David L. Allen

Dr. David Allen is the Dean of the School of Preaching, Distinguished Professor of Preaching, and Director of the Southwestern Center for Expository Preaching
at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Four Types of Meaning in the Text

The text-driven preacher must recognize that there are four basic types of meaning conveyed in every text and context: referential, situational, structural and semantic. Referential meaning is that which is being talked about; the subject matter of a text. Sit... Read More »

Text-Driven Preaching and Pragmatic Textual Analysis

Pragmatic analysis of texts asks the questions “What is the author’s purpose of a text?” and “What does an author desire to accomplish with his text.” The text-driven preacher is always attempting to accomplish something with every sermon. All verbal... Read More »

Text-Driven Preaching and Linguistics: What the Preacher Must Know to be a Good Exegete

The painstaking work of exegesis is the foundation for text-driven preaching.[1]”No man will succeed in expository preaching unless he delights in exegetical study of the Bible, unless he loves to search out the exact meaning of its sentences, phrases, w... Read More »

5 Reasons You Should Consult Commentaries

I have always loved books. When I was called to preach at age 16, a retired minister gave me 400 volumes from his library. Since then, I have been something of a collector of theological books, including hundreds of commentaries. These have served as treasured... Read More »

7 Foundations of Effective Sermons

Here is an outline of essential elements for good preaching from my perspective. Much more could be said about each of these elements. This is only a summary. INTERPRETATION– What is the meaning of the text? Determining textual meaning is the essential fir... Read More »

The Primacy of the Text in Preaching

Several years ago, David Larsen, homiletician and author of an excellent history of preaching entitled The Company of the Preachers, spoke on “The Primacy of the Text.” It was a fabulous presentation. Here are some nuggets. On Puritan Preaching: It is not... Read More »

Text Driven Preaching vs. Text Centered Preaching

What is the difference between a sermon that is “text-centered” and one that is “text-driven”? Here is a chart I used at the Jacksonville Pastor’s Conference: Text-Centered Text-Driven Sermon from the text Sermon about the text and derived from it Se... Read More »

Crash Course in Linguistics for Text-Driven Preaching

A CRASH COURSE IN LINGUISTICS LINGUISTICS – The study of the structure of language, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. PHONOLOGY – The identification and classification of all sounds used in a given language. LEXICON ... Read More »

Hebrews 13:18-25

Locate the passage. The passage is the final sub-section in the overall conclusion which is 13:1-25. Genre Hortatory. Determine the structure of the text The text has three sub-divisions followed by a brief conclusion/sign off: 1) Personal request for prayer (... Read More »

Hebrews 13:7-17

Locate the passage. The text is the section of three sections that conclude the letter in chapter 13. Genre Hortatory. Determine the structure of the text The text divides up into the following sections: 13:7 13:8 13:9-12 13:13-14 13:15-16 13:17 Exegete the pa... Read More »