A Dangerous Book

Some books are dangerous, and Russ Moore’s Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches is a dangerous book. It is dangerous in the way Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship or Life Together is dangerous, because if you take the book seriously it may alter your life significantly and, to be honest, perhaps in ways not entirely welcome.

Adopted for Life is in many ways exactly what you would expect from Russ Moore, who is a friend. The book is erudite, insightful, well-written, clever, and full of wisdom. That’s what we all expect from Russ. But there is more. This is a personal book, recounting the journey of Russ and his wife through the adoption process, and he writes with moving eloquence about their experience. It is also a book about the gospel. Russ has done a masterful job of showing the implications of the gospel for the church with respect to adoption.

Let me mention two of my favorite parts of the book. The first has to do with rude questions people ask about adoption. Nothing along these lines surprised me, but what Russ recounts is just so typical for anyone who has spent time around the church, which is so often the landing place for rude and obnoxious folk. I guess I enjoyed this because it made me laugh at something that is so irritating.

Second, I am very grateful for the manner in which Russ treated the question of transracial adoption. I have another friend who runs an adoption agency and we have talked on more than one occasion about this question. To me, this is a matter of grave importance for Christians, social workers, and agencies to sort out. Nothing helps to clarify this issue like the gospel, and I am very grateful for the manner in which Adopted for Life frames the issue.

I wonder what would occur if a number of our churches took this book seriously. What would occur if our families reordered priorities in accord with the gospel and considered how their home might become a home for the homeless orphan? I wonder what would occur if those who have received the Spirit of adoption would consider the implications of the gospel in the way Russ Moore suggests? Dangerous thoughts, indeed.

I heartily recommend this book. It is a good example of how we should help Christians to consider how the gospel matters for all of life. I pray we will see many more books like this, on a variety of subjects. So, read the book, and encourage your friends to do so. Encourage your church to do so. But I warn you – this is a dangerous book.

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  1. Chris Fischer   •  

    Having two (of six) adopted children in my family, I can tell you first hand about the “dangers” of God grabbing hold of your selfishness and opening your eyes to the plight of the fatherless. Note that I said fatherless, not orphan. There is a large segment of the population that feels good about donating money to ministries which build nicer orphanages and offer life-skills classes. But the fact remains that the only cure for fatherlessness is a father.

    I think adoption/orphan care ministry ought to be in the realm of men’s ministry rather than a “women’s interest” ministry. I love my wife in specific and women in general. But it shouldn’t require women to take the lead in becoming pro-adoption. Our men should be rising to the challenge of taking on fatherlessness, seeing as how we are the only ones who can qualify as a father.

    Is every Christian called to adopt? Maybe not. But every Christian is compelled to ask of God, “What about me?” I’ll bet more families would find room in their heart and home for a fatherless child should they have the courage and brokenness to ask the question.

  2. Pingback: Crossway.blog » Adopted for Life: A Video Chat with Russell Moore

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