Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Justin Martyr

April 14th is the traditional feast date of Justin Martyr. It is currently celebrated June 1st in the Roman rite.

He was the first great Christian apologist: a rhetorician for Christ.

Rhetoric is the art of speaking persuasively using logic and appealing to the emotions to persuade your audience. Its end should be the truth. It contrasts with polemic, the use of emotional speech to rally one's supporters and excoriate one's opponents. A polemicist does not care to persuade his opponents.

Rhetoric is the art of free men: it is a necessary ingredient of a free republic. Polemic is the art of demagoguery; its prevalence is the symptom of empire, where men are no longer free.

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