"Christians And The Internet" newsletter CATI, Vol. 3, No. 11: October 20, 2002 _______________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. MOST EXCELLENT THEOPHILOS: DOWNLOADABLE FREE BIBLE SOFTWARE 2. "TRUE HEROISM" AND "INTRODUCE A FRIEND TO CATI" CONTEST 3. FOLLOW-UP: THE (OLD) GENEVA BIBLE AND THE NEW GENEVA BIBLE 4. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER _______________________________________________________________ The latest revision of this issue of "CATI" can be accessed online at http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati74.htm. The Web page edition makes it especially easy to visit the links. Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved. See the end of this issue for more information on "CATI." _______________________________________________________________ 1. MOST EXCELLENT THEOPHILOS: DOWNLOADABLE FREE BIBLE SOFTWARE Oh, you have to be careful: Theophilos and Theophilus are not the same. There's a difference: one has an "o," while the other has a "u." But there's a more important difference. "Most excellent Theophilus" (Luke 1:3) is the person to whom Paul addresses his New Testament history accounts (see Acts 1:1). Book One is a history of the life of Christ (we know it as the Gospel of Luke), while Book Two is a history of the life of the early Church (we know it as the Book of Acts). Together they present us with "an orderly account" (Luke 1:3) of what Christ began to do and to teach while on this earth and of what Christ continued to do and to teach (through His apostles) while reigning in heaven. (Jesus, who is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, is still in heaven, ruling and over-ruling for the good of His Church -- see Eph. Col. 1:15-20; Eph. 1:17-23.) Incidentally, literally "Theophilus" means "lover of God." Theophilus (again, with a "u") is also a Christian cartoon strip on the Web. Most of the cartoons are satirical. Some of them are right on target, others not so much. Thus they ought to be read with some care. Here is where you'll find the Web site: Theophilus' World http://www.theophilus.org/ The author, Bob West, has authored the series for over thirty years. Throughout that time he has moved from criticism of the organized church to the questioning of oversight by elders and (most recently) to support of charismatic emphases, such as spiritual warfare, miracles, and the spectacular spiritual gifts. Thus many (including conservative Presbyterians and others in the Reformed tradition) would differ with him on various issues, although there is much in the strip to praise as well (e.g., unveiling of Christian hypocrisy, displaying of the shallowness of supposed arguments for evolution, etc.) So that's Theophilus with a "u." But what about Theophilos with an "o"? Theophilos (with an "o") is downloadable free Bible software, but before I talk about Theophilos in particular, I should say something about Bible software in general. I have been hesitant to write on the subject, because I am not sure I've seen any complete packages that I can recommend without any reservations. Often translations, commentaries and notes, or references are included that (in my opinion) are out of date (and included primarily because of lack of copyright?) or are unreliable (at times teaching actual error rather than a proper understanding of the Biblical text). And the software itself may be difficult to use. I do recommend, however, the free download of Theophilos Bible software and some (but only some) of the add-ons. Theophilos has received very positive comments from some reviewers, including three reviews in Christian Computing Magazine. Here's the first from CCMag: ______________________________________________________________ / As a reviewer of software, Iím often faced with a sizable dilemma. To paraphrase the childrenís story: quite often Iím forced to kiss a whole bunch of frogs before I can find a single prince. Fortunately though, despite the many duds I see, every now and again I stumble upon a real gem of a program.... One such gem is the Theophilos program.... The program is well-designed [and] easy-to-use.... It offers many of the features and functions normally reserved for high end commercial Bible software.... The free Theophilos package comes as a complete integrated program consisting of...Full version of Theophilos software; ...King James...version of the...Bible...;...Matthew Henryís Commentary on the...Bible;and...Eastonís Bible Dictionary. If you...like what you see..., you can...choose...additional add-on[s]...[including] other Bible versions, dictionaries, notes, and other reference materials.... Theophilos offers a host of features to help you spend more time in your study and less time manipulating the program. The search function, for example, is both very fast and quite powerful.... A host of setup options and preferences...permit you to customize the user interface, fonts, program behavior, and more.... You can copy and paste virtually anything (Bible texts, notes, dictionary topics, search results) through the Windows clipboard to your word processor or other application. These can also be saved to file or printed.... Regardless of what program you may now be using for your Bible study, the Theophilos program is definitely an alternative that deserves your attention. Christian Computing Magazine: Review by Dr. Ed. Hoffman http://www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/members/articles/shr0298.htm \______________________________________________________________ And here are some comments from the second: "The more I looked at this product, the more impressed I became. This is a first rate product that is no-strings- attached freeware.... In my opinion,...this alone is one of the greatest gifts that has been given to Godís people since this industry began.... Of special interest...is the Scribe utility. This incredible tool enables you to take any ASCII text file and create your own resource that can be used in Theophilos. Use them yourself or pass them on to other users of Theophilos. Electronic publishing simply does not get any easier or more inexpensive than Scribe. Hey, in my opinion again, this is what Bible software should be all about." Christian Computing Magazine: Tech Talk by J.D. "Doc" Watson http://www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/members/articles/teck1298.html And, finally, here are the opening comments from the third: "...months ago I scoured the internet searching for various free Bible study software programs. Little did I realize what a treasure I found when stumbling across the Theophilos Library.... [T]his program offers so much for so little (a free and fully functioning version) AND...many add-on modules (various writings, commentaries, resources, etc.) have been produced and are available as free downloads!" Christian Computing Magazine: Bible Software Reviews http://www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/online/biblestudy/Theophilos/index.html That third review (apparently unsigned) is worth reading in full if you are serious about trying out Theophilos, because it goes into substantial detail about how the program works. Here's where you can get the free package for Theophilos Bible Software: Theophilos Bible Software: Downloads http://www.theophilos.sk/ You know what the King James Version (1611) is, but you may or may not know much about the Matthew Henry commentary or about the Easton dictionary, both of which are also included in the free package. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) was ordained as a Presbyterian and was greatly influenced by the Puritans. He is well-known as the author of a lengthy and very influential commentary on the whole Bible. (Actually, he died after having completed the Book of Acts, so the New Testament epistles and Revelation were done by ministerial friends of similar conviction.) The commentary was a great influence on noted Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon (who openly acknowledged his debt to Matthew Henry) and upon many others through the centuries. Concerning Matthew Henry's Commentary, by the way, Charles Spurgeon declared, "Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least." I have found little information about Matthew George Easton (1823-1894), the author of Easton's Bible Dictionary, other than that he was a Scottish Presbyterian. The third edition of Easton's Bible Dictionary was published by Thomas Nelson three years after Easton's death. Like Matthew Henry's Commentary, Easton's Bible Dictionary is now considered to be in the public domain, which partly accounts for its inclusion within many Bible software software packages. Note: Easton's Bible Dictionary is over a hundred years old, Matthew Henry's Commentary goes back almost another hundred years, and the King James Version of the Bible is from the time of Shakespeare. Even though at points they should be supplemented by more recent books to take advantage of some advances in modern scholarship, all of these are "classic" works of enduring value. It is obvious that the King James Version has enduring value, but that is also true of Matthew Henry, as many Christians today can attest. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church asserts that Matthew Henry's Commentary "is notable esp. for its good sense, pregnant thought, and felicitious expression," and that Puritan pithiness is often even more needful in our time than it was in earlier times. (Easton's Bible Dictionary is also helpful but has not endured as well the passage of time.) In a future issue I may recommend some Theophilos add-ins you can purchase, but I want in the rest of this article to recommend some add-ins that are free. You'll find a wide range of materials, from Bible commentaries and sermons to creeds and theological essays. In a normal add-in, if you right-click on a Bible reference (e.g., "2 Thess. 5:17") in the text of the add-in, that will allow you the choice of having Theophilos automatically show you that verse (e.g., "pray without ceasing") in its context in the King James Version. Here are three dozen or so free add-ins that I recommend for your consideration: Alexander, Archibald, Catechetical Instruction http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Baxter, Richard, The Saints' Everlasting Rest http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesT.htm Berkhof, Louis, Summary of Christian Doctrine http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesS.htm Boston, Thomas, The Crook in the Lot http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Bunyan, John, Christ a Complete Saviour http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesC.htm Bunyan, John, The Life and Death of Mr. Badman http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesT.htm Bunyan, John, Saved by Grace http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesS.htm Bunyan, John, A Treatise of the Fear of God http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesA.htm