The Pattern of Biblical Transformation

by Jay Gary, PhD, Jul 30, 2002

This paper 1) explores the phases of covenantal transformation, A.D. 30 to A.D. 70, from Old to New Covenant, 2) shows how this three phase life-cycle, or S-Curve of the Old Covenant was succeed by the New Covenant through the T-Factor, 3) shares how to recognize this pattern of transformation at work today in any creative endeavor, 4) considers what this means to biblical theology and ‘the study of first things.’

seashore

AT THE END OF HIS LIFE Isaac Newton confessed, “I seem to have been only like a boy,” finding a prettier shell than ordinary, “while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” What Isaac Newton said about truth 500 years ago can still be applied today to all fields of exploration in both science and theology.

You might think after twenty centuries we would have discovered all there is to know, or can be known about God. Quite the contrary. Theology has only begun to unlock the mysteries of God’s creation. Like Newton, a “great ocean of truth” lies before us.

In this essay, I would like to chart the ways of God, like a navigator might chart the ocean currents on the high seas. I call this ocean of truth, “Biblical Transformation.” This voyage may take some readers into uncharted waters, as the ocean we are navigating has largely been left unmapped. If you hang in with me, despite the discomfort of new terminology, I assure you it will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness. I have found the concept of Biblical Transformation to be significant at many levels in my life. I trust it will also become an integral part of your world.

What I am sharing builds on the insights of Covenant theology, a branch of biblical theology. This field, along with historical Jesus studies has challenged scholars to understand the Cross and Resurrection of Christ in larger generational terms, set against the backdrop of first-century Judaism. This approach, grounded in the book of Hebrews, investigates how the great acts of redemption set in motion the promised transformation of ages, from Old to New Covenant at A.D. 70.1

Up until now theology has considered this transformation a doctrine. But put in a larger context, it may well be the underlying dynamic for all God’s creation. The story of Israel’s development, from Old to New Covenants, may well reveal a developmental pattern at work today among all things.

The Phases of Covenantal Transformation

“In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13). The overarching purpose of the book of Hebrews was to encourage Christ-confessing Jews not to cast away their confidence, but to await the transformation of the ages, soon to happen in their generation. This transformation would be effected by God, when “He takes away the first in order to establish the second” (Heb 10:9).

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians affirms this coming transformation as well, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1). Like the book of Hebrews, Paul was speaking of an epoch changing event about to unfold, as temple-based Judaism was about to pass away, given the arrival of a better priesthood and a better covenant, mediated by Jesus Christ.

This transformation of ethnic Israel into spiritual Israel at A.D. 70 was the consummation of the long story of Israel throughout 1,600 years of redemptive history. Consider the following outline of the story of Israel in four phases. Reading from the bottom up, we have:

  • Phase 4: Transform – corporate regeneration (A.D. 70)
  • Phase 3: Share – declare His glory among nations (Jesus-Paul)
  • Phase 2: Repeat – grow in His likeness (Joshua-Prophets)
  • Phase 1: Gather – set apart as God’s people (Abraham-Moses)

This history can easily be depicted by an S-Curve, marked by the phases, Gather, Repeat, Share and Transform. In Phase 1, God gathered his people after the fall, by calling Abraham. Phase 2 began with the giving of the Ten Commandments. Through the law, the people of God grew in his likeness.

While Israel had a one-nation covenant with God, the time would come, as promised to Abraham, that an all-nations covenant would be made through Israel to encompass the entire world. Jesus began this Phase 3 by proclaiming the time was fulfilled, repent and believe the good news. Paul further preached the promise of this Abrahamic covenant among all nations (Gal. 3:6-9).

scurve-dot

This diagram depicts that with the coming of Christ, a counter-curve had invisibly begun. While many Jews who had joined the Jesus movement were Torah-observant, they saw themselves as the fruit fruits or vanguard of a restoration of all Israel, once Herod’s temple fell. In this way, the early church saw themselves as the new Israel, continuing on the maturing S-Curve, but aware that their participation in the messianic reign of Christ was effecting a hidden transformation that would inaugurate the Age to Come (1 Cor. 15:20-25).

