One of the principles key to the protestant reformation was the idea of Sola Scriptura: that the Bible is sufficient of itself to be the source of Christian doctrine. John Wesley further clarified this idea when he stated, “In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church.” However, at some level, all Christians are forced to make some judgment about the scripture in the form of interpretation.
How is a person to interpret the scriptures? “Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason. Scripture [however] is primary, revealing the Word of God ‘so far as it is necessary for our salvation.’” This idea is more commonly known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral; every person forms their theology through scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. Theology is at its best when all four areas are attended to. (more…)