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).
“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).