soft, red-covered edition pictured to the left.  However, as I read this book, I realized that no review would do it justice.  After reading the first few pages of this book, I also realized that I already owned two other editions of this book in my personal library.  The Loveliness of Christ is simply a pocket-sized edition of choice quotes from The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.

The more I read this book, the more I could see the impact that these letters would have on the lives of every Christian and even more so the impact on the seminarian who is studying the things of God.  Therefore, this will not be a book review per se.  Rather, I would like to share a few of the choice quotes from The Loveliness of Christ.

Faith liveth and spendeth upon our Captain’s charges, who is able to pay for all.

The weightiest end of the cross of Christ that is laid upon you, lieth upon your strong Saviour.

When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother’s fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings; then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time – suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to heaven.

One of the nice features of The Loveliness of Christ is the inclusion of a dictionary for words like “bairn” (child), “rueth” (regrets) and “empawned” (laid down as a pledge).  Perhaps the only negative to this particular book is that Banner does not let you know there is a dictionary in the back of the book.  It is simply tucked back there waiting to be discovered.  Fortunately, I only had to look up two words before I discovered it.

Samuel RutherfordThe Letters of Samuel Rutherford – Abridged ($7.00)

The nice thing about The Loveliness of Christ is that it merely whets your appetite to learn more about the man Samuel Rutherford.  In the introduction to Loveliness, you are made aware that the quotes are extracted from a greater work known as The Letters of Samuel Rutherford.  After reading this book, it almost becomes necessary to read the quotes in context of the actual letters.

This abridged version does just that.  Here you are introduced to a selection of sixty-nine letters penned by Samuel Rutherford.  These present yet a deeper look at how Rutherford wrote and what he believed concerning the joy of knowing Christ.

At the end of this edition, Banner of Truth did us a great service by including brief biographical information about the letters.  They also included an outline of the life of Samuel Rutherford.  Both of these greatly enable the modern-day reader to become better acquainted with Samuel Rutherford.


The Letters of Samuel Rutherford ($39.00)

Andrew Bonar put together a classic edition of The Letters (I am not sure when this was done) which included 365 letters.  What is of value in this edition is Bonar’s sketch of Rutherford along with a list of his works.

The edition I own (I believe it is a 1905 edition) has an appendix that gives information on the 30 different editions to date (in 1905) of the book.  It also includes a poem created from The Letters arranged by a Mrs. A. R. Cousin.  I am not sure if this is in the edition to the left, but it is in my edition.


Perhaps the best thing that can be done with these three books is to, at the very least, purchase The Loveliness of Christ.  I would highly recommend that you purchase the $39.00 edition that contains all 365 letters and use it as a devotional in 2009.  I will be writing about this again toward the end of the year in case anyone might be interested and forget.  I plan on using mine as a devotional next year and if Loveliness is any indication, I will be blessed beyond measure in so doing.

What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Anyabwile, Thabiti M.  What is a Healthy Church Member.  Wheaton:  Crossway Books, 2008.  117 pp.  $12.99.

healthy church member book

I would consider this book to be the third book in an ongoing series about a healthy church from IX Marks ministry located in Washington, DC.  The first book was entitled 9 Marks of a Healthy Church and the second book was What is a Healthy Church. Thabiti (thu-bee-tee) Anyabwile (onya-bee-wee-l-a) seeks to answer the next logical question from these first two books in What is a Healthy Church Member.

Thabiti is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman Islands.  Before you might think that that is an awesome place to be called to pastor, I think you should know something.  I have heard from his own lips, at the Band of Bloggers Conference, that he does not like the beach!  It is amazing when God calls you to a place that you would never want to vacation at while everyone else in the known world would love to go there.  For the record, I am with Thabiti on this one…I am not fond of the beach, either!

Summary of What is a Healthy Church Member?

As I said above, this book offers insight into how a church member can best participate in the local church.  Through 10 chapters marks, Thabiti shows how the original 9 marks of the healthy church must be under-girded by the church member.  In his foreward, Mark Dever states that “living the Christian life is not something that we’re supposed to do alone.”  This would include each individual member of the church as well as the church staff and leadership.  Unfortunately, many of us build invisible walls so that no one may help us (or know when to help us) when we need it.

Mark one is expositional listening whereby the church member is encouraged to listen to God’s purpose in His word for that week.  Mark two exhorts the reader to understand biblical theology and its importance in protecting them from heretical beliefs.  The third mark is a challenge to live a life saturated with the gospel.  Marks four and five deal with evangelism and true conversion as integral to our understanding of who is and who is not a true believer in Christ.

Mark six offers an apologetic for making membership in the local church a very serious concern for all believers-especially new believers.  Corrective and formative discipline is the seventh mark while mark eight deals with the spiritual growth of all members.  Mark nine offers ways that the church member can support the staff and leadership of his or her local church.  Mark ten, as a bonus, is that every member should be prayerful.  All of these marks assume that the reader and/or church member is a born-again, regenerate believer.

Critique of What is a Healthy Church Member?

Perhaps the only negative critique of this book is that the author (as well as the series) assumes a particular church polity.  That is made somewhat obvious throughout this book.  However, that does not mean that these “marks” cannot be implemented in other churches that hold to a different church polity.  It may prove somewhat difficult in some cases, but they are all still doable.

