Saturday, April 18, 2015

Arriving at the Paradigm Shift: A preponderance of evidence II

In the last post I explained the process of the twenty year journey to my paradigm shift. Again as I stated in the last post the paradigm shift is the result of a preponderance of evidence. This is a legal term that is a standard of proof in civil trials. It is not as high as beyond a reasonable doubt, which means that a person is 99.89% sure of the facts presented. The preponderance of evidence means that it is far more likely to be true than to be false.  I would estimate that in the case of my paradigm shift, I am 80 - 90% certain of the facts. And, as time goes on, and as I study more, this increases and more and more evidence piles up.

So what is the substance of my paradigm shift? What doctrinal issues have changed? How is it different from mainstream evangelical doctrine or orthodox doctrine? In summary, it is apparent to me, that the early church father's doctrine, which has been brought forward to today from the second century, does not square with the apostle's doctrine mentioned (though not defined) in Acts 2:42. There is a large discrepancy between the apparent doctrine of the first century church found in the apostolic writings, and what has been handed down as orthodox doctrine. This discrepancy is the source of my paradigm shift.

The first discrepancy is found in the respective views of the scripture. Israel, viewed their scripture in a legal constitutional way. They did this no doubt based upon their plain sense reading and study of the entire old testament. Jesus and the apostle's shifted to a redemptive reading of scripture which saw Jesus as Messiah and claimed that the entire scripture pointed to Him (John 5:39-40.) Interestingly, the early church fathers went back to viewing the scripture in a legal constitutional way, and while they maintained a semblance of the redemptive focus, they did not make it the prime focus as did Jesus and the apostolic writers.

The second discrepancy lies in the fact that Jesus and the apostolic writers redefined the phrase *word of God* from scripture to gospel and Jesus the living gospel. This is true in most of the passages mentioning the phrase in the entire apostolic writings (New Testament) and completely from Acts forward. This fact has been proven over and over in the posts on this blog. Again, it is interesting that the early church fathers went back to defining the phrase *word of God* as the scripture. The first century apostolic use of the phrase meaning gospel adds weight to the redemptive focus of scripture.

The third discrepancy lies in the fact that the apostolic writers in the New Testament saw the end of the age and eschatology as something contemporary with them. The preponderance of scripture passages that demonstrate this are overwhelming. The first century apostolic writers saw great eschatological significance in the destruction of the second temple and the early church fathers ignored it for the most part.

These discrepancies alone show a great difference between what the first century apostolic writers thought, wrote and prophesied in the New Testament, and what the writings of the early church fathers concluded. It is so great a difference that one could safely call the doctrine brought forward from the second century to be the strong delusion, prophesied by Paul in 2Thess 2:11.

Again, I urge you to read the bulk of these posts to look at the preponderance of evidence pointing to the fact that evangelical doctrine is off the mark.

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