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The Puzzle's Answer (This is the final chapter of a winning novel in the national contest NaNoWriMo..

it has been edited some from the original rough draft, and the rest of the novel is still undergoing more editing before publishing, but hope to be done in 60 days. The NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth Contest was held in November, where you had 30 days to write at least a 50,000 word manuscript. This novel was finished in 25 days and the chapter title still indicates that this final chapter was the last days work. I am putting this on my Scribd page, so that some might stumble upon it and be able to read it. I expect only a handful to find it, hope that they will forgive the rough stage in which it is currently found, and if they have a response that is constructive, they will find a way to share it with me. ) TC

Day Twenty-Five

As soon as Ryans rental car rounded the corner he could see the television trucks with their portable satellite dishes already set up in the parking lot outside the building that held the groups conference and work rooms. He was early. These people were even earlier. It was only about 6:20 am and the sun had barely risen into view. It was another beautiful day. Ryan wondered what could possibly happen today. Since the last sunrise, things were out of control, and almost beyond comprehending. It was crazy how your life can change overnight and suddenly you are faced with so many things that threaten to overwhelm you. All he knew to do was to let the craziness carry him forward, and let happen what will happen. For almost two hours it was a blur of activity with the setting of lights, cameras and microphones. People hovered about doing minor makeup touches on Ryan and the news presenter. Ryan wanted to remain calm, but his stomach was churning with nerves. This was all an alien environment, like something out of the movies, but it was happening with a sense of urgency and expectancy. And it was happening to him. The spotlight was coming on, and he felt a sense of marching up a flight of steps to a waiting stage. How many people would see him and hear him for this brief few seconds? He didnt know. But it was an opportunity to make his life meaningful. It was an opportunity to make an impact. He suddenly began to feel overwhelmed. This wasnt a test given by a professor to see if he knew the answers. This wasnt a lecture to discuss someone elses theological proposition. This was a focus on his own ideas of the search for truth in understanding what Jesus took seriously in his ministry and message to the people of his society and culture. This was a grasping of the almost incomprehensible puzzle of religious meaning and then a letting go of an answer to emerge out of the puzzle. Was it really a possibility? Ryan looked around. It was a buzz of excitement. But a calm suddenly came upon him.

The Puzzle's Answer And the noise faded. It was like he had stepped out of his own body and was suddenly above the scene looking down. Life is a strange thing. There are so many things that compete for our attention, that stress their importance as supreme, and demand our major focus. Food, shelter, clothing, relationships, financial security, personal security and safety, comfort, prestige, self-worth, and a thousand other things make up the busyness of lifes challenges and endeavors. How do you ever lift yourself above these issues that grab you, push you, and jostle you like a mob that is inescapable? It was the same in Jesus day, just with much different complexities. And he rose above it, and lifted his listeners to a position above their daily demands. He compelled his world to see with new eyes, and to hear with an open heart new truth that had meaning and purpose that could transform their situations. And it would only require them to open themselves to a vision of life lived on a slightly higher plane. Ryan realized that this incredible scene playing out before him, filled with an exhaustive but thrilling level of excitement, was the same kind of scenario that Jesus faced throughout his ministry, amidst growing crowds and multitudes, with people of all kinds of needs, on his last journey to the centre of his religious world to Jerusalem, and among those who saw his message as a threat to their authority. And in the midst of the flurry, with pressure from all sides, with lifes demands and pain and threats all around, Jesus stood and let his message come forth. It was so powerful. But it faced such powerful oddsagainst it. It was so insightful, full of the absolute beauty of the purity of truth. But it was being presented to people who had been blinded by traditions of the past, and current understandings that kept them from seeing what was being presented. But, despite all of the difficulties, Jesus brought forth his message to those who were in his midst. And they heard. Finally, they heard. They saw the truth. And lives were changed. God became real to these people! Ryan knew in the quietness of this very loud moment that this was the simple understanding of his role that he must try to emulate as he was being guided to the small x in the centre of the stage. The moment was here. He would try and do his best to unveil the truth of Jesus message as he had come to understand it. There were powerful needs in the lives of so many people in the world, just like in Jesus day. There were powerful opponents, religious and nonreligious, who would not want to hear or believe, just like in Jesus day. But this was an opportunity to speak out and make a difference, just like Jesus had been presented. Jesus had done it. Now, Ryan, was going to get an opportunity to help others see anew what Jesus had shared. He hoped he was up to the difficult challenge. The interviewer was Michael Hart, a well-known reporter in the southern region of the United States. He approached Ryan, and introduced himself. And Ryans thoughts were suddenly now awash with the sounds of technicians in last minute preparations. He was aware of his stomach again. Mr. Hart, the reporter, talked about how the interview would go and the directions of his questions. He smiled and tried to be reassuring. He was genuinely interested, he asserted, in the content of the discussion, so he was hoping Ryan could just be relaxed and share with him and let the world listen to their conversation. Ryan knew he was only minutes away, from making a simple presentation that could be looked upon as a radical challenge to the traditional understanding of the purpose and meaning of

