It is critical to evaluate continually the nature and function of Scripture in our lives, our churches, and in culture. The nature of such an evaluation is exegetical, theological, and hermeneutical. The hoped for result is meaning. Meaning, however, is shaped necessarily by contemporary culture and existential concerns.
Thus, in applying Scripture to contemporary living, there are two issues that will not go away: (1) the difficulty of finding relevance in ancient texts for contemporary society; (2) the undeniable fact that it is not an ancient text but rather my own life experience that forms the most urgent and relevant horizon for discerning Scripture’s meaning.
An humbling yet disconcerting reality of Scripture is its capacity to transcend its ancient idiosyncratic contexts to perform personal, social, and cultural critique (both then and now) in the service of the present and coming Reign of God. This surely bears witness to a divine impulse in its origins.
John D. Fortner