Must Reads Classics - The Four Pages of the Sermon by Paul Scott Wilson
by Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence on Thursday, April 27, 2023
In this episode of Must Reads Classics, Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, professor of Homiletics Emeritus at Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto, discusses his book “The Four Pages of the Sermon” where he provides guidance to preachers on how to craft an effective sermon. The book is structured around four pages or stages that make up a typical sermon: the exegetical page, the theological page, the homiletical page, and the narrative page.
Dr. Wilson, a long-time professor, found that although his students were doing excellent work in biblical exegesis and engaging contemporary issues, their sermons often left him feeling empty. His suggestion is to go into the biblical text twice, first looking for what is wrong with the human situation, and secondly, what the text says about what God is doing by way of help. To keep God at the center of the sermon, he recommends focusing on one text, one theme, one doctrine, one need, one image, and one mission. He advises the use of imagery to communicate difficult concepts in the sermon while saving difficult language for the most challenging theological concepts.