The Logos of Rhetoric

scriptureScripture must be used for it to be effective.  It must be used in its entirety and comprehensively applied to every single area of life. God’s world must be conformed to God’s Word. This concept is academic, or at least it should be to all those professing Christ.

In order for an individual to be proficient in the declaration of Scripture he or she needs to first understand the Commands of Scripture and its application principles. This takes much time and study. It is the road that only the faithful take and one that is full of both blessing and affliction. Yet, it is the only path that can satisfy the Regenerate’s heart, fulfilling his or her life in abundance.

Part of the Christian learning process, however, should not merely be concerned with Biblical facts. The learning process also involves the method of delivery of those facts. The declaration of Biblical Truth requires an understanding of what the Greeks call ‘Rhetoric’ and what the Christians might call ‘Homiletics’. Both of these refer to the art of persuasive preaching.

Rhetoric Defined

prophetIn our modern world the term ‘Rhetoric’ usually denotes something negative or untrue. It is connected mostly to political drivel which is crafted to confuse or misguide. The proper meaning actually simply refers to persuasive discussion or speech. Everyone uses rhetoric to some degree especially when they are trying to convince another of their point of view. This is very true for teenagers who constantly try to persuade their parents of a thing which they are passionate about, like why they should have access to the family vehicle. Evangelism is also a form of rhetoric since it is the art of persuasion by declaring the Truth of God’s Word and how it ought to be applied to everyday life.

The Components of Rhetoric

There are three essential components of Rhetoric; Logos, Pathos and Ethos. These are the tools used to persuade others. The difference between the Greek concept of Rhetoric and the Christian concept of Rhetoric is the work of God the Holy Spirit. Only God can effectively persuade another of the Truth. It is He who must intervene into the deadness of man’s heart to move him to believe. No human argument, no matter how perfect, can regenerate a soul. Yet, it is the Christian’s task to skillfully set forth the Gospel in such a way that it honors the glory and perfection of the Scripture. In this way the Christian can put to silence the gainsayers and blasphemers while making a case for the application of Scripture to every area of life.

The Logos

This refers to the facts of the Scripture. The logos is unbiased and impassioned. It is the basic content of the message, its nuts and bolts. All Christians need to know the facts of Scripture in order to share it accurately. In order to do this, courses in Systematic Theology, Apologetics and Philosophy are essential.

The Pathos

Pathos refers to the ‘passion’ both of the hearer and the deliverer of the message. While the deliverer of the message must do so with firm passionate conviction, the message must resonate with the hearer as well. This means it must be made personal. The passion of the hearer must be touched. The Scriptures talk endlessly about issues which touch each and every individual on a personal, even an emotional level. The Rhetorician must make the message personal. It must appeal to the Pathos.

The Ethos

This mainly reflects the character of the rhetorician. If the character of the individual declaring the gospel is marred in any, he or she will be seen as a hypocrite and the message will be compromised. An unblemished Christian character and testimony is extremely important in evangelism. This is perfected over time within the community so that it is made evident to all. Once a consistent ethos is established, unhindered evangelism is made possible.

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Courses in Rhetoric

New Geneva offers an extensive course in Rhetoric and Homiletics at the College Level along with courses in Systematic Theology, Apologetics, Epistemology and Philosophy. These are perfect for home school senior students or adults who desire to hone their skills in the Gospel presentation.

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