Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches

Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches

by Russell Moore

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Overview

In this practical book, Moore highlights the importance of adoption for all Christians, encouraging readers to lead the way in adoption and orphan advocacy out of our identity as adopted children of God.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433549212
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 10/31/2015
Edition description: Expanded
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 571,896
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Russell Moore(PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the eighth president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation's largest Protestant denomination. A widely-sought commentator, Dr. Moore has been called"vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate" by theWall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, includingOnward, The Kingdom of Christ,Adopted for Life,andTempted and Tried, and heblogs regularly at RussellMoore.com and tweets at @drmoore. He and his wife, Maria, have five sons.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Adoption, Jesus, and You

Why You Should Read This Book, Especially If You Don't Want To

My sons have a certain look in their eyes when they are conspiring to do something wrong. They have another, similar look when they are trying to read my face to see if I think what they're doing is something wrong. It was this second look I could see buzzing across both of their faces as they walked up the steps to the old pulpit.

My boys were at a chapel service on the campus where I serve to train pastors for Christian ministry; they were there to hear me preach. They know better than to misbehave in church, and this seemed kind of like a church service. They also knew that I had warned them they could only sit up on the front row if they were still and quiet, with nothing distracting going on down there while I was preaching. But a friend of mine had other plans for them that day.

"Benjamin and Timothy," he had whispered only a few minutes earlier to my sons, "will you help me introduce your daddy before he preaches?" I fidgeted with my uncomfortable over-the-ear microphone while I watched these two strong, vibrant, little five-year-old boys walk up the platform steps. They were peering at me the whole time to make sure they weren't breaking the rules that we'd agreed upon. I watched them stand behind the pulpit and listened to them answer questions from my colleague. "Who is going to preach today?" my friend asked. "Daddy," Benjamin responded. "And what's he going to preach about?" he continued. Timothy answered quickly, leaning into the microphone, "Jesus."

For a couple of seconds, my mind flashed back to the first time I ever saw these two boys. They were lying in excrement and vomit, covered in heat blisters and flies, in an orphanage somewhere in a little mining community in Russia. Maria and I had applied to adopt and had gone on the first of two trips, not knowing who, if anyone, we would find waiting for us. Immediately upon landing in the former Soviet Union, I wondered if we had made the worst mistake of our lives.

Sitting in a foreign airport, with the smell of European perfume, human sweat, and cigarette smoke wafting all around us, Maria and I recommitted to God that we would trust him and that we would adopt whomever he directed us to, regardless of what medical or emotional problems they might have. A Russian judge told us she had two "gray-eyed" boys picked out for us, both of whom had been abandoned by their mothers to a hospital in the little village about an hour from where we were staying.

Sure enough, the orphanage authorities, through our translators, cataloged a terrifying list of medical problems — including fetal alcohol syndrome — for one, if not both, of the boys. My wife and I looked at each other as if to say, "This is what the Lord has for us, so here we go." The nurse led us up some stairs, down a dank hallway, and into a tiny room with two beds. I can still see the younger of the two, now Timothy, rocking up and down against the bars of his crib, grinning widely. The older, now Benjamin, was more reserved, stroking my five o'clock shadow with his hand and seeing (I came to realize) a man most probably for the very first time in his life. Both the boys had hair matted down on their heads, and one of them had crossed eyes. Both of them moved slowly and rigidly, almost like stop-motion clay animated characters from the Christmas television specials of our 1970s childhoods. And we loved them both, at an intuitive and almost primal level, from the very first second.

The transformation of these two ex-orphans into the sons I saw behind the pulpit that day and see every day of my life running through my house with Lego toys and construction-paper drawings motivates me to write this book. The thought that there are thousands more like them in orphanages in Russia, in government facilities in China, and in foster care systems in the United States haunts me enough to sit at this computer and type.

I don't know who you are, reading this book. Maybe you're standing in a bookstore, flipping past these pages. Maybe you're reading this book a few minutes at a time, keeping it in a drawer so your spouse won't see it. Maybe you never thought you'd read a book about adoption. Maybe you're wondering if you should.

