Steven W. Smith Welcome to the blog of Dr. Steven W. Smith

Category Archives: Pastors

Recapturing the Voice of God

This past week I had the opportunity to interact with colleagues at a gathering of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego, CA. I presented a paper entitled, “Recapturing the Voice of God: Sermons Shaped by Reanimation of the Genre of the Text,” where I argued simply... Read More »

Wholly Bible: Preaching Law

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to that prophet or that Read More »

Wholly Bible: Preaching Old Testament Narrative

Isn’t she someone else’s wife? David ignores the question of his servant and sleeps with her anyway. She’s pregnant. David ignores the opportunity to come clean and orders her husband to be killed. The stealth of deception is absolutely shocking. Cold, sterile, calculated, ... Read More »

Wholly Bible: Preaching Gospel Narratives

The sermon wasn’t going well, and I could feel it. If I could feel it, I think the audience could feel it as well. The reason? I did not have a firm grip on the main idea of the text. My text was Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Originally I Read More »

Wholly Bible: Preaching Wisdom

The structure of the text should be the structure of the sermon. This axiom is easy enough to follow when preaching a New Testament Epistle where you can follow the clear paragraph structure of the text, using rhetorical clues to divide the text such as verbs and conjunctions. Ho... Read More »

Wholly Bible: Preaching the Psalms, Part 3

Have you ever sat next to someone in church who has a terrible singing voice and just doesn’t care? They just sing it like they really mean it. I envy this person. Without the slightest bit of self-awareness, they simply rear back and let the song fly. They’re too enraptured ... Read More »

Wholly Bible: Why Genre Matters in Preaching, Part 2

As we established in the last post, the genre of the text of Scripture affects the tone of the text. By tone, or spirit, we mean the author-intended emotive design of the author. Thus, a Psalm feels like a song, and prophecy feels like a prophet has spoken. This is somewhat subje... Read More »

Wholly Bible: Why Genre Matters in Preaching

Riding on the City of New Orleans, Illinois Central Monday morning rail Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders, Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail. All along the southbound odyssey The train pulls out at Kankakee Rolls along past houses, farms and fields. PassinR... Read More »

Re-Send: What Do You Do with the Post-Sermon Compliment?

Knowing that I love praise, I have wondered what to do when someone compliments a sermon. My first reaction to a post-sermon compliment was false humility. But the problem with the “Aw shucks” approach is that when someone is sincere, just looking at my feet made their compli... Read More »

Preaching While Sitting

It became clear that things were not right. I could not walk straight, there was a tingling sensation in my hands and feet, and I had limited use of the muscles in my face. Multiple doctors but no answers. I remember sleeping on the couch, trying to get comfortable and telling Go... Read More »