The positives are plentiful in this book.  I would begin with the manner in which Thabiti writes the book.  You get the feeling as though you are in a church membership class or a theology of church membership class at a Bible College or seminary.  He anticipates any questions and offers answers to a few objections along the way.

He also offers quite a few suggestions for resources if you would like to read further into one of the marks.  By the way, I love that the chapters are not chapters.  Rather, they are called marks.  It helps to divide them for easier consumption.  This also aids in the studying of the book.  Thabiti included questions after the discussion of each mark entitled “Further Reflections.”  This book could easily be used for a new members class or even a youth group study to help teens understand what is to be expected from them as church members in the local church.


If you have read the previous two books, then this book is a must read.  If you are in the ministry at a local church, then this book is a must read.  I would have multiple copies as a pastor to give away to new members whether you have adopted the IX Marks approach or not.  If the members of the local church would even read snippets of this book and work to incorporate some of what they read, I believe the local church would look more like a body of Christ than what most of them do now.

Dangerous Journey by Oliver Hunkin

Dangerous Journey Book Pilgrims Progress For Kids

The Pilgrim’s Progress needs no introduction nor would any review do it any justice. However, this particular rendition of the classic-that word does not suffice for the second most sold book of all time behind God’s Holy Word, the Bible-is not a well know resource for children. With the help of illustrator Alan Parry, Oliver Hunkin set out to arrange the story of Pilgrim so that young children could meet with Everyman who journeys from this world to the next. Continue reading Dangerous Journey by Oliver Hunkin

The Life of John Newton by Josiah Bull

Bull, Josiah.  The Life of John Newton.  Edinburgh:  Banner of Truth Trust, reset edition 2007.  322pp. $14.00. Buy From Westminster Bookstore

As best I can tell, Josiah Bull only wrote this biography of John Newton and edited another book entitled The Letters of John Newton.  This biography was first published in 1868 under the title But Now I See.  It was first published by Banner of Truth in 1998 with the title But Now I See:  The Life of John Newton. This particular edition consists of a resetting of the typeset; i.e., the font was changed.

Summary of The Life of John Newton

Bull breaks down Newton’s life into three parts:  Early life and residence at Liverpool, Curate of Olney, and Rector of St. Mary of Woolnoth.  In 20 pages, we move from his birth in 1725 to his marriage to Miss Mary Catlett on 12 February 1750.  Glossing over some of the finer details of his life, we learn that he went to sea with his dad when he was only 11.  His dad passed away and he later transferred to a slave ship where he was abused by the commander.  He was rescued and became commander of his own ship.  His conversion took place on 10 May 1748, a day he would celebrate for the rest of his life.  He “quitted the sea” in 1754 where he had served as a slave trader due in large part to a serious illness.

By 1757 he was struggling with a call to the ministry upon which he answered that call in 1764 when he became the Curate of Olney.  Josiah shares with us how Newton sympathized with the likes of Whitefield and Wesley and how he longed to be a part of spiritual awakening that was taking place.

Newton suffered much for his faith during this time.  For example, he lost all of his property, his wife became very ill, he became extremely ill, he watched as his friends began to pass away from various illnesses, and he faced charges of meddling with politics (see Wilberforce).  In 1779, he accepted a call to become the rector of St. Mary Woolnoth.  Of special note to most readers is that it was during this time at Olney that Newton wrote Amazing Grace.

He continued his work for the final 27 years of his life at S. Mary Woolnoth where he died a gradual death in 1807.  During his life, John Newton “ran with the big dogs” if I may use that phrase.  He became friends with the likes of William Cowper, William Wilberforce, William Carey (a lot of William’s!), George Whitefield (who became a mentor of sorts to Newton), John Wesley, and Jonathan Edwards though he really didn’t get to know Edwards as much as the rest.  It was almost as if John Newton was a “Forrest Gump” type because he never sought to be what he became.  John simply wanted to see the grace of God explode among the nations during the awakening that was happening during his life.  The aim of his regenerated life was to share the gospel and give all glory and honor to God.

While Newton is most known today for his being a slave trader saved by grace and then writing the ultimate song about grace, there is so much more to the man that must be understood to better appreciate his works (especially his hymns).

Critical Evaluation of The Life of John Newton

Can one begin to be critical of a work such as this?  I was unable to find anything that would pose a negative to the reading of this book.  I am intentionally sketchy on the summary because there is so much in the book that I did not know that would be of interest to the modern reader that a simple summary would not suffice.  It is my prayer that you would pick up a copy of this book to read.

Banner of Truth has done us the favor of keeping the original language from 1868.  This helps us to “feel” the life of John Newton even if it may be difficult at times to read.  By the time this book was written in1868 there were already a handful of biographies of John Newton.  Josiah Bull felt it was necessary to write this one because a diary that was unknown to previous biographers had been found.   Another element that Bull added was an oral history handed down by friends and family that the other biographers did not have access to.  For these reasons, and the test of time, this biography of John Newton stands, in my humble opinion, over all the rest.


For fourteen dollars, this is a must own biography of one of the giants in the faith.  It is important that the modern Christian understand that John Newton was more than a slave trader who wrote a great song.  By reading this biography, they will quickly see what drove the man to do such great things.  John Newton can be called as David was, “A Man after God’s own heart.”  His entire regenerated life had the aroma of a living sacrifice as per Romans 12:1.  To be able to peer into the life of John Newton is amazing grace indeed.