Phase 4 would happen when the mirror curve intersected the maturing curve. Israel was transformed (2 Cor. 3:18), raised from a national to a universal state, when all nations would share in God’s covenant (Gen. 12:3, Eph. 2:11-16).

I call this hidden counter-curve the “T-Factor,” short for the transformation factor. Transformation is God’s specialty. His New Covenant ends up succeeding and encompassing the Old Covenant.

Transformation is what makes butterflies out of caterpillars. Transformation took us from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance. It takes dead churches and brings forth new life. As Gus Jaccaci says, transformation “is the stuff of resurrection, the bringing back to order and life of a new higher order and new life.”2

Many Christians put so much emphasis on a future second coming they overlook that early church was a developmental success. Jesus envisioned that Israel would pass through a time of trouble after his Cross, but in the end, after the fall of Jerusalem, she would be saved (Lk. 21:25-28, cf. Rom. 11:26-27).

New Testament scholar Scott McKnight echoes this truth, “Jesus clearly taught that a grand display of the kingdom of God and the coming of the Son of Man would take place within one generation. His followers would be persecuted and chased (Matt. 10:23) but delivered; those who followed him would not die before they saw this climactic event; and everything predicted about Jerusalem’s destruction and God wrapping up his plan for Israel would take place before the current generation died out.”3

Redemptive history, then, was an unfolding story, but a story that reached its restoration climax in A.D. 70. It followed the phases of Gather, Repeat, Share, culminating in Transformation. Paul felt that the “end of the age” had come upon his generation (1 Cor. 10:11). He prayed that the early Christians might understand Phase 4, or the world-changing power of Jesus’ resurrection (Eph. 1:19-20), unleashed through the church, to bring about the consummation of the Age to Come (Eph. 2:7, 3:21).

Traditional theology has often overlooked the universal impact of the work of Christ. Not only did Jesus fulfill the story of Israel made known to Abraham, he picked up the story of humanity, left off at Adam and began a new S-Curve (1 Cor. 15:22). Through the redemptive work of Christ, human history can reach new heights (Rom. 5:17).

The Pattern of Nature’s Creative Dynamic

The new order that Christ brought is not merely limited to human society, but effects all creation.

Consider how Paul sees Christ’s lordship over the entire created order: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col 1:16).

Other scriptures speak of Christ as “God’s creative original” or “archon” in the Greek language (Rev. 3:14). From archon, we get the word ‘archetype.’ As God’s archon, Christ uses the same pattern through all of God’s creation that he did for covenantal development.

The famous mission statesman, Eli Stanley Jones, once wrote of Christ’s relationship to creation: “If Jesus is a moralist imposing a moral code on humanity, then of course we can question that code and His authority. But suppose Jesus is the revealer of the nature of reality, then that makes Him different. He is not only revealing the nature of God-he is revealing the nature of life. Life then works in His way and only in His way.”4

In 1973, a general systems scientist by the name of Dr. George Land, released a book entitled, Grow or Die, offering a unifying theory of transformation. Although Land is not a theologian, he may have uncovered the pattern of covenantal transformation at work throughout all creation.

Land proposed that all things grow and develop according to a three-phase pattern: 1) Gather, 2) Repeat and 3) Share.5 As babies, we move through the “Gather” phase by taking in nourishment and growing in size. The “Gather” stage is marked by growth of sameness, simply getting larger without changing form. Once the first stage is accomplished, then the second stage of growth can begin.

In the “Repeat” phase teenagers grow by influencing their peers to be like them. Growth is achieved by replicating one’s likeness in a given sub-culture. Our children do this when they join with their peers to dress or talk in like manner. At the biophysical level, cells do this by dividing, creating literal extensions. In Land’s terms, groups that form around self-similarity are replicating themselves and are in the second phase of growth.

Land’s third phase of growth – “Share” – is the most mature stage. This is when adults mutually grow through reciprocal interaction and form a larger whole, whether it be a corporation, community or family. In “Repeat,” Phase 2, we grow by maximizing sameness, but in “Share,” Phase 3, we grow by maximizing differences, so that a higher social order or social system might thrive.

