Item description for God Our Teacher: Theological Basics in Christian Education by Robert W. Pazmino & Robert W. Pazml$no...
Overview Explores recent scholarship's offerings connecting theology to Christian education, theology's role in today's global culture, and the role of theological principles for educational thought and practice.
Publishers Description A topic of frequent discussion in religious education circles is the relationship between theology and practice. How does Christian theology work itself out in the teaching ministries of the church? Noted Christian education thinker Robert Pazmino contemplates this debate and offers a contemporary overview of the messages theology brings to Christian education. Sensitive to today's expanding global culture, God Our Teacher reaffirms the essential role theology plays in developing educational practices and conventions, and carefully fleshes out what it means to use the Trinity as a model for ordering educational thought and practice. This book will be welcomed by all those involved in fostering the growth and development of Christian education.
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Robert W. PazmiNo (Ed.D., Teacher's College, Columbia University) is Valeria Stone Professor of Christian Education at Andover Newton Theological School. His many works include "Foundational Issues in Christian Education" and "By What Authority Do We Teach?"
Robert W. Pazmino currently resides in Newton Centre, in the state of Massachusetts. Robert W. Pazmino was born in 1948.
Reviews - What do customers think about God Our Teacher: Theological Basics in Christian Education?
A CRITIQUE OF ROBERT PAZMINO'S "GOD OUR TEACHER" Jan 28, 2008
The book God Our Teacher by Dr. Robert W. Pazmiño is a wonderful work about the harmonization between Christian education and theology. The book's focus deals with the instructive model of Christian teaching by synthesizing it with some of the different theological aspects that Christians interact with in education. The book, chapter by chapter, explains the different perspectives that humans have as they relate with the Triune God. This book critique will speak to both the positive and negative aspects of the volume in question. In examining the book, this paper will critically assess each chapter by what it purports and how effective the author is in communicating his ideas.
Robert Pazmiño is the author of God Our Teacher: Theological Basics in Christian Education. He was educated at the esteemed Columbia University, where he received a Doctorate of Education. Robert Pazmiño and his wife, Wanda, live in Massachusetts where he is a professor at Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). Dr. Pazmiño currently serves as the Valeria Stone Professor of Christian Education at ANTS. He is the author of several other books including: By What Authority Do We Teach?, Principles and Practices of Christian Education, and The Seminary In The City.
Although the author does not explicitly state his purpose in writing the book God Our Teacher, Pazmiño does indicate his reasoning behind creating a book that delineates a theological basis for Christian education. The writer begins his book in the introduction by simple stating what existence truly means: "Ultimately, life and theology come down to God and us. Therefore, the ultimate questions about life can be viewed in terms of our relationships with others and our communion with God (pg 6)." That quote sums up the purpose of humanity and the author's reasoning for writing his book.
The book God Our Teacher: Theological Basics in Christian Education is a very good evaluation of the dynamics between Christian education and theology. Once the text is analyzed, the reader will render the conclusion that Dr. Robert Pazmiño certainly is a scholar on the subject. The author writes his thoughts in a way, so much so, that they are very academically focused, but quickly understood by thinking through the topics. Sometimes, however, the author's point is not always conveyed intelligibly. Overall the book is well written and an interesting read.
Dr. Pazmiño sets in motion chapter one by clearly identifying the purpose of his study. Whether an area of issue in education or any other subject, a Trinitarian view, for Christians, is the starting point. Understanding how the Divine deals with humanity in the Godhead model will assist humans in understanding how God interacts with his creation in all avenues of life. The first chapter argues this very well and it makes sense to the reader where the writer's heart is. However, there are some places where the author's arguments are not coherent. Even though the common person can read the book and develop a clear conclusion, sometimes the writer's intent is not easily comprehendible. In one particular instance, the case the author makes is seemingly nonsense. Dr. Pazmiño addresses recent works of erudition on the topic of the Trinity, but quickly jumps to talking about something altogether different:
"Persons as beings-for suggest the need to consider the purposes, directions, commitments, and ministries of participants. The concern for human freedom in education includes a consideration of a freedom for beyond the freedom from any sources of oppression. Freedom for requires consideration of God's purposes and God's demands in relation to human callings and vocations (pg 21)."
Even though the author's inability to communicate in direct language is found at this specific moment, nowhere else does his language and arguments seem quite as officious.
In the next chapter, the author addresses issues pertaining to all people. The author does not necessarily direct this part of his book to Christians, but more to humanity in general. Throughout the chapter, he does address Christian issues; but at the beginning, Pazmiño deals with soteriology and harmitology, the study of salvation and sin, respectively, as it relates to all persons. The writer develops his arguments and presents them to the reader in a way that the audience cannot help but grasp his point. The subject is so important to the writer that he takes time in constructing his arguments, and it shows in the writing. The subject is imperative to understanding theology, as it relates to Christian education, and Pazmiño emphasizes that in the chapter.
