Wednesday, June 27, 2007

That Great Radical John Wesley

In comments in a thread below, Marshall Art asks the following question in reference to the issue of reading the Bible:
How does and should experience be used to understand Scripture? Where do you even get the idea that you SHOULD use experience in the manner you suggest? Is there any Biblical justification or teaching in the use of experience, or is it just some new age concept by some modern liberal thinker?

This "new age concept" was implicit in the work of John Wesley, as outlined by the late Wesley scholar Albert Outler. Outler explained that, for Wesley, there were four pillars for living the Christian life, and these four have come to be known as "the Wesleyan Quadrilateral". In order they are Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. Each informs the other, highlights various parts of all, and change and move and grow as one deepens in faith, moving towards perfection in this lifetime (that is, perfection in love).

That is part of where I came up with the idea that experience should inform our reading of Scripture. That, and common sense.

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