Help Make this Baptist Covenant Theology Collection (17 vols.) a Reality!

[Yes, I realize the following post is long, but please don't ignore it because of that. Here, I even made a way for you to listen to the post.] :)

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Fellow 1689′rs and other interested parties,

We help point to and put out a lot of resources dealing with the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith [1677/1689]. We have never asked for money or even run ads. We still aren’t, but we are asking if you would consider being a part of something that could help get 17th and 18th century primary source materials into the hands of ordinary folks like us, for cheap! Well, would you?

 

Why are you asking for my money?

To get Covenant Theology books from our Baptist forefathers that many of us ordinary folk have never had access to (FYI: we don’t get any money or kickback from this. We just want to see these resource made available.)

Recall what James Renihan said in the first minute of the following “1689 Federalism compared to 20th Century Reformed Baptists” video:

Dr. Renihan

Dr. Renihan

I think one of the problems that we have faced in the twentieth century and here early in the twenty-first is coming out of Dispensationalism, and without access to a lot of historical baptist books on covenant theology, we have inherited and sort of developed a covenant theology that’s really paedobaptist that we try to sort of adjust somehow to make it into a Reformed Baptist view and it doesn’t fit, where the older view very well supports all that we’re about in terms of Christology and soteriology and the doctrine of the church.”

If you watched the video through the end of the two minute mark then you heard Richard Barcellos say:

Dr. Barcellos

Dr. Barcellos

…[W]e’ve taken here and there from paedobaptist authors, that are wonderful men and great scholars, but that had a different formulation of Covenant Theology then our older guys. …[B]ecause we didn’t have the literature available, I’m including myself in that, we just didn’t have the literature available so we took that and… we became immersing Presbyterians… these old Baptists weren’t immersing Presbyterians.

Not having access to these primary sources was a consistent theme that came up in all our interviews regarding Covenant Theology.

It was the above video from 1689Federalism.com, our site, and the reading of Pascal Denault’s “The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology” that caused one Logos Bible Software employee to say:

“I’m a Reformed Baptist interested in getting the primary sources of 17th century Particular Baptists more accessible…”

 

That’s when I thought to myself:

 

‘Logos pumps this stuff out all the time. Why not get a collection of 17th Century Particular Baptist covenant theology works on Community Pricing?’

 

…And we work with books of this age all the time.”

 

Community Pricing? What are we even talking about?

As of yesterday [Feb. 27, 2014], Logos Bible Software currently has “Baptist Covenant Theology Collection (17 vols.)” up for bid on Community Pricing. 

“Up for bid on Community Pricing”? Yeah, it is a system that they have to see if the product has enough people who will commit to purchasing it, so that Logos can recoup the costs of production.

Logos explains:

“Community Pricing offers some amazing deals on classic works in the field of biblical and theological studies. Thousands of Logos users have gotten books for less than the price of a latte or a gallon of gas (which is around $3.00 in Bellingham, Washington).

 

For example, a few years ago, the R.A. Torrey Collection went for $15 on Community Pricing, $69.95 on Pre-Pub, and it now sells for $119.95…”

How Does Community Pricing Work?

We estimate how much it will cost to produce a book. Let’s say a book costs $10,000 to produce. It could get into production under a number of scenarios:

  • If 100 people bid $100
  • If 1,000 people bid $10
  • If 10,000 people bid $1

These are just examples, and this is a hypothetical book. There are also lots of other combinations of orders and prices that would get this to $10,000. But it should be clear that the more people bid, the lower the price is for everyone. It makes no difference what the final price is, as long as the costs are covered. The book will go into production whether one person bids $10,000 or whether 10,000 people bid $1. The math is the same…

You can watch a video about how this works and learn some bidding strategies. Currently, they do not know how much production of this volume will cost.

 

Enough money talk, what are the spoils!?!?

Glad you asked, this is the exciting part:

Baptist Covenant Theology Logos

Overview

The Baptist Covenant Theology Collection dives into seventeenth-and eighteenth-century covenant theology, emphasizing the implications God’s covenants with man have for modern-day believers, particularly regarding baptism. One of the largest divisions facing the Baptist church in the seventeenth century was the stance on paedobaptism. These texts carefully craft arguments from Scripture, drawing from developments in covenant theology to address contemporary arguments supporting infant baptism. The collection contains a blend of accessible texts written for laity and more in-depth scholarship for those wanting to dig into covenant theology.

With Logos Bible Software, these valuable volumes are enhanced by cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Examines seventeenth- and eighteenth-century covenant theology
  • Addresses contemporary paedobaptist arguments
  • Provides a variety of accessible and scholarly explorations of Scripture

Product Details

  • Volumes: 17
  • Pages: 3,179

 

Sounds nice, but which titles exactly?

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A collection of 17 books gathered from the primary sources used in Denault’s book, and others requested from well respected pastors (whom we’ve interviewed before on this topic):

Quite a list, eh? See more details on them, including some sample pages, here.

