I excitedly ran to my mail box when I saw my faithful mail guy double up a brown bubble envelope and shove it in my box – I knew it had to be the books above! Ripping open the packaging in gleeful anticipation – I was a bit sad that only the Workbook had been shipped. (Just didn’t know they’d ship separately.)
I sat down and started looking through the workbook – and quite honestly got a bit overwhelmed. It’s a large spiral workbook, at least an inch thick. It starts by asking the big questions of Who are we? Why are we here? How should we live? Where are we going? Huge blank spaces. Interspersed are mini biographies of Carl Sagan and C.S. Lewis. It goes quickly into having the student look up definitions of Theist, Pantheist, and Atheist. The next questions seem really difficult, and gave my brain a bit of a need for Tylenol and a nap. I kept reading through the Truth Chapter of the Workbook – and had the same reaction. Wow, this is deep. and Hard. And. When’s nap time?
I put it on my reading side table in the living room. I noticed a couple of visitors looking through it – as I’d wait to see their eyebrows meet in the middle as they tried to make sense of a question. Then put it down.
A few days later – I received the book in the mail. Based on my initial reaction to the workbook – I put it right on top of it. On my reading table. Walked by it. Walked by it. Would it bite if I opened it? I wasn’t sure. Didn’t want to chance it.
Want to know why I’m a reviewer? For real? Cause I’m lazy. And I’m a curriculum junkie. I have a serious addiction. I used to live in a town with a huge Used Homeschool Supply store. I’d grab a cup of coffee, head over, browse the store, chat it up with the owner. Trade books, buy too many books, and head home. If I ran into any “name brand” products, I’d instantly pick it up – because – I NEEDED it. But when I got home, it would get a first impression glance and be placed on the shelf.
I’m a reviewer for the Schoolhouse Review Crew- because I committed to USE the product in my home and share my experience with you. I have accountability to try to make the product work for my family – or give you a really good reason why it didn’t.
So – for a product like this – that was a bit scary and intimidating at first – I had to see if the book would bite.
First part – the intro chapter – was ok. A bit dry. Yadda yadda. But Then. The First Chapter – “Can We Handle The Truth?” This is when the pencil came out and the post it markers. The first few pages look like a war zone of underlines and notes. Lucky for you – the first chapter is on line –Book Sample – and I checked, my first underline is PDF Page 25/ Book Page 38.
Truth is unchanging even though our beliefs about truth change.
Chew on that one for a bit. . . .
“In short, contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. We can believe everything is true, but we cannot make every thing true.
Want to know hobby of mine? Judging Dictionaries. Whew. I don’t think I’ve ever said that in public before. I. JUDGE. DICTIONARIES. Wow. that felt good. I like to go to used book stores and look through the dictionaries. I have 3-4 words I like to look up to see what the publisher thinks the definition is. Truth/True is one of those words. One definition I came across was – “What you believe to be truth”. “What you make true.” It’s amusing how many definitions there are. Not very often in the new dictionaries do you get a simple answer like Webster gave in 1828 – “Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be.”
Well, the first chapter had me. I wasn’t sure who this book was written towards. Would it convince my friend’s son or husband who has bent towards Atheism after being hurt by the church or scientists? Would I give it to my friend who openly declares her Atheism and openly calls me derogatory names for idiotically embracing the faith of my grandparents?
This is the best type of person to talk to: someone who is willing to take an honest look at the evidence. Being willing is essential. Evidence cannot convince the unwilling.
This is when I realized this book is for me. To have the reassurances of truth and fact and evidence back in my life. How do you talk to someone about facts, when they don’t believe the Bible has any fact? If your entire monolog hinges on the belief that the Bible is true, you’ll get rolled eyes.
Right now, I’m on page 150 of 400. I’ve been taking it to parks, in my car, on beach trips, reading a few paragraphs as I drift off. It hasn’t gotten easier to read – but it is really interesting. Even after this review – I Promise – it will still be in my free time reading bag.
