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


One of the questions I am frequently asked is “what can we do to solve the global orphan crisis?” My answer to that question used to be long and involved. Now it’s simple: give priority to the “Who” question (Who is the Trinity? Who is Jesus? Who is the Spirit of adoption? etc) over the “What” question.

In addressing the great problems of his day, Dietrich Bonhoeffer argued that priority must be given to the “Who” question. Bonhoeffer knew that if we give priority to the “What” question over the “Who” question, our tendency will be to think primarily in pragmatic terms (i.e., what works) and, as a result, limit ourselves to superficial solutions and endanger the sustainability of our efforts.

The “Who” question is eternal while the “What” question is temporal. Our world’s orphan crisis had a beginning. The Trinity does not. The global orphan crisis will one day come to an end. Jesus will not. We will always be asking the “Who” question. That’s not the case with the “What” question. In addition, the eternal God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has in Himself the solutions to every human crisis. Since our Triune God is Himself the solution, we will find ourselves moving toward a solution as we answer the “Who” question.

Giving priority to the “Who” question, though, does not mean that we care less about the “What” question. It simply means that the “What” question should always flow out of and never move away from who God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Only when we give priority to the “Who” question will we find that we are moving toward a genuine solution with sustainable efforts.

[For this reason, Reclaiming Adoption intentionally gives priority to the "Who" question when considering the global orphan crisis. Purchase a copy here.]

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