The Fundamental Laws of Logic

When I tell people that I teach logic at a classical school, I often get a look and a recurrent phrase that goes something like “I don’t think I could ever learn that because that sounds out of my league!” While some subjects are harder than others to understand, logic has the ability to be easy to learn because we all participate in some form of logical or illogical thought patterns everyday. Often, it may seem daunting because logic uses advanced vocabulary, but once you learn the language, you realize that logic is actually quite easy to pick up. Such is with the fundamental laws of logic; these laws sound wording, but in fact once studied, makes perfect sense. The fundamental laws of logic and thought are:
1. The Law of Exclusion. This Law basically states that a statement/proposition is either true or false, there is no middle option. the statement “God is real” is either true or false, God can’t be both or some sort of Pandora’s box of being both at the same time; either God is real or he isn’t, either Christianity is true or it’s false.
2. The Law of Identity. This laws states that if a statement/proposition is true, than it’s true! I know it’s not rocket science, but living in our postmodern relativistic culture, we often here statements such as “Well, the Christian Religion may be true for you, but my truth is something else. Everyone has their own truth and no one can be wrong.” This is logically impossible, either the Christian religion is the true religion or it’s a false one, and the same goes with Postmodernism, Atheism or any form of relativism that would suggest otherwise.
3. The Law of Contradiction. This Law of thought states that a statement/proposition can’t be both true and false at the same time. I can not both be married and a bachelor, I can only be one or the other. If you were to look outside right now and it was nighttime, you can’t say that it is and isn’t nighttime, that would be crazy. Often opponents of Christianity say that the doctrine of the Trinity is guilty of committing the law of contradiction by stating that the Trinity displays itself as saying that He is one God, yet three Gods. But this is a straw man fallacy, for The Trinity is not “one God, yet three Gods, but is properly defined as One Essence, Three Persons, which is different than saying that God is one person, three persons or one essence, three essences, but is simply One Essence, Three persons. This may be hard to understand, but that doesn’t make it a contradiction, just simply mysterious.
But how can we know these laws are true? Apologist and Professor J.P. Moreland answers this brilliantly by writing,
“These fundamental laws are true principles governing reality and thought and are assumed by Scripture. Some claim they are arbitrary Western constructions, but this is false. The basic laws of logic govern all reality and thought and are known to be true for at least two reasons: (1) They are intuitively obvious and self-evident. Once one understands a basic law of logic (see below), one can see that it is true. (2) Those who deny them use these principles in their denial, demonstrating that those laws are unavoidable and that it is self-refuting to deny them.
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Building A Seminary Education (For Free!)

Education is expensive. However, the ability to grow in the knowledge of various subjects is unlike any other time in history. Our access to books, classes and lectures are now literally just a click of the finger away.

Below is a list of courses that are free from iTunes University from Westminster Theological Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary that will give you a comprehensive seminary education for free:
1. The Westminster Standards by Sinclair Ferguson (WTS)
2. Covenant Theology by Ligon Duncan (RTS)
3. Biblical Theology by G.K. Beale (WTS)
4. Biblical Hermeneutics by Vern Poythress by (WTS)
5. Apologetics by Scott Oliphant (WTS)
6. History of Philosophy by John Frame (RTS)
7. Ancient & Medieval History by David Calhoun (CTS)
8. Reformation & Modern History by David Calhoun (CTS)
9. The Reformation by Carl Trueman (WTS)
10. The Puritans by J.I. Packer (RTS)
11. Calvin’s Institutes by David Calhoun (CTS)
12. Systematic I: Prolegomena by David Garner (WTS)
13. Systematic II: Doctrine of God by Scott Oliphant (WTS)
14. Systematic III: Humanity, Christology, Salvation by Robert Peterson (CTS)
15. Systematic IV: Spirit, Ecclesiology and Eschatology by Robert Peterson (CTS)
16: The Pentateuch by Richard Pratt Jr (RTS)
17: Judges-Poets by Jon Currid (RTS)
18: The Prophets by RIchard Pratt Jr (RTS)
19: The Gospels and Acts by Knox Chamblin (RTS)
20: Romans by Knox Chamblin (RTS)
21: Pauline Epistles by Knox Chamblin (RTS)
22: Hebrews-Revelation by Michael Kruger (RTS)
23: Pastoral Studies by James Anderson (RTS)
24: Church & Culture by James Anderson (RTS)
25. Preaching Christ by Timothy Keller (RTS)

Here is also a link to a couple pages with resources

  1. 250+ Free Online Seminary Classes, Courses, Programs, and Book Recommendations
  2. Westminster Theological Seminary Scholarly Research Page
  3. Monergism’s Directory of Theology

 

Building A Kindle Library

We are living in The Digital Age. What people would pay loads of money for in the past now can get these books and resources for either free or a few pennies. The devices we have now can hold thousands of books in the palms of our hands that we can take wherever we go and read whenever the time is right. Below is a list of free online books to give you a kindle library that would rival what ancient libraries only could dream they could have in their collection.

