FOUR PAGES OF THE SERMON by Paul Scott Wilson ($27)*

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ABG: 0-687-02395-5

Doing justice both to the complexity of the preaching task and the questions that underlie it, Wilson organizes both the preparation and the content of the sermon around its "four pages," each of which addresses a different theological and creative component of what happens in any sermon. Page One presents the trouble or conflict that takes place in or that underscores the biblical text itself. Page Two looks at similar conflict--sin or brokenness--in our own time. Page Three returns to the Bible to identify where God is at work in or behind the text--in other words, to discover the good news. Page Four points to God at work in our world, particularly in relation to the situations described in Page Two.

"With stunning simplicity, Paul Scott Wilson proposes that we think of the sermons as four pages--trouble behind or in the biblical text, trouble in our world, good news in the biblical text, good news for our world. When powered by a responsible theological hermeneutic, and a lively, disciplined imagination, this approach will lead congregations into the transforming arena of the Gospel. The book is thoroughly illustrated with sermons from a broad spectrum of the Christian community. It will be an immediate staple in my classes." -- Ronald J. Allen, Christian Theological Seminary

"If the description of sin comes more easily to you that the proclamation of grace, if you wrestle with what more to say after you've said 'have faith in God,' if you wonder if the voice you hear in the sermon preparation process has anything much to do with the biblical text, Paul Wilson has a new approach to sermon composition that is just the thing for you. In fact, anyone who struggles to preach cogent, biblical sermons that make theological sense will find help in this revolutionary method." - Jana Childers, San Francisco Theological Seminary

"This work has special relevance to preaching in our modern, visually oriented culture, where viewers change the 'channel' on preachers if the sermon does not grab their attention the first few moments of 'viewing.' Wilson cogently presents the notion that the viewing and presentation of sermons follow a format similar to filmmaking. Highly rewarding and deeply insightful, Wilson is to be commended for this tour de force effect." -- Carlyle Fielding Stewart, Author of African American Church Growth

"Paul Wilson has been a fine preaching guide over the past fifteen years. Wilson here focuses on two special matters of unique importance. First, not enough sermons are about God; they are, in fact, more about what we humans ought to do. Our sermons need more conscious attention to theology. Second, he aptly uses the metaphor of moviemaking, rather than construction or writing, to speak about the way to imagine the creation of a sermon. This is no mere bone to the media-saturated culture in which we live; it is a crucial and valuable way of thinking about the task of preaching God's word. I found this book eminiently practical." -- John Holbert, Perkins School of Theology

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