Well, okay. I never thought I'd write a book about adoption, as you'll see soon enough. Like I said, I don't know who you are. But I know that I am writing this to you. I invite you to spend the next little bit thinking with me about a subject that has everything to do with you, whoever you are.

Whenever I told people I was working on a book on adoption, they'd often say something along the lines of, "Great. So, is the book about the doctrine of adoption or, you know, real adoption?" That's a hard question to answer because you can't talk about the one without talking about the other. Also, it is not as though we master one aspect and then move to the other — from the vertical to the horizontal or the other way around. That's not the picture God has embedded in his creation work.

The Bible tells us that human families are reflective of an eternal fatherhood (Eph. 3:14–15). We know, then, what human fatherhood ought to look like on the basis of how our Father God behaves toward us. But the reverse is also true. We see something of the way our God is fatherly toward us through our relationships with human fathers. And so Jesus tells us that in our human father's provision and discipline we get a glimpse of God's active love for us (Matt. 7:9–11; cf. Heb. 12:5–17). The same truth is at work in adoption.

Adoption is, on the one hand, gospel. In this, adoption tells us who we are as children of the Father. Adoption as gospel tells us about our identity, our inheritance, and our mission as sons of God. Adoption is also defined as mission. In this, adoption tells us our purpose in this age as the people of Christ. Missional adoption spurs us to join Christ in advocating for the helpless and the abandoned.

As soon as you peer into the truth of the one aspect, you fall headlong into the truth of the other, and vice versa. That's because it's the way the gospel is. Jesus reconciles us to God and to each other. As we love our God, we love our neighbor; as we love our neighbor, we love our God. We believe Jesus in heavenly things — our adoption in Christ; so we follow him in earthly things — the adoption of children. Without the theological aspect, the emphasis on adoption too easily is seen as mere charity. Without the missional aspect, the doctrine of adoption too easily is seen as mere metaphor.

But adoption is contested, both in its cosmic and missional aspects. The Scriptures tell us there are unseen beings in the air around us who would rather we not think about what it means to be who we are in Christ. These rulers of this age would rather we ignore both the eternal reality and the earthly icon of it. They would rather we find our identity, our inheritance, and our mission according to what we can see and verify as ours — according to what the Bible calls "the flesh" (Romans 8) — rather than according to the veiled rhythms of the Spirit of life. That's why adoption isn't charity — it's war.

The gospel of Jesus Christ means our families and churches ought to be at the forefront of the adoption of orphans close to home and around the world. As we become more attuned to the gospel, we'll have more of a burden for orphans. As we become more adoption friendly, we'll be better able to understand the gospel. This book calls us to look forward to an adoptive missional church. In this book I want to call us all to consider how encouraging adoption — whether we adopt or whether we help others adopt — can help us peer into the ancient mystery of our faith in Christ and can help us restore the fracturing unity and the atrophied mission of our congregations.

It is one thing when the culture doesn't "get" adoption. What else could one expect when all of life is seen as the quest of "selfish genes" for survival? It is one thing when the culture doesn't "get" adoption and so speaks of buying a cat as "adopting" a pet. But when those who follow Christ think the same way, we betray that we miss something crucial about our own salvation.

Adoption is not just about couples who want children — or who want more children. Adoption is about an entire culture within our churches, a culture that sees adoption as part of our Great Commission mandate and as a sign of the gospel itself. This book is intended for families who want to adopt and wonder whether they should. It is also intended for parents with children who've been adopted and who wonder how to raise them from here. It is for middle-aged fathers and mothers whose children have just told them they are thinking about adoption.

But this book is also, and perhaps most especially, for the man who flinches when his wife raises the issue of adoption because he wants his "own kids"— and who hates himself a little for thinking like that. It is for the wife who keeps the adoption application papers in a pile on the exercise bicycle upstairs — as a "last resort"— but who is praying fervently right now for two lines of purple to show up on her home pregnancy test. It is for the single twentysomething who assumes that he will marry after a couple of years in the post-college job force, find a nice girl, have a honeymoon for three or four years, and then they'll start thinking about getting pregnant. It is for the pastor who preaches about adoption as an alternative to abortion on a Sanctity of Human Life Sunday but who has never considered how to envision for his congregation what it would mean to see family after family after family in the church directory in which the children bear little physical resemblance to, and maybe even don't share the skin color of, their parents. It is for the elderly couple who tithe their Social Security check, dote on their grandchildren, and wonder how they can tangibly help the young couple who ask for prayer every month that they might be parents — and who never seem to show up for Mother's Day services.

