Utilizing biblical persuasion techniques in preaching without being manipulative
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Persuasion (Rhetoric) -- Religious aspects.
Exposition (Rhetoric) -- Religious aspects.
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This dissertation examines the difference between persuasion and manipulation in preaching. The focus of this work will be demonstrating the need for the pure motives of the messenger. Additionally, discovering and exhibiting the pathos of Scripture emerges as an essential ingredient of powerful persuasion. Though many consider it hypocritical and manipulative to preach with emotions that transcend the preacher, this dissertation will present a new paradigm for persuasion that argues the opposite. Demonstrating these assertions will serve as the primary goal that guides this work. Chapter 1 develops the thesis that motive serves as the primary criterion distinguishing between persuasion and manipulation when certain presuppositions are accepted. After defining presuppositions and limitations to the thesis, this chapter will also demonstrate the importance of the study. Chapter 2 presents Jonathan Edwards as a model of biblical persuasion by examining his use of holy affections. Building a bridge from the past, this chapter compiles a convincing argument that biblical persuasion requires the use of biblical pathos. Chapter 3 begins with a homiletical survey regarding the goal of persuasion. Analysis of Old and New Testament uses of persuasion serves as the foundation for articulating a biblical theology of the concept. Because of the Apostle Paul's strong emphasis on preaching, this chapter concludes with his theology of preaching and persuasion. Chapter 4 defends the thesis that motive is the primary means of distinction between persuasion and manipulation. A survey of biblical evidence is included, as well as original definitions of both persuasion and manipulation. Chapter 5 addresses the practical concerns surrounding the paradigm for preaching presented in this dissertation. Steps for discovering the pathos of a biblical text, examples of preaching with pathos, and a defense for emotional appeal are the focus of this chapter. Chapter 6 issues a final word of caution necessary for preaching with pathos. This work contends that a preacher's primary concern should be the emotional intention of Scripture rather than his personal disposition. This does not, however, negate the need for heartfelt preaching that correlates with the emotional energy of a biblical passage.