Calvin, John, Commentary on Genesis http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/CommentaryNoteModules.htm Calvin, John, Institutes of the Christian Religion http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesI.htm Christian Research Journal: Religions and Cults http://members.fortunecity.com/lordadonai/id17.htm Douma, J., Ten Commandments (summary of a book published by P & R Publishing) http://home.spg.co.za/bogaards/theophil.htm#Engels-ENGLISH Edwards, Jonathan, Resolutions http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Edwards, Jonathan, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God http://www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/ssm/downlink.html Flavel, John, Keeping the Heart http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesK.htm Fox, John, Fox's Book of Martyrs http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesF.htm Knox, John, The Common Faith http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesT.htm Lee, Francis Nigel, Calvin on the Weekly Christian Sabbath http://home.spg.co.za/bogaards/theophil.htm#Engels-ENGLISH Luther, Martin, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/CommentaryNoteModules.htm Luther, Martin, 95 Theses http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesOther.htm Luther, Martin, Sermons (100 sermons) http://home.spg.co.za/bogaards/theophil.htm#Engels-ENGLISH Luther, Martin, Table Talk http://home.spg.co.za/bogaards/theophil.htm#Engels-ENGLISH Nave, Norville J., ed., Nave's Topical Bible http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/DictionaryTopicModules.htm Owen, John, Christologia http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesC.htm Owen, John, On Temptation http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Owen, John, On the Mortification of Sin in Believers http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Pink, Arthur W., Comfort for Christians http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesC.htm Pink, Arthur W., Eternal Security http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Ryle, J.C., Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Ryle, J.C., Expository Thoughts on the Sermon on the Mount http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Spurgeon, Charles, All of Grace http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesA.htm Spurgeon, A Collection of Sermons, Vol. I (27 sermons) http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesS.htm Spurgeon, Charles, A Defense of Calvinism http://www.4familyreformation.com/index.htm Spurgeon, Charles, Morning and Evening http://www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/ssm/downlink.html Ursinus, Zacharias, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/CommentaryNoteModules.htm Watson, Thomas, Contentment http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesC.htm Westminster Shorter Catechism http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/NewAdditions.htm If some of these names are unfamiliar to you, you can learn more about many of them (and find more of their writings) on the following Web sites: Baxter, Richard http://members.aol.com/augusteen/Baxter.html Boston, Thomas http://www.thomasboston.net/ Bunyan, John http://www.johnbunyan.org/ Calvin, John http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/commentaries/commentaries.html and http://www.thevine.net/~phillipj/calvin/ Edwards, Jonathan http://www.jonathanedwards.com/ and http://members.aol.com/jonathanedw/Edwards.html Flavel, John http://www.ccel.org/f/flavel/ Fox, John http://www.ccel.org/f/foxe_j/martyrs/ Knox, John http://www.swrb.com/newslett/FREEBOOK/JKnox.htm Luther, Martin http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-luther.html Owen, John http://www.theocentric.com/johnowen/ Pink, Arthur W. http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/4495/pinklink1.html and http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/pinks_archive.htm Ryle, J.C. http://www.iserv.net/~mrbill/ Spurgeon, Charles http://www.spurgeon.org/ Ursinus, Zacharias http://www.ccel.org/u/ursinus/ Watson, Thomas http://www.fivesolas.com/watson/index.htm Westminster Assembly http://www.reformed.org/books/hetherington/west_assembly/ The preceding are "recommended reading" (i.e., reading that I personally recommend, although that obviously does not mean that I thus necessarily endorse everything said by the men to whom I refer). There are some Theophilus add-ins, however, that I would not recommend at all. For example, I consider those who advocate "open theism" to be advocating serious error, for I believe that God not only knows the future, but is also in control of the future. Thus I would warn against the Theophilus add-ins which support "open theism." Likewise I cannot recommend the writings of C.I. Scofield (author of the old Scofield notes, which represent the older "dispensational" approach to the Bible). Since the newer Scofield Bible departs significantly from the older Scofield Bible, it would seem that many modern dispensationalists would themselves admit that C.I. Scofield was wrong in some important areas. Similarly, I cannot recommend the writings of Charles Finney, whose Systematic Theology is described in this way on the Theophilos download page: "Charles G. Finney.... A shift from Reformation orthodoxy (Calvinism), evident in the Great Awakening (under Edwards and [George] Whitefield), to Arminian revivalism." http://www.meetingpoint.org/theophilos/English/WritingModulesS.htm