Chapter three switches modes and gets back to speaking about the Trinity in relation to God the Son. The author does a fantastic job here in making a clear indication about Jesus being "the Master teacher" (pg 59). Dr. Pazmiño offers a Christological argument for Christian education. He then uses his argument about Christ, and purports the notion that Jesus is the example for teaching, because he is truly the ultimate instructor. It is evident to the audience to see how Jesus did indeed use theology in his education and he did this through being what the author calls "rabbinic and unrabbinic" (pg 65). Finally, in the last portion of the chapter, the author adds his main thesis for why Jesus was the best example of a teacher. The author's explanation for this claim is that Jesus was a great teacher because of how he built relationships with his learners. The Lord did this, not to boss them around or have mindless clones, but to meet his audience's needs--everyone one of them. Instead of just telling the people what to do, Christ instructed them through common language and parables that they could understand. "Therefore," Pazmiño says, "Jesus' priority of relationships included those whom others readily sought to avoid. Jesus incarnated the Galilean principle in his teaching by mixing with those on the margins" (pg 84). Relationships with the people in his culture were just as important as his relationship with the people who are alive today.
The next section of the book, chapter four, deals with how Christians are supposed to relate to the Godhead in the person of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Pazmiño brings his educational talks into focus by emphasizing how the Christian learns from and through the Holy Spirit. Why might the pneumatology (study of spirituality) of education be worth mentioning? It is the author's view that the Spirit of God has been present in the world and interacting with human beings since man's creation. The writer deals with this assertion by citing Old, as well as New Testament reference that support his claim. The author also deals with how the Holy Spirit currently interacts with the church today. It is this point that Pazmiño shifts his focus some. The author begins to address how the Holy Spirit is involved in the education process. Through the steps of teaching spiritually-mind, the author says that the Spirit is involved in the "preparation, instruction, and evaluation" (105). All of the Pazmiño's claims give evidence to how he feels about the Holy Spirit's working through education.
Chapter five, God Through Us: The Church and Teaching, is an interesting chapter to say the least. The author does a fantastic job of establishing a solid argument, defending it with sound logic and scripture, and then concluding it with an ecclesiological summation. Pazmiño addresses the issues of people, but not to the point of only talking about those that are redeemed, to the exclusion of non-believers. The writer tells his audience that all learners should be treated like the people of God (although he acknowledges that Christians are actually the people of God). The part where non-Christians come into play is their role in the missiological aspect of teaching. The teaching of Saints applies to the church, but trying to bring more people into the fold is the purpose of missions. The teacher should focus instruction on dealing with those two aspects of the educational process.
And finally, chapter six, Dr. Pazmiño's address to those educators who have a stake in the Christian ministry of teaching in the future. The writer intends this section of the book to be an encouragement for Christian educators. He does this by offering several tips for instructors who will be doing this beyond tomorrow. This portion of the chapter is really well written and does exhort those who are involved in the process of relaying information to learners. The writer takes the time here to involve himself in the world of the reader, often using personal experience to communicate his message. Chapter six by itself makes the book worth reading. The culmination of Pazmiño's experience and work has been represented in this book, God Our Teacher. It is an excellent and enjoyable reference for anyone who is in Christian education.
"Must Read" for all new Christian teachers Sep 27, 2004
Pazmino's book is helpful for new Christian teachers to understand the concept of teaching that is explicitly Christian. It is a reminder for seasoned Christian teachers that their teaching focus should never waiver from Christ. I agree with Pazmino that Christian education encompasses proclamation, community formation, service, advocacy, and worship.
Sunday school and Discipleship teachers present Christ to their students through the Bible while using their words and actions. Teachers then educate their students so that one day they will tell others about Jesus, share each other's burdens, do ministry, intercede in prayer, and glorify God. This is the process that Pazmino describes as "formation and transformation of person as beings for others (21)."
Overall, I enjoyed reading Pazmino's book because he encapsulates principles central to the teachings of Christianity. He dissects the topic of Christian education and presents the various parts to the reader. This is a book all new Christian teachers should read.
Pazmino's six "theological teachings" summarizes the main points of his book: · "God is the starting point of Christian education" (35)
· "We teach: God transforms sin through salvation" (57)
· "Jesus Christ provides a model for teaching that transcends time" (86)
· "The Holy Spirit empowers us for teaching" (112)
· "God works through us to accomplish His mission in the world" (132)
· "God wants us to embrace the future of Christian education with living hope" (157)