Sermon as Theological Quadrilateral
The next traditional pattern discussed in Ronald Allen’s book is the Weslyan Theological Quadrilateral In this pattern, the preacher simply steps through the different aspects of the quadrilateral in the sermon.
The sermon would begin with a introduction that directs the congregation to the subject under consideration. Then the preacher would discuss one of the aspects until all four have been discussed. The preacher would need to discuss the scripture‘s perspective. Here the texts, themes, and images from the Bible would be discussed. Another aspect would be tradition. Here the preacher would explicitly look at the viewpoints on the subject provided by the traditional heritage of the preacher. The preacher also would explicitly deal with reason. What does reason tell us about the subject under consideration? How does logic help us? Also the preacher would give attention to experience. How does the preacher and the community experience the subject in thought, feeling, and behavior.
This methodology is helpful in that it deals explicitly with the different ways we understand and learn about God. It also has the added benefit of putting all of our presuppositions on the table. Sometimes we preach an “expository” sermon and never actually deal with our own presuppositions that might be guiding our interpretation. Here the people are let in on the fact that our experiences will push us in certain ways. Sometimes this is good, sometimes this is bad. To deal with this in the pulpit models a way of thinking that can help the congregation learn how to evaluate and study a particular subject.