When I took apologetics in seminary we were assigned the book “A Rulebook for Arguments” to help us learn to avoid common logical fallacies and to express our opinions more clearly. I also really like J. P. Moreland’s book on loving God with our mind. As we share our faith, it is critical to argue rationally (and of course in love) so that we can not only avoid error ourselves, but also lead others to the truth. The longer I am in the Church, the more imperative I think it is that people learn to reason clearly - it is the key to being able not only to share our faith convincingly, but also to interpret the Bible accurately.
What are some other resources you have found helpful for thinking clearly? Do you have any stories you want to share about why it is important to think clearly?
Typically we learn to “argue” by assertion. That is, we tend to start with our conclusions - our desires and opinions - without a whole lot to back them up. And it works, sometimes, at least when we’re very young. What could be better?
Real argument, by contrast, takes time and practice. Marshaling our reasons, proportioning our conclusions to the actual evidence, considering objections, and all the rest - these are acquired skills. We have to grow up a little. We have to put aside our desires and our opinions for a while and actually think…School may help…or not. Reasons can be given for different answers. In the end, ideally, you will not only learn some of those reasons, but also learn how to weigh them up - and how to seek out more yourself.