As has been often observed, the old paradigm in the West is Christendom, and it’s disintegrating.
We now need to rethink this new day. But we have help.
The prophet Jeremiah also saw two paradigms in his own lifetime. He saw the idea of God’s-people-as-a-country, with its surface-mounted devotion, corrupt and hollow, collapse — the end of one paradigm.
At the same time he called on Jewish exiles in Babylon to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7).
This was astonishing. God’s people are no longer a nation, Jeremiah was saying. They were to be more like a network. In his way, Jeremiah was as radical as Moses, radical enough to see what of Moses to scrap.
No more separation from the non-Jewish people around you, Jeremiah told the people of God: get stuck in. Keep your faith, but build a good city along with them.
No more Promised Land: now the God of the Promise, present with God’s people in every land.
No longer propping up an abandoned structure: now they were starting a new build. No longer a national focus: now a global one.
This echoes down into the New Testament, and is our call now.