Before we begin, though, let me tell you what this book is not. It is not a step-by-step guide to navigating the adoption process, complete with legal advice and agency recommendations. There are good resources available on those things. Second, even if I set out to write a book like that, the whirl of change in this area is such that it would probably be out-of-date by the time you read it. In the United States, state laws change sometimes month to month. Around the world, countries authorize international adoption and then close down, only to reopen later. Those logistical issues are much easier than you think. Finding out the reputation and competency of an adoption agency, whether Christian or secular, is not much more complicated than a Google search. And the process itself is mapped out, in as much detail as possible, by a good agency.

Instead I want to ask what it would mean if our churches and families were known as the people who adopt babies — and toddlers, and children, and teenagers. What if we as Christians were known, once again, as the people who take in orphans and make of them beloved sons and daughters?

Not everyone is called to adopt. No one wants parents who adopt children out of the same sense of duty with which they may give to the building fund for the new church gymnasium. But all of us have a stake in the adoption issue, because Jesus does. He is the one who tells us his Father is also "Father of the fatherless" (Ps. 68:5). He is the one who insists on calling "the least of these" his "brothers" (Matt. 25:40) and who tells us that the first time we hear his voice, he will be asking us if we did the same.

I don't know why, in the mystery of God's plan, you were led to pick up this book. But I know this: you have a stake in the adoption issue, even if you never adopt a child. There's a war going on around you — and perhaps within you — and adoption is one crucial arena of that war. With that in mind, there are perhaps some changes to be made in our lives. For some of us, I hope this book changes the makeup of our households. For some of us, I hope it helps change our monthly bank account balances. For all of us, I hope it changes something of the way we say "brother" and "sister" in our pews next Sunday and the way we cry out "Father" on our knees tonight.

This book is less about a dogmatic set of assertions (although there are some of those) than it is a conversation with you about what I have seen and what I've been taught through adoption and what I hope we can all learn together.

And as we start this conversation together, I can't help but think again of the image of my sons standing behind that pulpit. I'll admit I was proud of them that day, as I am every day. I don't idealize them. They are sinners, like all of us. They deserve to be in hell forever, like all of us. And sometimes they are selfish, whining brats — just like their dad.

That day in that chapel, though, I managed to forget about my fatherly pride for a few minutes — and certainly to forget about adoption and orphanages and the events that led to our becoming parents. I just stood up and preached. When I finished, prayed, and walked down the steps from the pulpit, one of my sons, Benjamin, stepped out to the front of the chapel to shake my hand. Where did this little man come from, who stood with such dignity to tell his daddy he loved him and was proud of him? That probably didn't seem to anyone in the room like an act of warfare — but, oh, how it was.

As I knelt down and hugged him, I realized how small and shallow and needy I had been when, only a few years ago, I had refused to go with my wife to an adoption seminar. I'd been "too busy" to go. "My life's a whirlwind right now, you know," I'd said to her at the time. But, really, the idea of adoption left me cold. Now, I was pro-adoption, of course, as a social and political matter (hadn't I been saying that in my pro-life writings and speeches for years?). But why couldn't we wait and exhaust all the ethically appropriate reproductive technologies before thinking about adoption? I told my wife, "I don't mind adopting a few years down the road, but I want my first child to be mine." I can still hear my voice saying those words — and it sounds so small and pitiable and hellish now.

How could I have known what it was like to hold this little boy in my arms, and his brother with him, knit together with them by a fatherhood that surpassed my genetic code? How could I have read and preached and lectured on Ephesians and Galatians and Romans, how could I have lectured through classroom notes on the doctrine of adoption, without ever seeing this? I wasn't evil — or, at least, I wasn't any more evil on this score than any other redeemed sinner — but I was as theologically and spiritually vacuous as the television "prosperity gospel" preachers I made fun of with my theologically sophisticated friends.

