The Fourth Sunday of Advent felt like an odd time to bring up the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (as I did yesterday). It was appropriate, though, because of Joseph’s dilemma.
Joseph was in a situation where everything pointed him in one direction and God sent him in another. The logical argument built on the pillars of the Quadrilateral pointed toward ridding himself of Mary. God intervened on her behalf giving Jesus a much better start to life than he would have had otherwise.
I don’t think God’s intervention renders the practical methodology of the Quadrilateral void. In most dilemmas it provides a trustworthy guide. I think God’s intervention reminds us that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8) and that “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
We serve a God who gave us a natural world that includes laws about how things ordinarily work and then he walked on water and raised the dead. On most days most dilemmas can be approached with wisdom, thought, methodology. Some days God sends an angel to call you into something that seems contrary to all three. But, if it’s from God, God will make it work out - just ask Joseph.