Preaching Class

Faux Preaching at Ephesus Amphitheater

Certainly someone who faux preaches that well wouldn’t need a class on preaching! You wouldn’t think so (that is, until you actually heard me speak), but it’s true.

This semester, I’m taking an Intro to Preaching class at Lipscomb. It’s a required class for my degree, but I’m still really looking forward to this one. It’s a weekend class that meets on Friday and Saturday over a course of three weekends, and the first session is next weekend. Even though I have been preaching for half of my life (has it really been that long?!), there is much to learn. And this is certainly a class that will prove practically beneficial.

Here’s the text books for the class.

  • Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale (Harper, 1977).
  • Fred B. Craddock, Craddock on the Craft of Preaching (Chalice, 2011).
  • Thomas G. Long, The Witness of Preaching, Second Edition (Abingdon, 2005).
  • David J. Schlafer, Your Way With God’s Word: Discovering Your Distinctive Preaching Voice (Cowley, 1995).
  • Barbara Brown Taylor, The Preaching Life (Cowley, 1993).

I’ve read the Buechner book and I’m half done with Long’s Witness of Preaching. Maybe I’ll have some more updates on the class as it progresses.

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2 Responses to Preaching Class

  1. Patrick says:

    This sounds great–I’m looking forward to hearing how it is. The most helpful/interesting books that have helped me be a better (also faux) preacher are John W. Wright’s Telling God’s Story: Narrative Preaching for Christian Formation (2007) and Nancy Duarte’s Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences (2010). The second is of course not about preaching but public speaking, but I’ve picked up some wonderful advice and perspective from it. (Duarte also has a good book on designing effective powerpoint slides…a skill almost entirely absent among preachers.) Ronald Allen’s Patterns of Preaching (1998) has some interesting ideas about different ways for sermons to flow, but the sermon samples left me disappointed.

    What did you think of Buechner? He’s an author I’ve been wanting to read for a while but haven’t yet.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the recommendations, Patrick. I’ll have to check those out when I get a chance. Like many other books I would like to read, I’ll add them to the list. I would especially like to read the Wright book.

    As for Buechner, the book was a quick read (around 100 pages). He depicted the gospel as encapsulating the components of tragedy (sinfulness), comedy (God’s unconventional means of working) and fairy tale (the happily ever after found in Christ). It was an interesting read, and I would recommend it. I know he has written quite a few other books, but I’m not sure I have a good grasp of him as a writer after this single book. I’ll have to read some more.

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