Come Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking by Norman Geisler and Ronald Brooks is a useful introduction to logic written with the Christian in mind. This sets the text apart in the area of the examples used and some of the commentary involved throughout each chapter. This does not change the content of the logic being taught, but it does add another dimension to the book. We are exhorted, “The next best thing besides godliness for a Christian is logic.”1
In the chapter entitled The Whats and Whys of Logic, the authors tackle many of the objections to studying logic, as well as pointing out the Christian’s responsibility to engage in logical thinking. The authors move through the foundational material quickly. They don’t offer much reinforcement beyond their initial explanations, so the potential reader can be advised to understand it the first time. In some of the earlier chapters it seems as if the authors are coaching the reader along, “see, that wasn’t that hard now was it?” Thankfully, this treatment ends about half way through. Each chapter is followed by a good number of exercises, many with examples drawn from either a Biblical or apologetical context.
Formal and informal fallacies are addressed early on, and the examples are really excellent. Chapter 7, Uncovering Logic in Literature shows the student a practical method of analyzing arguments as they appear in common print (e.g., newspapers, books, etc.). This entails looking for the conclusion, reconstructing the sentences, looking for the middle term, and so on. Geisler and Brooks move on to induction and present a very helpful section on probability. The final chapters deal with the scientific method, its uses, and fallacies of the scientific method. An appendix with truth tables is included, followed by a helpful glossary.
Come Let Us Reason should not be the only book one reads on logic, as there are some areas where the authors are not as clear as they could have been. Without other supplementary texts, the reader may not grasp some aspects fully. However, as a whole, Geisler and Brooks have contributed a helpful introductory text to logic from a Christian perspective.
1 Norman Geisler & Ronald Brooks, Come Let Us Reason: An Introduction to Logical Thinking (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1990), p. 7.
Monday, May 04, 2009
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