The Puzzle's Answer the mission, message, and ministry of the historical Jesus. Jesus had stepped before the crowds and given a message of truth that was also a radical challenge to the traditional understanding of the Jewish faith and their understanding of God and the Law. Jesus was asked where his authority came from, and how did he dare suggest such divergent new ideas? There were positive and negative reactions. On the one hand, great transformations happened, but on the other hand, it ultimately cost Jesus his life. Ryan was now going to try and explain what Jesus had presented. It would enable the world to remember and hear again the message for which Jesus stood up and took so seriously that he was willing to give his all. He understood how people clinging tightly to tradition could ask questions about authority for new ideas. But he hoped the power of Jesus message would be heard, that it might impact again in our world in a dramatic and relevant way. Finally, the lights were on. Everything became quiet. And a countdown was being done on fingers by the one standing next to the cameraman. Ryan saw five fingers, then four, then three...two...one. And in a strong and confident voice, the interviewer began, Good morning from beautiful Okaloosa Island. Im Michael Hart, and I am with Ryan McGraw today to talk about a new and exciting development in the world of Christianity! Good morning, Ryan! Hello, Michael. Its good to be with you today, and it is a very beautiful morning here on the Florida Gulf shores. Indeed, Ryan, the bright sun is a good backdrop for the brilliant shining of your new subject. Now, Ryan McGraw, you talk about the possibility of a new paradigm understood to be derived from Jesus ministry. How would you introduce your concept to us? Well, Michael, first, simply, imagine discovering that Jesus ministry, what he actually did and said, and the obvious implications of his actions and movements among his society, were all much more remarkable than you had ever realized. You say remarkable, Ryan. What do you mean? And then with a smile and a soft chuckle , the reporter added, Its pretty remarkable just being the Son of God! Ryan laughed. Yes, I agree. Tradition from the beginning has looked back at Jesus and proclaimed the story that they understood. He was close to God. He was so close he must have been divine. He was the Son of God. He died as a sacrifice for sins. Because he died humanity shall live. But this emphasis was all centered on his identity and his death and the meaning of his sacrifice. And this story proclaimed pushed into the background the huge impact that Jesus made with his ministry. You mean his earlier ministry? Yes, Michael, this impact was not made because of his identity, for people didnt realize

