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 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.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Arriving at the Paradigm Shift: A preponderance of evidence IIl

In the last two posts I have talked about the preponderance of evidence that led to my paradigm shift. So this question comes to mind; what should this mean to the church, its doctrine, its worship, and its faith and practice? When I mention the church I mean those who are believing in Jesus as the redeemer. I mean the universal body of believers, the catholic church, small c.

First off, it only makes sense that when one identifies as a believer in Jesus Christ, that they would follow what Jesus, and his first century apostolic writers taught. This means that they would look at the scripture from a redemptive view and not as a legal constitutional document. It means that they would define and teach that the word of God is the gospel or Jesus the living good news. When John wrote that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, he meant that the gospel (good news) became flesh and dwelt among men. He certainly did not mean that the scripture became flesh and dwelt among men. Therefore, the gospel should be the main focus of all Christians and Christian Churches. The gospel is as refreshing, if not more refreshing to the seasoned saint as it is to the new one. The gospel is the main defensive weapon against the accuser of the brethren. The gospel is the necessary re-assurance that promotes resting in the peace with the Father which only comes from justification by faith.

A follower of Christ should not use the scripture in a legal constitutional way. Even the instructions in the epistles that sound like commandments should not be viewed in a legal constitutional way. When they are the result is ALWAYS spiritual death and striving to please God in the flesh. They can only be efficacious when one is resting in redemption by faith alone. I am not saying that they cannot show the heart of God, and cannot be used to encourage godliness. I am saying that when they are used with a legal constitutional understanding or focus they always, always, always become a killing letter. This is precisely why the gospel has to be the main focus.

Christians, should worship Jesus. Paul tells us that in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, all of the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (Col 2:9.) Further, Isaiah prophesied that would be the case (Is 9:6-7.) The King of Kings and Lord of Lords in Revelation 19 is Jesus. The name of Jesus is to be worshipped by every tongue, and every bowing knee. When Jesus is worshipped there is a special anointing that can come in no other way. It is the name of Jesus that saves, heals, cleanses, and comforts. Why is the name of Jesus mentioned so little, and so many sermons are just a rehashing of Old Covenant messages that do not in any way point to Christ. Jesus said that the entire scripture points to him (John 5:39-40; Luke 24:27, 43-45.) If you use the Old Testament scripture it had better point directly to Jesus if you are a Christian and if it does not you should not use it.

In faith and practice every Christian should be resting completely in Romans 5:1. If you are a following believer of Jesus Christ you should be allowing the love of God and peace with God to be the driving catalyst of your life. A proper understanding of the apostle's doctrine (Acts 2:42) would promote real transformation in the life of the believer. Not reformation. That seems to be the main business of the evangelical, institutional church, and it is just flat out the wrong focus. It is no wonder church doctrine is so far off the mark.

I am going to be writing in this vane for a while so why not go over a lot of these posts and see the preponderance of the evidence for a paradigm shift?

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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Arriving at the Paradigm Shift: A preponderance of evidence

As the Holy Spirit has shifted my paradigm with scriptural illumination, I find myself in the precarious position of not being able to go back to the old paradigm, and business as usual. More than that, I know that the Lord does not want me to. To participate in the old paradigm is tantamount to approving it. I could no more participate in the old paradigm than a catfish could survive on dry land. This presents certain problems for me because the paradigm shift has happened over a twenty-year period. Interestingly, the basic core of the paradigm shift came all at once; I intuitively knew it to be true, and even trusted in it based upon the unction of the Holy Spirit and this was almost instantaneous from the beginning twenty-plus years ago.

However, the proof has come over a twenty year period, and has been the result of much study of the scripture. I dare say that I studied sometimes, all day, and I am quite certain that if I averaged it all out it would amount to at least two and one half hours of study per day, seven days a week, for 20 years. If I do the math it would be conservatively speaking 18,250 hours of study. During this study, I have written at least 2,000 pages of writing which would average out to 1,140,000 words. I am not boasting as I am sure that others have studied more but it is clear that I have not adopted the paradigm shift lightly.

It should be fairly easy to see why not many are willing to instantly embrace my paradigm shift and yet, I see the Holy Spirit moving many people in the same direction and admittedly, there are those who have surpassed me. So I say without reservation that my paradigm shift comes with a preponderance of evidence. Anyone willing to study and listen would after a while see that there is indeed a preponderance of evidence for the shift. It is indeed a valid way to look at the biblical narrative, and of course, I think that it is the best way.

I have gradually over time gained the courage to ask tougher and tougher questions about the biblical narrative. In so doing, I have grown fonder of it, and much more convinced of its inspiration. I no longer struggle over the many paradigm shifts that are clearly presented within the pages of the sacred text. There are drastic changes of paradigm over the scripture from Genesis to Revelation. They coincide nicely with the cultural development of society. It is imperative to understand historical context within the pages of scripture. Here are some important things to consider, some important questions to ask when examining the sacred text.
  1. Who was the intended audience, what would they have thought and what would have been the meaning for them?
  2. What were the cultural conditions of the occasion that caused the text to be written?
  3. How do they compare with what we face today culturally?
  4. What were their beliefs about redemption, eschatology, the Messiah etc.?
  5. What if any are the overriding themes that link the narrative together as a whole?
  6. What was the actual meaning of the original language and where there are obvious discrepancies from one text to the other, what was the likely intended meaning?
I will end this post here, but I hope that some of you will begin to take the journey through the many posts on this blog that will begin to show the preponderance of proof for the accuracy of the paradigm shift. I will say this. So much of what we call Christian doctrine in mainline evangelical churches is pathetically off the mark!

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