When I first learned that this may be a reality in July of 2013 I said:

 

But I don’t have Logos nor the funds to get Logos!

Vyrso-App-200x291Maybe you are in that same boat as me. No worries, Logos as a reader is free! You can download it on your iPhone or Android device right now for free. You can also read what you download free online at Biblia.com or to just get their free e-reader Vyrso. Just think of it as a Kindle reader app on steroids that orbits around the Biblical text. All of the biblical references in the books would be hyperlinked to whatever Bible you choose, and any references to resources that are already produced in Logos would be hyperlinked as well.

 

So why am I spending so much time asking you to be a part of this?

Well, whether one agrees with “1689 Federalism” or not, these are sources that would benefit any Confessional Baptist (aka 1689′r), and I don’t think any of us want to see this collection end up like Logos’ The Works of John Gill (19 vols.) which has been in this limbo state for several years now, yet to see the light of day (or at least the light on our monitors and smart phones).

Bottom line: can the Confessional Baptist community drum up support to make this a reality?

This is the means to get these primary sources out, if we got the costs covered. If anything, would you at least share this and encourage others to join in?

We are excited to play a small part in (hopefully) making this Baptist Covenant Theology Collection (17 vols.) resource available to a much, much wider audience by getting in on this while it is at its cheapest price.

So, will you join us in making this a reality?

Yes! :D

No! :’(

Update March, 12, 2014: IT MADE IT

Update March 19, 2014: Thought it made it, but it didn’t… who know :( 

 

Author: Jason

link ≠ personal endorsement

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  • Sean Cornell

    So how does this work? One must have a LOGOS account? And then you bid… do you get charged? Or is your “bid” just a promise to pay once the product is actually made, if it is actually made?

    • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

      How It Works

      You must add a credit card for your account—without it, you can’t place bids.

      You review the list of titles. When you find books you want, you bid on them by selecting the highest prices you’d pay.

      You watch the real-time revenue charts. When any point on the revenue curve breaks 100 percent, we email every bidder with the good news and the specific price.

      On the first Friday at least two days (48 hours) past a title’s breaking 100 percent, we end Community Pricing and confirm pre-orders at the current best price. We move the title to the Pre-Publication page and mark it as “Under Development,” and we set a new, higher price through the Logos Pre-Publication program. (People who didn’t participate in Community Pricing can still save by placing Pre-Pub orders before we ship it at full price.) Also, we send you a second email if your bid equaled or exceeded the best price and let you know that your pre-order went through. If your pre-order was too low, you get bad news instead.

      Participating in Community Pricing ensures that you get the best price and lets you decide which titles are produced first!

      via: https://www.logos.com/communitypricing/about

      • Sean Cornell

        Ok, great! Thank you.

  • http://contrast2.wordpress.com Brandon Adams

    Thanks for the write-up Jason!

    • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

      It was truly my pleasure… I am very very excited about this (potentially) happening. Please do share so others can aid and understand. Thanks.

  • Brandon Jones

    That’s a great collection in the works. I’ll be sure to help pass the word too.

  • Tjadlow

    Thanks Jason!
    I saw this yesterday, but didn’t understand until Dr. Barcellos linked to this.
    I appreciate the Sound Gecko links

  • Shamgar

    I would much rather see someone create a kickstarter for something like this, that would make the volumes available in open (or mostly open) digital formats like .mobi, .epub, etc. I have no desire to have yet another reader, and one that I can’t use on my normal reading devices. Certainly not one that is then locked up in a format that only works with one vendor.

    • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

      I hear ya… there was a kickstarter that could have done the same if someone was willing to fork over $149 so you told them what book you wanted them to republish ( http://confessingbaptist.com/help-re-publish-500-old-christian-books-available-to-read-online-to-download-or-as-physical-books-deep-roots-library/ ). The problem is the tech we currently have for these old books isn’t perfect so takes a lot of time from humans, and thus the cost involved.

      I too would prefer an open format, but until that time or someone is able to make that happen this is the best option… and $30 for 3,179 pages from professionals is unbeatable (and it could be even cheaper the more people that help) *hint hint* :)

      • Shamgar

        Indeed – and I was a backer of that one. It’s delayed, but I expected that — still happening though. I dunno – I’ll think about it. I want those books to be available — but how they’re made available matters to me.

    • http://about.me/eqdj67 Enrique Duran

      Ditto

    • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

      What device do you speak of anyways? If it can access the web then it should be fine since you can also view their books @ Biblia.com (no install required, that is just one of the 3 options.)

      • Shamgar

        Nook simpletouch, Kindle paperwhite, Kobo Aura, etc.

  • Matt Stahl

    Along with getting this great set of books published by Logos, we also need to get John Gill out of Logos purgatory.

    Matt Stahl

  • Adam S

    I love this. I hope it is the start, along with the books on the 1689federalism.com website of so much more for this movement. SDG!

