The Paradigm Papers, written and delivered over a five–year period, move across the full spectrum of theological education—from the training of children to the training of older adults. As the Church moves into the postmodern age and culture shifts to a technological society, the Church will face challenges it only faces once every 400 years. These papers, read as a whole, provide a unique guide to the Church of the 21st century—as we educate our children, as we reeducate adults, and as we train a future generation of pastors and missionaries.
These six encyclicals, written by Jeff Reed, serve as a modern-day set of papers intended to be widely circulated amongst churches, challenging them to return to New Testament principles—the way of Christ and His Apostles––in every aspect of the planting and establishing of churches around the world. The issues addressed in these encyclicals are of fundamental importance to seeing sustainable and thriving church networks and movements emerge as we see unparalleled growth and expansion of the gospel worldwide.
Raising the question, “Where do the Gospels fit in the process of establishing believers?” this encyclical challenges the use of the Gospels by Western discipleship movements and identifies how misunderstanding the Gospels leads to serious problems as churches in the Global South seek to approach and establish converts in the massive Global South church-planting movements.
Built upon a careful examination of the pattern established in the New Testament by Christ and His Apostles along with careful research on the patterns and traditions of the Early Church, this encyclical aims to decode the genius of the Early Church (or DNA of the New Testament churches) in order to build complex apostolic networks based on the “way of Christ and His Apostles” in the Global South and the post-Christian West.
In view of the massive confusion over the role of women in the churches of both the West and the Global South, this encyclical examines biblical principles and the contribution of women to the spontaneous expansion of the Church in the first 3 centuries. In light of this examination, this encyclical proposes the critical and multifaceted role of women in the expansion of the gospel.
Addressing the fragmentation of the concept of evangelism today, this encyclical carefully examines Acts and Paul’s letters, surfacing biblical principles and reintegrating the ideas of evangelism and missions. It paints a clear picture of what it looks like for churches to be “kerygmatic communities"––communities that proclaim the gospel through their lives, their stories, and their participation in the local, regional, and global expansion of the gospel.
Addressing the failing global relief and development system, of which Christian NGOs are deeply integrated, this encyclical carefully examines the New Testament principles on which a whole new approach to relief and development should be built. It proposes that God’s plan for the inauguration and growth of His kingdom is the Church—more specifically, complex networks of churches continuing to grow and spontaneously multiply.
Tackling the complex and intertwined issues of shepherding, counseling, and establishing believers in the faith, this encyclical addresses the massive fragmentation of these concepts in churches today and sets forth the call to “return to the way of Christ and His Apostles” in understanding and applying the transforming power of the gospel to life rebuilding as well as deep psychological problems.