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Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn began teaching their children at home in 1980. In 1989, they started giving workshops on homeschooling and classical learning. Trivium Pursuit, the “family business” of providing original educational materials for homeschoolers, evolved out of those seminars. In 1999, sons Hans and Nathaniel created Christian Logic, focusing on making the subjects of critical thinking, reasoning, and apologetics more available to Christians. The Bluedorns consider their work a “ministry” to other homeschooling families. They live on a farm in the middle of a cornfield, five miles from the Mississippi River, near New Boston, Illinois.

CBD: When your parents introduced logic into your homeschool curriculum, how did you react? Did you take to the subject right away, or did it take a while for you to warm to it?

HB & NB: We liked logic right away. Back then, the only logic books our parents knew about were published by the Critical Thinking Company. We started with their Building Thinking Skills series. That was the late 1980s. We started Latin at the same time. Logic definitely won over Latin.

We learned about logical fallacies in Critical Thinking, Book One. Those books used all kinds of interesting examples. We were supposed to say which kind of fallacy was being used in each example. We would sit down with Mom and read a lesson and argue about it. She soon found out it was a bad idea to give us the logic book and have us learn it alone; we learned more logic than she did and we could point out her fallacies!

CBD: Some people find the concept of logic intimidating. Why is this?

HB & NB:M Yes, many people think logic is scary. They think it’s difficult and a lot like math—and who likes math? This wasn’t our experience. Logic was our favorite subject.
Some adults had a bad experience learning logic in college. It was dry and academic and didn’t seem useful. They never learned the fun parts of logic. We think that if you learn some logic and critical thinking skills, you will not only have fun, but you will use them every day.

CBD: In your book, The Fallacy Detective, you distinguish between Christian and non-Christian approaches to logic. How do the two differ? Why is it important for Christians to learn logic?

HB & NB: There isn’t a Christian and a non-Christian answer to, “What is one plus one?” or “If all dogs have fleas, and Robey is a dog, then does Robey have fleas?” But as Christians, we should use logic more effectively. We should be vigorous logicians. Christians should be known as the logical ones—the ones to turn to when you want a well-reasoned answer to a problem.

CBD: What advice can you give to parents who want to teach their children to reason from a Christian viewpoint?

HB & NB: Teaching logic means more than teaching children how to point out errors in other people’s thinking. Children need to use logic with humility. This means being open-minded enough to look at opposing viewpoints, and being humble enough sometimes to say, “I don’t know.” Logic is also about having firm convictions and doing the research to support those convictions with clear reasoning.


 

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The Thinking Toolbox: Thirty-five Lessons That Will Build Your Reasoning Skills
The Thinking Toolbox: Thirty-five Lessons That Will Build Your Reasoning Skills
Nathaniel Bluedorn & Hans Bluedorn

Logic in 100 Minutes DVD
Logic in 100 Minutes DVD
Hans Bluedorn & Nathaniel Bluedorn


 

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