The Methodist quadrilateral
Methodists traditionally use a fourfold approach to learn about our Christian faith and apply it to contemporary issues and to our Christian practice:
We seek to discover the word of God through reading the Bible. There are different understandings among Methodists about the Bible’s authority in our lives. We need to use resources like different Bible translations, commentaries and Bible reading notes.
This is the wisdom and creativity of Christians over time and across the world. It includes inspirational material like hymns, songs, prayers, poetry, Christian art and devotional books,. There are also formally agreed teachings like the creeds, the content of the catechism, and statements and reports from the Methodist Conference.
We are called to love God with our minds as well as with our hearts. To the best of our ability we need to think things through in the light of reason. This means becoming aware of different points of view, and using our own critical thinking to make sense of God’s world.
Methodism particularly stresses the importance of our own experience of God’s grace working in our lives. We gain wisdom and maturity from life experience, especially when we pray and reflect about our story with other Christians.