The Paradigm Shift

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The Paradigm Shift and its Implications for Today


"The word “church” has inherited a great deal of Western baggage, much of which took place as a result of the joining of church and state which began with the impetus of the Roman Emperor, Constantine, and continued to grow and develop into the Middle Ages. This Western baggage has tended to obscure the actual change that was taking place. “Freely gathered communities of faith in Christ” is more descriptive of the actual paradigm shift that took place, a radical shift which enabled Christianity to spread through the ancient world in a remarkable way, particularly when tied to the empowerment and life of the Spirit."

"These communities were based on faith in Christ rather than ethnicity, social status, or wealth. Barriers between Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free, male and female, rich and poor were removed “in Christ” (Gal 3:25–28). The Day of Pentecost is the beginning point for the Spirit being poured out on all flesh, and the unity of the Spirit that is demonstrated there continues to grow in Acts as the Spirit joins believers together in the new communities of faith..." (M. A Erickson, p. 119).


Excerpts from:

Freely Gathered Communities of Faith and the Changes between the Testaments by M. A. Erickson (Wipf & Stock 2019). The book is available in print or Kindle formats at:

 Freely Gathered Communities of Faith and the Changes Between the Testaments at