Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience

This is part of a series of posts on my understanding of faith, ministry and the church. I would enjoy feedback and your response to my answers to these questions.

Question – The United Methodist Church holds that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason. What is your understanding of this theological position of the Church?

Response – My response begins:

This theological position begins with the living core of the Christian faith. As defined by Donald McKim, Christian faith is “belief, trust and obedience to God as revealed in Jesus Christ. It is the means of salvation or eternal life. Faith affects all dimensions of one’s existence: intellect emotions, and will” (McKim, Donald K. Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996. pg 100). Christian faith can be informed and enlightened by many sources including: Scripture, tradition, reason and experience. My understanding of Christian faith is that each of these elements is important because they all reveal different aspects of Christianity. These four sources need to be weighed against each other when considering the truth of Christian faith. I believe Scripture has primacy among these sources of faith.

Discussion

  • How would you respond to this question?
  • Where do you agree with my response?
  • Where do you disagree with my response?

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