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Products>The Four Pages of the Sermon, Revised and Updated: A Guide to Biblical Preaching

The Four Pages of the Sermon, Revised and Updated: A Guide to Biblical Preaching

ISBN: 9781501842405
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Doing justice to the complexity of the preaching task and the questions that underlie it, author Paul Scott Wilson organizes both the preparation and the content of the sermon around its "four pages." Each "page" 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. This approach is about preaching the gospel in nearly any sermonic form. Wilson teaches the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of sermon construction, all rooted in a theology of the Word.

This completely revised edition guides readers through the sermon process step by step, with the aim of composing sermons that challenge and provide hope, by focusing on God more closely than on humans. It has been largely rewritten to include an assessment of where preaching is today in light of propositional preaching, the New Homiletic, African American preaching, the effect of the internet, and use of technology. A chapter on exegesis has been added, plus new focus on the importance of preaching to a felt need, the need for proclamation in addition to teaching, and developing tools to ensure sermon excellence. New sermon examples have been added along with a section that responds to critics and looks to the future.

A preacher’s classic methodological guide, updated with significant new material.

A new Introduction that makes clearer the underlying theme in Four Pages.

The anniversary edition will include more than 10% completely new material.

An entirely new chapter will be added on proclamation.

The revised edition includes a significant amount of new material.

The preacher is not only theologian-in-residence, but poet-in-residence, attentive to the power of words and the beauty, coherence, and mystery of the faith.

Exegesis for preaching, perhaps in a new appendix entitled, Ten Guidelines....

The New Homiletic and what has happened to it.

Rethinking an element of sermon unity identified in Four Pages, namely, one doctrine .

The preacher as not only theologian-in-residence, but poet-in-residence, attentive to the power of words and the beauty, coherence, and mystery of the faith.

The practice of fusion with then and now.

Top Highlights

“Page One is trouble as identified in the Bible and Page Two is that trouble in our world. Trouble is whatever leads to death or puts the burden on humans to do something. By contrast, with grace, God accepts that burden in Christ. Page Three is grace in the Bible and Page Four is grace in our world.” (source)

“Trouble is in the background, but the gospel is God’s saving action, not ours. Since the theme sentence is the sermon in microcosm, God needs to be the subject of the sentence. Otherwise, human action or some abstract idea will be the sermon’s focus.” (source)

“Here are simple working definitions to remember: Trouble puts the burden on humanity to do something. Grace looks to God who shoulders the burden and has accepted us in Christ.” (source)

“Page One is trouble in the biblical text; Page Two is trouble in our world; Page Three is grace in the biblical text; and Page Four is grace in our world.” (source)

“Where does the theme sentence go in the sermon? Ideally it will be repeated as many as ten times in a sermon, in the positive or sometimes in the negative (e.g., It may not seem like . . .), using its exact words or in paraphrase, and at the very least, in locations near the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.” (source)

Product Details

  • Title : The Four Pages of the Sermon, Revised and Updated: A Guide to Biblical Preaching
  • Author: Wilson, Paul Scott
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • ISBN: 9781501842405

Prof. Wilson is a past president of the Academy of Homiletics and preaches and lectures widely in North America and Europe. He is the author of numerous books with Abingdon Press: The Practice of Preaching, revised edition (2007), Broken Words: Reflections on Creative Preaching (2004); God Sense: Reading the Bible for Preaching (2001); The Four Pages of the Sermon: A Guide to Biblical Preaching (1999); The Practice of Preaching (1995); A Concise History of Preaching (1992); and Imagination of the Heart: New Understandings in Preaching (1988). His Preaching and Homiletical Theory (2004) is part of a Chalice Press series, Preaching and its Partners, for which he is general editor. He is also the general editor of The New Interpreter’s Bible Handbook on Preaching (pub. date, 2008). He co-edited: an anthology, Seasons of Preaching: 160 Best Sermons from the Preaching Resource, Word and Witness (New Berlin, WI: Liturgical Publications Inc, 1996); the journal, Preaching: Word and Witness; A Guide to Worship in the United Church of Canada (United Church Press, 1988). He has also written numerous articles, chapters in books and a novel, Holy Week (1984). In 2004 he was the recipient of the United Church of Canada’s Davidson Trust Award for excellence in teaching and scholarship in theological education. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, as is his wife, with whom he served in an honorary capacity on a team ministry for fourteen years.


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  1. Felipe Moreira Eler
    The book is wonderful, but the footnotes are defective. I would love to see it fixed.


Digital list price: $37.99
Save $17.10 (45%)