CATI readers must make up their own minds on this issue, but in theology I personally would recommend Louis Berkhof's Summary of Christian Doctrine, written from the Reformed perspective and available for downloading on the same page. Speaking of summaries, in summary I would suggest that you download the free Theophilos Bible Software package and try it out for yourself. In addition, try out some of the free modules that I've recommended. Use discretion in what you download, because not all Theophilos modules are equally faithful to Scripture. My opinion is that you can't go far wrong if you go with the Reformers and the Puritans (and I include Charles Spurgeon in the latter category as a "modern-day Puritan"). Enjoy! _______________________________________________________________ 2. "TRUE HEROISM" AND "INTRODUCE A FRIEND TO CATI" CONTEST An excellent but little-known book published in 1995 was True Heroism in a World of Celebrity Counterfeits, written by Dick Keyes, who had been a student at Westminster Seminary back in the late 1960's when I was a student there. Unfortunately, the book (published by NavPress) is now out of print, although you can find some reviews of the book online. Example #1: "Dick Keyes is a long time worker at L'Abri Fellowship [in] Massachusetts. This book shows the refining effect of long years of reflection, effort, and lecturing on the subject at hand. Dick Keyes explores the meaning of heroism in an age where celebrity status has eclipsed any idea of real heroes. What and who are "pseudo-heroes?... Is heroism possible or conceivable today?... The author believes that 'true heroism' is impossible without the concomitant virtue...of humility.... His two chapters on humility are spectacular, greatly needed, and overdue in our world of self praising and straining for the coveted spotlight of the lavish praise of our televised age.... His last two chapters on the effects of all this on the family are powerful reading for young parents. Do we really, really wish to change our world? For Keyes the key lies here in 'true heroism' and humility and NOT in the ersatz 'power' of the 1990's media." Premise: Book Review by Marvin Padgett http://capo.org/premise/95/sep/p950815.html Example #2: "Are there any heroes in an age of cynicism, when everything noble is debunked and dissected into ignoble elements? The cynical debunkers of heroism should themselves be debunked. How can they know that all heroism is sham, that courage and benevolence are but masks for selfishness? In this engaging and provocative book, Richard Keyes offers a strong spiritual antidote for our culture's loss of heroes. After clarifying the difference between the celebrity ('well known for being well known') and the hero (who is distinguished primarily by moral character), Keyes delves into the gospel accounts to reveal Jesus Christ as the paradigmatic hero of the ages. In the life of Christ, he perceives an unparalleled sense of purpose, love, forgiveness, courage, endurance, and service. Those who seek to imitate the heroic qualities of Christ... can...find in Christ forgiveness, hope, and the incentive to become heroes themselves. Keyes also looks at heroic parents, and provides practical wisdom for fractured families. Parents need not be superpeople to be heroes to their children, but they must attend to the things that matter most. Savoring this book is a good step toward discerning just what those things are." First Things: Book Review by Douglas Groothuis http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9606/reviews/briefly.html#true In a moment, I'll tell you how you may obtain a copy of this book, but before I do that, here are two more comments on the book: "Facing a culture that is losing both God and man, Richard Keyes offers a Christian vision of true human nobility. Parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, and others who guide young people will find here a rich resource." --J.I. Packer "Fascinating, wise, rich, biblical, and practical, this book will be for many people a long overdue introduction to one of today's best minds and most helpful teachers." --Os Guinness If the topic of "true heroism" is of interest to you and you would like to obtain a copy of this book by Dick Keyes, here is a place where you can purchase a copy online: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/offering/list/-/0891098925/all/ref=sr_pb_a/002-9532764-5572065 (But don't spend more than $20.00, because the original price of the book was only $18.00.) Or you may perhaps get a copy free, if you are a winner in the "Introduce a Friend to CATI" contest.... As you know, "CATI" is a free e-mail newsletter, devoted to "Christians And The Internet." There is helpful material in "CATI" that can be found elsewhere only with great difficulty (and sometimes cannot be found elsewhere at all). It is the kind of thing you should be telling your friends about. To encourage you to do so, I've decide to put on a contest. I will be giving a copy of Richard Keyes' True Heroism in a World of Celebrity Counterfeits to each of the top FIVE people who bring in the largest number of new "CATI" subscribers between now and December 1, 2002. When requesting to be put on the "CATI" mailing list, your friend (who may or may not be a Christian) must indicate the name of the person who introduced him or her to "CATI." (This means YOU!) That way you get credit for the new subscription. If "CATI" is worthwhile, it is because a lot of work goes into