What comes to mind when you hear the word “adoption”?
If you’re like me, your mind first goes to adopting a child. Giving a safe home and a loving family is one of the greatest gifts that one can give to a child. Yet, if we read the Scriptures, it’s clear that this term “adoption” carries with it so much more than the (very important) gift of a family to an orphaned child.
That’s because adoption is not only horizontal, but also vertical. Interestingly, though, we’ve not spent a great deal of time articulating the theology behind it. Indeed, over the course of the first 1900 years of Christian history, there are “only six creeds that contain a section on theological adoption” (p. 8).
That’s what inspired Dan Cruver to write Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living through the Rediscovery of Abba Father. In this book, Cruver (along with contributors John Piper, Scotty Smith, Richard D. Phillips and Jason Kovacs) explains what it means to be adopted by God the Father, its implications for orphan care and how it transforms our witness in the world.
Reclaiming Adoption packs a convicting punch. As Cruver unpacks the importance of the doctrine of adoption over his four chapters, he shows readers just how much it impacts everything. To understand the love of God for His people—those He chose to adopt before He even created the universe—completely transforms how we think, live, feel and act.
Desiring God has given me the great privilege of doing a breakout session at its January 31-February 2 conference for pastors. This year’s conference theme is “The Powerful Life of the Praying Pastor.” My breakout topic is “Reclaiming Adoption: A Praying Life Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father.” If you are attending The Desiring God Conference for Pastors, join me on Tuesday, February 1, from 3:15 – 4:15 PM.
I am extremely grateful to Desiring God for giving me the opportunity to speak on the good news of our adoption in Christ and its profound implications for a praying life.
Scott Anderson (Executive Director of Desiring God) interviews Tim Keller about his book Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just. It’s an excellent interview.
Yes, I meant review mirror, not rearview mirror. Each Friday I plan on posting reviews of Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father. Review Mirror seemed appropriate and just a little catchy. This week’s review is our second from the UK (read the first one).
Dave Bish lives in Exeter, England and leads UCCF’s South West Team (UCCF’s mission is to make disciples of Christ on college and university campuses in the UK). I’ve been a big fan of Dave’s blog (the blue fish project) for years now and am very grateful for his truly kind review. Here are some highlights from his review:
It’s an ‘easy’ read that will provoke and challenge you to rejoice afresh in the glories of the gospel. It’s the fruit of Dan Cruver’s persistent gospel-centredness, which I’ve long benefitted from in his blogging days, and which is now expressed through his Together for Adoption movement. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Dan when I was in the USA 3 years ago
. . .
His material on Adoption and Union with Christ is simply beautiful. He shows how our Christian life is less to be thought of as imitation of Christ but rather a participation in Christ’s relationship with his Father, through our adoption in the gospel.
Read his entire review. Dave’s review includes a number of key quotations from the book itself.
A heartbreaking and beautiful true-life story that is moving toward a happy ending (or should I say a happy beginning):
Learn more about Adopt Rinah.
*This post was originally published 8 days after the earthquake in Haiti. I believe the thoughts in this post are just as relevant today as they were a year ago.
I’m grateful for the media’s coverage of Haiti’s crisis. It confronts me with graphic images of human suffering. Where I live, life is simple and safe. I have more than enough to eat each day and a comfortable place to sleep each night. Compared to most everybody else in the world, my life is very hobbit-like. For the most part, like Tolkien’s hobbits in Middle-earth, I live among peace-loving, comfort-enjoying people.
One of the great dangers of living where I live is that I can easily adopt a hobbit’s way of thinking: “Well, it’s none of our concern what goes on beyond our borders. Keep your nose out of trouble and no trouble will come to you” (hobbit Ted Sandyman to Sam in The Fellowship of the Ring). In the face of that ongoing temptation, the media’s coverage confronts me daily with Haiti’s ongoing crisis, and for that I am grateful.
But the gospel does what media coverage cannot. It doesn’t merely awaken us to humanity’s need; it moves us out to meet it. We move out to meet the needs of others because God first came down to meet ours.
Long after the media coverage fades, after our nation’s attention has turned to other things, the gospel will still be moving us toward Haiti’s need. Therefore, it is critical that we as believers feast upon the gospel every day. It’s the only thing that will make what goes on beyond the borders of our own little Hobbiton our active concern. The gospel does what media coverage cannot: it mobilizes for long-term engagement.
