Dr. Geivett, professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, lists several recommended books on critical thinking, logic, apologetics, and evangelism that he shares in his lecture “Apologetics in Your Home.”
My lecture on “Apologetics in Your Home” has been popular at conferences. During this presentation, I recommend the following books to parents:
- Isaac Watts, The Improvement of the Mind
- Isaac Watts, Logic: The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth
- D. J. McInerny, Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking
- Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp, Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide
- Colin Allen and Michael Hand, Logic Primer
- J. Budziszewski, Ask Me Anything: Provocative Answers for College Students
- J. Budziszewski, Ask Me Anything 2: More Provocative Answers for College Students
- John Dewey, How We Think
- Norman Geisler and David Geisler, Conversational Evangelism: How to Listen and Speak So You Can Be Heard
Isaac Watts (1674-1748) is best known as a great hymn writer. But his two books contain much timeless advice for the education of children in piety and critical thinking.
J. Budziszewski is a Christian author and professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas. He converted from Marxism to Christianity and has written these two books to guide Christian university students through the thickets of their “higher” educational experience.
American philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952) was a leading figure in the pragmatist movement in philosophy, and is well-known for his work on the philosophy of education. If used with caution, parents will find much wisdom in his book on How We Think.
Three books are listed here for the exceptional value they offer in areas related to logic and critical thinking. I recommend beginning with D. J. McInerny for an overview of issues related to the nature of truth, evidence, logic, and good judgment. The book by Bowell and Kemp is an excellent textbook—the best of breed, in my opinion. Parents should learn this material early, and lead their children through a close study of its principles before graduation from high school. The book by C. Allen and M. Hand is a useful reference work.
The book by Norman Geisler and David Geisler explains the challenges of relativism and postmodernism and offers practical advice for combining critical thinking with conversational skill in dialogue with nonbelievers.
Finally, for general wisdom on the cultivation of the mind, I highly recommend the classic by A. G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life.