Rhetoric and Homiletics: How To Add Weight

Topoi: Increasing The Weight [1]

There are ways to add weight to a point, truth, or argument.

We can call this . . . .

The topoi of “Weight” [2]

Here is a secular example:

Over 100,000 people have died this year from Alzheimer’s disease. Over 50,000 have died by suicide. I might suggest that those 50,000 were far more alarming.  Those 50,000 suicides, unlike the disease of Alzheimer’s, were by choice.  Suicides have a sudden and confusing impact on many, if not all, of the family members, friends, and co-workers.  It carries a social stigma.  It is typically sudden and unexplainable.  There is no time for questions and comments before their death. . . .

Here is a biblical example:

There are other biblical characters who have experienced painful and tragic situations.  We could talk about the years during which Joseph served to Egypt, or the deportation of Daniel as a young man to Babylon, or the events which led to Naomi’s bitterness, or Job who suffered so much loss seemingly overnight, or, or.

I might suggest that Paul tops the list of trials and painful situations because he never experienced the turnaround or relief that others saw.  The great Apostle Paul went from trial to trial, and ultimately “to trial” and never saw a day when his plight would see the reversal that many other faithful and godly saints of old experienced.

The value of having this “topoi of weight” in mind during preparation and presentation is that it can drive a truth, make a point, clarify a situation, and/or highlight the context or character.

1. You may want to revisit the subject of “topoi” and see how they are useful in the study and the pulpit.

2. Some might want to put this under the topoi of “differentia,” “ex-comparatione, or “consequentia.”

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