This week we conclude our worship series called Quadrilateral with attention on Experience.
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2012, states, “John Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason” (Our Theological Task Paragraph105 Theological Guidelines: Sources and Criteria) .
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2012 (Our Theological Task Paragraph105): Experience
In our theological task, we follow Wesley’s practice of examining experience, both individual and corporate, for confirmations of the realities of God’s grace attested in Scripture….
On the personal level, experience is to the individual as tradition is to the church: It is the personal appropriation of God’s forgiving and empowering grace. Experience authenticates in our own lives the truths revealed in Scripture and illumined in tradition, enabling us to claim the Christian witness as our own.…
Although profoundly personal, Christian experience is also corporate; our theological task is informed by the experience of the church and by the common experiences of all humanity. In our attempts to understand the biblical message, we recognize that God’s gift of liberating love embraces the whole of creation.
Some facets of human experience tax our theological understanding. Many of God’s people live in terror, hunger, loneliness, and degradation. Everyday experiences of birth and death, of growth and life in the created world, and an awareness of wider social relations also belong to serious theological reflection.
A new awareness of such experiences can inform our appropriation of scriptural truths and sharpen our appreciation of the good news of the kingdom of God.
What responses come up for you when you hear the statement above on Experience from The United Methodist Church?
How do the ways in which you encounter God on a daily basis inform your understanding of who God is and how God moves in your life and in the lives of others? Is there any test that you apply to an experience you might consider as “God”?