There Is A Reason For That!
Arguing The Why:
As you explain various biblical truths and principles, there may be some listeners who are uncertain as to whether or not what you are describing is an accurate report on a Christian’s experience.*
They do not see this-or-that happening in their life. Therefore, they may not or do not believe that such is an accurate statement. At best, they do not assess it to be true of them.
“The why” is NOT found in the passage. That does NOT mean it is necessarily “unbiblical.”
A speaker has to be aware enough to know when it is beneficial to take up the argument of a point which he/she has made. Sometimes, the audience – most of the audience – most Christian members of the audience will accept the point being made.
Knowing your audience and/or understanding where the push-backs are in a message is vital to effective communication!
Adrian Rodgers is going to take the time in his message to “argue” the why. Because Rodgers recognizes that the statement he made may not resonate with the experience of some audience members, he spends the time to discuss and defend it, to explain “why.”**
Again: “The why” is NOT found in the passage. That does NOT mean it is necessarily “unbiblical,” but it may mean that it is questioned, seriously doubted, or disputed. “You” introduced the assertion, which may well be biblical, but is either not stated, or not clearly stated in the passage.
This rhetorical technique can be seen or used as . . . .
- a clarification
- an explanation
- the expansion on
- an application
- a way to drive a or the point
- a resolution as to why or why not which you asserted
- an argument for supporting an assertion within the passage
- part of an introduction or conclusion
- an argument for supporting a biblically true assertion, though NOT found in the passage
Rodgers illustrates this rhetorical technique (I have highlighted the words which frame this rhetorical technique) as it applies the last item in the above list.
Galatians 5:17 — Adrian Rogers, “How To Have Rock Solid Faith“ @ 11:00 minute mark
Friend . . . .
You never really understand the power Satan until you get saved
— till you get saved
You say — well — I don’t have any difficulty with the devil
well if you don’t let me tell you why
it’s because you and the devil is traveling in the same direction — that’s all I’m saying to you
you turn around you’ll have a collision with him
right now you’re in collusion with him
but you turn around
and you start the other way
if you never met the devil it’s because you and the devil are going in the same direction
that’s all I’m saying to you
is when you get saved
when you give your heart to Jesus
Satan is going to level all of the artillery of Hell against you
and if you’re not struggling against the devil
if you’re not in battle with Satan
now I tell you —
you must be a little better than Jesus because he was
Satan came against Jesus
he comes against me
and he will come against you***
Audio-video link — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEVWBFkWw30
Templated: Once you see a technique, you can quantify it and then reuse it different ways with widely different passages.
- The Argument or Assertion (You understand the power of Satan when you get saved, and you will have new difficulties with him.)
- The Denial Of The Assertion (I don’t have any difficulty with him.)
- The Explanation or The Why (Let me tell you why.)
- A Pity Way Of Framing The Explanation (You see it is “Collision or Collusion”)
- Expansion Of The Argument (turn around / start the other way / same direction)
- Restatement Of The Argument (“if you’re not struggling, not in battle”)
- Additional & Ultimate Proof (You must be better than Jesus)
- Restatement Of Assertion (against me – against you)
Template Statements: Here are some “mental generating wordings” which can help a teacher-preacher apply this technique when working on other and different passages.
- “I am going to explain that because there is a reason for it.”
- “I am going to tell you the reason that you are (or you are not).”
- “Why is that you don’t experience / have not experienced?”
- “This is a common experience, and if you are not there is cause for concern because then it means . . . .
- “You will experience, this-or-that and if you are not, there is a reason.”
- “If you don’t, there is a reason you don’t.”
- Why is it that you are not experiencing this-or-that?
- “There is a “why” — an answer, — a reason which explains why you do (or do not) find this to be true in your life . . . .”
- “Oh, there will be some here today who do not believe that statement. It is because they do not see _____ operating in their life. But there is a reason they don’t see it operating and it is because . . . .”
- “Don’t discount that truth too quickly, merely because you are not experiencing it in your Christian life. There is a clear explanation.”
Other Off-The-Cuff Examples Of Its Usage: The passages cited below do not provide an answer as to “the why.” The passages/examples only lay out the fact that there is a Christian experience which marks or ought to mark the Christian life.
I Samuel 18:1 — “David attracted a good and godly friend whose name was Jonathan. There will be those who will be attracted to other good and godly men and there will be those who will be attracted to you, and you attracted to them. If your life and words are not drawing others, there are reasons for that . . . .It may be because you do not share the same heart and spirit . . . . Good Friends Are Godly Friends!“
Galatians 5:22 — “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . . patience or long-suffering. If that trait is not present and/or developing in your life, I can tell you why. It is either because you are not a believer, or God has not brought enough trials your way yet because it will be those trials that develop patience. Patience & Problem Go Together.“
Revelation 18:11 — “It says that all the merchants are mourning over the final destruction of “Babylon.” There will be some who will not be mourning on that day — God’s people — who also witness that day of destruction. I will tell you why! It is because they have not pinned their hopes on this world. They have sent their “money” ahead — invested in the eternal, not the temporal. They invested in true riches, which were entrusted to them in this life. . . . . The Temporal & The Tearful Travel Together.”
It is not that teachers and preachers do not use this technique, but that it is typically done when our minds serendipitously think of it.
The aim of delineating, exemplifying, quantifying various rhetorical techniques is so that a speaker can consciously use them and/or call them up from a mental chest of rhetorical options.
* I well understand the implications of the words “their experience.” I know what some may well be saying — “Our experience is not the standard of truth.” Nevertheless, we have all listened to a speaker and said to ourselves, “I don’t know whether that is true,” in light of what we have experienced. At least, we require additional “argument” for us to believe that what the speaker is saying is what the Scriptures are saying. Perhaps, it could be said that listeners are not sure you are “expositing” the passage accurately and that is why your statement does not fit their life.
The audience does not and will not “buy into” all that you assert, declare, state that the passage is saying or means, etc.
**Please note, this is NOT the argument — “You believe you don’t/aren’t ______, but in fact, you do/are.” Rodgers is not saying, “You just think you the devil is not creating difficulty in your life, but he is. You are unaware of it or don’t see it.”
Rather, the argument is that there is a reason you are not indeed experiencing difficulty with the Devil, as a Christian. You ought to be experiencing this, and there is a reason that you are not.
*** It might have been better to use the words — perhaps / it may be that / with some, it is because / right now, with some — instead of “right now you’re in collusion with him.” See the following article which is connected with this message and rhetorical technique.
It might have been better to use the words . . . .
- it may be for many that they are
- it is because there are those who are
- right now, with some of God’s people, the cause is
. . . . instead of “right now you’re in collusion with him.”
Other Template Statements:
- There are a number of reasons that you might not be experiencing this in your life. One is . . Another is . . .
- When will a believer come to understand this-or-that? It will be when . . . .
- When will this become a reality in our lives? After we / When we . . . .
- What situation or circumstances will make this real to us?
- You may not think this-or-that right now, but when _____ happens, you will grasp it.
- It takes ____ for most people to realize that ______.
- I didn’t appreciate this truth until . . . . .
- Some never catch on until . . . . .
- When a person is not a follower of Jesus, they don’t realize that . . . .
- If you are a believer, but not a sincere follower, you will not understand that . . . .
- The reason you don’t see that in your life today is because you are (traveling in the same direction).
- If and when you _____, you will realize that . . . . .
- Right now there is no (collision) because you are in (collusion) . . . .
- If you are not experiencing this-or-that, your experience is different than that of Jesus.