Some of you are in the place where I was several years ago. Some of you are where I am now. Some of you are where I will be, by God's grace, when I pronounce one of my sons husband to a godly woman or when I hug one of them as he receives his high-school diploma or, best of all, when I baptize one of them as my brother in Christ.

This book isn't, first of all, a theological treatise on adoption in the abstract, although I hope it helps some of us to see how adoption pictures something true about our God and his ways. This book isn't primarily a book about the practical joys and challenges of adopting children, although I hope it helps many more moms and dads to know firsthand something of why I am wiping away tears as I type this right now. Ultimately, this book isn't really about adoption at all. It's just what my son Timothy probably would tell you it is about, if you asked him. It's about Jesus.

CHAPTER 2

Are They Brothers?

What Some Rude Questions about Adoption Taught Me about the Gospel of Christ

"So, are they brothers?" the woman asked. My wife, Maria, and I, jetlagged from just returning from Russia, looked at each other wearily. This was the twelfth time since we returned that we'd been asked this question. When I looked back at the woman's face, she had her eyebrows raised. "Are they?" she repeated. "Are they brothers?"

This lady was looking at some pictures, printed off a computer, of two one-year-old boys in a Russian orphanage, boys who had only days earlier been pronounced by a Russian court to be our children, after the legally mandated waiting period had elapsed for the paperwork to go through. Maria and I had returned to Kentucky to wait for the call to return to pick up our children and had only these pictures of young Maxim and Sergei, our equivalent of a prenatal sonogram, to show to our friends and relatives back home. But people kept asking, "Are they brothers?"

"They are now," I replied. "Yes," the woman said. "I know. But are they really brothers?" Clenching my jaw, and repeating Beatitudes to myself silently in my mind, I coolly responded, "Yes, now they are both our children, so they are now really brothers." The woman sighed, rolled her eyes, and said, "Well, you know what I mean."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Adopted for Life"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Russell Moore.
Excerpted by permission of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Cover Page,
Title Page,
Copyright,
Dedication,
1 Adoption, Jesus, and You Why You Should Read This Book, Especially If You Don't Want To,
2 Are They Brothers? What Some Rude Questions about Adoption Taught Me about the Gospel of Christ,
3 Joseph of Nazareth vs. Planned Parenthood What's at Stake When We Talk about Adoption,
4 Don't You Want Your Own Kids? How to Know If You — or Someone You Love — Should Consider Adoption,
5 Paperwork, Finances, and Other Threats to Personal Sanctification How to Navigate the Practical Aspects of the Adoption Process,
6 Decisions You Never Thought You'd Have to Make How to Think about Gender, Race, and Other Uncomfortable Adoption Decisions,
7 Adoption Can Wreck Your Life (and That's Not Necessarily a Bad Thing) How to Think about Counting the Cost of Orphan Care,
8 It Takes a Village to Adopt a Child How Churches Can Encourage Adoption,
9 "Adopted" Is a Past-Tense Verb How Parents, Children, and Friends Can Think about Growing Up Adopted,
10 Abba Changes Everything What I've Learned in the Years Since Adopting,
11 Concluding Thoughts,
Afterword,
Acknowledgments,
Scripture Index,
General Index,

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Russell Moore has given the church a God-centered, gospel-saturated, culturally-sensitive, mission-focused, desperately needed exploration of the priority and privilege of adoption. Readers will find themselves laughing on one page, crying on the next, and ultimately bowing before God thanking him for adopting them into his heavenly family and considering how to show his love to the fatherless on earth.”
David Platt, President, International Mission Board; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Adopted for Life is one of the most compelling books I have ever read—both deeply touching and richly theological. You will never look at adoption or the gospel in quite the same way after reading this book. How could the church have been missing this for so long?”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Personal, practical, and rich in theology, this book is a ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in adoption. Dr. Moore reveals the love of God through the redemptive beauty of adoption. Whether your interest is personal or church related, this book is for you.”
Kelly Rosati, Vice President for Community Outreach, Focus on the Family