The Puzzle's Answer or know exactly who he was. His impact was because of his revelations, his disclosures, and his new truths shared with the people. And this sharing had tremendous impact. What we are lifting up is trying to see and understand just what it was that Jesus took so seriously! What message was Jesus saying? And why is this so important, Ryan? Because it is like a missing or forgotten piece. And this one piece is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle that we could ever find. This is the piece that made such transformations in the first century. And if it is rediscovered, if it can be remembered, if it can be lifted up to us in the 21st century, it could have the same transformative effect. But have we missed something all this time? Could that be possible, Ryan? Jesus was like an incredible intuitive genius who looked at the problems of his society. And he saw injustices being done. He saw many groups who were outcast from their culture. God was being proclaimed as one who had caused their pain and dismissal because of their impurity. And Jesus brought new paradigms, new definitions of truth, and new revelations of God, about Gods characteristics, God,s love, and Gods presence. And do you think people then and now, Ryan, have not understood or realized what Jesus was saying? Michael, I think people realized Jesus was doing amazing things, and saying things that were new and a different direction. But unless you realize that this is a major paradigm shift, a movement of boundaries, instead of seeing the answer that is there, you see other answers that you think are the major summary of the truth being given. Im not sure I follow... The later answers that people gave as they tried to explain what I call the Jesus Experience, which was his earthly ministry, all of these later answers focus on Jesus identity. Now this was an amazing answer to find and discover. They were realizing Jesus is the Son of God! And then they began to understand that it all was a part of a plan of salvation to overcome the problem of sin and separation which was the problem of society. This was the reality of humanitys estrangement from God, and Jesus was taking it away. It made it an amazing answer to the question of who was this man Jesus? It also answered the question of why did he die like he did? So, those are the answers that tradition has followed. Ryan, do you think they are right? They are right, and have been the truth for almost 2,000 years. But they are the understanding and interpretations of those who were seeking the first answers so long ago. As we continue today to search for understandings that continue to be relevant in terms of 21st

The Puzzle's Answer century viewpoints of reality, I am saying that we can look at the Jesus Experience and see it differently. We can now see it as a presentation of new paradigms, and the introduction of a paradigm shift. And, Ryan, what would your conclusions be? And how would they relate to tradition? Michael, I would say that Jesus in his ministry introduced a new paradigm that would take people out of their state of God-estrangement, first. This solves the same problem as the answer that tradition finds. God-estrangement is removed. People are brought back into Gods favour. But, in Jesus ministry, it is interesting to notice how Jesus did it. He went to those who were outcasts. They couldnt be farther from Gods favour. They were totally and completely estranged. And these people knew there was no hope for this condition or state of being. Truth of that day had defined it. It was the existing paradigm of their reality. Ryan paused and breathed deeply before continuing. Jesus said the problem was in the truth that was being proclaimed. Truth was wrong. Tradition was wrong. They needed a new truth. Now, he didnt make a new truth up. But he gave new revelations of truth. He made disclosures that were contrary to the accepted tradition of the day. And, what do you think he was saying, Ryan? He was saying things like this. And Ryan began to speak slowly, distinctly, articulating and emphasizing each word. You think God doesnt care. God does care! Gods love reaches to all people. No one is outside the reach of the love of God. You think God has caused your pain. That is not truth. You think God is distant. That is not truth. You think God is not available and certainly not accessible. Those concepts are not truth. And, Michael, because of the changes that happened, we know Jesus shared his truth with those people. It was his new truth! Jesus had a mission of making God real and taking people from a position of God-estrangement to a reality of God-closeness, and to a life where Gods presence fills their awareness. And, Ryan, is that the Jesus Paradigm that we are hearing so much about? Yes, I think so, Michael. I think that sums it up. And, why is this an important thing for Christianity today? Jesus took his ministry seriously. He spoke truths that solved problems that were existing in the religious system of his day. He met those problems by realizing they were issues that were dealing with basic questions of truth and reality. And he brought without any eartly authority a whole new direction. They were dynamic truths, but without authority. Should they be ignored? We have said for 2,000 years that God has vindicated the ministry of Jesus. We mean by this that Jesus authority for redefining truth, for giving new paradigms, for bringing new disclosures, is authority given by God. So what Jesus said and did was and is important. The question is do we remember? Has it been overlooked?