Today marks the one year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake. The Christian Alliance for Orphans is hosting a special national prayer webinar for the people of Haiti today at 4pm EST. Together for Adoption will be participating and we would love for you to join us if your schedule permits.
There is still time to register (here). It’s easy and free.
Beginning tomorrow, January 12th, Mist Valley Coffee will donate 50% of the profit of all coffee purchased until January 31, 2011 for Help End Local Poverty‘s We Have Not Forgotten campaign (I was just informed you can begin purchasing coffee today!).
On January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake pummeled the nation of Haiti. This earthquake is now being described as one of the worst natural disasters in modern history. An estimated 300,000 people lost their lives, 1.5 million people are now homeless, and – according to sources – over 400,000 children were orphaned.
The people of Haiti are strong people who have tremendous resolve, yet they simply can’t rebuild their lives on their own. They need our help … they need your help.
Mist Valley Coffee’s Mission
In response to this tragic disaster, Mist Valley Coffee wants to let the people of Haiti know that We Have Not Forgotten!
Help spread the word!
Tomorrow, January 12th, marks the one year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake. The Christian Alliance for Orphans will be hosting a special national prayer webinar for the people of Haiti on Wednesday at 4pm EST. Together for Adoption will be participating and we would love for you to join us if your schedule permits.
Join us as we come together as a community to pray for the country of Haiti, for stability and integrity in its government, for ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts, for the Haitian church, and for the children of Haiti we all care about so much.
Please register for the webinar here. It’s easy and free.
David Wooten (Director of Operations and Development at Embraced by Grace) wrote an excellent article over at Ligonier’s blog about ways churches can serve orphans in 2011.
As discussed in a previous post, the made-for-TV movie “Change of Plans” airs this Saturday night (8 PM, 7 Central). Following the movie, there will be a LIVE 45 minute webcast on adoption and foster care. Viewers will be able to submit questions to a panel of experts, including former Alliance Board member Paul Pennington, director of Hope for Orphans.
Also of note, a thoughtful Change of Plans Discussion Guide has been prepared for the movie as well. If you’ve got a group coming over to watch the show or just wanted to stimulate a good conversation among your family, the guide could be a helpful launch point.
You’ll be able to watch the webcast at http://www.familiesforall.org/.
For more information on the show, check here.
The general session audio from our 2010 conference in Austin is now available for free download!
We will add the audio from our 50+ breakout sessions within the next few weeks.
Can you give us a summary of Sonship, the discipleship course you helped put together?
I designed the Sonship course over a period of ten years from ’83-’93, but the core of it was formed in the mid-80s. Half of the sixteen lectures was dad’s and the other half was split between my mom and myself. World Harvest continued to refine the course after I left in ’97.
The heart of the Sonship course is the gospel applied to my life. We begin to mature as Christians by realizing that we don’t have it all together. So the very thing that we avoid like the plague—our weakness and our sin—is the door to grace in our lives. The church has tended to drift into legalism because it tends to isolate the gospel to salvation and not see it as the foundation to the whole life.
The only thing I would add to the Sonship course is a simple slogan: we believe and become the gospel. Not that we literally become the gospel, but we tend to miss the grand Pauline theme of entering into Jesus. The gospel isn’t something simply abstract that you believe, it is something that you enter. (I mention this theme in chapter 25 of A Praying Life. That chapter is really the heart of the book.)
For instance, in Colossians 1:24 Paul writes, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” What does Paul mean?
It isn’t that complicated. Jesus’ death for my wife Jill is finished. It is a once-for-all death. Now for Jill to understand and experience the gospel in her life, I need to live a dying life in relationship to her. Jesus can’t die again for her, but I can—in hundreds of big and small ways that range from a tender compassion that understands her world to a thoughtful honesty that risks her disapproval. The result is that my life is characterized by dying and resurrection (Philippians 2:1-11). The result? An obedient life that reflects the image of Jesus.
If you plan on attending Desiring God’s 2011 Pastors for Conference (Jan 31-Feb 2) , look me up. I’ll be there.
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