Should biblical Christian churches be Christ-centered (Christocentric)? Should the doctrines of the Father (Patriology) and the Holy Spirit (Pnematology) also be equally emphasized? Can a church be Patriocentric or Pnemacentric and be biblical?
The answer to these questions are quite simple from a biblical perspective. There have been charges leveled at some movements such as the Pietist Movement in Germany and other movements that they place too much emphasis on Christ to the exclusion of the Father and the Holy Spirit. This may be true to a certain degree. The doctrines of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit must be taught with equal emphasis so that Christians will know what they believe.
But should a church be Patriocentric or Pnemacentric? No. For instance, there are far too many churches today, having been influenced by hyper-Pentecostalism and the Latter Rain, that are Pnemacentric. They spend most of their time focusing on the Holy Spirit to the exclusion of preaching the Gospel while, in fact, they don't even have a biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. I believe that because classic Evangelicals, to a certain degree, dropped the ball in defining the Person and role of the Holy Spirit it gave an opening to Third Wavers to step in with their erroneous ideas of Pnematology. For more information on this subject, go to this section of the web site.
But should biblical churches be Christocentric? Though not to the exclusion of a proper understanding of the other core doctrines of the Faith ... yes! Why? Because that is the emphasis the New Testament, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the Apostles give to Christianity. Therefore we should do no less.
The New Testament is Christocentric.
The words "Christ" and "Son" are repeated 720 times in the NT, while the word "Father" is only used 297 times and the word "Spirit" only 274 times. The emphasis in the New Testament is clearly Christocentric.
The Father wants us to be Christocentric.
Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped
them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with
him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
Phil. 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest placeand gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Son wants us to be Christocentric.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
The Holy Spirit is Christocentric.
John 15:26-27 "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you
from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he
will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been
with me from the beginning.
John 16:13-15 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
Paul was Christocentric.
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I
was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Peter was Christocentric.
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Luke was Christocentric.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
The author of Hebrews was Christocentric.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The fact is that true biblical Christian faith is Christocentric because that is the emphasis given by the Holy Trinity and the Apostles. We should teach about the Father and the Holy Spirit and have a right understanding of Who they are. But the central focus of the true Church has always been on Jesus Christ. Any church that gets its focus off the central theme of Christ is on the road to apostasy. You cannot have the Father or the Spirit without the Son. The Son is the "centerpoint" of all history and eternity. Let us preach the Son so that many will come to know the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!