Wednesday, August 2, 2017


From The Living Church-

Fred Craddock’s As One Without Authority (1971) marked a significant shift in the way preachers were thinking about the form of the sermon. Craddock began by addressing the problems facing the preacher in an age when people no longer accept religious authority. Critiquing the traditional approach to preaching, the three-point sermon, he suggested that one of the reasons so much preaching was ineffective is that listeners have changed — they are in many cases more sophisticated and less open to a traditional authoritative mode of preaching. He  recommends an inductive rather than a deductive approach to preaching. Instead of simply offering a thesis and then exploring and defending the thesis in three or more relatively balanced points, he argues for beginning with questions that will grab the listener’s attention because they are pertinent to the lives of the listeners.

Craddock’s argument has been dismissed by many who want to hold to a high view of preaching, since at first blush the emphasis on the listener appears to advocate for relevance over faithfulness. Rather than placing our confidence in God’s self-communication in Scripture and through preaching, the focus appears to shift to the preacher’s ability to communicate. With confidence in God, objectors maintain, we need to keep our primary focus on faithfulness to the biblical text, which argues for classic expository preaching where the preacher carefully and faithfully “unpacks” the text for the listener.

More here-

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