I hope you can see why the idea of God-centeredness matters for Christian education. If we’re to teach and learn (education defined) well, we must teach in a God-centered manner. Teachers must be God-centered in any type of Christian education because any Christian education which removes God from the center and replaces it with something else is not Christian education, its godless education. Three things are ultimate here that I want to point out. First, theology really matters. When we take a step back from the book of Romans something stands out. The first 11 chapters give us some of the richest, deepest, and thickest theology in the entire Bible. After writing this glorious treasure of theology in Romans 1-11, Paul explodes into praise in 11:33-36. After this praise, Paul begins the last section of Romans that deals primarily with application. Is there order to Paul’s thinking? Yes. This praise from Paul (11:33-36) is a bridge in Romans because of where it comes from and where it leads to. It comes from rich theology, and leads to the last section of Romans that deals primarily with application. Is it any surprise that theology leads to praise, and praise then leads to application of theology? No! I imagine Paul writing this as a boiling pot of water getting hotter and hotter to the boiling point as he is finishing chapter 11. He then explodes in praise, because that is what the theology has led him to! The praise then leads Paul to describe how the theology affects our everyday relationships.
Notice that this means, contrary to popular opinion, that theology, or right thinking about God, leads to the praise of God. So many have given up on deep thinking about the things of God, the Son, and the Spirit; and in doing so they have given up the very thing that will lead them to white hot worship! I don’t know who began saying that seminaries should be called cemeteries, but they obviously didn’t see this pattern in Romans. If you’re a deep thinker of God and love deep theology, this is for you. If you feel you can only scratch the surface of Paul’s thought, this is for you. No matter if you dive in over your head, or jump in the shallow end of the ocean of theology, it will lead you to praise, and that praise will lead to a practical outworking of the great truths you have learned. This means that theology is not just for book loving theologians, or young seminarians, it’s for every Christian, especially Christians who are leaders in education. Eastern religions tell us to empty our minds to find peace. Christianity calls us to fill our minds with massive Biblical truths about God. Indeed, our minds were made to be filled with these things. This is one of the goals of Christian education, to make God-soaked, Bible saturated students.
Secondly, I want to address a simple, but perhaps overlooked truth in our day. Man- centered theology is as helpful to the Christian as non-Christian education. Bad theology, or man-centered theology, will not lead to the praise of God, but to the praise of man. It will not lead to a practical Christian life, but a practical sinful life centered on the self instead of God. Bad theology first and foremost dishonors God because any theology that is not built around, stemming from, and leading back to God, is not right theology. Bad theology also hurts man, because man is not getting what he needs in it. The same applies for education. Any type of Christian education must be God-centered if it is to have any lasting fruit at all. A Christian that creates a man-centered education system or curriculum is dishonoring God and hurting their teachers and students by doing so.
Thirdly, do you now see why I took so long to unfold what God-centeredness is? It really matters. Not only is the spiritual wellbeing of the students at risk if this is absent from any Christian education, but God’s glory is profaned when we proclaim and teach that we, or anything else but Him is the center of our faith.