In some parts of the global church there is a thing called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. The quadrilateral is a way of talking about four sources that are used in the pursuit of Truth. Those four sources are Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience.
There are many ways to visually describe the quadrilateral which you can see with a google image search. Some people talk about all four sources as equal in weight, while others talk about Scripture being heavier than the other three. The debate between if Scripture is "heavier" is not as heated of a subject as how much heavier is Scripture. Are we a Sola Scriptura or a Prima Scriptura people?
The element that I have not heard in this conversation is the Chicken/Egg Dilemma inherent in the quadrilateral. Here is what I am talking about:
If we take Scripture as first and primary, that is well and good. However, Scripture did not fall from the sky. Scripture is what it is because a particular Tradition won out over time. That is to say, the Biblical canon is what it is in the UMC because of the tradition of Martin Luther not the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. With the chicken/egg metaphor, Scripture could be the chicken and Tradition could be the egg.
Tradition was also not created out of thin air. Tradition comes out of a lived experience that reveals what is valued by the person(s) generating the Tradition. Luther had experiences that led him to believe that some books of his Bible were not canon-worthy (we call those the deuterocanonical books). In this thinking, Tradition could be the chicken and Experience could be the egg.
We can't forget that a person's Experiences receive meaning through the filter of that person's own Reason. For instance, Luther did not think that books like Hebrews or Revelation should be in the canon because his Reason argued that they were not in his understanding of the Christian Tradition to be considered Scripture. Here, Experience could be the chicken and Reason the egg.
Finally, the role of Reason filtered out stories and experiences that were not "of God" to a community as far back as oral Tradition - thus dictating what stories were told and ultimately having a chance at being Scripture. Is Reason the chicken and Tradition the egg? How does scripture fit into this analogy?
And we are back at Scripture.
Currently some in the UMC are debating the role of Scripture. Some sections of the UMC cannot tolerate anything on equal grounds as Scripture (example). I am not saying that anything should be. Here's a question worth pondering: Does the insistence of Scripture as "heavier" results in a dismissal of "lighter" sources? Maybe making the sources more equal does not result in taking Scripture lighter, but understands the Egg/Chicken dilemma.