After my radical break from a belief in scriptural inerrancy, I had to reintegrate the Bible into my beliefs. I realized that the most important check on my behavior, even when I believed in inerrancy, was the community of faith. By committing myself to walk with fellow Christians as they also struggle to find meaning and apply that to their daily lives that I am more likely to grow spiritually than if I were to lock myself in a room with my Bible. The application of Biblical truth to contemporary situations best happens in a group, not as individuals. If we are to take the Biblical image of the church as the Body of Christ seriously, then we must value all the input of all the members. Why should I expect to be the only person receiving God's revealed truth in scripture? Of course that is absurd. So the covenant community provides a check to any interpretation errors I may make influenced as my thinking will always be by my ego.
So when I learned that experience, both personal and communal, was a piece of the Wesleyan quadrilateral I felt an immediate resonance. I also resonated with the obvious inclusion of reason as a source. Our rational minds are wonderful gifts from God. I cannot imagine that God would expect us to use reason to improve our conditions in every area except in theology. Why should logic be excluded from the realm of the spiritual? In my personal experience, I recognize that the more I learn, the more I realize that I have yet to learn. The more I contemplate reality, the more I appreciate that it is filled with mystery. Reason and faith are not mutually exclusive. Indeed they each mutually enhance the other. But that is likely a topic for another post.
Finally, tradition is used to establish authority by every theological camp that I can think of. Even in the narrow confines of Fundamentalism there is the appeal to "the fundamentals." While the list of things considered to be fundamental is drawn from an interpretation of the Bible, it is not like there is a list to be found in a particular chapter and verse in scripture. No, that list comes as a result of reason being used to interpret the Bible and then passed along by tradition within the communal experience of the church.
The four legs of Wesley's quadrilateral are always at play in the lives of Christians who choose to affiliate with others gathered in churches. The differences between individuals and groups tends to be based on how much weight is placed on each leg. I doubt that any of us distribute the weight equally (certainly not all the time). For me, I'm biased toward the experience leg, specifically on the communal side. I don't throw out the Bible in this process, I just take the time to examine it with a variety of lenses.