Of the many benefits I received through completing my Doctor of Ministry program, none had a more profound impact than being exposed to the writings of Fred Craddock. Craddock’s story is interesting. He was a New Testament professor that was called upon to teach homiletics. Without any advanced training in teaching preaching, Craddock undertook the responsibility as a humble learner. No one has been more surprised than Craddock that he would become one of the most influential voices on the topic of preaching in the 20th century. I poured over the pages of his monographs, and had the privilege of conducting a two hour phone interview with him in 2003.
His latest release, Craddock on the Craft of Preaching, is yet another creative contribution to the field of preaching. Lee Sparks and Kathryn Hayes Sparks have transcribed tapes from Craddock’s lectures and seminars and put them in a book format. Each chapter highlights some of Craddock’s most profound insights on preaching regarding preparation and delivery. One of the things that sets Craddock apart from other writers on the subject is the amount of attention he gives to understanding the audience. Those chapters alone are invaluable and make the purchase of the book worthwhile.
I would recommend this book to those who are veterans in the pulpit who are in need of some encouragement. Craddock is not trendy as far as the 21st century pulpit is concerned, yet his principles are timeless and refreshing. If you’ve not read Craddock before, I would suggest you begin with the book Preaching. If you have read Craddock before, then your experience will be enriched by this volume. I believe that this is the kind of book that you’ll highlight and refer to time and time again.