In discussions of theology, it has become commonplace to talk about two horizons in interpretation: the horizon of the text and the horizon of the interpreter or the interpreting community. This has led in some cases to a radical skepticism concerning the possibility of producing stable and reliable interpretations. We may share the same text, but if I am a man and you are a woman, or I am white and you are black, is there anything more than our starting point—the text itself—to connect our interpretations? And is it possible to compare your interpretation with min and decide which of us, if either, has produced a more accurate account of what the text actually says or does?
If we understand human nature as fixed, as something which is not constructed by the individual or by the community but something which is given by God in his address to us, then we are on much more secure ground in moving theological statements from one time, place, or culture to another. Human nature is something which is more basic than gender, glass, culture, location, or time. It cannot be reduced to or contained within a specific context such as to isolate it from all else. This is not to deny that context has a huge impact upon who we are and how we think; it is simply to say that all of these particulars that make individuals unique and allow us to differentiate one person from another are relativized by the universal reality of human nature that binds us all together.
Human beings remain essentially the same in terms of their basic nature as those made in God’s image and addressed by his word even as we move from place to place and from generation to generation. God remains the same; his image remains the same; his address to us remains the same. . . .
In short, a biblical understanding of human nature as a universal will temper any talk that seeks to dismiss theological statements from the past on the simplistic ground that there is nothing in common between us and the people who wrote them.
Carl R. Trueman, The Creedal Imperative (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 62-63.