As One Without Authority

by Fred B. Craddock

Fred B. Craddock is professor of preaching and New Testament at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.

Note: This is the third edition, published in 1971. A new fourth edition, with updated language and three new sermons by Dr. Craddock, is available from Chalice Press, PO Box 179, St. Louis, MO 63166-0179 (phone 800-314-231-8500; FAX 800-314-231-8524; or The new edition will be $16.99. This material was edited for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


(ENTIRE BOOK) Discussion of a style of preaching that incarnates the word in the method, by one of the deans of 20th century American preaching.


  • Preface

    The author, a New Testament Scholar, is challenged to teach "Preaching." This book is the result of his preparation.

  • Chapter 1: The Pulpit in the Shadow

    The seminarian must be taught a method of preaching that incarnates the message.

  • Chapter 2: The Pulpit in the Spotlight

    Preaching has been affected by our movement into the oral-aural world. The electronic age with its offering of a wide variety of ways to present the human voice has commanded new attention to oral language. It would be fruitful if the minister would explore the profundity of the ordinary experience of this oral-aural world — conversing, talking, listening-speaking.

  • Chapter 3: Inductive Movement in Preaching

    1. Particular concrete experiences are ingredient to the sermon; 2. The movement of material that respects the hearer as not only capable of but deserving the right to participate in that movement and arrive at a conclusion that is his own, not just the speaker’s; 3. The listener completes the sermon.

  • Chapter 4: Inductive Preaching and the Imagination

    An empathetic imagination means first having the wisdom and grace to receive the images of life about us and then secondly the freedom and confidence to reflect these with appropriate expressions.

  • Chapter 5: Inductive Movement and the Unity of the Sermon

    The absence of serious interpretation of the Biblical text endangers the Christian character of the sermon while the presence of such Biblical interpretation endangers the movement of the sermon, and the unity essential to that movement, both qualities being requisites for maximum effectiveness.

  • Chapter 6: Inductive Movement and the Text

    Most of the New Testament can be viewed as interpretations and re-interpretations of the tradition in the light of new situations faced on the mission fields of a vigorous and growing Church. Thus, the modern minister must find a new way through from exegesis to the sermon.

  • Chapter 7: Inductive Movement and Structure

    A preaching event is a sharing in the Word, a trip not just a destination, an arriving at a point for drawing conclusions and not handing over of a conclusion. In inductive preaching, the structure must be subordinate to movement. In fact, this subordination means that in most cases the structure is not visible to the congregation.

  • Appendix

    A sample of the process of developing a sermon: The conception; Playing with the idea; Arriving at clarity; Method of sharing.