Russell Moore has become the go-to voice for issues related to adoption in the Southern Baptist Convention and in evangelicalism in general. Dr. Moore, who serves as dean of the school of theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, is the proud father of four boys, two of whom are adopted from Russia. Perhaps it is these two roles, theology professor and adoptive father, that make Adopted for Life such a powerful wedding of doctrine and family.
Dr. Moore uses his experience of adopting children to help believers see just how glorious it is that God has adopted us as his very own. Many adoptive parents are saddened when people label their children as “adopted children,” as if such a label makes the children somehow less legitimately theirs. Dr. Moore has seen how adopting his children truly made them his very own children, and he takes that picture along with solid doctrine to show us that God makes us his very own in Christ—even though we could never deserve such loving treatment from our Heavenly Father.
Another of the myriad positives of this book is simply how it will make a couple truly consider adoption. Children all over the globe are in desperate need of parents. Even more importantly, those children are also in desperate need of the gospel. Dr. Moore’s work helps Christian parents to recognize that, by purposefully taking in children from cultures where there is little gospel witness, parents can both save young lives and bring the gospel to the nations.
Dr. Moore realizes that not all couples are going to be able to adopt. He wisely calls for Christians who cannot themselves adopt to pray for and find ways to support other Christians who are trying to adopt. Some ideas for supporting others considering adoption include financial support, prayer support, and even the simple love of baby showers.
I struggle to come up with negatives to consider in this work. Perhaps, if a couple wants to adopt, they will wish that this book gave more practical, “how to” steps to let families know what they must do to start the process, to choose the right agency, etc. However, this book was not intended to be a how-to-adopt manual. Dr. Moore wanted his readers to see the beauty of adoption, and thus this negative is not even a strong negative.
Without question, there are places where this book is hard to read. When Dr. Moore tells us of the deplorable conditions in some international orphanages, it can be tough to hear. When he tells us of the horrible life that awaits some orphans who are not adopted, it can be very painful. It is, however, good for us to look the truth of these things in the face in order to see the genuine need for believers to take a call to adoption seriously.
I highly recommend Adopted for Life for any believer of any age. Because the book paints such a beautiful picture of God adopting us, all believers can benefit from the work. For couples who might consider growing their family, this book is a must-read. Dr. Moore has done a great job touching readers’ hearts and their minds with a glorious, Christ-centered picture of adoption.
I was graciously given an audio copy of this book to review from ChristianAudio.com. The audio is clear an understandable, though I would prefer the words to come a little quicker. Dr. Moore narrates his own work, and this can often be a difficult task for an author to do—Though in defense of Dr. Moore, he does a far better job narrating his own work than does Mark Driscoll.