Wander – Tue, Sept 22

6:30 pm via ZOOM. The link is noted at bottom of this page.

Here is the video of Week 2.

Here is the recap video from week 1 and materials for tonight’s ZOOM Wander…

30+ Best Wesleyan Quadrilateral images | worship service, quadrilaterals,  halloween preschool
  • OUR “EPISTISTEMOLOGICAL PARADIGM” = How we come to Know   (as opposed to forming opinions)
  • Term not actually created by Wesley but identified from his lifelong work and writings by Wesleyan scholar Albert Outler in the early 1960’s.
  • Outler struggled with the rampant misunderstand that happened in light of his naming of Wesley’s theological forum.



Q: The United Methodist Church holds that Scripture, tradition, experience and reason are sources and norms for belief and practice, but that the Bible is primary among them. What is your understanding of this theological position of the Church, and how has your practice of ministry been affected by this understanding?

Simply stated, the Bible is both our mirror to our humanity and our vision for God. It is the blueprint that gives us the beginning language for understanding ourselves, the world, and God. It is the always living and eternal document of our humanity and humanity’s encounter with the Divine. Starting with the Bible, therefore, gives us a lens with which we engage the world and shape our faith. This lens is a lens of love, compassion, hope, and justice.

Wesley understood that it is in the Bible where we can most reliably encounter God and ourselves; therefore, it is the place to start. But he also understood it is not the place to end. Faith formation and encounters of God through Christ and the Spirit are most whole when they integrate the wisdom of tradition, the rawness of experience, and the fortitude of reason. He understood there is a richness and fullness to the life of faith when these four ways of knowing God and ourselves are in dialogue with one another. And I agree.

In my ministry, I keep returning to the beloved Scriptures as a baseline for my teaching and preaching. Why exhaust myself searching endlessly in secular and other religious writings for commentary on the human condition when all I need exists between Genesis and Revelation?:  Love, Wholeness, Greed, Lust, Murder, Selfishness, Anger, Exile, Apathy, Loneliness, Joy, Hope, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Power, Corruption, Prophecy, Accountability, Community, and the list goes on.

The Bible in our modern society and mainline liberal Protestant era comes with a significant amount of baggage. My ministry has taught me this and so has my own personal complicated relationship with the Bible. But it has also taught me that when you allow the space for people’s (or my own) life experiences and probing questions to enter into dialogue with the Biblical text, the text becomes alive for them (and me) in radical and healing new ways.

For example, I was teaching a 3-week Bible study to group of young parents called, “Not Your Sunday School Bible Stories”. In looking at the hard stories of Abraham, Sarah & Hagar, Noah and the Flood, and Abraham and Isaac, we all wrestled with questions about God’s seeming cruelty that exists on the surface of these text, but after digging deeper, we began exploring questions of human jealousy, longing for a “restart” button, and risking love to it’s utmost, especially with our children. The parents began telling stories about their own bouts with jealousy, or the ridiculously illogical actions they’ve seen others engage in out of a place of desperation. We talked about the multitude of flood narratives and mythologies that existed throughout the world in different cultures at that time, and how scientifically it is plausible that there was an unseasonably wet period of time in that part of the world at that time. We talked about the crisis of global warming and how it would be much easier to just hit a “flood reset button” instead of doing the hard and sacrificial work it’s going to take to ensure a sustainable planet for our children. Most importantly, we wrestled with how to understand God’s place within all of those things. We wrestled with how the call of Christ is in the midst of our most human expressions and longings.

This is but one example of how I have engaged the Wesleyan quadrilateral at it’s best in my ministry. It’s but one example of how I understand faith formation as the process of engaging the fullness of who we are in encountering the mysterious Christ within and around us – by Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4694926077 this is the link to ZOOM