The author is sympathetic and understanding toward those who dislike the apostle Paul and see no need to preach his letters. She hears the voices of those who contend that Paul's letters simply need to be read rather than preached. She also affirms that there are passages in Paul that may offend modern sensibilities.
Yet she feels that even Paul's letters are God's word to us, and that they are witnesses to Jesus Christ (sounds like Karl Barth). She points out that many preachers have either ignored Paul, or they have preached topical sermons based on one word he says, or they have used select verses out of Paul to support a main point they are making from another non-Pauline passage.
The author says that this is unacceptable. She lays down a few ground rules. She states that we cannot know the mind of Paul and that exegesis of his letters will only rule out false interpretations rather than reveal to us the correct interpretation (that was weird to me).
She feels that there are multiple possible meanings to Paul's letters (I disagree, i would say that there are multiple applications to the single main point of the passage.
The author (Nancy Lamers Gross) goes on to suggest that homiletics should be the last stage of our interpreting process, and that we should reflect on the passage (but she says that our goal is not to preach the text expositionally but to preach the gospel.
She gives four or five of her own sample sermons. I felt that her reflections on Pauline texts would have been better if she had reflected first on the main point of the book she was preaching from, and if she had reflected on this book's place within the canon of scripture. Once you grasp the overall message of Colossians, for example, you are in a better position to interpret a particular text in Colossians. And once you understand the main subject of the Bible (God's plan to redeem the world through Christ), you are in a better position to understand Colossians within this matrix.
But I was helped by this book and impressed with the author's desire to read commentaries and talk with other pastors as part of her sermon preparation.