What Does Christian Rhetoric Really Look Like?
This year has been one marked by a continued escalation of loveless rhetoric throughout the national and international discourse. Within the broader media, as well as in private discourse, debates regarding foreign policy, pandemic, and social justice have been met with controversy and dispute.
More often than not, the inability to reason one with another has been closely tied to a lack of love in dialogue and rhetoric. As Diane Ackerman has noted, "as a society we are embarrassed by love. We treat it as if it were an obscenity."
Not too long ago, Veritas released A Rhetoric of Love, a guide to rhetoric intent on asking the questions that lie behind the formal art of rhetoric itself. While the Greek and Roman tools of rhetoric teach much about sound reasoning, orderly thinking, and clear communication, they often miss the importance of loving one’s opponent. Jesus called us to love our neighbor as ourselves; our rhetoric subsequently must be rooted in our identity as followers of Christ who love those we seek to persuade.
How should our rhetorical efforts be different from those of the world? How can we seek to persuade with empathy, understanding, compassion? How can we listen to others—truly listen—and then speak truth in love? Doug Jones' careful work answers these questions and walks through the steps of living out Christ in our speaking, writing, and day-to-day.
Some Free Resources:
—"What Does Christian Rhetoric Really Look Like" by Marlin Detweiler
—Live webinar video recording of Doug Jones, Marlin Detweiler, Michael Collender, and Michael Eatmon on A Rhetoric of Love and bringing love into our language.
—An interview with Doug Jones on the White Horse Inn podcastdiscussing A Rhetoric of Love
"Doug Jones beautifully combines theological soundness and ethical engagement. This is a curriculum suffused in the historical awareness, academic substantiveness, and poetic graciousness of a master teacher.” — Dr. George Grant, founder of Franklin Classical School
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