Monday, April 27, 2015
Arriving at the Paradigm Shift: A preponderance of evidence IV
Here is one of many such verses that shows that the first century apostles meant gospel when they used the phrase word of God. Act 6:7 " The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith." It is not the scripture that spread. No, it's the gospel that spread. In context it can mean no other thing. Now, this is but one of many isolated examples of a preponderance of verses in the New Testament writings that show the first century writers redefining the phrase the word of God. When you look at all the passages, the preponderance is so great that it defies reason to wonder why no one sees it. I say that there is a theological reason. I think that over the years people fear that if one accepts the New Testament definition of the phrase "word of God," that the scripture somehow becomes diminished. That could not be further from the truth.
If the majority teaching of the apostolic writers was that the word of God is the gospel, and that the purpose of scripture is solely redemptive it would give far more credence and authority to the scripture for many more people today. The agnostics and liberal theologians would lose 99% of their critical ammunition. I dare say that most of the biblical criticism crowd would lose the lion share of their arguments.
Seeing the biblical narrative as a redemptive metaphor while acknowledging the way in which it mirrors the development of civilization would completely silence the critics. I am fascinated by the way that the development of civilization as defined by spiral dynamics and integral theory lines up so exactly with the development spiral in the biblical record. If you are a serious biblical student you should take a look at these three videos by Doug King at Presence.tv. I would especially recommend the first post, but if possible, view all three. It makes sense that God would reveal himself within the cultural understanding of the people at the time.
I am trying to set your mind at ease. You need not worry because Jesus and his first century followers saw the scripture in redemptive terms only. Look at John 8:3-11. It is interesting to me that the Jews at the time of Jesus, all zealous for the Law (Acts 21:20) did not practice stoning adulterers. They only brought a single case to test Jesus' zeal of the Law. The truth is that they did not practice stoning of adulterers at all. However, they did stone what they thought were blasphemers (Acts 7.) The reason for this was they saw that some of the Christian teaching was challenging their status quo. My point here is that as culture changed, adherence to the law changed. They had found a way to make it so that virtually no one was stoned for adultery. I am not saying that they were tolerant of adultery but rather that they had changed the way in which they dealt with it.
This is why spiral dynamics is important in our biblical view. It is also one of the reasons for the doctrine that we have today. Christian doctrine has been handed down from the end of the second century forward and it is mostly constructed by the early church fathers and added too by subsequent writers. It is important to understand that the bulk of Christian dogma was constructed under the blue lens... for an understanding of the blue lens view the video links in this blog post.