Sunday, April 02, 2006


I was preparing a lesson on "Truth" for my junior high students. I tried to google a picture of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral as it should be used, and I could not find it. So I created my own diagram. I agree with John Wesley (as described more recently by Albert Outler) that the best way to find truth is through these different means. I agree with many Wesleyans and other Christians that Scripture is the foremost lens we use to seek Truth. God's reveleation is our ultimate authority.

This diagram is meant to represent lenses/tools for the discovery of Truth. If I wanted to observe the flight path of a bald eagle, I would look through the lenses of binoculars. If I want to discover truth, I will look through the lenses of Scripture, Reason, Tradition and Experience. All of these lenses can offer a piece of truth (though reason, tradition, and experience can prove faulty). I do believe in absolute truth, but I believe only God can fathom and qualify which truths are truly absolute. Regardless, we can know truth and the primary method is through the Bible inpired by the all-knowing One. The other lenses of experience, reason, and tradition are valuable tools for the search for truth, but only secondary and subject to the prime means of truth-gathering, The Holy Bible.

I love this verse from Deuteronomy 29:29

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

This verse shows me three things about Truth

1. God is the source of Truth

2. Truth is knowable

3. Only God knows all things

Word of caution: Just because I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority for Truth does not mean I think anything can be justified by any ol' bible verse. It is possible to misinterpret Scripture. It is possible to be led astray by false teachers and the devil himself. That's why the other facets of the quadrilateral are useful. We need to be faithful and humble truth seekers. Often the best context for securing truth is in a large community of like-minded Christ-followers who have a passion for God's Kingdom.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Thanks so much for this diagram. I like it and will use it some time. I appreciate you taking the time to make it - cause I steal great ideas. And you are the greatest (in my book)- and humble just like Moses. - Numbers 12:3 "(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)"