Wesleyan World View - The Bible

Rev. Alexis Johnson
June 6, 2021

Scripture: Hebrews 4:12-13


  • The Bible is living and active. How can something written to a specific people at a specific time be living and active for us?
  • John Wesley didn’t have all the information we have. But he gave us a way of reading

Outcomes/Goal: To REALLY know God, and to be transformed into people who LOVE God and LOVE neighbor inwardly and outwardly.

How does this happen?

  • Scripture – Tradition – Experience – Reason
  • How do we read the Bible? The simple answer is TOGETHER across spaces, times, etc. and ALWAYS

It matters what we bring to the text

  • God is active in our lives all the time through many different ways and we bring all of that to the text
  • God has been active throughout history and in other places Experience and Tradition help us bring that to the text

What we’re fighting

  • Plain reading of the text
  • Layers of context and culture moving from Hebrew/Greek to English sometimes passing through Latin
  • Layers of experience
  • Layers of reason

We, as UMCers, believe Jesus is THE WORD. The text is revelation but THE WORD is Jesus.

  • So everything we read has to be held up to the revelation of God’s nature in Jesus
  • Each conclusion/interpretation we come up with must match up the whole tenor of Scripture and the revelation of Jesus

Bring our WHOLE selves to the text

  • What have we experienced in life? What have others experienced? What does science and psychology teach us?
  • What does tradition teach? What have Wesleyans said about this? What are the creedal statements and the hymns and liturgies about this?
  • Does it make sense? Are we skipping steps in our conclusions and interpretations?

What we can’t do: Assume we are perfectly right – we have to hold a bit of humility that we might be wrong!

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