Item description for Setting Words on Fire: Putting God at the Center of the Sermon [With CDROM] by Paul Scott Wilson...
Overview In the second half of the twentieth century, a profound shift took place in how we think about preaching. We moved away from a vertical focus on the preacher who hands down the authoritative teaching, to more relational, narrative, and conversational models. Yet common to both of these understandings, says Paul Scott Wilson, is the idea that preaching is primarily about teaching, that it mainly conveys information about God.Important as this emphasis on "preaching as teaching" has been, Wilson believes that the time for a new approach has arrived. That new approach, which he names "preaching as proclamation," has begun to arise from a variety of Euro-American and African American sources. Its primary aim is not to convey information, but to engender an encounter with God's grace in Christ. More than guiding people to say "Yes, now I understand," it hopes to lead them to proclaim "I am redeemed; we are saved." More than telling the gospel story, it renders the gospel's claim on human lives, leading to conviction of sin, repentance, and transformation. Pulling together the disparate strands of this new homiletical school, Wilson constructs a comprehensive introduction to preaching, focusing on its character as proclamation of the sovereign grace of God.
Publishers Description In the second half of the twentieth century, a profound shift took place in how we think about preaching. We moved away from a vertical focus on the preacher who hands down the authoritative teaching, to more relational, narrative, and conversational models. Yet common to both of these understandings, says Paul Scott Wilson, is the idea that preaching is primarily about teaching, that it mainly conveys information about God.Important as this emphasis on preaching as teaching has been, Wilson believes that the time for a new approach has arrived. That new approach, which he names preaching as proclamation, has begun to arise from a variety of Euro-American and African American sources. Its primary aim is not to convey information, but to engender an encounter with God 's grace in Christ. More than guiding people to say Yes, now I understand, it hopes to lead them to proclaim I am redeemed; we are saved. More than telling the gospel story, it renders the gospel 's claim on human lives, leading to conviction of sin, repentance, and transformation.Pulling together the disparate strands of this new homiletical school, Wilson constructs a comprehensive introduction to preaching, focusing on its character as proclamation of the sovereign grace of God.
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 6" Height: 0.8" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2008
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN 0687647185 ISBN13 9780687647187
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Scott Wilson
'Paul Scott Wilson is professor of homiletics at Emmanuel College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. He is the author of several books and is the series editor for Preaching and Its Partners.
Reviews - What do customers think about Setting Words on Fire: Putting God at the Center of the Sermon?
Proclamation Mar 14, 2010
Paul Scott Wilson is a Professor of Homiletics at the Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto. The good old saying "Toronto the good" still works. Having read his book I wish I entered the school when I walked by its entrance some 10 years ago. He probably believes in grace by faith in Jesus Christ and not in predestination and not in universalism although he is inclusive believing in amazing grace and God's soverignty for a great number of various people. He is not looking for a historical truth of the text's original true meaning. Professor Paul is looking for God in the text. The text reveals God's grace. The Easter event is in the center of Professor Paul's theology. God gives sin trouble and us grace in Jesus Christ. The main theme sentence for Paul has to be grace. His main genre of preaching is narrative. His main approach to preaching is the "four-pages"-approach. His main genres of proclamation are mainly for a particular transformation to occur experiencing God's grace.
That having been said Paul wants us to understand that preaching is not mere teaching but preaching is teaching and proclamation. Like Brueggemann once said: "Finally comes the Poet daring speech for proclamation" Wilson as this particular poet "pens" it down to using a number of additional genres like condemnation, stern exhortation, lament, testimony, prayer, nurturing exhorthation, proclamatory statements, doxology and celebration. He is a "cuting edge" theologian and it probably takes one daring to speak up for proclamation in a time when everything is soooo "just right" and traditional in the United Church of Canada (he belongs to it) which is if I remember right a church of a Protestant, Presbyterian, Calvinist, Methodist and Anglican tradition. He has been writing in a number of books about a wide array of approaches preaching and sub genres. You can choose a form or a hybrid and a particular approach yourself perhaps by using his "four-page-sermon" approach "filming" the trouble and grace in the text and the trouble and grace in the world using the genres of proclamation to pass the grace on. It is not an authoritarian approach telling people the truth word by word rather it is an imagistic, polar event leting a spark of imagination to evoke and cause the salvation/grace/Easter event to be re-enlivened in the faith and in the imagination of the heart. Using one big or the big idea of a particular framed verse enlightening it or expanding it with the message of grace of all the Bible to all the world transforming the lives of the congregation. Proclamation is an approach to make the Easter event a present tense event in the heart of the believer. It is an event leting the triune God, the preacher and the congregation to meet. The genres of proclamation are methods for passing on information that re-enliven God's grace with us in Jesus Christ. Biblically and theologically you have to find your own content in the big idea you see in the text and in your personal spark of imagination. Paul wants us to end proclamation with grace and God's love in Jesus Christ. These genres of proclamation will help accomplish empowerment towards transformation by God's grace.