After reading the first couple of chapters of the book – the workbook began to make sense. I think you could do the workbook without the book – but why? You’re missing a lot of pieces. The workbook helps to slow the pace down. There is SO MUCH information in the book. You’ll stop to look at the definitions of the words, look at the people being quoted in the book, think about how you feel about what he wrote – digest it out – so that it will help you remember these gems.
I showed the whole system to my husband a couple of weeks ago and explained how it worked. He instantly said – “So you’d like to do this as a family devotion when we start school?” Yes! I think it would be great to have my high school son know the information in this book.
I plan to finish the book before September-ish – and have the whole picture. Then, start morning time having the reading be Nate’s assignment for apologetics. We’ll work through the workbook together, and talk about it as a family. We are all excited. I’ll pop back in and let you know for sure how the workbook is going – but so far, after 4 weeks or so of looking through it – I’m pretty sure it will work.
Why do I like reviewing? I’d have passed on this book, if I had seen it on the shelf. I would assume it’s not for me. But I wanted to see if it would help strengthen my family – and it did. This is not an evangelical call to following Jesus book – at least not in the parts I’ve read. It’s not even a denominationally centered book from what I can tell. True is True. I’d recommend this book to someone who wants to pull up the bootstraps and have a firmer stand of why they believe the truth of the Bible. Where they can find truth of a supernatural creator. How they can share those truths with others. Read the first chapter, and then you’ll know if this book is for you.
Would you like to see how other homeschoolers used this book?
Disclaimer: I received these to products for free in exchange for using it in my home and giving a review on my blog as part of my tour with the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Angie, I am intrigued with the presentation in this volume of Truth, as my tradition speaks to that as well, and how to align oneself with it throughout one’s life. Did your workbook suggest looking up polytheist? 😉 I love your dictionary test! I have tested them to see if they -contained- certain words, but never for accuracy of definition, and with such an interesting word, too! I’m going to start doing that. 😉 I like how this product is helping your household to ground and center itself as a family. I’ll be interested to see what Nate makes of it.
With my truth – God says that There is None Like Him. That there is only One. That He is the Way. I do believe that there are many powers, forces, rulers and authorities of the unseen world, and spirits in the heavenly places. However the Bible does not speak favorably of them.
I have a simple Biblical Faith – I believe there are many seen facts that substantiate my faith which isn’t blind. The only belief/faith that matters to me – is that Jesus was God. Come to earth as both man and God. That he paid the penalty for my sin – so that I may not spend an eternity separated from his presence. My faith is on the belief of the Name of Jesus to save. Many believe or not in God. Believe or not in Creation. Believe or not in the whole Bible as God’s Word. I believe that the Holy Spirit sorts that out as you grow. I have to believe that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Alone.
I like how you qualify the statement as “my truth.” 🙂 In my truth, it is the truth of the way of the cosmos that I follow, and the gods of my tradition are examples of and guides towards different aspects of Truth, or Fírinne, as my tradition calls it in the Irish. One is considered aligned with Truth when one is in right relationship with the cosmos and its powers, and one achieves this through regular prayers, rituals, offerings, and through honorable, harmonious, and creative living. This is extended to the human community through practicing hospitality and observing justice. Thanks for sharing with me, and letting me share with you. 🙂
I have been looking at this book to read it for myself, but had no idea there was a curriculum to go with it! I think it would be too advanced perhaps for my 6th grader? But maybe I’ll look at it after I finish my current reading schedule.
I can relate, sort of, to your quandary with people who don’t believe the truth of the Bible. In my case it is actually people who are very involved in church, but who don’t accept large chunks of Scripture, (those that call them out of their lifestyle), and so have determined that the Bible (especially the sections that are uncomfortable and talk about sin) is irrelevant to Christianity. At least an Atheist isn’t trying to rewrite the faith. Small comfort, I know.