“If a collection of good men and women speaking well is the most valuable commodity a culture can possess, then our school must establish eloquence as the goal for every student. As it is, rarely do we coordinate the way students learn and the ways in which they will perform as leaders. Rarely do we connect the things we teach them every day with their responsibilities to seek the greater good and to draw their friends and neighbors after them. How will our students use language to benefit their neighbors? Will words and the ideas embodied in them come easily, or will our students simply be good men and women, possessing discernment but without the capacity to benefit those around them through appropriate speech and noble deeds?”
— Dr. Robert Littlejohn, Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning
Christians need to learn the tools of Rhetoric both to persuade and to gain wisdom and understanding of our times.
“Since, then, the faculty of eloquence is available for both sides, and is of very great service in the enforcing either of wrong or right, why do not good men study to engage it on the side of truth, when bad men use it to obtain the triumph of wicked and worthless causes, and to further injustice and error?”
—Augustine, On Christian Teaching (quoted in Fitting Words: Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student by James B Nance).
I’m really enjoying seeing the illustrations for Fitting Words: Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student come together. Fitting Words will be a complete Rhetoric curriculum for the 10-12th grade (and above!).
Here are some of the original illustrations going into it, from illustrator George Harrell.
Patrick Henry (1736–1799).
Henry was American founding father, orator, and governor of Virginia who advocated anti-federalism.
“I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” —“Give Me Liberty”
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BC).
Cicero was a Roman statesman and philosopher, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest orators of all time.
“Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever.”
—Orator ad M. Brutum XXXIV.120
“According to the great Roman orator Cicero, the threefold goal of rhetoric is “to teach, to move, and to delight.” Now, these three goals line up with singular appropriateness to the three standards of truth, goodness, and beauty. Effectiveness in rhetoric can be measured against our ability to teach men the truth, to move men to goodness, and to delight men with beauty – and by beauty we mean verbal beauty, the beauty of a pleasing poem or a well-turned phrase. Effective speaking and writing is informative, powerful, and elegant.”
– James Nance, Fitting Words: Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student (2016).