Preaching narrative or narrative preaching

I am hidden away deep in the Heart of Dixie working on a book about preaching NT narrative. This is different than the “narrative preaching” movement which I believe misses the mark in significant ways. The following is from, Fred Craddock, the godfather of narrative preaching. Discuss amongst yourselves.

“Expository preaching or biblical preaching has been found guilty of archaism, sacrificing the present to the past. One should, according to this view, choose relevant topics for treatment. Scriptures can be read in the service for mood or atmosphere or to satisfy those who feel they should be included, but they should not be allowed to shackle the minister” (emphasis mine).

from Fred B. Craddock, As One Without Authority, 17.

NOTE: I will be posting a lot more on this in the days to come.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris Pixley on November 25, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Of course Craddock is , right when he suggests that “expository preaching…has been found guilty of archaism, sacrificing the present to the past.” That is because much bad preaching goes by the name “expository” but is in reality little more than running commentary on a given passage of Scripture. Kaiser has issued many helpful correctives to this mistaken notion, thus calling us back to a right practice of expository preaching. The method is not to blame; the real culprit is our wrong application of the method.

    Although he offers a right observation about abuses of Bible exposition, Craddock is dreadfully misguided in both his diagnosis and treatment. The Bible is never irrelevant to modern culture and, rightly preached, provides the liberty in the pulpit, not shackling. The Bible alone provides us with an accurate presentation of the person and work of Jesus Christ, who is “the truth” (John 14:6). Consequently, Jesus states, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). We must conclude, then, that abandonment of the source of truth (the Bible) via abandonment of expository preaching can only lead to the preacher and the hearer being spiritually imprisoned.

  2. Expostitory preaching, rightly done, does shackle the preacher, and rightly so. We are bound by the context of the passage, and can not rip it out to make it a servant of our own message.

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