Aristotle and Cicero

Listening to Albert N(orth?) Martin’s lectures on Pastoral Theology, in the part that is really homiletics, I have come across two references to Aristotle and Cicero on public speaking. He does it because the RBs don’t hold a whole lot with reading the latest books and so read chaps like Dabney and such NOT as if they were historical relics. One of the disadvantages, remarks Martin, we moderns have is our education is cluttered with trivialities that drive out the worthwhile things such as grammar, composition, classical and substantial literature, Latin etc. I’ve heard him at some point lament his lack of training in formal rhetoric too.

So there you have it. I have thought it would be interesting, if not altogether marketable perhaps, to see somebody write a book on preaching that re-wrote Aristotle and Cicero but with the sermon in view.

I haven’t read either with any profit, but shall be working on that deficiency here one of these days. In the meantime it is raining and I’m working on the fact that I don’t know Plato as well as I know the Bible. I think that is another thing we moderns perhaps ought to regret. One of the great advantages of being here and out of the way of the constant flow of books is that you can settle down to the Plato in the absence of a whole lot of other things.


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