The Puzzle's Answer

And what is the message of your group? Our message is a simple one. It is to encourage people to remember the remarkable ministry of Jesus. It is for them to listen and hear the Jesus Paradigm as it was given in the 1st century. And to hear it for the 21st century, too. For all those who feel far from God, and feel like religion has made that distance seem like an uncrossable chasm, may they be able to realize God is real and the message of Jesus would tell them that God-closeness is a simple reality that can be a part of their life. Ryan, the name of your groups program is certainly filled with an ideal. It is called Lets Change The World! Isnt that a lofty goal? What does it mean to you? Well, Michael, we have tried to focus on a simple concept, or at least a concise short understanding of what Jesus was doing in his ministry. It was a ministry of new paradigms, bringing about a paradigm shift. We have tried to get it into a concept that anyone can grasp called the Jesus Paradigm. And we are wanting to get this message out to let the Jesus Paradigm of the 1st century live again as a paradigm for the 21st century. But how would that message change the world? Have you ever passed a billboard that says, Jesus Saves? Or have you ever watched a football game on television and in the stands in the background, someone is holding a large sign that simply says John 3:16? Those are simple messages where people are trying to get an idea across to others. It is seen as the actions of Christians. But is it successfully telling a message to nonChristians? And what would that message be? And what is the reaction of many people? Actually, Ryan, it probably isnt a positive one. It would be like having someone come to your door with a tract or religious literature to scare you about eternal damnation. You may try to hide and act like you are not home! Well, Michael, Jesus was dealing with people who hated the scorn they received daily from religious types. They would not have been very friendly at first. But Jesus message was a positive message of truth that could change and transform their existence. They soon realized that. And they heard, and responded. Our goal would be to get Jesus message of truth, his paradigm, out to the world, in a way that people would actually have a chance to react and hear the basic Christian truth in a new and different way. But, Ryan McGraw, is it sort of doing away with the old tradition in favour of something new? Not at all. It is the attempt to make a big change, yes. But it is remembering and rediscovering something that goes all the way back to Jesus. Fundamentalism, which is responsible for the loudest voice for tradition currently in the Christian Faith, only goes back a little more than 100 years. It is really fairly new. It is not the age of the tradition or thought, but

The Puzzle's Answer really the power of the tradition. Something that has been ingrained for a long time is not easy to change in even a small way. But this truth is old. The truth goes back to Jesus. It is old truth. But it is a new way of seeing it. It is not doing away with tradition. But it is challenging tradition to move over and allow a new voice to be heard. Ryan, do you expect anegative reaction from tradition? Yes, unfortunately. Jesus knew that he would get a reaction from the religious authorities of his day. He was challenging their authority by the implications of his new truths. But he wasnt trying to do away with it. I think he loved his tradition. But he knew truth needed a new vision of God, and a new vision of the human-divine relationship. Today, the world needs a new revisioning also, just like in Jesus time. This would be a new vision of Gods attitude towards humanity, and of what is the main essence of being a Christian. Is Christianity about a ticket to heaven or about having a divine relationship that makes a difference in this life? Certainly, Michael, there will be those who disagree that any change is needed. There will be those that will see this as a challenge to what they understand to be truth. They think tradition has already been given the truth. So, nothing new is needed. There are those who are not interested in the academic historical Jesus studies of the past thirty years or the historical-critical studies of the Scriptures of the past 250 years. They use a different method and different presuppositions about their approach, and they would have little tolerance for anyone who does it differently than they do. So, they have little problem telling the world with a loud authoritative voice, that everyone but them is rubbish, and wrong! So you expect a reaction? Ryan laughed a nervous laugh. Yes, I suppose it is inevitable. Honestly, it is never the fun part about being involved with the dynamic concepts of Jesus and his ministry. Dealing with almost abusive criticism from traditional conservatives, who see themselves in a position of power and with a strong voice, is something that challenges your spirit. You have to develop sort of a thick skin, and not take it pesonally. It helps when you realize that Jesus had to face the same sort of aggressive power of tradition in his own society. And it didnt change his program of trying to bring a paradigm shift into the religion of his day. He would not back away or back down from standing on his paradigm in this day and age, if he were able to repeat his incarnational ministry again. Maybe we are taking his place, and standing in for him, and simply asking people to remember what he did in ministry for the world. And understanding that ministry, and understanding his paradigm is an exciting job. I have enjoyed it for many years now. And now to be in a program that is trying to help others to see it, to hear it, and to understand it, too, that it might touch their lives and make God-closeness a reality for them, this task is absolutely the most invigorating one you could ever imagine. Well, Ryan McGraw, it has been a privilege to talk with you this morning, about this new program that is simply trying to get a new message out, a new message that you would tell us is an old message, and in fact, would be the heart of Jesus ministry. And you would call that message the Jesus Paradigm?

