Avoiding the academic approach to logic usually promoted by Classical education proponents, Hans and Nathaniel Bluedorn have made the art of critical thinking above all practical. The resources available from Christian Logic are designed, not to immerse students in the jargon of formal logic, but to get them to analyze arguments in order to separate truth from fallacy.
It's important that students begin with The Fallacy Detective, a highly readable book that shows readers how to spot a wide range of bad arguments (logical fallacies) using sound reasoning, humor, and comic strips. Extensive exercises help cement the information, while a genuinely fun game at the back of the text lends a more lighthearted element.
The Thinking Toolbox, by contrast, guides readers through the process of constructing sound arguments, discerning between an argument, a fight, and a discussion, accumulating evidence, and more. Like the first book, exercises give readers an opportunity to hone their skills; unlike the first book, this one (while still funny and engaging) doesn't use comics to teach.
A 100-minute DVD called Logic in 100 Minutes combines some of the best material from their books into two lectures designed to give students a crash-course in the art of reasoning. There's also some content unique to the video, including brief lectures relating to the use of logic in scientific study.
These resources are all highly accessible and highly informative. Students as young as 13-years-old will benefit from the material, though these books are just as helpful for older students and even adults who need to sharpen their ability to think and to be discerning.
The Bluedorns are primarily concerned with teaching good thinking skills, from spotting a fallacy to building an argument, in order to equip Christian students with the tools needed to sift through all the arguments floating around out there, as well as to defend their own faith and beliefs. We heartily recommend the materials from Christian Logic.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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