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Logic I: Tools for Thinking Teacher's ManualWhy girls should study logic

Girls should study logic because reasoning accurately protects them from dangers to which they will be exposed and adds to the skills with which they can serve God in every stage of life. Equip your daughter in every way you can for every form of godly usefulness. Logic can help.

college and beyond  |  wage-earning singleness
her husband's helper  |  a homeschooling Mom
 better serving through better thinking

Made in God's image . . .

To look at it another way, girls as well as boys bear God's image, and so girls as well as boys can and should glorify God by using their God-given faculty of reason.

After all, women, not just men, need to weigh evidence, assess plausibility, make decisions, get to the bottom of problems. So girls should study logic!

As a woman

Are you concerned that your daughter grow up to honor the God-created differences between men and women? We want that for your daughter too. We believe logic study, far from being unfeminizing, can help your daughter lead a God-honoring life as a woman.

Marriage and homeschooling

Even if your desire and expectation for your daughter is that she would marry and raise children, logic study has tremendous value. It will serve your daughter well in her roles as a wife and mother.

College and singleness

Many women will attend college or pass through a period of wage-earning singleness (or both). Logic has value in all these stages. Let's look more closely now at each stage—and at some spheres of service your single or married daughter might choose.

College and beyond

In college your daughter will encounter, at every turn, trains of thought calling upon her to accept conclusions. Textbooks, professors, and fellow students are all rich sources! Some of this reasoning will be sound and will present her with legitimate conclusions, while other reasoning will be wildly, even dangerously faulty and will present her with false but appealing and enticing conclusions which challenge her Christian foundations.

"So when Eve saw that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took and ate."
condensed from Genesis 3:6, NKJV

Logic study will help your daughter discriminate between reasoning she should accept and reasoning she should not, protecting her from danger and enabling her to be an influence for good in her classes, on her fellow students, and—because God is all-powerful!—even on the occasional professor.

Dangerously faulty reasoning is found not just in exotic disciplines but in biology, history, literature, and politics courses, and most students will take such courses. There they will meet evolutionism, feminism, cultural relativism, Freudianism, and more, undergirded with faulty reasoning.

Of course faulty reasoning is more abundant at a baldly secular college, but Christian schools are not entirely immune, since the world, with all its twisted thinking, is constantly pressuring Christians to think like itself—and too often succeeding.

But a few additional thoughts are in order, concerning two specific disciplines.

Nursing and teaching

Since many conservative Christian families are attracted to the traditionally safe callings of nursing and teaching for their daughters, it's worth noting that today unbiblical ideas and faulty reasoning infect both of these disciplines at many schools. It's a new day (or a "brave new world").

Your nursing student daughter will need to be prepared to sift through evolutionary claims, complex bioethical problems, and related legal and conscience issues in such areas as birth control, in-vitro fertilization, and euthanasia.

A Louisiana nurse was fired for refusing to dispense the "morning after pill," an abortifacient, which her conscience would not allow her to dispense.

Your daughter pursuing teaching certification will have to sift through unbiblical views of what children are, as well as unbiblical views of truth, knowledge, wisdom, character, and teaching itself.

Does that sound too abstract to matter? It becomes as concrete as whether your daughter may employ realistic grading that motivates and informs, or whether that's too damaging to "self-esteem"; whether she may require substantial memorization, or whether that's too limiting to a child's freedom; whether some versions of history are true and others false, or whether she must teach the current politically correct version regardless of facts; whether and how she may maintain discipline in the classroom; and on and on. Public school teachers also face legal issues centering on what can and cannot be said about Christianity in general and the teacher's own faith in particular.

These are worthy fields to enter, but clearly, the sharper your daughter's thinking skills, the better!

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Wage-earning singleness

After completing her schooling your daughter may be called to a period of singleness in which she must work to support herself. Logic study can widen the number of paying vocations available to single women. (Widows or women whose husbands have failed them can find themselves in a similar though often even more challenging position.)

The more skills, the more options, including higher-paying options that free up hours for other priorities.

It's worth mentioning here that in today's computer-driven world, the number of jobs calling upon logic skills very directly has risen sharply. Web design, network administration and programming are just a few examples. Telecommuting and freelancing can turn some of these jobs into attractive home-based options for those who prefer not to occupy an office full-time.

Betsey Stockton was born a slave around 1798. Homeschooled and then self-taught, she learned five languages and founded mission schools in two countries. She never married. She was greatly admired by the students and faculty of Princeton Seminary.

Logic skills are also valuable for many writers. Perhaps your daughter will want to work for a policy foundation that promotes Christian values, or will want to work in the political campaign of a worthy candidate. Thinking skills undergird effective writing, and logic can help.

