Among the fundamental realities that come into play when we attempt to apply ancient Scripture to contemporary living, two deserve special notice:
(1) it is a daunting two-fold task (a) to discover legitimate methods for bridging the “gap” between then and now and (b) to traverse this bridge in order to deploy theologically cogent and relevant applications into contemporary societies;
(2) it is an unexpected and at the same time revolutionary discovery that it is never an ancient text but rather my own life experience that forms the most urgent and relevant horizon within which I discern Scripture’s meaning and engage its transformative power.
On the whole, however, I find within Scripture itself a haunting capacity and a relentless intent to transcend its ancient idiosyncratic contexts of origin to perform radical personal, social, and cultural critique and transformation (both then and now) in the service of the present and coming Reign of God.
John D. Fortner