[Criteria for Judging Sermons Pathos and Logos by Dr. Isaac R. Clark]


Isaac R. Clark

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Isaac R. Clark Memorial Collection

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Dr. Isaac R. Clark in his homiletics class at the Interdenominational Theological Center talks about standards of judgment for preaching. Dr. Clark gives four standards. Those standards are the ethos, pathos, logos and Theos of preaching. Within his framework he discusses morality, and also warns against the seminarian desire to prove his education to church laymen.

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00:00:07 Audio begins with unidentified voices.

00:00:16 Dr. Clark talks about giving concession to students.

00:01:27 Talks about criteria for judging sermons.

00:06:38 Talks about deliberately putting our divine expressions in a way that men can get it (pathos), and about how it is grounded in what men are by nature.

00:10:33 Talks about how one violates the essential principle of pathos in speaking, frequently among young seminarians with brand new M.Div. diplomas and who have strong inferiority complexes.

00:30:08 Talks about logos as a standard for judging sermonic body.

00:31:46 Talks about feelings being indispensable in religion but not advocating emotionalism. Pathos must be harmonized with logos to keep our feelings from running away. Talks about devil making one feel good.

00:34:19 Talks about the devil working on the individual through their senses so they can feel they have met Christ and have been converted, but in reality have met no one but Satan himself. Talks about Satan being a master at playing with one’s feelings.

00:36:48 Talks about logos and how it balances the concern for pathos. Talks about two meaning attached to logos (formal and ontological logic).

00:37:14 Talks about formal logic and it having two meanings of order and consistency in mind.

00:41:04 Talks about bodies of sermons must be organized according to the logic of procedure (formal logic).

00:46:28 Talks about Black Theology and its association with the real and living God.

00:47:29 Talks about how he advocated for systematic theology at ITC.

00:54:12 Audio ends.


The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library acknowledges the generous support of the National Endowment for Humanities - Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Project Grant in supporting the processing and digitization of a number of its major archival collections as part of the project: Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.


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