\ˈper-ə-ˌdīm, ˈpa-rə- also -ˌdim\
Late Latin paradigma, from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknynai to show side by side, from para- + deiknynai to show — more at diction
1: example, pattern; especially : an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype
2: an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms
3: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind
It is the third definition that I wish to talk about. In simple terms our paradigm is what makes us behave the way we do. "So", I hear you ask, "what does this to do with the church".
Just this. The way we do church, with a purpose built building, leadership, pastor or priest, pews, sermon, et al, are all according to our paradigm, or world view as some people call it. In fact the way we define church has more to do with tradition and culture than what was intended by God when it was first established in the first century.
In this blog what I hope to do is investigate a new way of thinking about what is meant by the church and hopefully help us to think in new ways as to what was originally intended by God for the body of Christ.
Don't get me wrong, I do not think that we should completely give up our churches, they may not be perfect but God has blessed them and in many cases they are all we have. But make no mistake, God is changing the church in some fundamental ways and changing people's thinking quite radically. The church of today will be but a shadow of the church that God is raising up right now to take its place. If you think God has done some wonderful things with the current incarnation then I believe it is going to change dramatically. He can do so much more with a church that is formed to fulfill the role as the body of Christ as he intended.