each issue. It is a labor of love, but it is a lot of labor. Essentially the same amount of work is involved regardless of the number of people on the mailing list (presently only about 300 or so). Thus it makes sense to let other people know of a publication that may also benefit them. I'm hoping to double my subscription base in the next year or less, but I know that I will need to do a number of things in order to accomplish that. The "Introduce a Friend to CATI" Contest is only one of them, but you can make it an important one. "Word of mouth" is still a powerful means of persuasion, so tell your friends what you have appreciated about "CATI." Thanks in advance for your contributions to "CATI": for your interest, your prayers, your words of encouragement, and your helping to get the news out about "CATI"! _______________________________________________________________ 3. FOLLOW-UP: THE (OLD) GENEVA BIBLE AND THE NEW GENEVA BIBLE This article is a brief follow-up to this article in the previous issue of CATI: CATI: Better Than the King James Bible? You Bet Your Breeches! http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati73.htm#1 If that article got you interested in the old Geneva Bible, you'll be glad to hear that you can find the complete edition of 1599 -- text and notes -- here: StudyLight.org: The 1599 Geneva Study Bible (text and notes!) http://www.studylight.org/com/gsb/ Also, although the text is different (the New King James Version is used rather than the original text of the old Geneva study Bible) and the notes are different (comments are by modern Bible scholars rather than using the notes of the old Geneva study Bible), the New Geneva Study Bible stands in the same tradition. I highly recommend it, and so does the Bookstore of Westminster Seminary: "The original Geneva Bible was published in 1560 and helped spark a spiritual revolution in the English-speaking world. The Reformation Study Bible [formerly known as the New Geneva Study Bible] stands in the tradition of the original Geneva Bible, helping the reader to discover the riches of Reformed thought while studying the Word of God. Combining modern scholarship with the insights of reformers such as John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Knox and Theodore Beza, this unique study Bible offers an unparalleled view of the ideas and doctrines that renewed the church and fired the faith of generations of believers. Contributors to the volume include R. C. Sproul, Bruce Waltke, Moisťs Silva, Edmund Clowney, J.I. Packer, Raymond Dillard, James Boice, Tremper Longman III, Richard Pratt, Al Groves, Sinclair Ferguson, Dan McCartney, Vern Poythress and many others." http://wts.edu/bookstore/facedit.html Another place where this new study Bible can be ordered is R.C. Sproul's Web site, which summarizes the many helps including in this excellent Bible and Bible reference: "The text of the Reformation Study Bible is The New King James Version. Other features include: Introductions, outlines, and information about the author, setting, themes, and characteristics of each book, [e]xtensive study notes, [m]aps, [c]harts, [a] cross-reference system, [a] concordance, [and e]ssays on 100 key biblical doctrines and themes, [such as] 'Providence,' 'Angels,' 'Miracles,' 'The Sacraments,' 'Marriage and Divorce,' and 'Prayer.'" http://www.renewing.org/bibles.html Check it out! (In fact, check them out, the old and the new Geneva study Bibles!) _______________________________________________________________ 4. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER Like to know what this is? This is the seventy-fourth issue of a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the "Internet"). Like to subscribe to this free email newsletter? Just send an email to email@example.com (but be sure to include your name in the note). Like to read past CATI issues and articles (or even search CATI for a particular subject)? Go to http://cati.org and you'll find an archive of past issues (arranged in reverse chronological order), a partial index of articles (arranged alphabetically by topic), and a search engine specifically for use with CATI. Like to pass along this issue to others? You may. Permission is hereby granted to pass along any issue of CATI to someone else, provided that it is passed along in its entirety with no changes made. (For now, I prefer that you send the complete issue, although I may in the near future provide guidelines for passing along individual articles.) Like to use material from this newsletter (say, on a Web page or in a publication)? For permission to do that, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org (explaining what you'd like to use and for what purpose). Reasonable requests are usually granted. Like to unsubscribe? That's also easy. Just send an email to email@example.com (but if you decide to unsubscribe, you'll be missed, so any thoughts about the newsletter that you would be willing to share at that time would be much appreciated). Like to tell your friends about CATI? That is not only much encouraged, but also an encouragement to the editor! CATI is a lot of work (albeit a labor of love) and (since it is a free newsletter and I intend it to stay such) provides no financial income, so what keeps me going with this personal endeavor is knowing that people are finding it to be helpful, instructive, and enjoyable. (Comments from readers are always welcome, so let me hear from you!) Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.