“Anyone who has adopted, who is considering adoption, or who has been adopted should read Adopted for Life. And anyone who wants to a get a glimpse of the greatness of the Father’s love for him or her should read it as well.”
Thom S. Rainer, President and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources

“This book is for all who have been adopted by God. Moore illumines the beauty and wonder of our adoption in Christ and its profound implications for orphan care. If you want to deepen your worship of the God who adopts, Adopted for Life will serve you exceptionally well.”
Dan Cruver, Director, Together for Adoption; author, Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father

“This book offers both practical advice and courage to every couple considering adoption. For all readers, it shows how the act of adoption actually reveals core truths about the gospel of Christ.”
Allan C. Carlson, President, The Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society; Founder and International Secretary, the World Congress of Families; Distinguished Visiting Professor of History, Hillsdale College

“Dr. Moore draws on his family’s own experience with adoption to help others understand that by adopting orphaned children we can grow in love of God and neighbor and come to appreciate more deeply our own adoption into the family of God.”
Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University

“Russell Moore has done the church a tremendous service by reminding us of the call of God to meet the ever pressing needs of these little ones. Read with the intent to obey.”
Johnny Hunt, Former President, The Southern Baptist Convention; Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Woodstock, Woodstock, Georgia

“I know of no other book so biblically rich, so very practical, and so authentic and heart-felt about the beautiful gift of adoption as this one. It’s a powerfully insightful book of how adoption is a beautiful act of love and mission for the gospel. I pray that God uses it to encourage and impact many, many lives.”
Dan Kimball, Pastor, Vintage Faith Church; author, They Like Jesus but Not the Church

“Russell Moore has out of personal experience and with biblical accuracy produced in this work an understanding of God’s purposes in adoption and its connection with gospel compassion. Every pastor should consider the responsibility he has in making adoption a priority for the church as a viable representation of the gospel doctrine of adoption.”
John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; President, The Master's University and Seminary

“Russell Moore invites readers to learn to think of adoption in the light of Christian faith. This is a book not only for those who have adopted, those who may adopt, or those who have been adopted, but for all who know themselves to have been freely adopted by God’s grace.”
Gilbert Meilaender, Duesenberg Professor in Christian Ethics, Valparaiso University

Adopted for Life is a well-written rooting of adoption in biblical theology. Moore shows how churches should view adoption as part of their mission and the difference it would make if Christians were known as the people who take in orphans and make them sons and daughters.”
Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World Magazine

“The care and honesty Russell Moore demonstrates throughout Adopted for Life should inspire every believer to consider God’s heart for children without a family. Just like a parable of Christ, adoption provides a lost world the powerful picture of God’s personal love for his children. The church must take the lead in caring for orphans and at-risk children, so that adoption is once again united with the gospel.”
Mark A. Tatlock, Provost and Senior Vice President, The Master's College

“God is working to bring revival and revolution to his church through orphan ministry, and this book is a must for those who will receive his invitation to consider a fatherless child or simply love them through missions.”
Paul Pennington, Executive Director, Hope for Orphans

“Russell Moore’s life has validated every word he has written. In this book he speaks from his heart, mind, and life to ours about the possibility of incarnating adoption as a fleshed out reality in the world of our own families.”
Michael Card, musician; Bible Teacher; author, A Better Freedom

“Russell Moore challenges Christians to an aspect of Christ’s lordship that many have never considered. His remarkable way of putting our salvation into the context of being adopted into God’s family brings a new perspective on being the recipient of undeserved mercy and grace.”
Jerry Rankin, Former President, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

“James offers this injunction to the early church: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world’ (James 1:27 KJV). Russell Moore offers a compelling account of these and other lessons of Scripture so that our communities of faith may put them into practice and become more like that ‘shining city on a hill.’”
Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University; author of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice

