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« on: July 14, 2012, 04:31:44 pm »
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The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is the methodology for theology credited to John Wesley, the central founding figure of Methodism. It is the combination of Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience, with Scripture being the first of these authorities and the basis of the other three for this theology.



What are some of your thoughts? Is there much value in this approach to theology/philosophy? If there is merit to some of the Quadrilateral, which aspects have merit, and which do not?
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 05:13:03 pm »
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I <3 this, of course, for obvious reasons! Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 08:16:31 pm »
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For those too lazy to look it up themselves, here's the Wikipedia page on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesleyan_Quadrilateral


Now, as to my opinion, based on the wiki's description it's just the usual nonsense:

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Wesley insisted that scripture is the first authority and contains the only measure whereby all other truth is tested.

The shape isn't one in which all of the items are equal, the shape is one in which the scriptures take precedent above all else. If something is in contradiction with scriptures, it's wrong. That's the basis of the whole thing. You don't use reason to see that the scriptures are true, you assume they are true to begin with, and as such you might as well throw reason out the window.
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 10:04:08 pm »
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I'm generally well-disposed towards it, but it's obviously imperfect because I think the whole usual Protestant approach to the idea of the primacy of Scripture is flawed. I prefer to look at Scripture and Tradition as an organic process which Reason and Experience inform.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 12:05:30 pm »
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I'm an Adventist, so it makes a lot of sense to me.  I agree with Nathan that I personally (despite some disagreements with my church) look first to Scriptures as the basis for all else, then to tradition.  However, I believe reason and experience are extremely valuable in order to validate your faith.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 01:06:23 pm »
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Well I am libertarian so I have to automatically like it based on its shape. Tongue
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2012, 01:10:09 pm »
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I'm an Adventist, so it makes a lot of sense to me.  I agree with Nathan that I personally (despite some disagreements with my church) look first to Scriptures as the basis for all else, then to tradition.  However, I believe reason and experience are extremely valuable in order to validate your faith.

I think you might be misunderstanding my position slightly. I don't look to Scriptures as the basis for all else so much as I view the Bible as a part of Holy Tradition, which is also informed by reason and experience. I don't view them as intrinsically separate sources because I view each as reliant on the other three.
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2012, 01:24:18 pm »
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I approve of this model since I agree that all of the four elements that are mentioned are important but scripture, i.e. the Bible as the word of God, is superior to the other three. I firmly believe that the Christian faith depends on the superiority of God's teachings over purely man-made and transient principles and points of views. Therefore, I am often at odds with what is considered "tradition" if "tradition" deviates from what the Bible states. Indeed, I'm a pretty staunch sola scriptura believer.
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2012, 02:03:02 pm »
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I approve of this model since I agree that all of the four elements that are mentioned are important but scripture, i.e. the Bible as the word of God, is superior to the other three. I firmly believe that the Christian faith depends on the superiority of God's teachings over purely man-made and transient principles and points of views. Therefore, I am often at odds with what is considered "tradition" if "tradition" deviates from what the Bible states. Indeed, I'm a pretty staunch sola scriptura believer.
So am I.
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 06:32:11 pm »
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Experience is removed from the Episcopal version. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2012, 01:00:39 pm »
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Experience is removed from the Episcopal version. 

The Hooker version, yeah. Wesley came after Hooker. It really depends on what Anglican you talk to.
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 04:14:57 pm »
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It's a generally fine principle, but Scripture and Tradition seem to be fairly inseparable from one another, so I wouldn't exactly call Scripture the basis for tradition. The determining factor in a tradition's worth, if one accepts the normative value of tradition, is its age. Since Scripture is certainly the oldest Christian writing in existence (though not far off from some orthodox, but origin-dubious, pieces of writing like the Shepherd of Hermas or the Epistle of Barnabas), it provides us with the most authoritative source of doctrine and practice. When one takes into account the reality of canonization, that the canon was chosen in accordance with its orthodoxy and ties to the Apostles (some seem to believe that the reverse is true), the relationship becomes even more entangled.

I'd probably reformulate the quadrilateral into a pyramid:

                   ------Reason-----
     ---------------Experience------------
-------------Scripture/Tradition-----------------

Scripture and Tradition being the most important and foundational, with the Spirit's work in experience flowing from that foundation. Then flowing from experience is reason, which the believer exercises when provided with the proper set of presuppositions, themselves coming from the Holy Spirit's experiential witness.

I think using some form of this model, not separating the two, was something the Reformers probably wanted to do but couldn't articulate while arguing for a complete break with the RCC. Wesley was a vast improvement on most of Reformation theology, both because of his distance from the Reformation and his context in Anglicanism. However his ultimate rejection of Apostolic succession happened too late in life, hence most of these ideas were never fully formulated and what he left behind at his death became Methodist dogma. Of course the groups that then splintered off from Methodism were only really interested in teasing out experience above all else.
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 11:12:20 pm »
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For those too lazy to look it up themselves, here's the Wikipedia page on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesleyan_Quadrilateral


Now, as to my opinion, based on the wiki's description it's just the usual nonsense:

Quote
Wesley insisted that scripture is the first authority and contains the only measure whereby all other truth is tested.

The shape isn't one in which all of the items are equal, the shape is one in which the scriptures take precedent above all else. If something is in contradiction with scriptures, it's wrong. That's the basis of the whole thing. You don't use reason to see that the scriptures are true, you assume they are true to begin with, and as such you might as well throw reason out the window.
You use reason, experience and tradition to understand Scripture - even if Scripture is primary for Wesley it cannot stand on its own. Contemporary Wesleyans have been more willing to suggest that reason and experience have a role in questioning beliefs based on scripture in a similar way to Wesley's willingness for reason and experience to question tradition.
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 08:33:40 pm »
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For those too lazy to look it up themselves, here's the Wikipedia page on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesleyan_Quadrilateral


Now, as to my opinion, based on the wiki's description it's just the usual nonsense:

Quote
Wesley insisted that scripture is the first authority and contains the only measure whereby all other truth is tested.

The shape isn't one in which all of the items are equal, the shape is one in which the scriptures take precedent above all else. If something is in contradiction with scriptures, it's wrong. That's the basis of the whole thing. You don't use reason to see that the scriptures are true, you assume they are true to begin with, and as such you might as well throw reason out the window.
You use reason, experience and tradition to understand Scripture - even if Scripture is primary for Wesley it cannot stand on its own. Contemporary Wesleyans have been more willing to suggest that reason and experience have a role in questioning beliefs based on scripture in a similar way to Wesley's willingness for reason and experience to question tradition.
I would agree with that.  I, like ZuWo, very much believe in sola scriptura and that the Bible is the ultimate authority on spiritual matters.  I think tradition matters, especially the older traditions, but again, I believe that the Bible is more important than tradition (i.e. Saturday vs. Sunday Sabbath).  As some of you may know, I am a member of the SDA church and it bothers me for this reason when many in my church identify Ellen White as a "prophet" or "inspired".   Most modern-day prophets would simply be people who lead others to faith, in my opinion, and under that definition EGW would be a prophet.  I have one question on the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, however: I can understand why Scripture would be at the top, but what determines the positions of experience, tradition, and reason?
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Quote from: Dwight D. Eisenhower
There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.
Second Chance: A Michigan Timeline
Can Joe Schwarz beat DeVos and Granholm to win the Michigan governor's mansion in 2006?
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