An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 226 of 277
repentance, we feel it necessary to say that it indicates 'a change of mind'.
Until this change of mind is granted, all argument and exhortation are in
One further item in the learner's equipment is that of affliction and
suffering.  The Psalmist said:
'It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy
statutes' (Psa. 119:71).
The apostle Paul learned in this same school, for he said:
'I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I
know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and
in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to
abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which
strengtheneth me' (Phil. 4:11 -13).
And, lastly, of the Lord Himself it is written:
'Though He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He
suffered' (Heb. 5:8).
If true service is 'reasonable service', and if we must learn the will
of the Lord before we can hope to do it, it will be seen that while grace is
all -sufficient, yet we should not enter upon this path without some
preparation of heart, for the path is not always smooth, neither is it
without its trials.  We may, however, in it all find rest to our souls in
fellowship with the Lord Himself.
The equipment of a preacher or a teacher includes the recognition of
the fundamental laws of thought, for while we cannot discover the way of
peace by our reasoning faculties, any attempt at explanation, interpretation,
exposition necessarily involves argument, comparison, the elements of
grammar, the necessary laws of thought, the appreciation of meaning and the
like.  We therefore include this study that we trust will make for clarity,
and help the preacher or teacher to avoid some of the pitfalls that await the
footsteps of the unwary.
What Constitutes a Valid Argument?
It is a blessed fact that salvation does not depend upon reasoning and
disputation, and that one need be neither a philosopher nor a logician to
perceive the purpose of the ages.  Perhaps no writer of Scripture so
emphasizes the utter failure of the natural mind to understand the truth as
Paul, yet, advocate as he was for the supremacy of faith, and opponent as he
was of 'doubtful disputations' and of 'vain deceitful philosophy', no writer
is so argumentative, and no writer appeals so much to the mind quickened to
appreciate true reasoning:
'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God'
(Rom. 10:17).
Yet, to borrow the argument of verse 14: