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Book Review – The Thinking Toolbox

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Having read The Fallacy Detective, written by Hans and Nathaniel Bluedorn, I turned immediately to the second title in the Christian Logic series. The Thinking Toolbox is “like a toolbox – full of all kinds of tools you can use for different thinking tasks” (from the back cover). Like its predecessor, it is self-teaching and is written to appeal to both teenagers and adults.

While the format of this book is much the same as The Fallacy Detective, it is in many ways better-written and better-formatted. While the format of the book is much the same, featuring thirty-five lessons, each followed by questions of application, the illustrations were superior and more appealing. It continued to feature the humorous touches that made the previous book such a joy to read, even though it dealt with weighty subject matter.

The Thinking Toolbox teaches reasoning skills. It begins with introducing the differences between a discussion, a disagreement, an argument and a fight and guides the reader to understand how to discern premises and conclusions. It progresses to providing tools to understand and deal with opposing viewpoints, before wrapping up with tools for science. These include observation, brainstorming, hyposthesizing, analysis and so on. There are even a few projects and games added to the end of the book to provide further opportunities for application.

The only complaint I might have about this book is that the questions following each lesson did not repeat as often or as deliberately as they did in The Fallacy Detective, which provides fewer opportunities for review.

This is another helpful title that will no-doubt be helpful in guiding students to use and improve their God-given reasoning abilities. I would suggest that this title has less-appeal to adults than its predessor, but equal appeal to teenagers. It would be a very useful tool for summer-reading or as part of a homeschooling cirriculum. I unreservedly recommend it.

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