United Methodist preaching and teaching are grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened by personal experience and tested by reason.
Scripture | The Bible is our primary source for Christian doctrine. Biblical authors testify to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation, in the pilgrimage of Israel and in the Holy Spirit’s ongoing activity in human history.
Tradition | Our attempt to understand God does not start anew with each generation or each person. Our faith also does not leap from New Testament times to the present as though nothing could be learned from all Christian thinkers and preachers in between. We learn from traditions of our forbears, but Scripture remains the norm by which all traditions are judged.
Experience | In our theological task we examine experience, both personal and church-wide, to confirm the realities of God’s grace attested in Scripture. Experience is the personal appropriation of God’s forgiving and empowering grace. Experience authenticates in our own lives the truths revealed in Scripture and illuminated in tradition.
Reason | Although we recognize that God’s revelation and our experience of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of reason, we also believe that disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason we read and interpret Scripture. By reason we determine whether our Christian witness is clear. By reason we ask questions of faith and seek to understand God’s action and will.
With Christians of other communions we believe in a triune God...Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in God’s self-revelation as three distinct but inseparable parts.