How do Episcopalians Find Truth?
For Episcopalians/Anglicans, truth can be found and belief rests on the principal of the three-legged stool. This concept was first introduced by the Anglican theologian Richard Hooker in the book Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie in 1594.
The three-legged stool consists of scripture, tradition, and reason. When seeking truth about any matter, Anglicans begin with the primacy of scripture. We say that scripture contains all things necessary for salvation but not everything in the Bible is necessary for salvation. Scripture needs to be interpreted in light of tradition and reason.
Tradition is the record of Christians throughout the centuries. And so our beliefs are informed by the historical record of the understandings and the misunderstandings that Christians have had about God.
Finally, we believe that part of the truth of God comes through reasoning. This includes the intuitive reasoning of the artist, the poet, and the musician. It also includes the factual reasoning of the scientist, the sociologist, the psychologist and the psychiatrist.
The hope of the Anglican Church is that whenever we are addressing an issue of importance, we keep these three legs of the stool, (scripture, tradition, and reason,) in balance. It's the Anglican way.