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Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Wellington More than 1 year ago
Ostensibly, this is a book about adoption, but it is NOT limited to prospective parents and their relatives. This is a book that should be read by ALL Christians, single, married, with or without children, young, old, and in between because it is relevant to each of us. In the context of recounting his own journey to adopt two boys from a Russian orphanage following three miscarriages by his wife, Moore takes the reader through some unexpected and profound discussions on such topics as the doctrine of adoption in and through Jesus Christ, financial stewardship, Christian parenting, the ethics of reproductive technologies, the reduction of children to commodities, the Church as true community, spiritual warfare, issues surrounding adoption and infertility, and mission. Of particular value to the average person in the church is what to say - and what not to say - to those who who are considering or have already adopted, and to those couples who have miscarried or are struggling with infertility. Moore is calling for a greater sensitivity and openness in our churches on these issues. Like Martin Luther did with justification by faith, Moore has rediscovered a long neglected Christian doctrine - that of adoption - and from his exposition of it recasts a vision of the church as a community that ministers to the teenage mom, the orphan, the widow, and the stranger. Perhaps the greatest gift of this book is to remind the reader that we are all orphans adopted into the family of God by grace and thus heirs to the Kingdom with Christ as our brother. The temptation will be to file this book under "Parenting" where it will likely remain unread but for a select few; the challenge is to use it for a church wide study on ecclesiology that will cause a major rethink and reorientation of the Church back to the community God intended.
markusnenadovus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic. As I read this book, I was reminded of the great love that God has for us and how important the theology of adoption is to the Bible. I also walked away more excited than ever about the need and opportunity to apply our spiritual adoption to children in need. Moore's heart and passion for the Gospel and adoption are evident throughout this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone thinking about adoption and anyone who just loves God.
kaykwilts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a how to book on adoption this is not it. This book was written by a conservative Southern Baptist professor of theology. He and his wife initially has trouble conceiving children so they adopted two little boys out of Russia. He urges couples who are reluctant to adopt to do so rather than spend countless amounts on fertility treatments such as IFV which may or may not work. He states in this book that a child adopted becomes like your own flesh and blood. There is not difference. He explores the spiritual side of adoption in that we as humans are the adopted children of God. He loves us as his own.
bulldog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Comparing the Christian's adoption by God to the modern practice of adoption, Moore argues that the gospel and adoption are integrally related. Moore walks through the issue of 'why adopt?' - he doesn't deal with all the 'how' questions, but instead focuses on how a biblical theology of adoption is worked out in practice. This book is a compelling read and one that we recommend to people in our church. Its not necessary for you to have adopted, or even be considering adoption, in order to benefit from what he writes.
kpjackson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I first received this book (before I looked at the subtitle), I assumed it was going to be a treatment of the adoption of Christians as sons of God through the death and atoning sacrifice of Christ. What I found was so much more. This is an excellent book for those who have adopted, are thinking of adopting, have not ever considered adopting or have decided they will never adopt a child. Within the framework of the adoption of children into his family, Moore sets out to encourage Christian families to consider the real need for adoption and reality of what that means to our families. Deeper still he explores the reality of the Christian's adoption by God and how the one is a reflection of the other.Excellent and highly recommended for everyone.
nesum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm always a little wary starting books like this one because of all of the really bad theology that seems to be filling the shelves of Christian bookstores these days. Normally, if a book calls Christians to good works, it is either under a false Gospel or just a long guilt trip. This is really unfortunate, because the true Gospel is the greatest motivation of all to do good works.From the first section, I realized right away that Russell Moore understood that. His love for adoption does not stem from guilt or trying to earn his way to heaven, but in the understanding that he too was adopted, not because of anything good within himself, but because of the love and goodness of God alone, who calls adopted children to himself from all nations and tribes to be coheirs of the kingdom with Christ.With the Gospel as his constant theme, Moore lays out a theology of adoption that is God-honoring and Christ-centered. I would be much less concerned with the state of Evangelicalism today if I saw more books like this at Christian bookstores.