Land used an “S-Curve” to depict the growth of his phases over time. And if that were all there was, one might think that Land had merely depicted a normal product life-cycle in business or in nature, marked by birth, adolescence, maturity and decline.

But Land discovered another factor at work. Whether in business or in biology, in eco-systems or in astrophysics, a “bifurcation” occurs as Phase 3 begins. A marginal portion of the system begins to create a counter-curve, representing a new “S-Curve.”

This new system ends up succeeding and encompassing the former system. Jaccaci considers this development so surprising and capable in its new potential, he called this phenomenon “transformation” and considers it a fourth phase.

Notice how the four phases of Gather, Repeat, Share, Transform, are the pattern-process for human development in three examples:

  • Aging: Child, Teen, Adult, Elder
  • Growth: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual
  • Learning: Information, Knowledge, Intuition, Wisdom

In correlation to covenantal transformation, Land and Jaccaci’s phases can be summarized as follows:

  • Phase 4: Transform- into next higher order; transformation
  • Phase 3: Share – integrate differences; integration
  • Phase 2: Repeat- repeat multiple likenesses, production
  • Phase 1: Gather -gather a being or idea, invention

micro-bio-astro

The amazing thing about this four-phase pattern is that it shows up universally across all disciplines of science. As the figure above illustrates, these general systems dynamics are operative in quantum mechanics, biology and astro-physics.6

This four-fold archetypal pattern governs how photons become atoms, how atoms form molecules, only to emerge as a higher order DNA compound. In turn, this organic molecule becomes the building block for the next line of development, using the same four stages.

Any time we observe nature’s dynamic creating higher order units, we should be reminded of what God did in Jesus Christ through the changing of the covenants. It is as if nature organizes itself to recapitulate the great story of redemption, to the praise of God’s glory (Psalm 150).

Putting Four-Column Thinking to Work

This covenantal pattern, an S-Curve with its three phases, followed by the T-Factor of transformation can be a thinking tool to help us anticipate and manage change. If we placed an S-Curve within a graph and dropped vertical lines down each of its inflection points, we would have a four-column diagram, with the vertical axis indicating increasing order or growth, and the horizontal axis representing increasing time.

scurve4col

In the 1980s, business found the S-Curve to be a tool to forecast technological change.7 Research and development drives a Phase 1 company. As a product is brought to market, production predominates a Phase 2 company. Ascending an S-Curve is like a rocket ride. Just when you think ‘accelerating growth’ might continue in definitively, ‘limits to growth’ kick in, and you begin to fall back to earth. A well-selling product enters its maturing phase. Ideally, investors seek to buy shares in a company at the end of Phase 1 and sell their interests before the company enters Phase 3.

Recently I was talking with a telecommunications executive from Atlanta. Telecommunications has been hard hit the past year or two. My friends company was no exception. But instead of just cutting costs during the economic downturn of 2001, DataVoice invested money in their ability to install systems in mid-size offices that combined both computer data and voice using a Mitel switch. Because they understood the dynamics of moving their company from Phase 2 to Phase 3, they are bouncing back faster than other companies in their industry.

A Phase 2 company is built on maximizing sameness. A Phase 3 company, however, has learned to maximize difference. DataVoice succeed because it has become a Phase 3 company. They have learned to combine two technologies previously held separate. They have moved from just repeating business of installing more analog telephone systems, to offering businesses a digital telecommunications system that integrates both computer and phones in a single line.

Moving from column two to column three thinking can also be seen in redemptive history. The Mosaic and later the Davidic order of Judaism centralized religion in Jerusalem according to a temple sacrificial system. Worship was built along purity codes that differentiated Israelites from others. This column two, “Repeat” phase of growth maximized likeness. But Jesus and Paul realized from Old Testament prophecy that the basis of Israel’s one-nation covenant would be transformed into an all-nations covenant in the last days.

