It is tempting for preachers in this digital age of plurality and diversity to offer quick sound bytes and PowerPoint-style presentations. These tend to invite a yes or no response, as in mathematical equations. But if we are to reach Christians across the theological spectrum and invite non-Christians to seriously consider our faith, we must take a different approach.
What is needed is greater attention to poetry and images meant to communicate the beauty of the faith and the wonder and mystery of God in everyday life. We must communicate the unity of our message of faith, the divine as truth, and justice and healing as expressions of God. Preaching as poetry (theopoetic preaching) allows for the bold imagery of scripture and the gentle invitation of art. Sermons can no longer always be neatly tied up, perfectly linear, with complete answers to every question. In Preaching as Poetry Paul Scott Wilson teaches why this new approach is necessary today, and demonstrates with multiple examples how it works in real sermons. He skillfully guides the reader to incorporate the classical values of beauty, goodness and truth in every sermon, and in ways that connect with congregants and listeners today.
Paul Scott Wilson is Professor of Homiletics at Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto. He is one of the most respected and recognized teachers of homiletics in North America. He is the author of a number of books, including The Practice of Preaching, Imagination of the Heart, God Sense: Reading the Bible for Preaching, and The Four Pages of the Sermon, all published by Abingdon Press. He is the General Editor of The New Interpreter's Handbook of Preaching.