The Puzzle's Answer Thats right! And Ryan smiled, knowing he was almost done. And as I look back in my notes, you made a quote that sort of sums it up. Is this a fair understanding of the Jesus Paradigm? And the reporter paused for a few seconds, and looked at his notes, before finally reading these words: Jesus had a mission of making God real and taking people from a position of God-estrangement to a reality of God-closeness, and to a life where Gods presence fills their awareness. Is that the message, Ryan? Michael, I think that pretty well sums up what Jesus did for his disciples, his followers, and all those who ever met him. I think that was his mission, and I think he accomplished it. I think it is what I would hope the Christian Faith of the 21st century could be about. If we understand it to be the essence of Jesus truth, we can realize that it was his new paradigm to bring about change in his society that it might be revitalized. It was what he was trying to do. It was what he was taking seriously in his efforts. And I have to believe that if our Christian Faith is a faith that is following the ministry of Jesus, this would describe our efforts in meeting todays challenges. So that is why your group has been sending messages out with enticing titles talking about A New Christianity...A New Paradigm for the Christian Faith...and so forth? Yes, Michael, encouraging them to listen and hear the Jesus Paradigm. And you are hoping, Ryan, that people will want to hear about it? Yes, we are hoping that people will be agreeing that this sounds like a refreshing new way to talk about Jesus and the Christian Faith. We hope there will be lots of interest. So it is like getting on a bandwagon? Ryan laughs. Well, yes, sort of. But, not with any big personal agenda. We are not out to start a new church. We are trying to let Jesus work revitalize the old church. Yes, we are challenging the old tradition a bit. But we are doing it in order to let the truth move forward in a progressive way in the 21st century. We are trying to help people focus on what Jesus took seriously. We are actuallly just saying...Remember Jesus! Remember the Galilean! And Remember his paradigm that he introduced. Well, we have been talking this morning with Ryan McGraw, about some serious concepts of basic Christianity. And the reality is, that people are hearing the message. And people are getting excited. And people are getting on the bandwagon. People are listening. And if simply telling the world that you are listening would change it, then change may, indeed, be coming.

The Puzzle's Answer

This group has a facebook page about hearing the message, this refreshing new message of the Christian faith, and people are going to it and hitting the Like button to show that they like what they hear. They are telling their friends about the project on their facebook pages, and encouraging them to pass the word. And the number of Likes for this page, The Jesus Paradigm, is growing at an incredible rate. In a week it had jumped to 30,000 and we made contact to investigate the story. Last night late we saw it had climbed to 80,000. It is now about 9:30 in the morning, and it has been moving steadily all the while. What is the number at this moment, Terry? And Terry looked up and said, It just passed 128,000. Michael Hart looked into the camera and continued. People, this is an example of a message going viral! Who knows where it will go. It could go to half a million or even a million. Or even more. It is a wild thing to feel something spreading so fast. It sends goose bumps up to your shoulders to be in a position at the epicenter of a movement and watch it grow. And no one truly knows where it will lead. How big could it get? Could change really begin to happen in the heart of Christianity. Could the image of the church and the faith actually begin to change? Could the world actually begin to change? Maybe the simple wish of this group to spread a message could result in their names directive...Lets Change The World! This is Michael Hart, reporting from the beautiful beaches on Floridas Gulf Shores. And it was over. Ryan felt relieved. His stomach stopped churning. He had made it through the task that he felt was his. The words had been said. The ideas had been cast as seeds into the world. Would people hear? Could truth be seen? Could lives really change? He hoped the answers to these questions would all be positive. But how can you ever know? Later that night, Ryan sat alone on the beach, in the moonlight, with the waves lapping up to his feet. He stared at the moon and the stars, and at the vast body of water before him. He thought of Jesus and how he must have stared across the Sea of Galilee under the same moon, and how he must have thought about the words and the ideas that he shared with those who gathered around him. Could words and ideas really have an impact? Would they be remembered? Or would they soon be forgotten? Jesus must have wondered about helping people to see truth. How do you compel people to see with new eyes, tosee differently from what you have always been told? Jesus must have realized how difficult was his task. And even though he seemed to be good at it, even though he seemed to be successful at it, what would happen to the truth if he were suddenly removed by his opponents. Would people remember? Would they remember his words and his ideas? Would they remember the truths that he introduced? How can words and ideas ever have lasting value and the ability to bring about continual change? Ryan wondered what would happen next. He was glad it had all gone so well. He felt good about the way it had unfolded in the interview. But he could honestly say that the anxiety and pressure that he had felt beforehand was not something he wanted to be around all the time. He didnt know what his future role would be. But for now, all he could do was wait and watch,