The ability to handle statistics correctly is valuable in many fields (science, public policy, social work, etc.), and logic can be a helpful preparation for work with statistics.

Lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries who do legal research or legal writing are also well-served by logic skills.

This is not even an exhaustive list of callings in which logic is helpful!

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Her husband's helper

Marriage may well be in your daughter's future. Consider the role of a wife purely as she relates to her husband—whether or not they have children. "The heart of her husband safely trusts her," Prov. 31.11. He values her counsel and her judgment. Her opinion is worth seeking. Would this be true if she were not discerning and reasonable? He can entrust challenging tasks to her. Would this be true if she were not competent and wise? She is able to gently help him see when he has gone wrong in his own thinking. A good man values this greatly. Isn't this something to prize and cultivate?

Benjamin Warfield, the great theologian and writer, called his wife his best critic and discussed everything he wrote with her.

Of course, logic study alone will not make a girl discerning, competent, and wise, nor are the only discerning, wise, competent women those who studied logic as girls! A gracious heart and a knowledge of the word of God are indispensible. But logic is a set of thinking tools that can make women better helpers to their husbands. If your longing and prayer is for your daughter to marry, logic study as part of a challenging education may suit her for exactly the man God is preparing for her, in ways that only the unfolding of God's will over time will reveal.

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A homeschooling Mom

Training sons and daughters

A girl who may one day train sons and daughters for a variety of callings is a girl well-served by studying logic.

Even if we suppose for a moment that only men will use logic extensively in their paid vocations, daughters should learn logic—so they can homeschool their sons!

The thinking skills a daughter gains from the study of logic will help her evaluate curricula and will help her tackle math, logic, science, politics and civics, computers and more to the benefit of her own children—and perhaps to the benefit of the children of others in a homeschool co-op, as well.

Would you like your daughter to found a co-op someday, helping guide a whole community in curriculum decisions? Teach her logic!

"Educate a girl and you educate a family."
attributed to various sources

After all, can you be sure that the man your daughter marries will have the time to handle the math and the logic? The better your daughter's thinking skills, the more she can help her husband and others in the great task of homeschooling.

Of course, homeschooling is much more than subject areas. Biblical wisdom is essential. Would you like your daughter to have the noble spirit of the Bereans (Acts 17.11)? The ability to test religious opinions against Scripture? The skill to help guide her children from the Scriptures in a hostile and changing world? Teach her Scripture—and teach her logic!

From infancy Timothy learned the Scriptures from his mother Lois and his grandmother Eunice!

The many faces of homemaking

Would you like your daughter to be able to evaluate medical and nutritional claims so she can better care for her family? Teach her logic! Would you like her to be a discerning buyer and a discerning voter? Teach her logic!

As a homeschooling Mom, your daughter might also be helping her husband with a home-based business. After the children grow up, your daughter might need to help out with college tuition by returning to the workplace, or may wish to do responsible and challenging volunteer work. Won't she need to think clearly and well?

Even if you don't believe your daughter will ever use logic skills in a paid vocation,
if you hope she will one day have the joy of being a mother or a homeschooling mother, it's worth your while to teach her logic now.

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Better serving through better thinking

In many fields of service which might give rise to volunteer or paid opportunities for an empty-nester or a mature single woman, good thinking skills are a great asset.

Single or married, perhaps your daughter will want to participate in town government to help make her community a better place. Perhaps she'll want to volunteer for or someday even lead a crisis pregnancy center, a literacy program for disadvantaged children, a ministry to help women escape from the sex industry, or a financial counseling ministry. In these roles she will need to interact with personalities and programs, with the legal landscape and the cultural landscape, in situations friendly or hostile. She will need to be able to reason so as to persuade others of wise and right courses and she will need to detect and defuse specious reasoning put forth by others. This will call on her thinking skills!

We know of a woman who lives with her husband in a land hostile to Christianity, where she heads a ministry to homeless children. Under the constant scrutiny of a hostile regime, she needs to think fast and to think well.

Within the church, perhaps your daughter will minister to women from the Scriptures, or perhaps she will write books of biblical wisdom, ministering to women whose thinking and lives have been damaged by the world's lies.

The more thinking skills your daughter has, the more options for serving God will be open to her, in a variety of ways that are not at odds with her special character as a woman.

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Equipped for usefulness

This has been only a cursory look at the stages of a woman's life, the current
nature of our economy, and the arena of service callings, but we hope it's been
enough to excite you about the possibilities for your daughter as she pursues
life fully conscious of her special nature as a woman. A woman's skills, including reasoning skills, do not need to threaten biblical roles in the home or in the church. Equip your daughter in every way you can for every form of
godly usefulness. Logic can help.