Jul 20, 2009

Preaching by Fred B. Craddock -Review

Craddock's text is one of the classics recommended for all preachers, enjoy my review.

A brilliant text on preaching. This book addresses the question, “How does one prepare a sermon?” The introduction covers the basic convictions about preaching, noting that preaching is both private and public. Preaching is both the words and the Word (18). Secondly, the text looks at historical, pastoral, liturgical and theological contexts (33-47). Each of these is to be considered when preparing a message. Theology of preaching is presented next. The sermon should proceed from silence. This is an apt description, not only of Jesus Christ but also of preaching! (53) Out of a time of silence, one should hear the whisper of God (55), and then declare that loudly (60). Having something to say is discussed in part two of the book. The minister’s study life is discussed; he is exhorted to make this an integral part of his journey. Time spent in study is never getting away from daily work but getting into daily work (70). The audience is investigated next; one is encouraged to know the congregation well in order to deliver a life altering message (93). The book then turns to look at interpretation of the text to which one preaches from. Six basic steps are outlined beginning with selecting the text (101) and ending with putting the text in one’s own words (121). In closing out part two of the book, Craddock looks at the topic of hermeneutics: the process of ascertaining for a reader or readers the meaning of a document written to another reader or readers (125). Part three of the text is about shaping the message into a sermon. After looking at six qualities in a sermon (155-168), the formation of the sermon is addressed. Forms as they are known play a crucial role in preaching. They shape the listeners experience of the material (173). Forms come in many shapes. Forms give a good outline to the sermon but need enriching to give the sermon depth. This is discussed in chapter ten. Enriching may include: lively language, fitting illustrations and clear descriptions (194). Finally, Craddock addresses the delivery of the sermon itself. The very practical issues of venue; materials taken into the pulpit; methodology and other key components are raised.