African American preaching has been using passionate, narrative emotion, relational, "swelling" preaching culmination in celebration for a long time using oral language huming/singing without manuscript giving: Introduction of a problem, resolution of problem by the gospel and finally celebration of the resolution of the problem. Southern suburban ranging from evangelistic to fundamentalistic predominantly "white" churches uses proclamation to tell the historical truth of a text literally. Paul Scott Wilson is not to be afilliated with that kind of proclamation although his genres finds its roots in the African American "blues" of proclamation and in the great revivals. His proclamation wants to highlight the Good Friday event and the resurrection event as God's judgement, forgivness and grace in us. He is addressing the Easter event's grace for the believer as well for the unbeliever. God's grace is the main theme sentence and finds multiple of ways to transform the world into his image; it is a social gospel, it is spiritual and highlighting the cross and the grace in the world making us believe we are redeemed and saved. More than telling a narrative, it renders the gospel's claim on human lives, leading to conviction of sin, repentance, and transformation by God's action. Paul is trying to create a post Homiletic approach of proclamation primarily using his the four-page-sermon approach inspired by the New Homiletic.
I wonder if "the trouble and grace"-approach to preaching is new? Within "the Lutheran law and grace"-approach to preaching the texts and liturgy of the Lutheran Church year is moving around trouble and grace. The Ester Event marks a new beginning of grace and about what we can do. The second half of the year is about trouble. It is more about a sinful world waiting for Jesus Christ to be born and crucified and ressurrected. You will find Protestant, Lutheran/free Lutheran preachers "navigating" between exclusive evangelical "born again" and inclusive Universalist and Process theology using the main words; "born again", "all" and the main sentence; "In Him we all live, walk and have our being". Process theology highlights that God is in relationship to all and everything, whispering to transforming us to be good and that it is not life we are having trouble with but rather with God. This inclusive side of the "coin" argues we will have problem with evil until we discover that we all are interconnected and connected to God. Transformation is thus a discovery while as in the exclusive side of the "coin" salvation is a born again experience by a particular convert to the Christ. I find the born again theology of Wesley lacking relevance for Wilson in that sense he is more Anglican traditional and inclusive. Barth was a Calvinist who took the thought of predestination one step further making God's love and grace include almost all. The American Covenant Church with sister churches has also had preachers having used narrative, trouble and grace plots because of "the exclusive to the inclusive"-approach to preaching. The trouble and grace approach of proclamation has been practiced as an "exclusive to inclusive"-approach to preaching looking at the conflict in the text btween for instance Jewish scholars/marginalized Jews, and in the world UN/free American, traditional church/congregational and finally the resolution given by God's act of grace in the text and in the world: whatever was "in the hands of an angry God"(revival) "not even the angel can encompase the love of God"(Wesley). Or conflict involving on family life, money issues, leisure, anxiety, difficulties, at work etc. Proclamation genres and plain narrative plots has been around as long as oral language has been around long before written language and recorded movies. Moving from "the negative to the positive" -approach to preaching is probably old too. To find additional genres that might be useful for proclamation Paul Koptak's book about the Proverbs can be recommended. Many of these genres Paul Wilson wrote about I believe are beloinging to the "David" tradition found in the book of Psalms and are applicable in telling parables, biographies, plots and narratives. Interesting genres maybe needed in the United Church of Canada in Toronto where everything is running at such a high pace in life as well on the 401. I wrote this review under the pervading influence of culture anyways. The book was read in Sweden OK... The University style of proclamation I have to go and see Paul!