The Apostle Paul wrote, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” in 1 Corinthians 9:16. It is a verse that I often recite to myself. It is a verse that I often share with others.
Gospel preaching is a necessity.
I’m a preacher of the gospel. I’ll leave it up to my congregation to decide if I’m a good preacher of the gospel. I also consider myself a student of gospel preaching. The fancy word for studying the art of preaching is homiletics. We have recently experienced the death of two gigantic voices in the field of homiletics. Two giants who blessed congregations through years of gospel preaching and who blessed preachers across the globe due to their contribution to the field of homiletics.
Fred Craddock died March 6 at the age of 86.
Gardner C. Taylor died April 5 at the age of 96.
Craddock was Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching and New Testament Emeritus in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He was an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). His book Preaching is the go-to textbook in countless seminary homiletic courses. I had the pleasure to hear and meet Craddock when he made a lecture appearance a Baylor’s Truett Seminary.
Taylor was pastor of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, for 42 years, before retiring in 1990. During this time he helped to found the Progressive National Baptist Convention with Martin Luther King Jr., providing an important base of support for King’s civil rights work.
Much more could be said about both preachers. Here are two video clips of Craddock and Taylor. Enjoy.