Rev Dave writes,
“Keep rocking the quadrilateral” Ha! +1 tripp!
As a transplanted Methodist, I had a similar thought (and we were just this week teaching the quad to our Confirmation class).
Though I wasn’t brought up in that tradition, it seems to me that
the quadrilateral is the most honest depiction of how we determine our
beliefs. The four exist in tension, and all are needed. As much as some
would like to believe otherwise, it is just not possible to base our
beliefs on scripture alone. We always filter what we read through these
other lenses. Even when we don’t know we’re doing so.
Anyway, I appreciate Tony’s thoughts here on experience. I won’t
bore with extensive details, but my mind and heart were completely
changed by an experience I had (in a seminary classroom no less!). In a
pastoral care class I met several gay men. As they talked about their
faith, one said – and I hope I never forget this – “This is what I know
for sure: I am 100% a man, 100% a Christian, and 100% gay.”
It was, in the ineffable way of such times, a holy moment; an intrusion
of God’s Spirit on my entire being. I gained a new understanding of
what it means to follow Jesus that day, and I’m a completely different
person, a completely different disciple, a completely different pastor,
because of it.
I say it would be inhuman not to include experience in this
discussion. For experience is a valid, important, age-old (you might
even call it traditional!) teacher.