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Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral

For a brief background and review of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral see:

Pastor Dawn Worden, in her sermon today, mentioned the Wesleyan Quadrilateral as a fertile background for mutual conversations regarding the nature of God and the spiritual life. This concept helps us map out and share how we came to a spiritual awareness and our understanding of God—through Scripture, experience, tradition, and reason.

My own religious experience involves all four aspects. From my earliest days I have been introduced to Scripture from direct reading of it, through Sunday school lessons, through sermons, from all types of works of art. Likewise, from my earliest days I have considered it normal for people (including me) to have direct and powerful spiritual experiences—often with a surface component of “unreason.” As a participant of Christian culture in the church and elsewhere, I have learned of the various celebrations within the faith. I have also become accustomed to a culture of discourse and understanding that is greatly influenced by Scripture, experience, tradition, and reason. Finally, reason (and pragmatism and “common sense”) within the Methodist church has provided a check on craziness—a check on the tendency to gut the truth of the Bible on the altar of legalism, a discordant travesty in which the “letter” of the faith emasculates its essential Spirit.

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