Adopted for Life [eBook]
The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches
A stirring call to Christian families and churches to be a people who care for orphans, not just in word, but in deed.
The gospel of Jesus Christ-the good news that through Jesus we have been adopted as sons and daughters into God’s family-means that Christians ought to be at the forefront of the adoption of orphans in North America and around the world.
Russell D. Moore does not shy away from this call in Adopted for Life, a popular-level, practical manifesto for Christians to adopt children and to help equip other Christian families to do the same. He shows that adoption is not just about couples who want children-or who want more children. It is about an entire culture within evangelicalism, a culture that sees adoption as part of the Great Commission mandate and as a sign of the gospel itself.
Moore, who adopted two boys from Russia and has spoken widely on the subject, writes for couples considering adoption, families who have adopted children, and pastors who wish to encourage adoption.
RUSSELL D. MOORE is dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of The Kingdom of Christ and is a senior editor of the journal Touchstone. He and his wife, Maria, have four children.
“We often forget that the Christian walk is not merely about getting us into heaven, but it is also about getting heaven into us. This is why our Lord gave us the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, and the parable of the Good Samaritan. Thus, it is no surprise that the apostle James offers this injunction to the Early Church: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world’ (James 1:27, kjv). In this wonderful monograph, Adopted for Life, Russell Moore offers to the Christian world a compelling account of these and other lessons of Scripture so that our communities of faith may put them into practice and become more like that ‘shining city on a hill’ of which our Lord spoke.”
—Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University; author of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice
“Russell Moore reminds us in his powerful book Adopted for Life that the true Christian family reaches far beyond the biological. The poignant tale of the adoption of two Russian orphans by him and his wife Maria grows into a metaphor of Christian salvation. This book offers both practical advice and courage to every couple considering adoption. For all readers, it shows how the act of adoption actually reveals core truths about the gospel of Christ.”
—Allan C. Carlson, President, The Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society; Founder and International Secretary, the World Congress of Families; Distinguished Visiting Professor of History, Hillsdale College
“Russell Moore, who is one of the bright young leaders in the Christian world, combines his own experience of adopting sons with a powerful message to the church about the key role it can play in promoting adoption. This is a wonderful book in which Russell very effectively weaves in mankind’s own story of adoption by God. The personal accounts are particularly moving. To be pro-life, you have to be pro-adoption.”
—Charles Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
“Russell Moore is a gift of God to the Christian community and a gift of the Christian community to the nation. His writings on questions of the most profound human and moral significance never fail to instruct and inspire. In Adopted for Life, Dr. Moore draws on his family’s own experience with adoption to help others understand that by adopting orphaned or abandoned children we can grow in love of God and neighbor and come to appreciate more deeply our own adoption into the family of God through the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus.”
—Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University
“The older I grow, the more I am personally convinced that the church is our Lord’s answer to the adopting of so many precious children who so desperately are in need of a good home. Dr. Russell Moore has done the church a tremendous service by reminding us in this writing of the call of God to meet the ever pressing needs of these little ones. Read with the intent to obey.”
—Johnny Hunt, President, The Southern Baptist Convention
“Adopted for Life is truly an incredible book of hope in so many ways. I know of no other book that is so biblically rich, so very practical, and so authentic and heart-felt about the beautiful gift of adoption as this one. It a powerfully insightful book of how adoption is a beautiful act of love and mission for the gospel. I pray that God uses this book to encourage and impact many, many lives.”
—Dan Kimball, Pastor, Vintage Faith Church; author, They Like Jesus but Not the Church
“Russell Moore has out of personal experience and with biblical accuracy produced in this work an understanding of God’s purposes in adoption and its connection with gospel compassion. Every pastor should consider the responsibility he has in making adoption a priority for the church as a viable representation of the gospel doctrine of adoption.”
—John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California
“Thankfully, there are good books on adoption and good books on the gospel. But until the arrival of Adopted for Life, there has never been a book that puts the adoption of children so clearly within the context of the gospel of Christ. Adopted for Life is one of the most compelling books I have ever read-both deeply touching and richly theological. You will never look at adoption or the gospel in quite the same way after reading this book. How could the church have been missing this for so long?”
