Newman on Preaching and Rhetoric
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In Newman studies, four current theological issues find resolution and application. Faith emerges as the best mode of reasoning for discerning truth, boosts theology's academic status, and speaks to the felt need in academia to require students to enroll in a course in reason and faith. Objective truth survives as inevitable conclusion of convincing converging probabilities, clarifies the preaching task, and highlights Cicero's style as being best at persuading people. Rhetoric triumphs as inseparable from preaching, points to the path of assent, and identifies antecedent considerations as sermon topics capable of moving congregants toward complex assent. Liberal education emerges as the development of particular intellectual habits and strengths, positions pastors/theologians so trained to re-engagement in public discourse with parity, and gives credibility to recommending that seminary students demonstrate the ability to function in a context featuring indeterminacy of reality.