This course will explore the history, theoretical underpinning, and primary models of narrative preaching as a foundation for equipping preachers to learn narrative methods of preaching. The heart of the course involves students applying selected approaches, being required to prepare and deliver sermons from the book of Judges using narrative models. The course ends with the preacher (student) undertaking an evaluation of their narrative sermons from the book of Judges, both a self- assessment and a congregational assessment.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the influences (forces at work) and influencers (people) driving the recent rise of narrative preaching.
  • Articulate and defend the theoretical underpinnings, both theological and practical, that justify narrative preaching.
  • Describe the major models of narrative preaching, giving attention to the strengths and limitations of each model.
  • Interpret narrative texts in the book of Judges for preaching purposes.
  • Prepare and preach first-person narrative sermons from the book of Judges.
  • Prepare and preach third-person narrative sermons from the book of Judges.
  • Evaluate the experience of preaching narrative sermons from the book of Judges.

Course Outline

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Narrative Preaching
  • Unit 2: Interpreting Narrative Texts from Judges
  • Unit 3: First-Person Narrative Sermons in Judges
  • Unit 4: Third-Person Narrative Sermons in Judges
  • Unit 5: Evaluation of Narrative Preaching from the book of Judges

Required Reading

Allen RJ 2008. Theology Underlying Narrative Preaching. In What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching?, edited by Mike Graves and David J. Schlafer, 27–40. St Louis: Chalice Press.
Broyles CC 2001. Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide for Exegesis, edited by Craig C. Broyles, 13–52. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.
Cothen J 2003. The Old, Old Story: A Guide for Narrative Preaching. Gretna: Pelican Publishing.
Craddock FB 2001. As One Without Authority (4th ed.). St. Louis: Chalice Press.
________ 2002. Overhearing the Gospel (Revised and expanded) St. Louis: Chalice Press.
Craddock FB, Sparks KH and Sparks L 2011. Craddock on the Craft of Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice Press.
Edwards JK 2009. Effective First-Person Biblical Preaching: The Steps from Text to Narrative Sermon. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Eslinger RL 1995. Narrative Imagination: Preaching the Worlds That Shape Us. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.
Fee GD and Stuart D 1993. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (3 rd ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Garner SC 2008. Getting into Character: The Art of First-Person Narrative Preaching. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press.
Graves M 2015. The Story of Narrative Preaching: Experience and Exposition: A Narrative. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Hamilton DL 1992. Narrative Approach. In Homiletical Handbook, 104–15. Nashville: Broadman.
Holbert JC 2013. Telling the Whole Story: Reading and Preaching Old Testament Stories. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=833913&sit e=ehost-live.
Jensen RA 1993. Thinking in Story: Preaching in a Post-Literate Age. Lima: CSS Publishing.
Larsen DL 1995. Telling the Old, Old Story: The Art of Narrative Preaching. Wheaton: Crossway Books.
Linares J 2009. Proclaiming God’s Stories: How to Preach Old Testament Historical Narrative. Greenville: Bob Jones University Press.
Long VP 2001. Reading the Old Testament as Literature. In Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide for Exegesis, edited by Craig C. Broyles, 85–124. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.
Lowry EL 1985. Doing Time in the Pulpit: The Relationship Between Narrative and Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon.
________ 1989. How to Preach a Parable: Designs for Narrative Sermons. Nashville: Abingdon.
________ 2000. The Homiletical Plot, Expanded Edition: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.
Mathewson SD 2002. The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative. Grand Rapids: Baker.
Calvin M 1992. Narrative Preaching. In Handbook of Contemporary Preaching, edited by Michael Duduit, 103–15. Nashville: Broadman & Holman.
Mulder DP 1996. Narrative Preaching: Stories from the Pulpit. Concordia.
Rice CL 2015. A More-or-Less Historical Account of the Fairly Recent History of Narrative Preaching. In What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching?, edited by Mike Graves and David J. Schlafer, 7–25. St Louis: Chalice Press.
Standing R 2004. Finding the Plot: Preaching in Narrative Style. Milton Keynes: Paternoster.
Tucker AB 2008. The Preacher as Storyteller: The Power of Narrative in the Pulpit. Nashville: Broadman & Holman.
Walton BH 2016. Preaching Old Testament Narratives. Grand Rapids: Kregel Ministry.
Wilson JL 2002. How to Write Narrative Sermons. Fresno: Willow City Press.
Wright JW 2007. Telling God’s Story: Narrative Preaching for Christian Formation. Downers Grove: InterVasity Press.