  • JoshDear

    This is very exciting! Personally, I’d much prefer to see these volumes re-published as physical books (and hope that they will be someday), but would be glad to have access to them via Logos, as well. Thanks to all who are taking the initiative on this important project!

  • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

    60% there! (was a little under 20% Friday morn’)

    • http://1689reformedbaptist.wordpress.com/ 1689reformedbaptist

      Its almost at 80% now.

  • http://en.dutras.org/ Leandro G Faria Corcete DUTRA

    I would much rather have it in free software such as those based on the Sword Project at the Crosswire (virtual) Bible Society , and in the ePub format.

    • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

      Same here… but currently I don’t know of anyone willing to go through those 3,000+ pages and transcribe them into those formats… if you think of it that way… $30 is a killer deal.

      • http://en.dutras.org/ Leandro G Faria Corcete DUTRA

        It is not about price, but freedom. I would pay even more than US$30, provided it would run on my devices (GNU/Linux, Kobo…) and even more if it was free. Crosswire is just a natural here.

        Think GNU vs MS here, not pricey vs gratis.

        • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

          gotcha… and you get +10 nerd points for the type of devices you got! :D
          ya, some stuff just cost money… but trust me i would be more excited is someone out there could make these available in those formats… but for now this is the best option out there.

          But just to clarify, you can read logos books online, on Biblia.com (not to mention the free version of Logos and their various apps).. but if you can run a web browser then you can access what you by from Logos

          • http://en.dutras.org/ Leandro G Faria Corcete DUTRA

            Best? Depends. Gimme freedom.

            I know, but that still does not account for freedom and offline usage.

          • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

            html to epub converter >:) #shhh ;P

          • http://en.dutras.org/ Leandro G Faria Corcete DUTRA

            That might be a solution, but perhaps an illegal, and probaby an inconvenient, one.

  • IRBSPROF

    I’m with those who’d rather NOT see this on Logos, but on a more common platform. Too many reasons to express here. My comments on 1689 Federalism should not be taken as support for a Logos specific project!

    • http://about.me/eqdj67 Enrique Duran

      Ditto “more common platform”

  • Mark N.

    I hate to be a naysayer. I think this is valuable in the short term (for both Logos and individual readers )but, long term.. not so much.

    If I may suggest an alternative.

    1. Put the money in the bank.

    2. Get together 3 dozen volunteers. Two dozen to commit to typing 80 or so pages each.. One dozen to proof read a couple hundred pages each.

    3. Produce a passable quality PDF or TXT or HTML files and release it under a permisive license that allows commercial use (so that Bible software companies can easily integrate it into their products–better exposure for these documents… especially via value-added propositions).

    Yes, the investment in time of each of the volunteers will be greater than $30. However, thinking long term, the base text remains accessible to anyone, search engine accessible, etc. Commercial companies can do whatever they want and sell whatever they want, but the base text in a base format is available freely and openly.

    It is true, the volunteers will work hard and the product will not be as good, but in the long run, the outcome will be better–these documents will get more exposure (esp. among people who can’t afford the post pre-pub price hike), the community will get more options and access to the material, companies can still provide better access to the material, etc. And there will be more interesting spinoffs, like new formats, audio books, etc.. The easy access to the base text will result in all sort of things that won’t happened when they are isolated to one company. Even if its cheap, I think it’s a poor short-term long term trade off to invest in this sort of thing.

    Just my 2 cents :-)

    • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

      Hope I’m not sounding like a Logos’ spokesman… I am a lover of open-source, etc… I myself have help transcribe stuff in the past and know the work involved. Short-term good, long-term not so much,.. agreed!

      I like your plan, only issue is we don’t even have access to some of these books, not like they are out there scanned and just need to be transcribed, we don’t have access. Only a couple of these have been scanned by Google Books, Archive, etc…

      I am happy to see all the comments on those wanting a more open format, I say, hey if someone heads that up and can make it happen then I’ll happily promote that as well (and help however I can, but now-a-days I wouldn’t have time to manage that myself, though I am trying to contact some folks that may help with this more open format.)

      • Mark N.

        Yeah, I find that I assume that EVERY old book is scanned on Google Books or Archive.org. This list proves that is not true!

  • WEI En Yi

    WEI En Yi from Shalom Church, Singapore. Placed a bid. Passing the new to those in Asia.

  • IRBSPROF

    Well, this is the time to do something–if people are willing. I would do whatever I can to help. How many are actually willing to step up and say that they will give time or money for this project? And then actually do it? I think we could find a manager and move forward with something that will be of general usefulness.

  • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

    It made it [so for those interested there are still two more days to drive the price even lower... it is already very close to being $25!] http://confessingbaptist.com/?p=10217

  • http://confessingbaptist.com/ Jason Delgado

    Until 12:00pm (PST) on Friday, 3/14/2014 (TODAY!) you can get this for $17 (after that price raises).