Christian Sociology and God-Ordained Institutions

QUESTION: Christian Sociology – God-Ordained Institutions


In Christian sociology, the family, the church, and the state are God-ordained institutions. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and some others would include labor as a fourth God-ordained institution. Realizing that God ordained these societal institutions demonstrates the relevance of Christianity to every aspect of reality. Bonhoeffer explains, “It is God’s will that there shall be labor, marriage, government, and church in the world; and it is His will that all these, each in its own way, shall be through Christ, directed towards Christ, and in Christ. . . . This means that there can be no retreating from a ‘secular’ into a ‘spiritual’ sphere.”1

Christian Sociology – View of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer makes it clear that no aspect of society lies outside the realm of Christianity. All society, indeed all of life, is bound inextricably with God and His plan for the world. In Bonhoeffer’s view, “the world is relative to Christ.”2


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics (New York, NY: Macmillan 1959), 207.
2 Ibid.

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