Evangelical Eloquence A Course of Lectures on Preaching
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‘It is not a book to be read and returned to the library shelf, rather, as I have found to my own profit with an older edition, it ought to be read, digested and kept close at hand as a guide, companion and constant prod to us in seeking to fulfil our God-given mandate to “preach the Word”.’ — AL MARTIN
‘Another older gem, Dabney begins with the preacher’s commission before surveying a classic list of those elements which together enable a man gifted by God to compose and deliver his divinely-mandated message in such a way as to accomplish God’s ends, with his blessing. Changes in expectations and appetites in the world at large do not take away the usefulness of these basic Biblical principles.’ — JEREMY WALKER
‘No seminarian should enter the ministry without having read it carefully and having taken its instruction and warnings to heart. He should re-read it periodically thereafter. Ministers who have not read it should make up the lack as quickly as possible, regardless of their age and experience.’ — DAVID ENGLESMA
‘R.L. Dabney, Professor of Church History and then of Theology at Union Theology Seminary, and later of Theology at Austin Seminary, Texas, was one of the greatest theologians of the Southern Presbyterian Church in America. He ranks with such men as J.H. Thornwell, W.G.T. Shedd and the Hodges. Anything from his pen is to be treasured. A man of exceptional erudition, he writes in a style of English now sadly a thing of the past. Consequently the reader’s vocabulary will be considerably increased! Every divinity student and minister of the Word (regardless of age) should read this book. It would be hard to exaggerate its importance. It is more timely now than ever.’ — FREDERICK LEAHY
In these days of the soundbite and the autocue, public speaking is a declining art-form, though it is not extinct and still has its own weight and force.
In New Testament times, unlike today, rhetoric was a highly regarded skill and works were written about it which are still read. Dabney quotes liberally from these, but does not always agree with them. He knew that gospel preaching was not to be ‘with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect’.
‘Evangelical eloquence’, for Dabney, was unique. It consisted in ‘the soul’s virtuous energy exerted through speech’ which applied ‘the authority of God to the conscience’ and formed ‘the image of Christ upon the souls of men’.
In Their Own Words: The Testimonies of Luther, Calvin, Know and Bunyan [Paperback]
Glory of Grace, The: An Introduction to the Puritans in Their Own Words [Paperback]