Lesson 00.01

Introduction



 
     Welcome to the CARM Online School of Critical Thinking.   Critical Thinking is a crucial part of the defense of the Christian faith which is under great attack in the world today.  Though thinking logically is an art, it can also be learned. Unfortunately, most books that teach critical thinking are far too deep, far too abstract, and do not provide the average Christian with the information necessary to apply logical principles to Christian related discussions.   This school's goal is to improve your ability to think critically, more rationally, and to apply what you learned to situations, discussions, and dialogues.  God wants you to think more clearly and critically so that you might better defend the truth of Christianity as well as expose errors in other peoples' positions.  After all, as Christians we need to use our minds. 

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect," (Rom. 12:2).

     There is nothing wrong with using logic, with thinking critically, and with analysis.  Christianity is not just a religion of experience and feeling.  It is a relationship with God on a spiritual and an intellectual level.  "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind," (Matt. 22:37). 
     The school aims to accomplish several things

  • Introduce basic logic principles and how to use them.
  • Get you to think a little abstractly, not too much, just enough.
  • Introduce you to a thinking map
  • Teach you how to discover presuppositions and deal with them.
  • Show you how to uncover the weakness of an argument by asking questions.
  • Demonstrate how to use if/then statements to expose error and establish your position.

     You might be surprised to find out that it is very easy, once you know a few "tricks", to undermine the thinking of an atheist, evolutionist, a relativist, etc. Also, to be honest, critical thinking is also an art and though some people are more gifted in that area than others, we can all improve our critical thinking skills through practice.
     The Lord has blessed me with a desire to defend the Christian faith and as a result I have spent 26 years discussing theology and truth-issues with countless non-Christians.  So I bring a lot of experience into these lessons. 
     Remember, God has the market cornered on truth.  What the Bible says is true and we can have the confidence that anyone who opposes the revelation of God's Word, is in error.  All we need to do his think critically and uncover that error.
     This course will not require a high I.Q.  It will go slowly, step by step, with lots of examples and discussion.  I will write concisely and efficiently.  In other words, I'll get right to the point.
     You can't help but improve in your critical thinking.  So, don't worry.  Get ready.  And, enjoy.

     Rev. Matt Slick, M. Div.
     Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
     President
 


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