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Adopted for Life is the fruit of deeply felt personal experience shaped by prolonged theological reflection. Without by any means answering every question we might raise, Russell Moore invites readers to learn to think of adoption in the light of Christian faith. This is a book not only for those who have adopted, those who may adopt, or those who have been adopted, but for all who know themselves to have been freely adopted by God’s grace.”
—Gilbert Meilaender, Duesenberg Professor in Christian Ethics, Valparaiso University
“Adopted for Life is a well-written rooting of adoption in biblical theology. Moore, who weaves in the story of the two Russian children he and his wife have adopted, shows how churches should view adoption as part of their mission. He shows what a difference it would make if Christians were known once again as the people who take in orphans and make them sons and daughters.”
—Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World News Group
“Yes, yes, yes! Russell Moore has given the church a God-centered, gospel-saturated, culturally-sensitive, mission-focused, desperately needed exploration of the priority and privilege of adoption. He exposes misconceptions and uncovers misunderstandings that not only keep us from fostering an adoptive culture in our churches but that keep us from truly understanding the gospel by which we are adopted as sons and daughters of God. This book contains encouragement for children who have been adopted and the parents who’ve adopted them, practical advice for parents who are considering adoption and parents who have never considered adoption, and admonishment for the church-at-large to consider how to be obedient to scriptural commands to care for orphans here and around the world. Readers will find themselves laughing on one page, crying on the next, and ultimately bowing before God, thanking him for adopting them into his heavenly family and considering how to show his love to the fatherless on earth.”
—David Platt, Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama; author, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
“It is a remarkable story of how two parents chose and adopted two sons from the squalor of a Russian orphanage. It is a remarkable story of how a loving God chose and adopted us from the filth and squalor of sin. It is the remarkable story of an earthly father who lays his hands on the heads of his four sons each evening and prays for their salvation, for their godliness, courage, and conviction, and for them to be given godly wives. It is the remarkable story of a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that he gave his own Son to die for us. Anyone who has adopted, who is considering adoption, or who has been adopted should read Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life. And anyone who wants to a get a glimpse of the greatness of the Father’s love for him or her should read it as well.”
—Thom Rainer, President and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources
“The care and honesty that Russell Moore demonstrates throughout Adopted for Life should inspire every believer to consider God’s heart for children without a family. It is adoption that demonstrates our Heavenly Father’s desire to know us intimately and personally. He could have called us, forgiven us, justified us, and sanctified us without adopting us. Just like a parable of Christ, the adoption of an orphan provides a lost world the powerful picture of God’s personal love for his children. The church must take the lead in caring for orphans and at-risk children, so that adoption is once again united with the message of the Christian gospel.”
—Mark A. Tatlock, Provost and Senior Vice President, The Master’s College
“Russell Moore helps all believers, through his very honest, transparent, and theologically enriched book, to see the gospel and reality of Christ through a very fresh lens called adoption. God is working to bring revival and revolution to his church through orphan ministry, and this book is a must for those who will receive his invitation to consider a fatherless child or simply love them through missions.”
—Paul Pennington, Executive Director, Hope for Orphans
“Russell Moore’s life has validated every word he has written. But most especially, his father’s heart has been vulnerable and broken. In this book he speaks from his heart, mind, and life to ours about the possibility of incarnating adoption as a fleshed out reality in the world of our own families.”
—Michael Card, musician; Bible Teacher; author, A Better Freedom
“This book is for all who have been adopted by God. With remarkable narrative flow Russell Moore illumines the beauty and wonder of our adoption in Christ and its profound and necessary implications for orphan care and the earthly practice of adoption. If you want to deepen your worship of the God who adopts and who has revealed himself to be a ‘Father to the fatherless,’ Adopted for Life will serve you exceptionally well.”
—Dan Cruver, Director, Together for Adoption; author, Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovery of Abba Father
“The Bible tells us that pure religion is caring for widows and orphans. Dr. Russell Moore challenges Christians to an aspect of Christ’s Lordship that many have never considered. His remarkable way of putting our salvation into the context of being adopted into God’s family brings a new perspective on being the recipient of undeserved mercy and grace. The author graphically parallels this beautiful spiritual truth with the analogy of his own adopting of two Russian orphans. Understanding what we have all experienced and reading this poignant testimony made me feel compelled to want to adopt every orphan and abused child in the world. Such an idea is not so far-fetched as Adopted for Life reminds us of our mission in a lost world waiting to be adopted.”
—Jerry Rankin, President, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention