The Christian gospel, says Brueggemann, is too easily preached and heard. Too often technical reason and excessive religious certitude reduce the gospel to coercive, debilitating pietisms that mask the text's meaning and freeze the hearers heart.
With skill and imagination, Brueggemann demonstrates how the preacher can engage in daring speech—differently voiced and therefore differently heard. This speech, as suggested by the Bible itself, is "poetic" speech, enabling the preacher to forge communion in the midst of alienation, bring healing out of guilt, and empower the hearer for "missional imagination."
As an alternative to theological/homiletical discourse that is moralistic, pietistic or scholastic, Brueggemann proposes preaching that is artistic, poetic, and dramatic. The basis for the 1989 Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale Divinity School, Finally Comes the Poet is a unique and transforming guide for powerful preaching.