Hodgepodge and Potpourri

Friday, August 26, 2016

 Random Thoughts Before Starting

Today is the Friday before school starts and I'm looking forward to enjoying my last weekend of freedom.  I don't have anything specific to discuss today so I'm simply going to share some random thoughts and little left-out tidbits.  Hence the title, "hodgepodge and potpourri".

The Coolest Thing I Left Out

Free Logos Bible Software!  I wanted to mention this a while back, but I just couldn't find the right place to do so.  All Masters level students at DTS receive a free custom Logos Bible Software package for their studies at DTS.  This package contains nearly 280 resources with an approximate value of $14,000 and graduating DTS students may keep their package for life.

This software resource is made available through the support of DTS donors and a small portion of the student technology fee.  To all the donors out there, a very big thank you!

The DTS Logos Package is a hodgepodge of bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, atlases, lexicons, language resources, and much more.  I'm sure I'll find plenty here to keep me busy during my studies and I know that these resources are really going to help.  The DTS Logos Package is available to new students around two weeks into their first semester.

I've been kicking the tires on Logos Bible Software for about three months now.  If I had any regret about how I've prepared for my first semester, it would be that I wish I spent a little more time learning how to use this software.  It is obviously very powerful and loaded with many different features.  I know I'll learn this as I go, but it is complex enough that it will take some time.

You can learn more about Logos here: https://www.logos.com/

What Am I Doing Here? 

After getting my butt kicked by the Test of Biblical and Theological Knowlege (TBTK) as I discussed in "Just One More Thing...", I had some time to reflect on what I'm actually doing.

Obviously, I'm really looking forward to growing in knowledge over the course of my degree program.  But this is not about academics.  This is about serving the Lord through making disciples and preaching the gospel to the world.

It's getting harder and harder to hear the gospel in the world today, even in "Christian" churches.  Instead, the Word of God is being shelved; replaced by politically correct, warm and fuzzy, seeker friendly, purpose driven, hocus-pocus, prophetic, baby-babble, prosperity nonsense.  It's time to repent and get back to reciting the gospel from the pages of scripture.

In his sermon "The Kind of Preaching God Blesses", Steve Lawson says,

“All pulpits must passionately declare Christ to be the eternal Son of the living God, the only Savior of sinners. All preaching must boldly announce Him as the reigning Lord of heaven and earth. He must be fearlessly announced as the One before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. All preaching must assert that this Jesus is the final Judge of every human life. To fulfill this sacred duty, every preacher must proclaim the full counsel of God. Every doctrine in Scripture must be delivered. Every truth must be taught. Every sin must be exposed. Every warning must be issued. And every promise must be offered. If God is to bless our preaching, the supreme majesty of Jesus Christ Himself must be expounded in our sermons. All the lines of our preaching must intersect at this highest pinnacle—Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Those are good words, not only for today's preachers but for all Christians as a humble reminder of what we are to know, and what we are to proclaim when given the opportunity.  God uses His words through our voices to change the hearts of sinners.  He doesn't need us to try and help with our clever schtick.

It's really here where I find my conviction to come to school.  To get back to the basics of the faith.  Capturing the words of Peter in the first part of 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV),

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;

Orientation on Saturday

Right now, resident Dallas Theological Seminary students are enjoying orientation at the campus.  While it would be nice to be there for this event, it just isn't possible for me.  However, for the first time, DTS is going to stream a live online orientation from the campus.

This event will take place on Saturday afternoon (for me anyhow) and will feature a panel of faculty and staff that will deliver some basic and necessary orientation information.  The panel will also stick around after sharing to engage with online students via text chat to answer any specific questions about the online program.

I think this is a nice gesture and I'm looking forward to joining in.  I think the team at DTS did a great job preparing online students for this endeavor in general; from the admissions counselor, the New Student Facebook group, the course information, and general online information.  The online orientation is going to be a nice prelude to the upcoming semester.

Anything Missing?

I'm sure there is a lot I haven't even thought of yet that I'll discover as I go.  But there is one topic on which I wish DTS published a little more information.  And that is the Turabian writing style.

DTS requires the Turabian writing style for all assignments.  I'll probably go ahead and order a book on this writing style, but it would have been nice to see a little more information on the DTS site.  They do publish a template and a DTS specific addendum to the style, but seeing it in practice would have been ideal.

Here We Go!

The online classes will begin to be posted over the weekend and I'll be able to start my class on Monday.  I'll probably start my reading for my first module over the weekend after I see the information available.

No turning back now, it's go time!

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