The Company of Preachers: Wisdom on Preaching, Augustine to the Present

Lischer, Richard, ed.

Eerdmans, 2002

pp. 277 - 278

Lischer introduces a section from Book 4 of Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine: Augustine knew that sophists used rhetoric for nefarious ends—chiefly to persuade people of falsehood. But this in no way suggested to Augustine that the church should therefore abandon rhetoric. The church finally lays claim to truth and beauty wherever they may be found. So let the church use disciplined rhetoric in service of the gospel. “Augustine asked why the sophists should brandish their rhetorical artillery while Christians stood unarmed.”