CT Scan: Critical Thinking Scan

CT Scan: Critical Thinking Scan

95 Episodes

Critical Thinking Scan with Patricia Engler can help you process any faith-challenging message and reach a biblical, logical conclusion yourself.

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CT Scan: Critical Thinking Scan
  • What Is Critical Thinking?

    Episode 1

    Whether online, in classrooms, or on the media, we’re bombarded by persuasive messages that contradict Scripture. No matter how many responses we memorize, we’re always bound to have new questions, because there will always be new information. Critical thinking can help you process any faith-chal...

  • Critical Thinking Rule #1: Don’t Panic

    Episode 2

    When you first encounter an argument against the Bible you’ve never heard before, it can be easy to panic, doubt or question your beliefs. But that’s the time to take a deep breath and remind yourself what you know: God’s word is true, so anything contradictory is false. Here are practical tips t...

  • Critical Thinking Rule #2: Break it Down (The 7 Checks of Critical Thinking)

    Episode 3

    With a framework called the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking, you can break down almost any message that challenges your faith and reach a biblical, logical conclusion yourself. Developed through real-world experience in evolutionary university classes, this critical thinking tool is relevant for an...

  • Critical Thinking Rule #3: Follow Up

    Episode 4

    Sometimes, even after applying all the critical thinking steps you know, you may still have some unresolved questions left over. The trouble doesn’t start when we begin asking questions; it starts when we stop seeking answers. By seeking answers from three types of trusted sources, you may find t...

  • Critical Thinking Check #1: Check Scripture

    Episode 5

    You can always detect a lie by comparing it to the truth. Scripture is the ultimate authority for truth, because God is the only one who’s always been around, knows everything, and cannot lie. So, the quickest way to test the truth of any messages—including the messages we tell ourselves—is to co...

  • Critical Thinking Check #2: Check the Challenge

    Episode 6

    Sometimes as you compare a message against Scripture, you realize the message doesn’t challenge your faith so much as your ideas about your faith. How can you tell whether a message opposes a debatable side issue or a non-negotiable doctrine of God’s word? Here are three questions you can ask to ...

  • Critical Thinking Check #3: Check the Source

    Episode 7

    When you hear a faith-challenging message, it’s key to keep in mind where the information is coming from. How credible is the information source? What are the source’s likely worldview assumptions or possible motives? How was the information collected? And is the data being accurately reported?

  • Critical Thinking Check #4: Check the Definitions

    Episode 8

    Sometimes, words that sound the same carry multiple meanings. So, it’s vital to clarify the definitions being used for key any key terms in a message, and to make sure those terms don’t subtly switch meanings. Some words, like “science” and “evolution,” are especially susceptible to switching mea...

  • Critical Thinking Check #5: Check for Propaganda

    Episode 9

    Propaganda is anything that tries to persuade by appealing to something besides logic, like emotions, aesthetics, or humans’ desire for acceptance. By taking advantage of mental shortcuts we use in our everyday thinking, propaganda uses psychological manipulation to make messages seem truer than ...

  • Critical Thinking Check #6: Check the Interpretations

    Episode 10

    Often, unbiblical messages may sound true because they contain real facts. But they also likely involve many assumptions, which are presented like facts. To separate data from assumption, as which parts of a message are facts from observational science, and which parts are interpretations from hi...

  • Critical Thinking Check #7: Check the Logic

    Episode 11

    By now in the critical thinking process, you will have already caught many potential fallacies in a message, including Appeals to Authority, Equivocation and Either-Or Fallacies. But other faulty arguments, such as Circular Reasoning, Appeals to Probability, or Faulty Generalizations, may still l...

  • What IS an Argument, Anyway? 

    Episode 12

    Not all arguments are equally logical. In logic, an argument is a set premises which work together to support a conclusion. Deductive arguments try to prove a conclusion is true, while inductive arguments try to imply a conclusion is probable. Being able to recognize a sound deductive argument wi...

  • Catch Countless Fallacies with 1 Critical Thinking Hack 

    Episode 13

    Arguments that persuade by propaganda often use fallacies of irrelevant premises. There’s a long list of these fallacies, but one critical thinking hack can help you catch any of them. Just ask: “Is this message true or false because…” Because many people believe it? Because someone famous said s...

  • What About Hypocrisy in the Church?

    Episode 14

    A popular objection to Christianity is that people in the church may be hypocrites. Religious hypocrisy is a sad reality, which Jesus Himself detested. But is hypocrisy a logical reason to dismiss the Christian worldview? 

  • Haven’t Christians Done Bad Things?

    Episode 15

    A top objection to Christianity is that people who called themselves Christians have done wrong things, even quoting the Bible to try justifying their actions. Does that mean the Bible is false? While wrongdoings are tragic, the fact that professing Christians can do wrong or misapply Scripture i...

  • Observational vs. Historical Science

    Episode 16

    Is there really a difference between observational science, which examines facts in the present, and historical science, which draws conclusions about the past? Not everyone thinks so. The answer has major implications for critical thinking, so let’s unpack the definitions for these two types of ...

  • Is Critical Thinking a Secular Concept?

    Episode 17

    Some Christians might be concerned that critical thinking is a secular concept, associated with atheistic worldviews. By thinking about where truth comes from in the first place, and which worldview REALLY provides a foundation for logic, we’ll see that Christians have no reason to avoid critical...

  • Did Religious Beliefs Result from Evolution?

    Episode 18

    The story in secular classrooms and culture says that humans started believing in God because “religion” provided some evolutionary advantage. Using the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking, we can break this message down, define the terms, spot the propaganda, identify the assumptions and arrive at a l...

  • Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning

    Episode 19

    Can science really “prove” things? To find out, let’s look at the difference between two types of reasoning. Deductive reasoning starts with a known ‘big picture’ of reality and draws little bits of information from it. Inductive reasoning, however, starts with little bits of information and trie...

  • Eisegesis vs. Exegesis

    Episode 20

    False teachers often reinterpret God’s Word to fit their own human ideas. But this isn’t just bad theology—it’s bad logic. Proper teaching about the Bible is based on deductive reasoning, where we view God’s Word as our big picture of truth and draw our ideas FROM it. That’s exegesis. But false t...

  • Are Soapberry Bugs Evidence for Evolution?

    Episode 21

    “Evolution is supported by an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence.” At least, that’s what a first-year biology textbook said, citing natural selection in soapberry bugs as the first example of such evidence. Let’s apply the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking to see whether this claim is true.

  • The Power of Authority

    Episode 22

    A message can sound true just because its source looks authoritative. Some famous experiments in the 60’s showed just how psychologically powerful authority is, revealing that over two thirds of normal adults will unwillingly hurt someone just because an authority figure says to. Knowing how pers...

  • The Power of Conformity

    Episode 23

    Is a message true because many people seem to think so? Logic says no, but psychology shows that popular opinion is incredibly persuasive. Research reveals that a third of students will give a wrong answer to an easy question, just because everyone else does. People are also less likely to think ...

  • Is Belief in God Genetic?

    Episode 24

    Some researchers think that part of human spirituality may be linked to genetics. So, you might hear people suggest that we only believe in God because our DNA tells us to. Is that valid? Let’s see how to respond to this argument using the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking.