The Practical Theology of David Ford: Interview with David Cunningham (Ford, 2003)

Scripture has been very important in your theological work, but your approach is different from those who treat the Bible as a rule book or a guidepost. You encourage people to enter its world and allow their imaginations to be fired by its structures, as they would in reading a novel. Is that a fair description?

I think that’s a partly adequate parallel. I wrote my dissertation on Karl Barth and biblical narrative, and I was very much influenced by Hans Frei and the Yale tradition of understanding scripture in terms of narrative.

My own engagement with scripture began when I was a teenager. I read the New English Bible translation, and found there a freshness and a gripping power. If the church is to remain true to its calling and to respond to new situations adequately, it has to be fed with scripture and to inhabit scripture. If the whole imagination of the church is to be able to resist the very powerful forces that try to co-opt it or subvert it, then it has to have a scriptural imagination.

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