What role does persuasion play in communicating Christian truth to people?
To engage in Christian apologetics is to enter into the enterprise of personalpersuasion. When apologists defend the faith it is for the purpose of persuading people of the truth of historic Christianity.But what actually goes into making a good case of persuasion in general and for Christian apologetics in particular?
Rhetoricis the field of discourse aimed at persuasion. And persuasion is involved in many critical areas of life such as education, law, science, politics, and religion, including Christian efforts at evangelism and apologetics. However, too often people associate rhetoric with disingenuous attempts to sway people through slick manipulation—but abuse doesn’t rule out the proper use of rhetoric.
Five basic elements have come to be accepted as legitimate tools of persuasion. While these broad principles were first systematized by pre-Christian Greek philosophers, the modes of persuasion themselves…