Sunday, 11 January 2009

A new Christian paradigm

Remember how some high-powered expensive consultants would hold seminars for whole companies. Their favorite buzzword of the day was 'paradigm shift'. "Invent a new paradigm", they said. Think out of the box. Then they would proceed to make fools out of each tabled group by conducting group therapy sessions. However, the issue is not whether it is possible to create a new paradigm, but rather is it possible for anyone to present a new paradigm without being attacked by a world that is locked into 'paradigm paralysis'?

The history of the Christian Church is one of paradigm paralysis. Those who espoused new paradigms were lucky to be only labeled as heretics as torture and death were often widely used. Fortunately, these extreme punishments have since been declared to be 'un-Christian' except, perhaps, for attacks on abortion clinics. Now so-called 'biblical scholars' have moved to the forefront to defend the Church against the hoard of DaVinci Code believers.

Where exactly did Dan Brown get his 'fictionally-true' information? Well, you might have heard about the "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" lawsuit that concluded, as I would put it, that writers who plagiarize other writers are not libel if the information that they 'borrowed' from these writers is fiction i.e. does not conform with the current paradigm.

Actually, there are pieces of new information in 'DaVinci Code' book and movie that were not 'borrowed' from the above book that come directly from the books of Dr. Barbara Thiering. If her books had been part of the trial, it would have been interesting because Dr. Barbara Thiering presents her work as the result of carefully applied scientific rules. To plagiarize the results of her study might be called an infringement of patent rights! However, considering that her work clearly does not conform to the current paradigm, it would almost surely be labeled as fiction and therefore free to be 'borrowed' also.

Unfortunately, Dr. Thiering's reliance on the 'rules of the pesher' does prevent those who might actually be more open to a new view on Christianity from delving more deeply into the issues that she is raising. As webmaster for her approved website and in studying her work, I have come to the conclusion that many of her findings can actually be arrived at without the 'rules of the pesher'. Of course, Dr. Thiering would say that it is the 'rules of the pesher' that give the proof. On this she may be correct, but the problem arises that it is easy to attack her conclusions merely by attacking the 'rules of the pesher' and this is unfortunate because all of her conclusions may be 100% correct!

In this blog I will attempt to analyze all sources in order to decipher the Gospels, Acts, and Revelations. These sources will be historical writings, apocryphal writings, gnostic texts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and sometimes merely common sense. Rather than taking the surface meaning that is meant for the 'babes in Christ' as the Apostle Paul calls them, I will look past the so-called 'words of God' for a deeper message. Since much of this material has come to light in the last fifty years, it is not surprising that the establishment is still stuck in 'paradigm paralysis'.

Clearly to embark on this journey, requires a new Christian paradigm.

Dan Brown
Dr. Barbara Thiering
A less tainted definition of 'apocrypha'
Dead Sea Scrolls