AN ANALYSIS OF PROPHETIC RADICALISM IN THE SOCIAL
CRISIS PREACHING OF KELLY MILLER SMITH, SR.
Anthony Tyshawn Gardner, PhD
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2019
Chair: Dr. Hershael W. York
This dissertation provides an analysis of the social crisis preaching of Kelly Miller Smith, Sr., through the lens of James Earl Massey’s radicalism. The first chapter provides a brief introduction of Kelly Miller Smith and present his definition of social crisis preaching. It also present the thesis and research question along with introducing the three main purposes for the dissertation. This chapter gives a concise definition of the terms prophetic radicalism, praxis, and proclamation and provides evidence for the importance of praxis and proclamation to remain intertwined in social crisis preaching. Lastly, this chapter introduces the distinguishing elements of the social crisis preaching of Kelly Miller Smith: the pastor as resident theologian, the pastor as sacred anthropologist, and proclamation and beyond methodologies. Chapter 1 introduces and presents Smith as the chief model of praxis and proclaimer of social crisis preaching.
Chapter 2 provides biographic detail of Kelly Miller Smith and James Earl Massey. It focuses on the life and experiences of Smith in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, as a foundational component of praxis and introduces James Earl Massey and provide details of his stellar academic and pastoral career.
Chapter 3 focuses on the distinguishing elements of the social crisis preaching of Kelly Miller Smith and highlights his pastoral, civic, and academic work in Nashville. It focuses on his work through First Baptist Capitol Hill, Nashville, as well as through his leadership in various organizations that allowed him to foster positive race relations and resolve social crises.
Chapter 4 presents James Earl Massey’s insights from the African American preaching tradition and emphasizes “radicality” as the component used as the lens to measure the social crisis preaching of Kelly Miller Smith.
Chapter 5 articulates an architectonic for twenty-first century social crisis preaching, highlighting current crises in today’s society and provide three sermons that serve as a model for evangelical preaching and for all ethnicities within evangelicalism.
Chapter 6 addresses the thesis statement: Kelly Miller Smith embodies components of James Earl Massey’s prophetic radicalism in his social crisis preaching. The chapter also answers the research question: “What distinguishing elements of social crisis preaching did Kelly Miller Smith make both plausible and practical as a means for all ethnicities and Christian traditions to addressing social crises through preaching?”||en_US