A paradigm is an accepted set of concepts that create a pattern, standard or method of operation, thinking and practice.
A paradigm shift basically requires an adjustment of, and sometimes a total change of, thought. Former trusted and defended concepts and modes of function are challenged and replaced by newer, better, more useful or current approaches. A paradigm shift requires a revolution of sorts.
Revolutions produce wars. Wars are fought to protect territory; whether geographic or philosophical or ideological.
Whether a new paradigm is accepted or not depends on the strength of the former practices and the power of those who defend the former set of controlling beliefs. It also depends on the persuasive ability of the persons introducing the new system.
Paradigm shifts are produced by challenges to a system or by a well prepared and presented new approach. Sometimes developing technology causes welcomed shifts in practices. Using automobiles for travel instead of horses was a welcomed shift in thinking and behavior.
Sometimes paradigm shifts are a return to formerly held beliefs and practices. Martin Luther’s challenge to the Catholic system was basically a return to Augustinian thought after Thomistic thought had become the Catholic modus operandi.
A Spiritual revival is a paradigm shift. Accepted sins, inequities and tolerated wrongs must fall to what is right and good. Revival exacts a high price. Revival changes the paradigm. Revival produces a new paradigm. Revival returns high rewards. Revival is typically resisted.
Truth is frequently produces a paradigm shift. False beliefs and incorrect practices must give way to what is true and real and right and good and holy – Philippians 4:8.
Is the world flat or is it round? Moving from one concept to another typically takes much time and energy. Whether right or wrong, old beliefs and practices die hard. Biblical convictions and the leading of the Holy Spirit must replace sinful beliefs and practices. Jesus was the minister of the new covenant. He has made us ministers of His covenant.
The New Testament was a new paradigm for the Jewish people. Could Jesus replace the law in their lives? Could this be their Messiah who fulfilled the law?
The Catholic concept of only one church in the empire was defended as imperative for the continuation of the society. That paradigm was defended by powerful people for centuries. It had the backing of powerful persons and armies from its earliest days.
Paradigm shifts are important when personal or cultural directions need adjustment. They are needed for growth and development. It is critical that the shifts are in positive and Godly directions. If not, they are wrong. When they are in positive directions they, of course, must fight the Devil’s program. He seems to meet little opposition when implementing his degrading shifts. But when we, as believers, counter his sinful shifts we are fighting an uphill battle.
Some shifts are simply growth of medicine or mechanics or electronics. They are neither spiritual nor moral issues. Some however are clearly of a moral and spiritual nature. They require discernment and wisdom to accept or reject.
May the good Lord grant us wisdom and clarity as we face the challenges of our day and age. Some paradigm shifts make it more possible to spread the good news of our good Lord. God bless you as you do just that. Today.