The author seems to think the church needs to, well, basically update the Bible. Or at least ignore those passages that are offensive to modern ears -- and it's because the church hasn't done this that millions are fleeing Christianity. But that is a rather slick road to travel down. And Christianity seems to be doing quite well in places that take Scriptural authority seriously; I really don't think the problem is a Christianity that's "irrelevant." [Which is different from one that is attuned to the sign of the times.]
I don't think there's any clear and simple answer to the, well, complicated issue of biblical hermeneutics. But, a few points, I feel, might be important:
1) Offensiveness to modern ears should harldy be the criterion. Sometimes, if Scripture is offensive, it is because we're deaf and need to be jarred out of our stupor.
2) In a real and substantive way, Scripture is -- and ought to remain -- normative for the church. And, as a corollary, Scripture should be read, and studied and meditated with and prayed over and become more and more a part of the life of the body of believers. In one sense, Scripture remains the highest (public) norm. Heck, I'm all for people memorizing bits of Scripture. And wrestling with the "difficult" bits (rather than omitting them from the proclamation during the Liturgy in a, to me, insane exericize in antisceptic sanation.)
3) Obviously, since Scripture speaks with such a multitude of voices, sometimes seemingly contradictory, it alone cannot be a sufficient guide to itself. One has to have an understanding of the overall sense of Scirpture as a whole. And this is also where the Magisterium comes in. As well as the sense of the faithful, and so on. [And, in some situations, there is a room for a legitimate diversity of interpretations as well.]
4) Nor is it just about trying to isolate a "timeless core" within a culturally conditioned matrix.
Of course, I often wonder: so, why is slavery intrinsically evil when it wasn't before (Well, you know what I mean. When it wasn't thought of as such before). Or why is beating women wrong, when there's clear Scriptural warrant? Or what about the Deuteronomic ban? What has changed? Where did these ideas come from? I would think that they came from a worldview that flows from, well the Bible. The same book that enslaved, was also read by the enslaved as liberating.
So, nothing neat and easy. And minds far more brilliant than mine have wrestled with this down the ages. [For one, I might suggestiong the Pontifications blog and looking up Michael Liccione's various posts on doctrinal development. Not directly about Scripture per se, but similar]