Like DataVoice, they mixed two factors previously left separate. In anticipation that the New Covenant would succeed the Old, they invited Gentiles to join Jews in the kingdom of God, without being fully Torah-observant. Paul built his ministry on maximizing differences, helping Gentiles and Jews throughout the Diaspora live under Christ’s messianic reign. This was in view of a coming transformation, the elevation of Israel into a universal commonwealth. At the fall of Jerusalem, the people of God moved from Phase 3 to Phase 4, as the counter-curve of Jesus’ resurrection transformed the entire system into a higher spiritual order.

Jesus prophetically realized that Second Temple Judaism must be deconstructed before it could be reconstructed. He sought to prevent the internal collapse of Judaism by building a new alternative Israel that would withstand the fall of Jerusalem. Without knowing its spiritual origin, this lesson is now being discovered by business.

Richard Foster’s latest book is entitled Creative Destruction. In it, he and co-author Sarah Kaplan propose that corporations can outperform capital markets and maintain their leadership positions only if they creatively and continuously reconstruct themselves. In doing so, they can stay ahead of the upstart challengers waiting in the wings.

Ecologists are also learning lessons using four-column thinking. In his recent video, “Wealth, Innovation and Diversity,” Joel Barker shares how business is learning from the natural order of God’s creation.8 It turns out that researchers in the British Columbia Ministry of Forest are discovering how pine forests arrive at steady-state growth through Phase 3 integration. They have found a unique relationship between fungi and trees. A fungus forms an underground net that runs everywhere in the forest soil and connects everything. Just a single ounce of soil contains over two miles of filament.

Research shows a “mutualistic” relationship ties the trees and fungi together. The trees are good at making sugars the fungi need and the fungi borrow excess carbon from taller trees whose limbs reach the sun and transfer that to fir seedlings that live in the shade. The fungi and trees cooperate, and their sharing allows the forest to thrive.

Getting Beyond Breakpoints

In 1992, Land co-authored a business book, Breakpoint and Beyond, that applied this transformation theory to business.9 He further expounded on how breakpoints occur as we move from one phase of growth to another. We can apply what Land teaches to church growth. Along the S-Curve, the Gather, Repeat and Share phases can be explained as three types of growth:

Phase 1: ‘Can-opener’ growth
Phase 2: ‘Copy-cat’ growth
Phase 3: ‘Cross-hybrid’ growth

The first breakpoint of growth in any church is if it can get past the 300-barrier. This usually requires them to standardize their ministry to young families and organize in a repeating way to serve new members. This requires the creation of volunteers to manage the growth in Christian education and among youth. A church that has passed the 300 barrier has passed from ‘can-opener’ to ‘copy-cat’ growth. Like the people of Israel under Moses, they now have laws, rules and policy to guide them, plus a working organizational structure of 100 people or more.

scurvebreakp

Even a mega-church of 3,000 can get stuck at the second breakpoint of growth, from phase 2 to phase 3. This threshold requires a congregation to move from church growth to community health. There is a big difference between being a member of a church and being a citizen of a kingdom. Phase 3 ‘cross-hybrid’ growth requires a church move beyond mere Sunday-centric services to marketplace ministry Monday to Saturday.

The key thing about a breakpoint is if you don’t recognize it and adapt to it, you run the risk of suffering a breakdown, a systems breakdown. This is what Judaism experienced at the fall of Jerusalem. Only later did Rabbinic Judaism begin a new S-Curve, apart from the temple system.

The S-Curve and T-Factor teach us that growth in the kingdom of God is not linear, but developmental. Limits to growth, whether in business, an eco-system, or a person’s life can lead to a breakdown, unless we adapt to the situation.

Using Biblical Transformation to Map your World

Throughout history people have sought to understand the ways of God, using both faith and reason. The great Medieval theologian and philosopher, Thomas Aquinas, suggested that some aspects of ‘revealed truth’ could be seen at work or verified through ‘naturally knowable truths.’ It is at this crossroads that the concept of Biblical Transformation operates. The same covenantal pattern of transformation in Scripture appears to be the same dynamic that brings order out of nature’s chaos. Theologians call this ‘common’ grace, in distinction from than ‘saving grace.’

