Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral

August 11--2 Thessalonians 1-2 Thessalonians 3

Did anyone else think the part in 1:5-7 sounded a whole lot like Karma?  I was really intrigued and not sure how to take that!  It happened again in 3:14--although he tenders it in 3:14.  

But what really captured me this time was 2:15, "So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions we taught you, whether we taught you in person or through our letter."

What informs your faith?  What teaches you about God?

Many people say its Scripture, which is totally true--we've seen that this summer!  Some people say that's the only way we get to God, but John Wesley said it was more complicated than that.  He believed that we found God in four equally important ways.  That each of them informed each other, and without one of the four, it was like a stool--they all collapsed.  This idea is called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral   

He said we learned about God through 1) Scripture (this is the most important, and the lens through which we look at the other three!), 2) Reason, 3) Tradition, 4) Personal Experience.  Sometimes we learn about God through our reason--through our brains and logic.  Have you read the Case for Christ or spent time thinking about God? Then you've used your logic to grow closer to God!  Sometimes we learn about God through our traditions--things that have been passed down to us through time.  Do you feel God through the hymns of your childhood or through communion or through saying the Lord's prayer or the Apostle's creed?  Then you have you have used Tradition to see God!  Have you had experiences that have shaped your faith?  Then you understand the need for personal experience in your faith walk.

As Methodists, its important to heed the words of Paul--that scripture is vital, but so is tradition!  That scripture is important but so is how I experience God and others.  That scripture is vital, but so is the logic that God gave us!

Think about this quadrilateral in your life.  How has scripture and tradition and reason and experience shaped how you see God?

God of the new day--Thank you for all the wonderful opportunities you've given us to see your face.  Be with us now as we still try to search for your face.  Thank you for those people who have helped "grow us".  Amen.


August 12--1 Timothy 1-1 Timothy 3
August 13--1 Timothy 4-1 Timothy 6
August 14--2 Timothy 1-2 Timothy 4
August 15--Titus 1-Titus 3


Mary said...

I remember a little girl about 4 years old, who after saying the Lord's Prayer at bedtime, told her mom that she was afraid to go to sleep. Her mom reminded her that she had just just prayed for God to deliver her from evil, so she did not need to be afraid. And then she went to sleep. I'm not sure if that was tradition or logic or a combination of the two.
Personally I find God in the church songs- old hymns, praise music, children's songs- that creep into my mind and remind me of God and his goodness. Now since many of them are based on scriptures I guess that is a combination of tradition and scripture.
3:13 Never tire of doing right!

Kennesaw UMC said...

Also Mom (Mary)--remember some of scripture IS tradition! Its the tradition of the early church, of the Jews. Those two (all of them actually!) overlap a lot. That little girl must have had a good mom.


Carol Flores said...

This reading reminded me again how important it is to witness to others. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 talks about those who perish, and it says they perish because they did not receive the love of the truth to save them. God lead me to those to whom you want me to bring your LOVE and TRUTH!