adoption austin stone

Together For Adoption – 2010 Conference

This fall, the Together for Adoption Conference will be October 1-2, 2010, in Austin, Texas, hosted by The Austin Stone Community Church and Hill Country Bible Church (the conference venue), and in partnership with Hope for Orphans.

The theme is “The Gospel, the Church, and the Global Orphan Crisis” and I have the privilege of teaching a breakout session on Involving Your Missional Community in Orphan Care.

I hope to see you there!

adoption personal theology

Adoption and Redemption

Reflecting on Ephesians 1:1-14 the other day, God struck me with a profound truth about the very nature of salvation:

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

I’ve certainly reflected on this passage often from a theological perspective, generally focusing on the predestining work of the sovereign God, but also in understanding the theological nature of adoption.  The fresh revelation for me was that I don’t often think of them together with the experience of a loving Father, rather as theologically distinctive aspects of salvation.

Our redemption through the blood of Christ, however, is an experience of the adopting love of a Father, not simply an historical fact.  In the same way that my friend Aaron Ivey longs to rescue his son, so too did God have the same longing as a Father, who sent his only begotten Son as a propitiation and sacrifice for redemption. Reflecting on the earthly process of adoption and fatherhood in general is giving such a fresh perspective on my own theology.  To think of adoption and redemption independently of one another is the residue of cold, theological calculation and divorced from the experience of God as my daddy, and I desperately need God to transform my mind and heart.

My prayer for the coming year is that I would continue to experience the fatherhood of God through the work of Christ.  May the knowledge of my head continue to be fused the affections of my heart.


Together for Adoption Conference Audio

The mp3s from the Together for Adoption Conference are linked below:

adoption missions

Adoption is the World Mission | Jeremy Haskins

I just read the post below from Jeremy Haskins, and all I can say is amen.  This is an excellent articulation of the mission of the church to declare the gospel to all peoples that they might be adopted into the family of God, and to demonstrate that spiritual adoption through earthly adoption.  Here is an excerpt:

Let me be clear, preaching the gospel brings about eternal salvation to those who hear and believe. The only hope for the over 6,000 unreached people groups around the world is that churches would be planted and reproduced through the proclamation that salvation is in no other name but the name of Jesus. God’s mission will not be completed primarily through families adopting orphans from around the world, but through world mission efforts. And yet, a commitment to join God on mission should cause us to be like God on mission.

Our mission work declares that we believe the gospel transcends our culture. Adoption declares that we believe the gospel transcends our flesh and blood. As former Gentiles, we work to see the nations represented in our congregation. As former orphans, we work together to see former rescued orphans in our families. This is the wisdom of God displayed in missions. It is the same wisdom displayed through adoption.

via Adoption is the world mission « so that we might receive adoption.


Together for Adoption | Sessions 3 and 4

Session 3: Scott Roley – Adoption and the Pursuit of Racial Reconciliation

Scott’s basic thesis was that the greatest picture of the gospel’s work in our life is the adoption of unwanted children.  He consistently showed that it was not his strength to do what was done (adopting/fostering transracially and living in a broken community while doing it), and highlighted the power of the gospel to sustain in the midst of his own weakness and cowardice.  I was refreshed by his honesty, and his knowledge of the gospel’s power for endurance in difficulty.

Secondly, he spent a considerable amount of time talking through the community of God as one eternal community of diversity, and transracial adoption is a tangible display of the reality that every tribe, tongue and nation is adopted into God’s family.  His point is that we were meant to be God’s family of all races, and race relations are estranged because the hearts of people are still in hatred and rebellion.

This was a great pastoral talk, and definitely allowed me to see the beauty of transracial adoption and the effect it has on displaying the kingdom of God.

Session 4: Ed Stetzer – The Gospel, Social Justice, and The Missional Church

Ed Stetzer’s basic question of his talk was “how can we be the good news without losing the centrality of the proclamation of the gospel?”  The talk was a discussion on the interaction of evangelism and social justice through the lens of the ministry of Jesus and the ministry of Paul.

In Luke 4, Jesus inaugurates his public ministry by quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, essentially saying that justice is coming down to earth.  The ministry of Jesus was BOTH healing the sick and caring for the poor AND seeking and saving the lost.  One of the basic points he made is that often the The Great Commandment and The Great Commission are pitted against one another, when they are two sides of the same coin.

Stetzer used a couple examples from church history: the explosion of the early church in the 2nd and 3rd century as Christians cared for those affected by plagues and the efforts in the early 1900’s toward global evangelization.  The first was a demonstration of the power of deed ministry when coupled with word ministry – the church exploded!  The second was an example of how widening your view of evangelism to include deed based ministry can derail movements of the gospel, as it did around the turn of the century.

Stetzer landed the plane by simply stating that our mission is to join Jesus in his mission, which is one single mission with  many facets.  The church is on the same mission to serve people and proclaim that salvation is found in Christ alone, and we need a dual fidelity to that ministry.  In closing, he said “social justice is close to the heart of God and should be to ours, but we should not be so naïve to think we won’t repeat the failures of history.  Speak of justice, they will praise you, speak of Jesus they will hate you.”

We cannot speak of justice without speaking of Jesus, and we cannot speak of Jesus without speaking of justice.

I only caught part of Session 5 with Michael Easley, but he focused much of his time on understanding the Hebrew notion of the alien, the orphan and the widow.  Lastly, I missed the final session with Dr. Russell Moore, but heard it was excellent.  I’m going to try to catch it online this week…