Biblical Transformation could be foundational to an emerging post-modern Christian worldview. Rather than turn to a “dispensational” understanding of history developed by John Darby or a “cosmic warfare” model of reality, promoted by Frank Perreti’s novels, we can use revealed truth, structured in natural order, to understand past achievement and future potential.

Building on Land’s transformation theory, Gus Jaccaci and Susan Gault have written a book, CEO: Leaders Mapping the Future.10 In it, they have put forth a thinking tool they call the Metamatrix® that they use with business.11 In essence the Metamatrix® allows someone to think through developmental patterns across four succeeding S-Curves.

metamatrixbasic

The Metamatrix® is read from the lower left corner and moves up the first column, through the four phases of Gather, Repeat, Share, Transform. The next S-Curve begins at the bottom next column to the right, and develops upward like the first column. The next two columns follow the same visual process, to produce a sixteen-square map. Notice that Jaccaci has named the columns along horizontal axis with the same phase names used along the vertical axis. Why is the Metamatrix® symmetrical?

Just as Dimitri Mendeleyev discovered that the natural order of the Periodic Table of Elements ran both vertically and horizontally along his chart, so Jaccaci discovered the same phases that defined the growth of an S-Curve, were the same developmental stages over time. The Metamatrix® then reflects a “general periodicity,” showing two aspects of developmental order-through all the sizes and time scales of nature.

People today refer to the design of nature as being fractal, isomorphic or holographic. Like a fern leaf, the design of the whole is reflected in the smallest part, and the smallest part grows according to the pattern of the whole. This symmetry of Metamatrix®, having vertical phases up the columns that parallel the horizontal stages across the columns, reflects the fractal dynamic universally found throughout God’s creation.

Mapping Your Career

How can the Metamatrix® be used? Recently in preparing to teach a session on Biblical Transformation, I completed a Metamatrix® that mapped my career path to date. My career today started thirty-years ago when I met Christ as a college freshman and began to study the Bible. This began the first column, or S-Curve of my career. Phase 2 of that column was teaching the Bible to my peers. Phase 3 was working as a campus minister in a different context. And then I got married and came to a crossroads. This was at the Gather-Transform block. I asked, “What Next?” When we move into a Transform phase, it is always a time of testing, like Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness.

metamatrixcareer

As a new couple, we stepped out in faith and moved to California to help establish the U.S. Center for World Missions. I took what I had learned as a campus minister in the Gather stage, and mixed that with what I was learning about ‘unreached peoples.’ Then in 1978, I ran the first “Perspectives” on the World Christian movement program at Penn State. After that I discovered the need to train others to do the same, to Repeat the program. That led me to work for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, helping Christian leaders on all continents work together to reach the world for Christ.

Then in 1989, I entered another time of transition, at the Repeat-Transform block. I stepped out in faith and founded my own ministry, to help prepare the church for the challenges of the third millennium. In the Share column, at the Gather phase, I then wrote The Star of 2000, to call the church to mark the years 1999-2001 in a Christ centered way, in view of his 2,000th anniversary. I then taught and spoke nationwide on the new millennium. This led me to serve cities both in the Holy Land and in the U.S. as a millennial consultant. Then at the Share-Transform stage, I began think seriously about the Jesus of history and what implications that would have to our contemporary context.

At that point in my career I had a decision to make. Could a renewed understanding of eschatology and theology of hope have promise to shape biblical theology? After seeing the directions that top evangelical scholars were already taking in the “third quest for the historical Jesus,” I decided that I could help this new contextual understanding of the kingdom of God make further gains in scholarship and spur on post-conventional Christian community.

I moved into the fourth column by helping launch a series of New Covenant teaching ministries. Then I moved into the Transform-Repeat square by teaching “Biblical Transformation” and writing this essay.

What’s next? If there is any merit to understanding my own career in terms of Biblical Transformation, then I would remain in this Transform-Repeat block until the concept of Biblical Transformation is well-known. I would be heralding a “Transformational” rather than “Confrontational” approach to ministry as part of a post-industrial Missiology.

Through Christian Futures, I’ve begun to establish a network of scholars and ministry activists who want help faith communities cultivate foresight. If this develops further I would move into the Transform-Share block, combining future studies with biblical theology to help the church develop a mature forward view of life and ministry.

