World Faiths & Religions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the status of the Bible in the mainline churches?

Mainline Protestantism of course represents a vast diversity of religious practices and beliefs, so any general answer to this question will of course reduce the complexity of the relationship of between the Bible and the mainline churches.  Very generally speaking, however, one could say that the mainline denominations tend to be more open to historical-critical interpretations of the Bible than more fundamentalist or evangelical Christians. Mainliners in general regard the Bible as the inspired word of God, but they see this word as having passed through human hands and human centuries prior to their reception of it. And so they are open to studying those hands and centuries and trying to get a more accurate picture of what inspired word lies beneath the inevitable corruption of human transmission. Of course, there are many mainline Protestants who affirm quite resolutely a more literal or rigid interpretation of scripture, but in general the mainline denominations have accepted some level of historical criticism of scripture.