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Q&A: Russell D. Moore on his new book, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches (Crossway), Part I

May 5, 2009

Russell D. Moore serves as dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Seminary in Louisville. Gender Blog examined his new book, which serves as the basis for this interview, in yesterday's post.

Question:  Do you think it's fair to say that adoption is a summary of the entire biblical story of redemption?

Russell D. Moore:  Yes.  Adoption tells the story of the universe, and it encompasses everything about what God has done for us in Christ. Some people misunderstand what the apostles mean when they speak of adoption. We assume the Jewish Christians in the early church were the "biological children" of God and the Gentile the "adopted children" of God. No such distinction was made, since both received the adoption (Romans 9:4). Abraham, after all, wasn't a "natural born" child of God. He was born in paganism, and brought into the household of God.

We were all orphans. Jesus became an orphan for us so that we might be brothers and sisters of Christ. Adoption is a gospel issue also at the missional level. We care for orphans through adoption and foster care and mercy ministries not simply because it helps those who are hurting. We do so because the satanic powers hate babies, and Jesus loves them. Jesus pleads for the widows and the fatherless, and so we (if we share his Spirit) find ourselves doing the same, loving him by loving the least of his little brothers and sisters.

Q:  This book is obviously a very personal work for you. How did it grow and challenge you in the Lord?

RDM:  The book took me longer to write than anything I've ever written. It's not because I had to spend so much time thinking and researching, it's just that it was so intense emotionally. In giving counsel to churches and families about adoption, I had to be confronted, again, with some hard things about myself. I was the man who wouldn't go with my wife to the local adoption seminar because I wanted "my own kids." I see that now for what it was-satanic-but it doesn't make it any easier to face.

On the other hand, the book was more than a book for me. It is my life's passion. I believe it is a calling. And every time I see my two little boys-and remember the orphans they were-I'm reminded of the number to great to be numbered of orphans languishing in the shadows right now. Writing the book then became, for me, an act of wrestling with demons, fighting for orphans.

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