Showing posts from September, 2023

Do We Need A Pentagon? Reconsidering the Wesleyan Quadrilateral

If one spends enough time in the United Methodist Church, they’ll eventually hear something about the “Wesleyan Quadrilateral”—a four-fold hermeneutic of authority John Wesley utilized in his development of the movement that would later become known as “Methodism.” The four components of Wesley’s quadrilateral are 1) scripture, 2) tradition, 3) reason, and 4) experience. These, for Wesley, were the authoritative lenses through which the Christian faith is fostered in each person. And while he engaged extensively with each of these components in his writings and sermons, he never explicitly laid out the organized concept of the quadrilateral as we know it today. That language came much later from American theologian, Albert Outler. [1]    However, while for many Methodists the quadrilateral feels relatively specific to our tradition, it’s actually not something unique to Wesley. Coming from an Anglican context, Wesley would have been more than familiar with the “Anglican Triad.” This