Notice above this Metamatrix® I have used a four-fold sequence across the columns to represent my career development. I began as an apprentice of God’s word, then developed into a craftsman, and later became a designer of church and civic life. I’m now moving into the 4th column as a spiritual architect. If I were to complete this 4th S-Curve over the next ten years, my career would start a new sixteen-square Metamatrix®, taking me to new heights of understanding the will of God for my generation.

Mapping Church History

The Metamatrix® can also map the growth and development of a local church, or even church history as a whole. Here is an abbreviated Metamatrix® I drafted of church history in western culture. In column one, notice how the church was born out of the Jewish apocalyptic paradigm of Israel.

metamatrixchurch

On the basis of covenantal transformation, the kingdom was able to take shape in column 2, first in the Hellenistic or Greek culture. The Greek Orthodox paradigm was born as Christianity mixed with classical Roman and Greek culture. The church flourished in that Repeat-Gather stage for most of the first millennium, but with the advent of cities and universities in the west, the Catholic paradigm or Middle Ages emerged.

By the 1600s the Protestant paradigm broke off from the Medieval world, maximizing the differences of northern European language and culture into Christianity. The Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant paradigms continue, but for the past forty years the church has entered a post-modern transition, a time of evaluation where the industrial models of mass production and mass meetings no longer bring church renewal.12

Whatever comes next for faith, it must enter a 3rd S-Curve, beyond just growth by maximizing sameness. The challenge will be to find a greater integration of biblical truth with cultural diversity beyond the modern mechanistic paradigm.

Mapping a Business Domain

metamatrixfoodUnderstanding Biblical Transformation can also keep us ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to mapping out domains of industry. In his book, Jaccaci presents a Metamatrix® he did for a Fortune-500 food company some fifteen years ago. This map showed them how their business would do best by marketing food through health and nutrition information.

Note the synonyms that Jaccaci uses across the four columns. A business that grows the way God’s creation does will move across the four columns, from being a resource, to marketing a product, to combining that product with services, to finally projecting a kingdom value. Again, note the questions above the columns Jaccaci uses as a consultant to explore the nature of the new creative endeavor. Any biblical theology for the 21st century must be a New Creation theology, asking how the dynamic of the New Covenant is at work in our world today.

Becoming Social Architects

Biblical Transformation shows us how Christ, as God’s archon, designs the universe in ever-increasing interdependence and creativity before God. This concept builds squarely on sound doctrine. Then it attempts to show how this doctrine undergirds present-day dynamics of change at work throughout God’s creation.

The Apostle Paul often spoke of being fellow-workers with God (2 Cor. 6:1). Given that covenantal transformation illuminates both the redemptive and natural order of creation, we can work in concert with “Intelligent Design” to build the societies of tomorrow.

As leaders we need to become “social architects.” In reflection on the life of Thomas Jefferson, Jaccaci defines social architects as those who “draw upon divine grace, revealed in natural order, for the planning and enhancement of human fulfillment.

Notice the three-part definition, 1) leaders who draw upon divine grace, 2) revealed in natural order, 3) for the planning and enhancement of human fulfillment. All three components, God’s grace, natural order and community planning, define the work of a social architect. This will demand that Christians be religionists in the best sense of the term, as well as being first-rate scientists and humanists.

Church history is filled with examples of social architects. In the first century, the Apostle Paul drew on divine grace to reform the people of God among the Jewish Diaspora. St. Augustine planned for human fulfillment after the fall of Rome when he wrote The City of God, offering a way for faith to find its bearings beyond the Roman Empire. In the sixth-century, St. Benedict offered a ‘rule’ for his fellow monks that became the basis of all Christian monastic communities in the West.

In the 16th century, John Calvin wrote his Institutes of Christian Religion as a blueprint for both church and society. The baton is now in our hands. Who will become the social architects for the great populations of India or China? Who will find a way for church and society to carry us into a Global Age? Who will be the social architects for the first human settlements on Mars?

