Following in the footsteps of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Horace, Quintilian, and countless other preeminent thinkers, Sacred Rhetoric: A Course of Lectures on Preaching marks the great Southern theologian Robert Lewis Dabney’s deft foray into the utmost concern of all preachers—the eloquent oration of God’s Word. This non-denominational textbook, based on Dabney’s years of teaching Pulpit Rhetoric in Union Theological Seminary, advances the practices of the classic rhetoricians while emphasizing the specific needs of the Christian preacher.
Still in print after nearly 140 years (under the title Evangelical Eloquence), Sacred Rhetoric guides the reader through every aspect of effective oration in 24 lectures. Sermon craft, argument, persuasion, style, action, preparation, and much more is covered in detail. All the while, Dabney remains steadfast in insuring that “the necessity of eminent Christian character is urged throughout as the foundation of the sacred orator’s power, and that a theory of preaching is asserted, with all the force which I could command, that honours God’s inspired word and limits the preacher most strictly to its exclusive use as the sword of the Spirit.”