Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mere Christianity: Critical Analysis Journal {a Review}

Disclosure: many of the links in this post are affiliate links.  If you purchase any Home School Adventure Co. products through these links, I earn affiliate income.  Do not feel obligated to do that, in fact the first link is NOT an affiliate link.  Regardless of the affiliate relationship, I only give the opinion of myself and my kids here.  

Some products that I have the chance to review aren't what I hoped.  Most are really quite good.

A few completely overwhelm me -- in a good way -- leaving me so incredibly grateful for the opportunities I get as a reviewer to actually see these things.

A new high school apologetics resource, Mere Christianity: Critical Analysis Journal, falls in that latter category.  I am so incredibly grateful to Stacy Farrell for the opportunity to try out this utterly fantastic product.  I will continue to use it now, and I will be using it again with my younger children when they reach high school.

This one is a keeper.

What is this?  It is a journal based on the book Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.  Home School Adventure Co. has put together this resource so that you can discuss this fantastic book with your teens.  I used it with all three of mine, ages 13, 15 and 16.  My younger kids listened in sometimes too.

The format is such that you read a chapter of Mere Christianity, and then there are approximately ten discussion questions.  A separate Answer Key gives suggested answers for many of the questions.  A student could do this independently, but my thought on that is, "What fun would that be?"

So what we do is we read the chapter aloud (most only take a few minutes) and then I ask the questions and we discuss them.  This is so incredibly amazing.  First off, of course, C. S. Lewis is such a master, both with the English language and with theological ideas.  So just reading the book inspires great conversation.

But Stacy's questions provide more fodder for discussion.  Some of the questions are basically asking you to restate some key points from the chapter.  Some make you think a little more, but do have pretty clear-cut answers.  Some though, really get at the heart of things.  "Who do you know...?" questions can spur plenty of "What about you, or me?" in conversation.

This is also spurring plenty of, "Why didn't I ever know about this book before?" thoughts for me.  I would have benefited from this study as a teen, and I think something in a group would have been even better.

Part of me really wants to propose to my church that we get the older kids involved with this study.  Only I know I'd have to lead it.  Which would probably be an amazing experience.  I know my boys would love it, but I'm just not sure if the handful of other teens would see the appeal.  Pizza?  Homemade cookies?  Food would have to help, right?

I digress, though.  My bottom line on this Critical Analysis Journal is that I think every teen I know would benefit from working through the study, and I'd highly recommend doing it via discussions.  My kids challenge me on statements I make.  You know, like how I'm rationalizing my selfishness because I know what I'm doing violates the Moral Law.  Nothing like teens to keep you humble!

My bottom line is that this is worth far more than the $18.95 (electronic) or $28.95 (physical book) pricetag.  I am so glad I said yes to this opportunity.

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