Friday, January 2, 2009

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral

For those of you who are up on your studies of John Wesley, you might be familiar with what is commonly called the Wesley Quadrilateral. For those who are not, play along and I think this will be fun. I am going to take the next few entries to revisit the four points of the quadrilateral Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience.

Wesley himself did not refer to a quadrilateral, that took the modern world and thinkers, in this case it was Albert Outler. Quite simply the Quad. as I will call it is a set of filters by which our actions and thoughts are to be guided. When making a decision about what to do, individuals and churches are encouraged to use the Quad. template to journey through their decisions. While it might seem out dated and that there has to be a more current way of thinking, I am not convinced there are any better ways to walk through life and decisions than the Quad.

First off to call the equation a Quad. is not as helpful as once appeared. Most of the time when put into a drawing the four points are given equal weight, and therefore the shape is a rectangle, or square. However, if we were to look closely at what Wesley taught throughout his earthly journey we would find that one point far out weighed the others, Scripture. I would propose more of a stretched diamond or a tetrahedron than a Quadrilateral. That is a lot of math terms.

There is much more to the background and working of the Quad. but I will not bore us with them. I will however, invite you all on a journey to revision, or possibly recapture the Wesleyan Quadrilateral for today. Next we will look at what it means to use the Scriptures as our filter for living and decision making.

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