Craddock on the Craft of Preaching

Craddock, Fred B., ed. Lee Sparks and Kathryn Hayes Sparks

Chalice, 2011

p. 62

Craddock spent his preaching and teaching life encouraging preachers to get very specific in their references and descriptions [he wouldn’t say “references and descriptions;” he’d say “get very specific in what they talk about”]. “We don’t want to get lost in all those long words that end in ‘-ity,’ ‘-ship,’ and ‘-ness’: responsibility, stewardship, righteousness, and all those similar words. We have to use [one of them occasionally]. But can it be tasted? Can I taste it, smell it, see it, and feel it? Is it something very specific? You don’t go out to a farmer and say, ‘I’d like to discuss calfdom.’ You don’t say to a carpenter, ‘Well, essentially the chairness of that.’ No, it’s just chair and calf. There is no such thing as holy matrimony. Holy matrimony is the distant summation of all the weddings. And if you describe a single wedding and picture a father getting a suit out of a closet and that whole scene and you start describing that wedding, every wedding in the house will be remembered and one man in tears back there will notice that he still has rice in the cuff, and he remembers his daughter. But you told them holy matrimony. And nobody twitched at all. That’s the way it is.”