Rhetoric & Homiletics: What & Why

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What Does This Site Provide?
Why Another Voice About Preaching?


There are 100’s of articles which deal with “Preaching” on our web site.
—  RhetoricandHomiletics.org — 

The posts break down into two categories.


Rhetorical & Homiletical Concepts

These posts reflect the work of . . . . .

  • a seminary graduate (Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indians — M. Div.)
  • a classically educated student in Rhetoric & Public Address (Ohio University, Athens, Ohio — Ph.D.)
  • a state university teacher of fundamentals of speech (Bowling Green State-Ohio, Ohio University, Keiser University-Florida)
  • a Christian college professor of various speech classes (Tennessee Temple University, Grace College, Practical Bible Training Institute)
  • a seminary homiletics/pulpit speech professor & D.Min advisor (Tennessee Temple Seminary, Dallas T.S., BBC – Clarks Summit)
  • a pastor & preacher for over 40 years (36 years as Sr. pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Trenton, NJ)

For many, seminary homiletics class was “Public Speaking 101.” That was my experience as well.

The reason that Homiletics 101, 201, 301 was generally “Preaching Followed By A Video Review and Critique” was that few seminaries and/o Bible colleges employ a classically taught homiletics professor. Actually, they are not very prevalent.

After graduating from Cedarville College, Dr. John Reed (presently a Dallas T.S. Professor- Emeritus) encouraged me to get build on my bachelor’s degree in Speech.  I was accepted to Bowling Green State University (Ohio).  I completed my Master’s degree in “Public Speaking” at Bowling Green State University after  “a year and a summer”.   While there I was also one of many who taught “Fundamentals of Speech 101.”  Upon graduation, I began my seminary education at Grace Theological Seminary.

It was not until I finished my first seminary class in homiletics that I realized that it was just “Fundamentals of Speech 101” for preachers.  I needed to find someone who offered a class on preaching with a classical rhetorical education and/or from a classical rhetorical vantage. 

I knew that there were useful and valuable classical concepts which should be taught to those who would spend their life communicating. 

In fact, many homiletics teachers have not read and/or do not even know that Aristotle wrote three books on public address.  Not to mention that some of the most important books on preaching were written by classically educated preachers of the 18th & 19th century (i.e. Hugh Blair, George Campbell, and Richard Whately).

I found that course!  After my first year of seminary, I took a summer class at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois — Homiletics II, by Dr. Lloyd Perry.  It was obvious to me that I had made a good decision. He understood classical rhetorical concepts and brought them into homiletical theory and practice. I still have his textbook, — “Biblical Preaching for Today’s World” by Lloyd Perry

preaching lloyd perry

I believe that Dr. Lloyd Perry was one of the few homiletics professors who understood the intersection of classical rhetorical & homiletical theory.  That summer class started me on the road to rethinking “Homiletics.”  There were useful and worthwhile classical principles and concepts which should be brought into the teaching of Homiletics!


The humorous advertisement featuring  “Reeses Peanut Butter Cups” may characterize what happened as I stepped onto that road in the summer of 1970.  The ad portrays a person holding a jar of peanut butter bumping into some holding a chocolate bar. 

See the source image

That is what “RhetoricandHomiletics.org seeks to do. 

These posts reflect a classically trained, Christian classroom teacher, and long term pulpit practitioner of the art of preaching. I have tried to bring together classical rhetorical concepts and pulpit speech. There are many useful concepts which are rarely taught in many a class on homiletics. I will try to highlight various classical concepts and . . . .

  • bring them to light — from the classical to the modern-day, the secular to the sacred
  • explain these classical concepts without getting too much into the weeds
  • deconstruct and reconstruct them so that they become clear and usable
  • apply them to pulpit speech
  • illustrate them with real-life present-day preaching personalities and examples



I have also included posts which are primarily identified by the title — “Today’s Illustration.” These posts have these features . . . .

  • They feature relatively contemporary and/or well-known topics, events, and individuals.
  • They do a lot of the leg work of research for the reader / user.
  • They include internet “links”. If you want, you can read more about the particular topic of illustration. It also provides some validation for the information and details cited.
  • They include more information that you will probably need, but at the same time, it then provides some different directions you can go with the illustration.
  • There is a section which provides ideas, keywords, Bible allusions, and/or biblical subjects which is designed to get you thinking as to the illustration’s possible.



Evangelism on the cutting edge p-115 Robert Coleman


“Evangelism on the cutting edge.” p-115 edited by Robert Coleman


Lloyd Perry book Trinity Evang Divinity School.jpg — Biblical Sermon Guide, by Lloyd M. Perry

Link To The



2 thoughts on “Rhetoric & Homiletics: What & Why

  1. Thank you for sharing your studies, I’m beginning the writing of my DMin thesis. I’m writing about homiletics, what I have noticed in my review of homiletic literature is that many of the books are focused on techniques for the preacher, but little effort is expended on the listener’s understanding. So my research will focus on the brain functioning (neuroscience of education and language) and learning style of the Z and Alpha generations and how we can tailor the message so that they retain information better and feel motivated to listen and practice what is teached. I’m quite worried about communicating with the new generation that has a completely different brain and learning format because of the technological interaction. Your applications will be useful, thank you.


    1. There are some interesting studies done on that — let me know what you find and would be interested in reading material as you go along with your thesis. Where you getting your D. Min?


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