Approaching public communication from a liberal arts point of view, Speaking the Truth in Love provides a distinctly Christian perspective of rhetoric. Written and oral rhetoric are interwoven throughout the text. Two foundational ideas control the majority of the text. The first is from Plato's Phaedrus as stated by Paul in Ephesians 4:15, "speaking the truth in love." The second is from the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 4:11, "if anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God." The spiritual responsibility of communicating truth in accordance with the nature of God, especially the virtue of love, is an awesome privilege and opportunity. Sound content spoken or written eloquently with charisma will enable words to have a maximum impact.
The text is designed to be a culminating learning experience for undergraduate communication programs or as an introductory text for graduate programs involving public communication. Beginning with a philosophy of language, meaning, and interaction, argument is built against secular deconstructive thought where everyone has a different truth based on language. Alongside philosophy we explore ethics and theology from an evangelical perspective. Following this a brief history outlines rhetorical thought from pre-testament classics to today. Based upon these ideas we take a closer look at communication theory as it relates to public communication. Finally, the text addresses the practice of both written and oral communication.