Monday, January 31, 2011

harmony not hierarchy

One of the speakers for Big Tent is Rachel Held Evans; she's the woman who wrote Evolving in Monkeytown. Currently, she's experimenting with a year of "biblical womanhood."

She just wrote a post called "Seeking Harmony, Not Hierarchy" on her blog, and I encourage you to read it. She discussed the Wesleyan quadrilateral: the balance between scripture, experience, tradition, and reason. I think that this is a topic that is relevant to us since many of us have experienced an imbalance of the four in our lives.

"In fact, I’ve recently come to realize that when I’m struggling with doubts about my faith it’s because one (or more) of these elements is failing to harmonize with the others."

1 comment:

Yard said...

I've been thinking a bit about this...

The word quadrilateral is, in effect a misnomer in the method. It would suggest that each piece is worth one quarter.

And yet this is not true, as most traditional Christians (including Wesley) do not see the three sources other than scripture to be sources of truth in addition to scripture, but a lens by which scripture is read.

So they are not on equal footing. And so there isn't a balance, really. It's more like a pyramid. Three points that aim at one. And I don't mean to argue the geometry, but in fact what it conveys.

The issue is that this becomes especially difficult if reason or experience ever conflicts with scripture. In my journey, this marked the beginning of the slippery slope off the end of doubt mountain, in retrospect.

The balance sounds nice, and has a fancy word, but I'm not sure I can relate. Maybe this is why my pyramid has the scripture side pointed down, stuck deep in the sand.