If It’s Not Baroque . . .

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“For a Christian rhetoric, perspicuity is the foundation of al the canons of style. Clarity of thought must always be the preacher’s aim. Clarity is the basic beauty of eloquent oratory and the driving power that persuades one’s listeners. The beauty of teaching is making clear the truth, for it is in the truth itself, rather than in the words about truth, in which beauty is found. The truth itself, Augustine tells us, when presented in simplicity, gives pleasure because it is the truth. This is one of Augustine’s best insights. Here, a thousand years before the Protestant Reformation, one easily detects the guiding principle of Protestant plain style. Here is the foundation of the Protestant understanding of beauty” (Hughes Oliphant Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures, Vol. II, p. 395).

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