The Puzzle's Answer and let happen what will happen. It only took 72 hours to hit half a million likes. The tv interview had caused an outpouring of interest among people who were very excitied about the possibility of a new direction in Christianity. People wanted to speak out and say that they would like to hear more about how this approach could be studied by church groups and people who were on a spiritual quest. It also raised a stir of protest from the conservative and traditional elements of the Christian Church. Just as Ryan had predicted there were outcrys of this being a direct attack on the divinity of Jesus, and the Bible as the Word of God. They were saying that they had heard all of this before and it was just poor scholarship. The true academics had solved these problems over many centuries, and should not be questioned. They were tryng to protect their power base of tradition and authority just like it has happened throughout history. It sounded like a direct parallel to Platos Cave and the reaction of the tradition leaders to a voice that has seen the outside light. It was a discomforting feeling for Ryan to be the target of ridicule, and have people saying that you were not only wrong but to be treated as something that is evil to those who are the holders of truth. But there was another side to his feeling ill at ease. It was the note that was found in an envelope addressed to him that had been brought to him in the conference room. No one had seen the person who had left it. Ryan had not opened it at first. But when he did, it made him pause for a second as a cold wind swept over him. The single page of white paper contained a scribbled hand-written message all in large bold capital letters! If it were texting, it would be loud shouting. He read it slowly...TWICE! Finally, he closed it, and looked around to see if anyone had noticed his initial reaction. He had to think about this for a moment. Should he tell the others? Was it something he should take seriously? Suddenly, he realized that to change the world, it often cost a lot more than one could imagine. Jesus paid dearly. The one who returned to the cave paid dearly. This is the 21st century. Surely, we live in a different age, an age of reason, where dynamic truth that can change the world is not something of which to be afraid. This had to be just a crank. He would push forward and not be afraid. One should not be afraid to take a stand. Ryan had worked in private and in almost solitude for nearly twenty years thinking about truth and involved in the search and the quest for getting at a deeper understanding. And no one seemed to care or be concerned about his paradigmatic thinking. He was not used to threats. How do you tell the real one from the idle one? Never had he experienced such a chilling message directed at his person. It was only something from a television show or the movies that gave him any such experience. A week ago this would have been unimaginable.

The Puzzle's Answer And now things were happening so fast, Ryan couldnt even quite grasp and comprehend the impact of the chain of events. In only about 5 days the viral effects of technology and the internet and the communication structure of Facebook had grabbed the attention of over half a million people. And now somebody was even threating him, claiming he must be stopped! Suddenly, Ryan thought of Jesus in the garden the night of his arrest. Jesus knew they were coming. And he didnt run! Jesus had started a ministry with a new message, a new paradigm, and nothing could make him afraid to stand up for truth. The power of tradition felt threatened with the implications of his new message, but Jesus was committed to doing what he knew was right. Ryan knew he, too, was committed to helping the world to see the paradigm of Jesus. He would not let the power of tradition make him afraid. A loud shot rang out and there was the sound of glass breaking as one of the windows shattered. Ryan was wondering where it would all lead. What number would the program grow and reach? Could Christianity really be changed? Could it really be a direct personal risk to care about something so important, so vital, and so dynamic? Ryan wondered...and knew he would never know the answer.

