Using Logos Bible Software is like having a great research assistant. In the Passage Guide, I can enter Acts 17 or any other Scripture reference, and it automatically brings up the relevant resources from my Logos library: commentaries, cross references, parallel passages, maps, music and media resources, links to sermons and sermon slides. With all this at my fingertips, Logos makes research much faster and less tedious than it might be otherwise.
In fact, Logos does this so well, that I’ve always thought of it in terms of research; now however, with my Nexus 7 and the Logos app, I’ve discovered that Logos has books for reading too. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I am now making up for lost time with the 6-volume Keith Drury Collection:
- With Unveiled Faces: Experience Intimacy With God Through Spiritual Disciplines
Of the six volumes in this collection, this book is my favourite: a clearly written, practical guide to spiritual disciplines grouped together as disciplines of abstinence (fasting, silence, solitude, simplicity, rest, secrecy), disciplines of action (journaling, hospitality, confession, Scripture, charity, prayer, penance), and the discipline of response (responding to life’s difficulties and blessings). A concluding chapter — “The Problem with This Book” — includes some practical caution against spiritual elitism or individualism, and there is also a helpful study guide for using the book with a small group.
- Common Ground: What All Christians Believe and Why It Matters
This study of the Apostles’ Creed was written “for Christians who seldom recite the creed in worship, never learned the creed, or cannot repeat it without reading the words from a book or worship folder.” According to the author the creed is important because among other things “it underlines the Bible” — I understand that from the author’s Wesleyan perspective, but as an Anabaptist, I also note that the Apostles’ Creed goes immediately from Jesus’ birth to his suffering which leaves out quite a lot. In light of this, some have even taken to reciting the Apostle’s Creed with The Anabaptist Comma.
- Holiness for Ordinary People
The language of holiness and sanctification seems to come from another era, so I was glad that this book began with this straightforward definition: “Holiness is loving God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving my neighbor as myself. Simply put, holiness is Christlikeness.” Whew! I was glad when I read that — not that loving God and neighbor in this way is exactly easy, but at least the language is more accessible and connects well with my own church tradition.
- Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People
This was the first book I read, expecting Scripture, prayer, fasting, and other traditional spiritual disciplines. Those subjects are covered in With Unveiled Faces, and this book begins instead with “How Christians Change: Crisis and Process” and then continues to explore restitution, forgiveness, humility, and other spiritual practices. Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection and application plus some brief devotional look at Scripture. For example, in the chapter on putting away pride, 2 Corinthians 7:4; 8:24 are listed with the question “What level or types of pride would be acceptable to God?”
- The Call of a Lifetime: Is the Ministry God’s Plan for Your Life?
The last chapter of this book is “Your First Decade of Ministry,” and since I’m passed that, most of this book was hindsight for me. For those considering ministry, however, the book offers a place to start with some basic definitions, biblical background, support for women in ministry, and practical advice on ministry preparation. I would have liked more on bivocational and part-time ministry in a home, school, or other setting, but for the most part ministry was envisioned as a full-time, life-long calling to a traditional church.
- The Wonder of Worship: Why We Worship the Way We Do
This is the one book in the series that I’m still reading. I appreciate the way the author traces the history of various worship elements throughout the Bible and church history in simplified form, and then goes on to ask some practical questions. For example, in the chapter on prayer, I learned some of the history of prayer moving from church to family home to private devotions. I’m still mulling over “What one thing might you do to improve prayer in your personal life?” and “What one thing might your local church do to improve the prayer in its public services?”
This is a great set for anyone interested in faith and spiritual practice, church and ministry. The writing is clear, accessible, helpful, and broad enough to apply to different church traditions. While I still mainly associate Logos Bible Software with research and a more academic approach, the Keith Drury Collection has deepened my understanding and experience of practical spirituality.
Disclosure: I received the Keith Drury Collection from Logos Bible Software. The views expressed here are my own.