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Pyrotechnic Preaching

A review of "Setting Words on Fire: Putting God at the Center of the Sermon" by Paul Scott Wilson

Every leading homiletician is known for a particular slant on preaching: Haddon Robinson advocates the "big idea." Bryan Chapell looks at the "fallen condition focus." Fred Craddock touts induction. Eugene Lowry structures sermons along the "homiletical plot." Paul Scott Wilson deserves to be included on this short list with his emphasis on theology and "putting God at the center of the sermon." He does this by preaching from "trouble to grace," a modification of the old law-gospel homiletic.

To be sure, other preachers have been decrying anthropocentric preaching that lacks a vision of God, but Wilson has been leading the chorus for more than a decade. He wants to set sermons on fire by calling us to "proclaim" and not simply to "teach." Without a doubt teaching is vital. But when it does not lead to proclamation, according to Wilson, it is like a car fuelled and ready to roll but parked in the driveway. In Wilson's parlance, teaching explains doctrine and its implications for Christian ...

From Issue:Spring 2010: Got Maturity?
April
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