“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.” ~ Isaiah 1:18a
In your experience, do things in life seem to be reasonable and able to be thought through? Although this is a broad question, it can be seen that God has given logic and reasoning to his people as a key to helping us discover truth and understand the world we live in.
At Classical School of Wichita, we teach our students about veritas, bonitas and decorum, which is Latin for truth, beauty and goodness. However, we do not teach our students to think about these three things as subjective, based on personal feelings or opinions, rather, we teach them that these three things are universal, objective truths.
There is a true beauty.
There is a true goodness.
There is a true truth.
We know these to be objective truths because these three words are attributes of God we can experience partially now and will experience fully in a time to come. Reasoning and logic play a crucial role in the pursuit of true truth at our school.
At Classical, students begin formal logic training in 7th grade. Ask any of our logic students what logic is and they will give you Dr. Jim Nance’s definition, “Logic is the art and science of reasoning well.” Reasoning simply means to draw correct conclusions from information. These two tools, logic and reasoning, are given to us by God as a means to find true statements and to identify false statements, but not only that, logic is also given to us to be winsome in sharing the gospel.
Let me take a minute to say, we are not teaching our students how to be better at arguing about screen time, bed time or, for that matter, to argue with their parents at all. We are teaching students how to argue in a time of their development when they are already argumentative. We want our students to use their minds to argue for truth and not just to “win” or get what they want. This process happens by enculturating our students to be a part of a godly Christian community that promotes objective truth and by teaching them how to rightly order their affections.
If logic truly is the art and science of reasoning well, then we can take statements and creatively and scientifically break them down to find their truth values. The previous statement is not only our starting point for this paragraph but is also what is known as a conditional statement. Basically it is an if/then statement (in the formal study of logic it is represented by p⊃q, which reads if p, then q), and we can find out if it is true or not by looking at the truth value of its component parts. Dr. Nance has explored his definition of logic in blog posts of his own when he breaks down what science and art mean:
“A science is a systematic study of some aspect of the natural world that seeks to discover laws (regularities, principles) by which God governs His creation. An art is a creative application of the principles of nature for the production of works of beauty, skill, and practical use.”
With this as our guide, it can be seen that logic is helping us to find rules as we reason and to apply them as we creatively and persuasively converse and argue. We can convince people of their need for a savior. We can argue for values and ideals based in objective truth. We can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, win souls for Christ and press on toward the goal of making disciples of all nations.
~ Grant Bickell, CSW Logic and Bible Teacher