Review of the B&H Baptist History Collection from Logos

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For the last several years I have been using Logos Bible software on my Macintosh computers. I have long been a fan of Logos but as a Machead, kept waiting (and sometimes agitating) for a native Mac version. Logos 4 accomplished that and from day 1, literally, I have been using it. After getting some extremely helpful training from John Fallahee at Learnlogos.com Logos became my exclusive go-to Bible software program.

The 11 volume B&H Baptist History Collection ($219.99) is one of the hundreds of useful collections that Logos has packaged together to serve various constituencies in the broader Christian world. If you are interested in Baptist studies, especially in the recent history of the Southern Baptist Convention, this collection would make a welcome addition to your Logos library.

The collection consists of the following titles:

I already own 6 of those titles in hard copy. Now that they are a part of my Logos library, they have become even more useful in my research and writing. The ability to search my complete library or any portion of it (like my books on Baptist history and theology) is one of the great values of owning books on Logos. This is particularly true of resource books like Leon McBeth’s A Sourcebook for Baptist Heritage. This 639 page companion volume to his The Baptist Heritage: Four Centuries of Baptist Witness, is filled with original source material.

For example, a search for “Sandy Creek Baptist Association” in the Sourcebook turns up under the first entry a copy of the “Principles of Faith” adopted by the Sandy Creek Association upon its organization in 1758.

LOGS Review BSB

If I want to include the first 4 of those articles in a paper I am writing, I simply click on the entry, then highlight, copy and paste those articles into my Word document. The results, complete with footnotes are seamlessly inserted into the document and appear like this:

PRINCIPLES OF FAITH

Art. I. We believe that there is only one true and living God; the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, equal in essence, power and glory; yet there are not three Gods but one God.

II. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and only rule of faith and practice.

III. That Adam fell from his original state of purity, and that his sin is imputed to his posterity; that human nature is corrupt, and that man, of his own free will and ability, is impotent to regain the state in which he was primarily placed.

IV. We believe in election from eternity, effectual calling by the Holy Spirit of God, and justification in his sight only by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. And we believe that they who are thus elected, effectually called, and justified, will persevere through grace to the end, that none of them be lost.[1]

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[1] H. Leon McBeth, A Sourcebook for Baptist Heritage (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1990), 164.

If I were a college or graduate student, the footnoting feature alone would make me a fan of Logos.

One of the downsides to having books in a searchable, digital format is the temptation only to read portions that turn up in the search engine. It is easy to miss contextual nuance or the author’s true meaning if great care is not exercised to understand the flow and method of his argument. This problem has been highlighted in the recent public dialogue between Tom Nettles and David Allen regarding Andrew Fuller’s view of the atonement. Of course, this is not the fault of the format nor is it a mistake that is limited to digital searches of books, but the temptation to make this kind of mistake is heightened by quick and easy searches.

With that caveat, I am still a big fan of using digital books in this way and Logos has provided an excellent product with an increasing number of desirable resources to facilitate this kind of research, especially research in clearly defined field, like Baptist history and theology. The B&H Baptist History Collection on the Logos platform would be a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in that realm of study.

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