WellingtonWomble on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ostensibly, this is a book about adoption, but it is NOT limited to prospective parents and their relatives. This is a book that should be read by ALL Christians, single, married, with or without children, young, old, and in between because it is relevant to each of us.In the context of recounting his own journey to adopt two boys from a Russian orphanage following three miscarriages by his wife, Moore takes the reader through some unexpected and profound discussions on such topics as the doctrine of adoption in and through Jesus Christ, financial stewardship, Christian parenting, the ethics of reproductive technologies, the reduction of children to commodities, the Church as true community, spiritual warfare, issues surrounding adoption and infertility, and mission. Of particular value to the average person in the church is what to say - and what not to say - to those who who are considering or have already adopted, and to those couples who have miscarried or are struggling with infertility. Moore is calling for a greater sensitivity and openness in our churches on these issues.Like Martin Luther did with justification by faith, Moore has rediscovered a long neglected Christian doctrine - that of adoption - and from his exposition of it recasts a vision of the church as a community that ministers to the teenage mom, the orphan, the widow, and the stranger. Perhaps the greatest gift of this book is to remind the reader that we are all orphans adopted into the family of God by grace and thus heirs to the Kingdom with Christ as our brother. The temptation will be to file this book under "Parenting" where it will likely remain unread but for a select few; the challenge is to use it for a church wide study on ecclesiology that will cause a major rethink and reorientation of your church back to the community God intended.
deusvitae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent work focusing on adoption in terms of the adoption of believers by God in Christ. The author draws from his own experiences in adopting two children from Russia and his work to integrate them into his own family and an American culture that does not know how to handle adoption.The author is Baptist and many of his Calvinistic doctrinal positions are made evident. Nevertheless, he is otherwise quite Biblical in perspective, and much of what he says strikes at the heart of the message of the Gospel. He is quite convicting regarding the importance of adoption in light of the Biblical image of God adopting believers through Christ. Adoption, therefore, should not be seen as second-rate or a "last ditch" proposition in having children. Those who are adopted should feel as naturally part of their families as believers feel with Christ and one another (or, at least, should). If we honor Christ and His work of bringing everyone to Him as equals, then we should honor adoption, even when it seems messy. The book has much theology on which to chew but also the author's story, his encounters with others regarding the adoption, his own path to accepting adoption, and insights and recommendations for people considering adoption or assisting people with adoption. The author also provides advice for churches and their leaders to help facilitate a more "adoption friendly" environment, all of which is based on God's adoption of believers.If one is not a Christian, this book will more likely than not be rather offensive. The author squarely challenges the Darwinist position held by many in terms of gene preservation along with many other social attitudes toward adoption. The author's very convicting statements may also lead to offense in the eyes of many Christians, but sometimes people must tell it as it is. My family is considering adoption, and this book is very encouraging and empowering for those who are considering it. The book is overall quite helpful for Christians considering adoption or who want to be of assistance to those adopting.
HowHop on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book really grabbed me at first but then lost the strength of its hold as it went on though it continued to remain interesting enough to make it easy to read through. The author presents the analogy of family adoption and the Christian's adoption through Christ as a son of God. This is convincingly and beautifully done as told through the author's own experience of adopting two boys from an orphanage in Russia. There is also much practical advice for families considering adoption as well as for churches and how they can contribute to this neglected missional project. If anyone knows of Christians that are cold to the idea of adoption, put this book into their hands.
robertmccready on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book provides great insight into adoption. The writing style flows smoothly and the content is easy to understand. Russell Moore's adoption experience provides a significant backdrop for the text. I enjoyed the thoughts Moore provided on the theological underpinnings of adoption as well. I would encourage anyone who has questions practically or theologically about adoption to purchase this text.
bluewoad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have six adopted brothers and sisters, so I was quite excited about this book when it was first announced. Thankfully, Russell Moore does an excellent job bringing together the theology of adoption with the 'real world' reality of adoption. He writes with a winsome, accessible style that had me both laughing out loud and fighting back tears. I'm going to recommend this book to anyone and everyone I can think of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has opened my eyes to the reasons to adopt in a more biblical sense. My husband has already adopted my son and we are hoping to adopt more children already. But this book spoke volumes to me and was so very well written. Thank you Dr. Moore for sharing this with the world.
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The author does a great job of describing how churches should view adoption. I thought some of the information he shared about adoption and infertility were his personal bias and not based on any current research.