Emotion versus Emotionalism

Dwight E. Stevenson

"There is a vast difference between emotion and emotionalism. Genuine emotion arises from perception, memory, and imagination and from ideas which are made to live in terms of perception, memory, and imagination. Genuine emotion calls no attention to itself but rather recreates the vivid mental world out of which it sprang and re-enforces and ratifies the ideas which called it forth."

"Emotionalism, on the other hand, arises from biological rhythms, from generalized sentiments, and sentimentalities and prejudices and from crowd contagion. Emotionalism exists not for the sake of ideas and rational actions but for its own sake, or for the sake of some irrational action. It is hypnotic, even orgiastic, in effect. As such it is a highly etherealized form of intoxication, hardly more ennobling than its carnal cousin, alcoholic intoxication. No effective preaching can be done without emotion, but we can well do without emotionalism."

Disciple Preaching in the First Generation


April 23, 1970