Posts Tagged ‘Russell Moore’

The recent increase of adoptions among evangelicals has caught the eye of The Nation.  They have an interesting article on the subject.  It is also a frustrating article on the subject.

What catches their eye is evangelicals that break the rules.  The case in Haiti in particular.  That is a particularly difficult case since it was on the heels of a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.  The issues and details are cloudy, so I’m not tossing her under the bus.  There is corruption in many places and abuses can take place.  That is a human problem, not merely an “evangelical” problem.  Even when someone like Brian Luwis from America World Adoption Agency (we adopted our first adoptive child thru them and I even wore the hat this morning) is interviewed, the focus is on the abberitions.  He, Russell Moore and Dan Cruver of Together for Adoption have many positive things to say.  But most of what is recorded seems intended to cast the movement in a possible light (like the term ‘crusade’).

“… now-commonplace Christian adoption rhetoric…”

I didn’t like that the author called my convictions (beliefs that grip me) rhetoric.  Adoption is one of the main metaphors in Scripture that helps us to understand salvation.  Maybe I’m just missing something but to call it rhetoric is ignorant rhetoric.  It shows the author doesn’t really understand us or the Scriptures.



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Sorry, I haven’t written mine yet.  And it is probably pointless to try.  Really, how many books on adoption do we need.

But this is one of the better books on the topic (read my review).   Yes, Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life is the free audio book of the month from Christian audio.  See, you don’t even have to feel bad about killing a tree.

Free & no dead tree.  Come on, go for it!

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I thought I’d throw out a few book recommendations.  Some are about adopting children, and some about the doctrine of adoption.  I’m distinguishing them so you can pursue your own interest.  Russell Moore’s book, Adopted for Life, which I reviewed earlier, crosses back and forth between the two (sample pages).


  • Helping Your Adopted Child: Understanding Your Child’s Unique Identity by Paul Tripp.  This is a booklet to help adoptive parents navigate some of the sticky wickets regarding your child’s sense of self (sample pages).
  • A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy by Steven Mosher.  We read this while adopting from China.  If you want to see the cruelty of population control, read this.  Most of you will cry at times.
  • Adopting for God: A Guide for People Considering Adoption by Jorie Kincaid.  It is pretty helpful for understanding a number of the issues related to adoption.
  • A Hope Deferred: A Couple’s Guide to Coping with Infertility by Jill Baughan.  I bought it at a discount for friends, and kept one for myself for when I had to counsel couples struggling with this.  Little did I know…
  • Fields of the Fatherless: Discover the Joy of Compassionate Living by C. Thomas Davis.  His premise is that a Christian’s joy and fulfillment are found in places people are unlikely to look.  They are discovered when we pursue the things God pursues.  Scripture paints a picture of a compassion that seeks the most vulnerable members of society, particularly (widows and) orphans.  He is inviting others to open their hearts to the fatherless and discover godly joy and fulfillment in that unlikely place.


Doctrine of Adoption

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One of the newer books on adoption out there is Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches.  Moore is the Dean of Theology at Southern Seminary, as well as a preaching pastor.  He is an adoptive father.

Most books about adoption that I’ve read are either about the adoption process (including trying to encourage people to adopt) or about the doctrine of adoption as an aspect of our salvation.  This book is about both, which is both its strength and weakness.

It is a strength because the church desperately needs to see the connection between the two.  Since we’ve been adopted by God, we reveal much of the gospel as we adopt children who have no status, stability and inheritance.  Moore does a great job of working through much of the doctrine of adoption.

He also shares his struggles in deciding to adopt, the process and then parenting 2 boys.  He wrestled with pride in many forms all through the process.  He paints a realistic picture of international adoption though he also addresses issues regarding domestic adoption.  Some of our experiences were the same, others were quite different.

For instance, he relates how his boys had never seen the sun or ridden in a car until they drove away from the orphanage.  Our son was quite familiar with cars.  It was car seats that he had no experiential knowledge of.  He was used to sitting on the driver’s lap.  That was quite an adjustment for the little guy.

This strength is also a weakness at times since he flits back and forth.  It wasn’t confusing, just irritating.  It was like he kept changing subjects.

Another minor weakness was the length of the chapters.  As a father, I found it difficult to read at times due to the time commitment for a chapter.  I like to read whole chapters, a practice that causes no small amount of frustration for Amie.

Another strength to the book was his interaction with the naysayers in the world.  He didn’t pretend they didn’t exist.  In some cases he revealed their presuppositions which point them there (Darwinism and eugenics for instance).  In other cases he returned to the sufficiency of the gospel.  Adopting is abit counter-cultural (aside from the glam factor for celebrities these days- not all of them, just the ones who draw lots of attention to themselves in the process).  The gospel is typically counter-cultural, particularly in trans-racial adoptions like ours.

Adopted for Life is well worth reading for those considering adoption or who want to help those who do.  He helps people understand how important adoption is in the history of redemption (stories, not just ‘doctrine’).    He longs to see the church return to the days when it took in the most helpless of society because God has a heart for the helpless.  This is an important issue, far more important than if you are a hipster Christian or whether or not all Reformed churches should be monolithic in doctrine and practice.  Adoption is, simply put, a gospel issue.  As a gospel issue, it requires our attention.

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Here are a few links to some sermons on adoption:

Together for Adoption 2009 Conference featuring Scotty Smith, Ed Stetzer, Scott Roley, Russell Moore and more

John Piper  Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel

John Piper Predestined for Adoption to the Praise of His Glory

John Piper What Does it Mean to Live by Faith in the Service of the Fatherless?

C.J. Mahaney  The Doctrine of Adoption (Galatians 4:1-7)

David Fairchild  Kaleo Church in San Diego  Predestined for Adoption

Steve Cavallaro (yes, me) Adoption- The Height of the Gospel (and another version)

Mark Renfern  Heritage Baptist Church From Adopted to Adopting (I haven’t heard this, but like the title)

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On September 25th, Steve will be leading a breakout session at the Great Adventure Men’s Conference here in Tucson.  It will be held at Christ Community Church beginning at 7 a.m.  Thankfully Steve won’t be teaching so early.

His topic is Adoption: The Greatest Adventure.  His talk with cover:

God’s concern for the defenseless, including orphans.

Adoption: the highest grace of the gospel.

Adoption: a picture of the gospel.

He’s stealing his point from Russell Moore’s book Adopted For Life (more about this book later).

“What if we Christians were known once again, as the people who take in orphans and make of them beloved sons and daughters?”

He wants God to develop hearts for the orphans in men, to essentially put his heart in them.  He hopes some will consider adopting, or supporting those who do.  Adopting is more than charity- it is kingdom work.  Men will be challenged to love a child long-term, there is no greater adventure.

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