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Stephen H. Webb
Christians are an adopted people, added to God's covenant with Israel by grace, chosen by God for no merit of our own. That is the good news of the Gospel according to Russell D. Moore's important new book, Adopted for Life (Crossway). Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, speaks from the heart, interspersing a sound biblical theology with a moving account of how he and his wife Maria adopted two boys from Russia. Along the way he offers practical advice for couples thinking about doing the same. Although Moore is not writing only for potential adopters, be warned: if adoption has even briefly crossed your mind, you will never get it out of your mind once you are done reading his book. I felt as if Moore were reading my mind, expressing the reasons of my heart that I could not articulate on my own. My wife and I began filling out the paperwork to adopt about two years ago, and we are still waiting for our child. When friends ask me why we are doing this, at our late age, with three children already, I don't have a set answer. We feel called by God to adopt, but that sounds a bit zealous to mention in casual conversation. Now I am just going to recommend this book.
Moore does not think that all Christians have an obligation to adopt. Instead, he is simply preaching the Gospel in a new key. Moore shows that adoption is not just a biblical metaphor, although it is certainly used as a metaphor in a surprising number of passages. Instead, Moore opens up the Bible in provocative and transformative ways by showing that the Bible is absolutely serious about the ethical imperative of adoption.
Christians are called by adoption, which means, to Moore, that we are called to adopt as well. If you tweak the Great Commission to evangelize (Matt. 28: 16-20), then you can find a Great Commandment to adopt. After all, what better way could there be of spreading the word and expressing Christ's love than by gathering up orphans?
In Moore's own ...