1928 - 2015
Fred Craddock is arguably one of the great preachers of the past 50 years. A professor of homiletics, he developed a story-telling style of preaching called "inductive." His goal was to bring the experience of the sermon to the people. Preaching isn't about logical argument, in Craddock's view, but about living in the sermon, overhearing the message coming to life.
I first heard Craddock in 1981 when he was the preacher for our denominational clergy gathering. I was blown out of the water. I had never experienced that style of preaching. I (along with all my colleagues) were moved in ways we never would have believed. I realized it was a style that fit my personality and my understanding of the Gospel. Fortunately his series of sermons were recorded and we could buy them. I wore out the set listening to the sermons over and over as I was driving around my ministry tasks. I started utilizing his method in many a sermon.
My preaching was changed in every which way possible. (Hopefully for the better.)
Again in 1992 I had another opportunity to sit and absorb his style. He was as good as ever.
RIP Brother Fred. Well done, good and faithful servant.
After hearing of Fred's death the other day I went online and found a sermon of his. I don't know the date. He was a guest preacher that Sunday at Peachtree Christian Church. It was a joy to hear that drawl and watch the eyes. I love that little laugh he gives. They are as ever. I noticed he was slower than he used to be, although he was always deliberate. His pauses were a few seconds longer than they were before. But oh, can he put the message together. You are lulled into his down-home style; you kind of sit there enjoying what he's doing and saying as he builds his message.
Then, there it is- the Gospel.
There He is.
And you are touched by grace.
Sunday, March 08, 2015