The Puzzle's Answer

The Next Events


Nick paused for a moment. He hung his head. Suddenly everything felt chaotic. This was a story about truth. It was a dynamic truth about God and the availability and accessibility of relationship, of closeness with sacred love and spirit. It is a story about facing the difficult battle with the power of tradition. It is about understanding how Jesus fought that battle. It is understanding the message of Jesus about what life can be. It is also about understanding that Jesus temporarily lost his battle with tradition. For a few hours tradition must have thought him stopped. Nick looked at the note on his desk that had come into existence during the viewing of late night golf. He wondered if it was really necessary. He could wad it up and throw it away. He had that power. And he loved his character. He thought of Jesus and how quickly his ministry was interrupted by his awful and sudden death. He thought of Ryan who had tried his best to share important and dynamic paradigm-shifting truth to a world that was hungry for a revitalization of the Christian faith. The world had heard. The word had begun to spread. But, now, Ryan was gone. What should he do? Nick went outside for a fresh breath of the cool night air. He knew the story had to move onward. There was no turning back. The story was really over for his main character. And it had ended tragically. So, Nick had written a tragedy. But from the depths of despair, can meaning be found? From senselessness, can we learn and find any understanding? Nick stared at the night sky silently for several moments. And then, he turned and went back to his keyboard. He returned to his story. The man responsible was seen fleeing the scene. A chase ensued. His vehicle was followed for miles to a small older house down at the end of a narrow gravel lane. Soon it was surrounded and a long seige began. The news of the killing hit the airwaves nationally with live coverage of the standoff. They began playing excerpts from the interview from four days earlier. It was hard hearing the powerful words coming from the enthusiastic voice of one who had been taken away so violently and so quickly from our midst. It became apparent that an intelligent and thinking redefining of Christianity had been put forth into the public arena, where it was belittled by tradition from a position of strength and power of influence. The power of tradition had reacted with the control to say that anything that differs from their body of absolute truths must be wrong. And now people all across the world were watching live reports of the battle of authorities to capture whoever was responsible for this tragedy from inside this simple dwelling. It would take another two hours before they talked the man into surrendering. During that time, clips of Ryans interview were shown several times, and the story of Ryans lectures and the

The Puzzle's Answer group and their program to change the world were talked about and discussed on a world stage of media coverage. When they brought the man out, it was a long walk through the converging media. He was handcuffed, and they were trying to keep him from engaging the reporters. But, he struggled, and was insistent to have his say. He began yelling quick statements, when he was being asked why he did it. My pastor told me he was evil,...evil! ... against God and Gods Word. he railed loudly! The questions were coming back rapidfire. And he continued. He was speaking rubbish!! It was a threat to real Christianity.! As he reached the police vehicle, he braced himself, and in a burst he gave one loud last statement, I may not be educated, but I am a man of action, and I knew this evil had to be stopped! So...yes, I did it! And I am proud to say so! And the man was shoved inside, and the car sped away. And it was over. The news showed this shocking footage over and over again. And the world saw the possibility of how arrogant and fanatical that religion can become when it has the belief of absolute truth combined with the power of tradition. But along with this footage they continued to explain the details and information of Ryans group. And they kept talking about the numbers, that showed the people who were listening. There began a fascination with the numbers and their amazing growth. The stunning nature of the rise became a story all its own. But always, it was with a clip from the interview. The favorite clip, perhaps, that was shown more than the others was when they asked Ryan about his expectations. It began with Ryan speaking: So, they have little problem telling the world with a loud authoritative voice, that everyone but them is rubbish, and wrong! So you expect a reaction? asked the interviewer. Ryan laughed a nervous laugh. Yes, I suppose it is inevitable. Honestly, it is never the fun part about being involved with the dynamic concepts of Jesus and his ministry. Dealing with almost abusive criticism from traditional conservatives, who see themselves in a position of power and with a strong voice, is something that challenges your spirit. You have to develop sort of a thick skin, and not take it pesonally. It helps when you realize that Jesus had to face the same sort of aggressive power of tradition in his own society. And it didnt change his program of trying to bring a paradigm shift into the religion of his day. He would not back away or back down from standing on his paradigm in this day and age, if he were able to repeat his incarnational ministry again. Maybe we are taking his place, and standing in for him, and simply asking people to remember what he did in ministry for the world. And understanding that

