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–Books by FW Schmidt–

  • CONVERSATIONS WITH SCRIPTURE – THE GOSPEL OF LUKE: The best of therapy and spiritual direction begins with telling stories that describe where we have been and where we are going. Luke is neither a psychologist nor a spiritual director, but intuitively he understands the importance of storytelling as the key to human growth, change, and healing. Speaking to the crisis of faith faced by his church, Luke retells the story of Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, and resurrection as a means of addressing the spiritual struggles that resurface generation after generation. Touching on issues of belonging, authority, tradition, behavior, and hope, Schmidt offers a reading of Luke’s gospel that speaks to today’s reader.
  • CONVERSATIONS WITH SCRIPTURE – REVELATION: Roadmap, myth, or history? The Book of Revelation draws readers and repels them. It offers some people hope and instills fear in others. In this volume of the new AABS series Frederick W. Schmidt, also the series editor, explores the approaches that have dominated the interpretation of John’s Apocalypse and offers the reader an accessible means of understanding and evaluating them. With this grounding in hand, Schmidt explores how Revelation can shape our understanding of God, and nurture our spiritual lives in unexpected ways. Leaving behind left-behind theology, Schmidt offers instead an approach that allows this obscure, almost opaque text to speak to us anew about God, faith, hope, and justice. Books in this series, co-sponsored by the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars, are written in accessible language, sensitive to the needs of people who have little or no experience in reading the Bible. Each book focuses on exploring the historical and critical background, as well as how the biblical texts written centuries ago can still speak to readers today.
  • WHEN SUFFERING PERSISTS: For clergy, counselors, parish study groups, general audiences. Sometimes pain passes quickly and small losses are easily absorbed. But suffering often goes on and on, and for people of faith, the resulting crisis can be deeper and more destructive than the loss itself. We look for ways to comfort those who are hurting. But sometimes, in spite of our good intentions, the clichés and simplistic theology we offer only add to the pain and misery. In When Suffering Persists Frederick W. Schmidt presents a pastoral exploration of ways to understand suffering theologically, offering an approach that ministers to both mind and spirit. He questions the value of our usual comforting words and examines the pat explanations we give one another. He provides instead a theology that takes seriously the devastating character of suffering, allowing for real help to those who continue in pain. Excellent for parish study.
  • A STILL SMALL VOICE: This text looks at the roles of clergywomen in five denominations – Episcopal, United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, Southern Baptist, and Roman Catholic – and argues that there has been a widespread failure within the church itself to examine the position of women in its hierarchy.



  • WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOUR LIFE: One of the most perplexing and enduring religious questions is how to discern God’s will in a given situation. This book’s blend of mainline Christian theology, biblical exploration and personal stories about probing God’s will through spiritual discernment gives grounding for Christians who struggle with that issue. Schmidt—an Episcopal priest and director of spiritual life and formation for the Perkins School of Theology in Dallas—starts the exploration with “God-questions” to “usher us into another way of being, a new way of seeing the word.” Most powerful is his chapter on “signs and wonders,” which includes his explanation for why he has serious reservations about the practice of looking at every event in our lives as a “sign from God” pointing to a choice we are to make. Schmidt also cautions against thinking of God’s will as a fixed and certain “to-do list.” So how would he have us discern God’s purpose? Listen to and with our lives, love God and enjoy the freedom that comes in using the gifts and graces to make choices. This is an important book on Christian spiritual discernment, especially for those overwhelmed by complicated “discernment processes” or for head-oriented believers who desire a better grasp on what mystical, contemplative types really mean when they talk about listening to God’s voice. (June)
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What is the Dave Test? When life is at its tattered edges and you are faced with seemingly impossible decisions, the Dave Test is a set of searingly honest questions you ask to become the best, most honest self for you, your friends, and your family. Instead of resorting to stained-glass language or offering false hope, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Take the Dave Test.

Did you show up to work yesterday just to be greeted with a layoff notice? What do you say when your friend miscarries? Or when your brother is diagnosed with a wildly incurable cancer? Hard-hitting issues such as these aren’t necessarily part of God’s perfect plan or blessings in disguise.

When life tosses you hard problems with only painful options, take the Dave Test. It will empower you to take life head-on with blunt wisdom, soul-searching honesty, and utter integrity.

“We’ve all been both victims and perpetrators of it–the hurtful bit of spiritual sunshine that is foisted upon a suffering soul. In The Dave Test, Fred Schmidt shows us a better way to be: honest, empathetic, vulnerable, earnest, earthy, substantial, and refreshingly uncertain. It is a beautiful vision for a helpful life.” –Mike Stavlund, author of A Force of Will

“In this book find Fred Schmidt’s singular ability to translate chronicles of loss and pain into a sanctioned call for honesty about faith as it is lived and as it is allowed to mature in us.” –Phyllis Tickle, author

“The Dave Test is a true and beautifully written book about that most important of questions: What do we do when everything falls apart for us or those we love?” –Greg Garrett, author of Stories from the Edge: A Theology of Grief and The Other Jesus

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