One of my favorite publishing companies, Apologia, has produced a new worldview curriculum. This workbook style program is based on the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (IDHEF) by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek. Mr. Turek, coauthored, along with the late Chuck Winter, this high school level program. The curriculum bears the same name: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
I said “based on” but really this workbook is a companion to the IDHEF book. You will need the book in order to complete the assignments in the workbook. Each lesson begins with a section called “Before Starting This Chapter” which tells the student exactly what pages/chapters to read from the IDHEF book.
Other sections include:
- HOOK ~ reminds student what the textbook chapter said and may include a few questions to “warm up your brain.”
- BOOK ~ “The section takes you deeper into the specific issues covered in each chapter.” This section also contains knowledge and comprehension questions.
- LOOK ~ This section presents research assignments so that the student can “check out the information presented in the book for [himself].”
- TOOK ~ “This section summarizes the material and helps [the student] apply the concepts [he has]studied to [his] life and witness for Jesus Christ.”
How We’re Using the Curriculum: Turtlegirl, age 15 and starting 10th grade is the primary user of the workbook. The “How to use this book” section of the curriculum suggests taking 2 to 3 weeks to read through the chapter of the book and work through the questions in the workbook. At first I thought 2 to 3 weeks was a slow pace but there is so much material to process, and explore that we are moving at an average of 2 1/2 weeks per chapter. Turtlegirl and I both read the appointed pages/chapter then she works through most of the questions. We get together, with usually a sibling or two hanging around, and discuss the questions in the “TOOK” section.
I had started out with having my 13 year old 8th grader read the book and choose a few questions from the workbook to prepare for discussion but after the Introduction, I’ve just let her hang out as part of the discussion time. The material in the book is a bit too mature for her at this time. For now she is getting plenty from just the discussion of the topics.
Thoughts from Turtlegirl: “I like the workbook questions; they give me an opportunity to spend more time with Tailorbear. I like that they want you to think and examine the evidence for yourself. The book is thought-provoking although I disagree with some of the examples the authors give. I find it very interesting how they try to use logic to prove that truth exists and is knowable. I love that they have you define certain words and phrases in the workbook. I also love the fact that if the answer can be found in the book, and you can’t think of it, it gives you the pages of the book in which the answer can be found. I like that they have a variety of questions with different purposes. I also enjoy the fact that they include things about important philosophers. Also there is info before each set of questions that helps deepen the study.”
My Thoughts: I love walking into the room and hearing my 13 year old and my 15 year old discussing the validity of this logical argument or whether or not that premise is true. I think it is essential that every person know what they believe and why. I want my daughter to be sure, in her own mind, of the evidence for the faith we, her parents, strive to pass on to her. I think this curriculum published by Apologia is a great way to process the information from the book. I love the extra information that the workbook includes such as brief biographical sketches of scientists such as Edwin Hubble and Carl Sagan or an apologist such as C.S. Lewis. I think the workbook is well organized and nicely laid out.
I struggled with reading the introduction and the first 3 chapters of the book. I didn’t disagree with the conclusions but I didn’t always agree with the examples the authors used. Sometimes I questioned the premise of their statements. For example, I agree that the universe has a beginning. I agree that it was created and therefore is not eternal. I really think stating it as “if the universe were eternal, it would have died by now,” is a poor way to prove that the universe is not eternal. Of course by definition if the universe was dead or had no energy left it would not be eternal but telling me it still has energy doesn’t prove to me that it is not eternal. Since they were using the Second Law of Thermodynamics as the proof, I think it would have been better to give examples that show the how the universe is using up energy. But despite the rocky beginning, I’ve been sucked into the book and find it fascinating. I’ve been reading ahead for myself and I intend to re-read the chapters as needed for discussion with Turtlegirl and Tailorbear. I’ve suggested to my 17 year old daughter and to my husband that I think they would both benefit from this book. Plus, I just want to get them in on the discussion!
- The Product: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist Curriculum
- The Authors: Frank Turek & Chuck Winter
- The Vendor (Publisher): Apologia
- Recommended Age: High School through Adult
- Price: $33.00
- Sample Chapter
- Table Of Contents
- Required: A copy of the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. ($16.00 but currently unavailable through Apologia but I’ve been reassured they should have more in stock in September!)
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Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received both the Curriculum and the book I Don’t Have to Be an Atheist free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.
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