‘the highest authority for what we believe and do’
Deep engagement with Scripture and the empowerment of all people to read and understand its texts is core to the Reformed Christian tradition.
There are all sorts of lenses through which people read scripture (hermeneutics) as we seek to unpack and understand its meaning (exegesis). The United Reformed Church celebrates this diversity as a great gift of God, allowing us to discern the will of the Holy Spirit for all God’s people in the different times and places in which they have been placed. To do this effectively, we must engage in differing ways of exploring God’s Word together and challenge each other, in love, to ensure that we are being true to what God might be saying to us through the Bible.
What we believe about the bible
The Word of God?
The Bible is sometimes refered to as ‘The Word of God’, however, in the Reformed Tradition we believe something subtelly but significantly different than that. The Bible can reveal to us God’s living Word for us today through reflection, discussion, prayer, study, context and more. Through the Holy Spirit God’s Word can be revealed to us through the Bible.
Context is Key!
One reason for saying this is the importance of context. The words on the page stay the same, but the context in which we receive them can significantly change what we hear the stories say.
Diversity of Belief
A mixture of context, interpretation, and our own experiences means there is great diversity of belief in the Reformed Tradition, and this is something we celebrate! There is much we can learn about God and ourselves by sharing with others.
This may sound a bit more confusing to some, and a liberation to others, yet however we read and interpret the Bible, we believe it is God’s gift to us, and God can speak powerfully through it still today.