For the past 1,900 years traditional theology has been built on constants, controls and boundaries. Now in the third millennium the challenge is to build faith on change, creativity and connections. The concept of Biblical Transformation may give us a tool to do that.

The Significance of Biblical Transformation

The coming of the New Covenant was a central theme of Jesus’ life and ministry. The early Christians saw themselves as living at the End of the Age13 and experienced the transition from Old to New Covenant.

Could this process of covenantal transformation be the design direction of the universe? Could the power of God revealed in the resurrection of Christ and experienced by that first generation, be the operative power that guides all of God’s creation toward a greater whole? To answer these questions with confidence would require much more research and scholarship into the concept of Biblical Transformation than this paper can give. I trust this paper might prime the pump to launch a widespread discussion to this end.

Some sectors of Christianity have been so focused on a vision of last things, that they have overlooked the fact that the early church was equally committed to a vision of first things (Rom. 13:11-12; 2 Cor. 5:17).

Understanding the pattern of Biblical Transformation should be central to any study of “first things.” The S-Curve and T-Factor can help us understand, anticipate and ride the waves of change around us.

Biblical Transformation could also undergird a better Christian philosophy of history, combining natural with sacred natural theology. Up until now, no Christian worldview has shown how redemption and nature follow the same developmental pattern. The concept of Biblical Transformation could do that. It could encourage science to learn from religion and religion to learn from science, and respect both as valid sources to truth. If this would happen, the church could finally put to rest its artificial models of history and failed End-Time schemes.

__________________________

ENDNOTES:
Citation of a reference does not constitute an endorsement of an author’s entire book or what he has written elsewhere.
1. Biblical Transformation as a concept could find points of commonality and work inter-changeably with all the church’s millennialisms, although each use periodization or historicism to emphasize a different aspect of redemption.
2. Jaccaci, August T. General Periodicity: Natures’s Creative Dynamics. Fiddlehead, 2000, p. 18.
3. McKnight, Scott. A New Vision for Israel, Eerdmans, 2000, p. 137.
4. Jones, Eli Stanley. The Way, Stone & Pierce, 1936, p. 6.
5. Land, George. Grow or Die: The unifying principle of transformation. John Wiley & Sons, 1986. Land originally used the terms, accretion, replication and mutalism. I have used more popular terms, such as Gather, Repeat and Share, in keeping with how Jaccaci has transformed his work.
6. Jaccaci, August T. General Periodicity: Natures’s Creative Dynamics. Fiddlehead, 2000, p. 25.
7. Foster, Richard. Innovation: The attacker’s advantage. Summit, 1986, pp. 87-112.
8. For more on Joel Barker’s speeches and video training, see http://www.joelbarker.com/
9. For more on this topic, see George Land & Beth Jarman, Breakpoint and Beyond, HarperBusiness, 1992.
10. Jaccaci, August T. and Gault, Susan B. CEO: Leaders Mapping the Future, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.
11. Metamatrix® is a registered trademark of Metamatrix® Associates, Cape Elizabeth, ME. All rights reserved.
12. See Vincent Donovan’s The Church in the Midst of Creation, Orbis, 1989, pp. 35-47 entitled, “The Church: Captive of the Industrial Revolution.”
13. For a summary of Paul’s ‘already, but not yet’ theology by a progressive dispensationalist, see Pate, Marvin C. The End of the Age Has Come, Zondervan, 1995.

jaygary_s


Dr. Jay Gary is president of PeakFutures.com, a foresight consulting group. Over the past twenty years Jay has helped non-profits, foundations, civic leaders, and strategic alliances to create more promise filled futures. He also teaches strategic foresight, innovation and leadership at the graduate level and through professional development courses.

cover_DVD_map-trans_smOrder the DVD, Mapping Transformation with Gus Jaccaci, a distinguished social architect. How does God bring about growth and change in the universe? How can Creation’s wisdom be used to envision ideal futures for our vocations, our ventures and faith communities? Discover the Metamatrix®–a new futures mapping methodology in this 7-part DVD series. Order it today for $149.99 and learn the secrets to organizational transformation.

Share Button

Comments are closed.