Paradigm Shifts of Church History

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This essay is to discuss the six paradigm’s shifts as highlighted by Bosch. The six paradigms are; primitive Christianity; the patristic period; the Middle Ages; the Reformation; the Enlightenment; and the Ecumenical era[1]. Bosch’s title for the book is ‘Transforming Mission’. As described by Bosch in his foreword he talks about the title as ambiguous. “Transforming” can be an adjective used to describe “mission”. Mission can be understood as not the enterprise that transforms reality, but something that is itself being transformed. Let’s now look at the first paradigm shift. 1. Primitive Christianity “....go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching…show more content…
Bosch noted that the Protestant missionary paradigm tended to vary from various extremes. Bosch shows that although the idea of mission was there among the Protestants, their involvement was limited. This was due to; (a) their primary task was to reform the church; (b) contact with non-Christians was little (c) they were struggling to survive; (d) denial of the monastic orders meant they denied themselves access to important services and (e) their own internal struggles. Luther’s reformation made little sense of this world, Calvinism in Holland (developed Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith) and Puritanism in England (the Protestant church regarded the Reformation of the Church of England as incomplete and sought to simplify and regulate forms of worship) did. Bosch then refers to Gisbertus Voetius’s threefold model of the theology of mission. He sees these dimensions as; (a) conversion of the Gentiles (b) planting of the church and (c) the glory and manifestation of divine grace (he saw the churches of old and new standing as equal)[7]. Enlightenment Period Mission during this period was diverse and multifaceted than ever before. The change from medieval to enlightenment thinking made the supernatural redundant and the
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