Classics

  1. The Great Books of The Western World
  2. The Harvard Classics
  3. Classics of The World by Open Culture

Theology

  1. R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Question Series
  2. Desiring God (John Piper & Co.) Free Ebooks
  3. The Ancient Church Fathers
  4. Monergism Books
  5. Calvin’s Commentaries and Institutes

Websites for Kindle Deals

  1. Challies Kindle Finds for Christian
  2. Gospel Ebooks
  3. Ebook Friendly

P.S. Also, a great way to get free pdf copies of books is if you own a blog and are willing to write book reviews for the books they send you for free. I utilize both Crossway Publishing and Netgalley as great ways to review and get kindle books for free!

Carpenter’s Rules of Decorum 

Over at the Circe Institute blog, writer and teacher Joshua Gibbs posted a fantastic article about his “Rules of Decorum” for his classroom and I felt inspired to come up with my very own. Read both his and mine. Enjoy!

Carpenter’s Rules of Decorum

1. You are here for a reason. Whether it’s because your parents agree with classical education, or because you needed to be challenged intellectually, the most important reason you are here is because God has placed you here, ultimately to grow you to be like Christ and prepare you to walk in His Way in a very dark world. Remember that, it will ground you and help you have gratitude in the future.

2. You are to love and be loved, which can be the hardest thing to ever do or accept. Your classmates and sometimes your teachers will push your buttons and you will want to react in a negative and sinful way because part of you thinks you are better than them in some capacity. Don’t. When interacting with others remember to love as Christ loved you and to count others more significant than yourselves. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”

3. Words are the most powerful force in the universe. God created the cosmos with His word; Christ came into the world being known as The Word; The Spirit regenerates through the preaching of the word and God has given you the power of words. To build up or tear down, your friends, your family, your teachers, your school with the words that come out of your heart is your choice. Use them wisely.

4. You are primarily Image Bearers, not “rational animals” or “thinking things.” Therefore your education is not to just fill your brains with facts and information, but to transform your hearts that you may taste and see the beauty, truth and goodness of God. My job is to share with you the stories, ideas and lives that have changed the world and point it all to Christ so that you can see how Christ is the true key to all wisdom and knowledge, and that, as Abraham Kuyper once said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

5. Participation Matters. Don’t waste your education by just cruising through class and life. Use these years to be involved, discover new subjects, debate clashing ideas and become passionate about something that isn’t trivial. Be ready for class by getting a good night sleep, eating a good breakfast and come ready to explore new worlds through the study and discussion with your classmates on theology, history, philosophy and the classics. 

6. Homework Matters. I know you have probably encountered some poor sap that gets assigned busy work just to add a grade to the gradebook or heard of a teacher abolishing homework. My homework, which 100% of it is reading great books and writing essays on important topics, is not busy work. It’s work, that’s for sure, but it’s work meant to challenge you, to inspire you and help you see the world as God created it. It’s to make you ask yourself if you believe what you believe to be really real. My assignments are to make you examine your soul and go in search of the truth, as you discuss it with your parents at the dinner table, your classmates in the lunch room and with me during breaks. So do it and do it with a heart that knows that I made it for you.

7. Find a subject you are passionate about and discover everything you can about it. History, Science, Theology, Mathematics, Philosophy or Literature; there are countless possibilities that await you. But love it. I read 150-200 books on theology, history and philosophy a year, not so I can just become a better teacher and more knowledgeable in my subject, but because I love it and I love what I do.

8. Read books. You have 60 years on this planet left, don’t waste it on garbage. Read books outside of the classroom, ones that you enjoy or read on a whim whatever looks good. Just read and then come tell me about it. 

9. Life is tough. My door is always open if you want to talk about life, theology or stuff that you are passionate about, but know that my goal is always to help you become more like Jesus, even if it is challenging and hard. 

10. My little girls are my world. Treat my daughters like the heavenly royalty that they are when they come visit daddy at work and the odds will ever be in your favor. 

11. It is known that there is always a possibility for a jam session. Beware, with just the right words, I will break out my air guitar and rock out, classical style. Welcome to The Jungle. 

12. Food is the way to my heart. Subway. Chipotle. Buffalo Wings. This is my love language…just in case you need ideas for Christmas gift(card)s.