Providing gospel-centered resources to mobilize the church for global orphan care.


Neither Aslan nor Adoption are Tame

by Dan Cruver Published Sep 22, 2012

Take a look at the ad below, but don’t stop with it. Keep reading this paragraph and the brief paragraphs below it. The theology of Adoption is in no way a doctrine just to be studied by theologians and pastors. Theological Adoption is for the church — and that means it’s for all of us who know God as our Father. In C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, one of my all-time favorite quotations is Aslan is not a tame lion. To borrow and paraphrase the words of Psalm 115:3, “Aslan sits on his throne; he does all that he pleases.” We can’t decide what Aslan can or cannot do. He’s absolutely sovereign in himself. (Don’t stop reading! There is more of Aslan below this ad!)

This way of thinking about Aslan is how I believe we should understand Scripture’s teaching on Adoption: “The Theology of Adoption is not a tame lion.” It’s not a doctrine that we can lock up in a cage, limit its mobility, and decide for ourselves what it’s allowed to do or not do. As John Piper has said, “Adoption is bigger than the universe,” its implications reach to the furthest unseen “corners” of the universe, and one day will be the means by which God renews all things “as far as the curse is found.”

So, if you think this conference is not for you because you do not happen to be a pastor or an adoption/orphan care ministry leader, let me ask that you seriously consider joining us October 4-5 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Learn more about this unique conference.

Our Triune God & the Pastor: A Theology of Adoption for the Church

A conference for pastors, seminarians, their spouses, and church adoption and orphan care ministry leaders (and anyone else who is interested in this topic) on the theology of Adoption and its implications for pastoral ministry, the Church, Christian living, and mercy ministry.

Join Hope for Orphans, White Horse Inn, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary October 4-5 in Louisville, Kentucky for our first annual Together for Adoption Conference for Pastors. Our hope for this unique conference is to contribute to the recovery of the theology of Adoption within the Church.

Why is the recovery of Adoption within the Church important?

  • Adoption’s recovery would enable us to express the forensic character of the Gospel (i.e. we are declared righteous through faith in Christ) without neglecting its familial character (i.e. we are loved by the Father in the Beloved Son). In Adoption the forensic and familial elements of the Gospel ‘live and move and have [their] being’ together.
  • Adoption showcases both what we have been saved from and what we saved to. Once we were “sons of disobedience” and “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3), but now we are sons by Adoption (Ephesians 1:4-5). Although we were once the lost sons of Adam and under the just wrath of God, we are now in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6) with a future as marvelous and as sure as the incarnate Son’s (Romans 8:12-30). Scripture’s teaching on Adoption enables us to better articulate both what we were in Adam and what we are now in Christ. The more we embrace and proclaim what the theology of Adoption teaches about what we were and what we are now as sons in the Son, the more our experience of the gospel will be revolutionized within our churches.
  • We also believe that nothing can mobilize churches to carry out the practice of true religion (“visit orphans and widows in their affliction” – James 1:27) like a robust understanding of our Adoption through Christ. Scripture’s story of Adoption is the story of God visiting us in our affliction (Romans 8:3-4, 18-23)—like He visited His son Israel in his affliction (Exodus 4:31)—in order to deliver us from it. Therefore, ultimately, we visit orphans and widows in their affliction because God first visited us in ours. If any group of people should be passionate about visiting orphans in their affliction, it should be the children of God. There is no other group of people that should be more easily mobilized to care for orphans. Period. Visiting orphans in their distress mirrors what God has done for us in ours.

If you are a pastor, pastor’s wife, seminarian, or a church adoption and orphan care ministry leader, consider joining us for this unique conference as we work toward the recovery of Adoption and explore its implications for church life and practice. Learn more about the ‘why’ of this conference on the theology of Adoption.

Read the following interviews/article on the theology of Adoption and its implications for Church life and practice:

Interview with Dr. David B. Garner, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Philadelphia.

Interview with Dr. Tim J. R. Trumper.

Dr. Fred Sanders on the recovery of the theology of adoption.

Here is the where, when, and who:

Where: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
When: October 4-5, 2012
What: Our Triune God & the Pastor: A Theology of Adoption for the Church

Dr. Sinclair Ferguson –  Adoption for the Pastor’s Soul
Dr. Michael Horton – Our Adoption and Union with Christ
Dr. Fred Sanders – A Trinitarian Theology of Adoption
Paul Pennington & Dr. John Bergeron -The Visible Gospel & The Local Church In Adoptive Family Care
Dr. Robert Smith, Jr. – The Theology of Adoption’s Implications for Racial Reconciliation
Dr. Russell Moore -
Dan Cruver – Adoption’s Place within Redemptive History
Zach Nielsen – Worship Leader

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