The Puzzle's Answer ministry, and understanding his paradigm is an exciting job. I have enjoyed it for many years now. And now to be in a program that is trying to help others to see it, to hear it, and to understand it, too, that it might touch their lives and make God-closeness a reality for them, this task is absolutely the most invigorating one you could ever imagine. And then they cut to the clip of the interviewer asking, Is this a fair understanding of the Jesus Paradigm? And the reporter paused for a few seconds, and looked at his notes, before finally reading these words: Jesus had a mission of making God real and taking people from a position of God-estrangement to a reality of God-closeness, and a life where Gods presence fills their awareness. Is that the message? That pretty well sums up what Jesus did for his disciples, his followers, and all those who ever met him. I think that was his mission, and I think he accomplished it. I think it is what I would hope the Christian Faith of the 21st century could be about. And then the newscast would show a picture of a smiling Ryan McGraw. Above his head were the words Lets Change The World! and at the bottom of his picture the years of his birth and death. And below that were two charts. One was the number of days of the program. The other was the number of likes on the Facebook page of The Jesus Paradigm.

Todays broadcast said simply:

AFTER

60
DAYS

The Puzzle's Answer

LIKES ON FACEBOOK PAGE:

THE JESUS PARADIGM

42,678,859

The Puzzle's Answer

The Puzzles Answer


When Nick began his novel he represented a character who was trying to complete a novel in less than 30 days as a part of a contest. His goal was to find characters that would be involved in a plot to bring about a change, to overcome difficulties and hardships, and to somehow solve a puzzle, finding the complex answer that was needed. In this novel about a writer, we see the difficulties of being a writer and facing the discipline of constant production. We see the constant battle of forcing yourself onward, and not letting yourself be derailed and stopped. At the same time we have been in Nicks mind as he thinks about the battle in his novel between truth and the power of tradition. We are introduced to Ryan and his paradigm thinking. We are introduced to the Jesus Paradigm, and the issue of bringing about a radical change in what is considered the essence of the Christian faith. Is it about salvation and a ticket to heaven and avoiding hell or about relationship and God-closeness? What was Jesus message in his ministry to those who were outcast from their society? Was Ryan giving a message from Jesus to the reader? The character always represents a vicarious experience for the reader and a representation or example of how the readers life can be lived or adapted. For most of the book I thought Nick was just trying to finish a book in 30 days, and to be a winner for that accomplishment. I thought he could be an example and role model for someone trying to do the same thing. I never realized his goal could be to change the world. He introduced The Jesus Paradigm. And the world is changed most drastically by paradigm shifts, from old paradigms to new ones. The change happens without much choice by those who support the old paradigm. Revolutionary new paradigms that can create a paradigm shift make the owners of the old paradigms suddenly on an even playing field. The power of the old is stripped away. The new paradigm is seen to set the perimeters for understanding of truth. It becomes a whole new world. It happened once long ago, with its early interpretations. And that happening is finally able to emerge again, with renewed vision and interpretations, and have a second chance to transform the world with its truth about love and closeness, a closeness to that essence that is greater than all that we can imagine. In the end, Nick achieved his goal of finishing the book. His total word count was 58,625. But his greater accomplishment was in what happened along the way, in finding...

THE PUZZLES ANSWER