The United Methodist Book of Discipline guides our church in the use and interpretation of Scripture. In the Section “Doctrinal Standards and Our Shared Theological Task” there is a great section about the Quadrilateral of Reason, Experience, Scripture, and Tradition (Easy to remember as R.E.S.T.). Here is an excerpt from ¶ 105 on Scripture (pages 84-85).
While we acknowledge the primacy of Scripture in theological reflection, our attempts to grasp its meaning always involve tradition, experience, and reason. Like Scripture, these may become creative vehicles of the Holy Spirit as they function within the Church. They quicken our faith, open our eyes to the wonder of God’s love, and clarify our understanding.
The Wesleyan heritage, reflecting its origins in the catholic and reformed ethos of English Christianity, directs us to a self-conscious use of these three sources in interpreting Scripture and in formulating faith statements based on the biblical witness.
These sources are, along with Scripture, indispensable to our theological task.
This section of the website is dedicated to exploring how Reason, Experience, and Tradition continue to play a role in our discussions about Scripture today.