Differentiation . . . .

differentiaon word    “__” Is Not The Same As “__”

The purpose of delineating various rhetorical techniques is to provide a compendium of possibilities for consideration when “building” a speech or message.  In doing that, we are are going “analytical.”*  That is, we are looking at a biblical message . . . .


to see what is being done by the speaker which . . . .

  • pulls in our interest
  • gets us thinking
  • causes us to mentally engage
  • helps us apply it
  • re-catches our attention
  • turns on the lights

. . . . as we listen


to grasp what is being done by a speaker to

  • flesh out
  • give clarity to
  • promote a better understanding of
  • visualize
  • define

. . . . a concept,  a point, or principle.



During or after you have worked on your message or speech, you may want to . . . . .

  • add content to
  • clarify
  • develop
  • illustrate
  • magnify
  • change-it-up
  • modify
  • add variety to

a portion or a point of the message/speech, using these various techniques which help accomplish some of those ends.


To do that effectively, you have to consciously understand and think about alternate ways to frame, introduce, conclude, build, vary, organize, or design the message.  If you do not do this consciously, then it is as you just happen to think about doing this-or-that.


In a message by Alistair Begg on “Spiritual Investing – Pt. 2,”[link to audio beginning slightly before the section transcribed below],  Begg exemplifies a rhetorical technique which

 √ adds and develops the content of his message, as well as

√ clarifies the particular point which is he is making.


You will see that the analytical pattern is as follows . . . .

  • introducing the word “sacrifice,” and then


  • introducing the similar or parallel word, and then


  • stating that they are not the same in meaning or application, and then


  • illustrating it in the natural, and then


  • illustrating it from the Scriptures.


These five steps set up a possible five-step pattern.  Obviously, you could leave out four, five, or both.  The audience might just agree with your statement that they are not the same because the immediately see the nuances or the differences between those two words/concepts.  Nevertheless, point four and five do push the credibility of the argument being made, as well as give clarity to the point being made if there was any confusion as to what was being argued.



When we give in this way — it is he says – a fragrant offering.  He is using the picture there of the Old Testament sacrificial system – and when people brought these offerings  there was to be a fragrance that attached to them – and there was in the buring of the incsence that which was attractive – in the same way that certain perfumes are attractive to us – we’re drawn to them – some of them have to do with the culinary arts and some of them have to do with floral decore – and some of them have to do simply with sents and perfumes – but when we smell them we’re drawn to them.


In the same way, God says of His people — When you offer offerings to me – that come from a heart that is in tune with mine – then they are a beautiful aroma to me — and they bring pleasure to me as a sacrifice.


Now we ought not to step quickly over the word sacrifice — because as I mentioned this morning generous giving is not necessarily the same as sacrificial giving.  I don’t have to think too hard to work this out.


Let me illustrate it without any sense of unkindness in my mind.  I was quite amazed and delighted to see that the YMCA in San Diego had received such a substantial gift from the widow of Ray Kroc – the founders of – the founder of  Mac Donald’s fast food chain of restaurants.  If you followed it in the press, you would notice that she gave $80 million to the YMCA in San Diego – so that they would be able to build a fine and wonderful new center for their operation.  Every one of us would want to acknowledge that – and commend that and be grateful for that – and it certainly was generous – I’m not sure it that it was sacrificial, because if the newspaper report is accurate – then Mrs. Kroc’s personal fortune, at the moment is in the region of 1 billion dollars.  And even with my math, I know that in giving 80 million to the YMCA she still has a little bit left.


Now my comment is not to denigrate in any way what she’s done – it simply is to distinguish between that which is generous and that which is sacrificial.


And it is possible for us to be generous – and in fact, many of us are generous – and have been generous – but the sacrifice that the Philippians made in order to reinforce the ministry in which Paul was involved was not simply generosity at work –  it was sacrifice at work.


And it made an impact

on their lives,

and their homes

and their circumstances

– to give to Paul and to the ministry of the Gospel in this way.


Jesus, in making the point visibly and forcefully for His followers – drew attention to a lady – as you will recall – as she was going into the Temple treasury . . . .


–Alistair Begg – Spiritual Investing Pt. 2

(@ In the original message – begins at 7:30 minute marker – finishes at the approx. the 11:00 minute maker)


This technique is built on the fact that there are words which may be similar but not synonymous, or maybe even not actually synonymous.  Different words, though similar, carry different overtones or nuances.  Clarification, explanation, expansion, and/or development of an idea can be found in citing these overtones.

Obviously, a speaker could drill down to even a third or fourth level if there are other words that carry distinct nuances and have a biblical counterpart.


*Be assured, that even as one “goes analytical” the truths of a message are still heard and felt.  One can do both — #1) Listen to the truths which God is speaking in and through a sermon, as well as #2) being an analytical hearer.

Going analytical typically happens when something is said in such a way as to stand out from the general flow of the message — “Whoa — what did he just say or do to catch my mind?  What did he just do?”

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