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Where is there room for God in modern sociology?

It is important to see that God, not man, is the origin of all the structures and regularities in all the societies of the world. Human beings have personal relations not only with each other, but with God, who is personal. And it is God, who is personal, who rules over and specifies the contours of every society in the world. The original personal relations were not those of man, but relations among the three persons in the Trinity.

The personal in relations in God serve as the original pattern for the creation of human beings. Human beings are made in the image of God. So they imitate on a creaturely level the multi-dimensionality of personal relations within God. God is eternally the Father of the eternal Son. And so there can be a reflection or imitation of his Fatherhood in human fathers, who have human sons. This relationality among human beings is what makes possible human societies and social organizations. As a consequence, a Christian sees society and the study of society in the context of God as pattern and also ruler over all societies.


Vern Poythress, Ph.D. is distinguished professor of New Testament, Biblical Interpretation, and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.

For Professor Poythress' full treatment of this question:

Vern S. Poythress, Redeeming Sociology: A God-Centered Approach (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011).



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