Review of 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides (5 vols.)
“A good quotation enables you to drive a point home more powerfully than you might be able to otherwise,” says Elliot Ritzema, one of the editors of Logos Bible Software’s 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides.
These 1,500 quotations come as a five-volume package, each with 300 quotations. It’s divided up chronologically: Early Church (100-600), Medieval Church (600-1500), Reformation (1500-1650), and Modern Church (1650-present). Elizabeth Vince (Modern Church) and Rebecca Brant (Medieval Church) are editors with Ritzema in the series. A fifth volume (edited by Ritzema and Vince) has quotations from the Puritans, of whom Ritzema writes:
The Puritan movement began before 1650 and continued beyond it, so dividing Puritan quotations between the Reformation and Modern volumes would not have made sense. In addition, there are so many fantastic quotations from the Reformation and Modern periods that we would have had to leave out some very good ones to stay with two volumes, so we decided to create the Puritan volume to include more of them.
What does the resource look like and what can it do? Here’s a screenshot of an entry, with the numbers detailing the various features:
1. Collapsable and expandable table of contents let you go through and see who is quoted in each volume, as well as the title that the series has given to each quote.
2. Quotation title.
3. Hyperlinked Scripture references that integrate with the rest of Logos. This way if a preacher is preaching on 1 Peter 5:8, a search of the quotations (which you can do by Bible reference–a good feature) will lead to “An Accomplice of the Devil,” shown above. Mousing over the references show popovers of those verses, without having to open a new tab.
4. “Preaching Themes.” One can keyword search these resources by preaching themes and get to the pertinent quotations, in the same way as #3 above. These themes do not seem to automatically integrate with the Sermon Starter Guide, but if you set up a “Collection” (see below), it will show up there.
5. A slide containing the quotation. You can right-click on this to send to PowerPoint or Keynote, or save as a .jpg, etc. Single-clicking on it blows it up so you can see how the quote is formatted on the slide.
6. The author’s name is hyperlinked with more detailed bibliographical information.
It’s really convenient to have the quotations made into slides already, especially if you use digital media in presenting or preaching. The slides look good. They are not editable, though. They also don’t automatically size quite right into Powerpoint. Even after resizing the slide, the ratio is such that it won’t fill up a PPT slide. But this wouldn’t necessarily matter on a black background.
It’s possible that preachers will have a specific era (or the Puritans) in mind when looking for a quotation. More likely, the sermon-prepper will want to search all 1,500 quotations at once. The resource doesn’t come with that capability as such, but there are a couple of ways to search through all five volumes at once.
One could open each of the five quotation books, and then search “All Open Resources,” as here:
Or one can create a user collection that consists of all five quotation books, then search that collection all at once, as here:
I may well turn to this resource (as one among many) in sermon preparation. There’s a wealth of good material here, especially for the preacher who wants to have her or his congregation aware of the history of the church and theology.
One philosophical point to make: the product page says, “Find precisely the words you need for any occasion with 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, a five-volume set, with slides. Selecting a fitting quotation to share with your congregation—a task that can often take hours—will now take you minutes.”
I know ad copy is ad copy (and presumably the editors of the resource did not write it), but that description gives me pause. I’m not convinced there are shortcuts to good preaching or thoughtful exegesis (both of original texts and of congregations and cultures!). Even with a survey of quotations from all eras of church history, the “fitting” thing to share with a congregation may be words from the preacher’s own experience, or “quotations” from Scripture itself. So preachers ought not to over-rely on this resource or any other compendia of quotations.
One neat thing about 1,500 Quotations is that any date that appears (the birth and death dates come after the name of each historical figure being quoted) is hyperlinked to Logos 5’s Timeline (not included with this resource). So putting a person in historical context is easy; one just has to click on the flag symbol that appears next to dates.
However, I wish that church history were more widely represented here–the “Modern Church” volume, for example, has no females quoted. The “Reformation” volume has just “Teresa of Ávila,” even though there are numerous quoteworthy women from these eras.
The greatest strength of 1,500 Quotations is its integration with and ability to draw on the other tools of Logos to streamline research. (Making it into a “collection,” as described above, appears to be needed in order to have it fully integrated.) The PowerPoint/Keynote exporting feature is a nice touch, too, even if the slides still need to be re-sized. I hope any future editions or volumes in Quotations consider drawing from an even wider swath of church history.
(UPDATE 4/23/13: Be sure to read Mr. Ritzema’s comment below, that speaks to a couple points I made in the review.)
Logos asked me to review 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides, and offered me a review copy for the purposes of the review. This was done, however, with no expectation of my review other than honest impressions.