Home > Book Reviews > Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore

Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore

May 22nd, 2009

Moore, Russell. Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 230 pp. $15.99.  Purchase at Westminster books for $10.55.

Introduction

Dr. Russell Moore is the dean of the School of Theology as well as the vice president for Academic Administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as the editor of the journal Touchstone and is a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also authored Crossway’s The Kingdom of Christ among other books.

More germane to the topic of this book, he and his bride, Maria, have four children, two of which are adopted. However, he will be the first to tell you that he has four sons without any qualifying terms. In other words, he writes as a man who has been in the trenches and has lived what he writes.

Summary of Adopted for Life

I have arbitrarily divided this book into two parts. The first part consists of chapters one through three and is the theological foundation for the book. The second part is from chapter four through nine and is along the lines of “I wish someone would have said this to me.” As I said, this division is merely an arbitrary division created by me. On one hand, the entire book is deeply rooted in the theology of our adoption as sons through our faith in Christ alone. On the other hand, the book is deeply rooted in one man’s experiences of adoption and wishing he knew then what he knows now.

Chapter one begins with an exhortation to read this book…especially if the reader really does not want to read it. His exhortation is really an invitation to a conversation. In chapter two, we peer into the heart of Dr. Moore as he shares how he struggled with all of the questions he received after he and his wife first adopted Benjamin and Timothy. He ultimately points out that through our adoption into Christ as sons (he argues for the use of “sons” as opposed to the inclusion of “and daughters”) of God, the term “brother” actually means something. Chapter three explains what is really at stake when discussing adoption. Dr. Moore actually preached a sermon similar to what he wrote in chapter three during a chapel service at SBTS. You can listen to that sermon here.

The fourth chapter is the linchpin of the book. It is in this chapter that Dr. Moore bears his heart and soul (as if he hasn’t done that already) regarding adoption. This chapter is worth the price of the book in my estimation as he offers up advice to those considering adoption. He offers advice to those considering adoption who fear they may be (or are) infertile, to those who know someone who is infertile but really does not know what to say to them, and for those who are considering adoption even though they already have children “of their own.”

As I stated earlier, chapters five through nine offers up counsel as one who wished he knew then what he knows now. Chapter five deals with the practical elements of the process of adoption. Chapter six deals with potential uncomfortable questions. The seventh and eight chapters helps the pastor and member in the local church to begin to cultivate a life of adoption in both doctrine and life application. The ninth chapter ends just as chapter one begins—with an invitation to continue the conversation.

Recommendation (Highly)

Whenever I read a book for the purpose of writing a review, I do some preliminary reading on the back cover and in the first few pages.  While reading the blurbs on this book, I began to think that what was being said about the book was too much. Words like “compelling,” “powerful,” “wonderful,” “tremendous,” “incredible,” and “remarkable” were being used over and over again.  I truly thought that these comments must be over the top. I could not have been more wrong. Turns out, they forgot to use a word—”phenomenal”.  Dr. Russell Moore has written a phenomenal and worldview changing treatise on adoption for all of Christendom.

This book is a must read even if you are not considering adoption; after all, he tells us that not everyone is called to adopt just like not everyone is called to go on the mission field. But, just as we are all called to be a part of missions work, we are called to be a part of adoption. Every pastor must read this book. I dare say that anyone who calls upon the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior needs to read this book. Never before has the glory of the doctrine of adoption been laid out in such practical terms of the adoption of children. I personally believe this book is the beginning of a work of God to move His bride back toward a pure and undefiled religion (James 1:27). Evidence of this is his resolution On Adoption and Orphan Care that Dr. Russell Moore has submitted to the Resolutions Committee of the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention.

Win an Autographed Copy of Adopted For Life

I am very excited to offer a signed copy of this book to giveaway here on the blog. Dr. Russell Moore was very gracious to do this. To win, just leave a comment below–you could say why you are interested in adoption both spiritually and physically. I will draw a winner at random on Monday 1 June 2009

Update: Crossway has sent us two more books for the giveaway! So, if you’ve entered below you are in the drawing for one of three copies of the book. But there is only one autographed copy. Thanks Crossway!

Update: The contest is now closed, click here to see who won!

  1. May 22nd, 2009 at 10:08 | #1

    Terry,
    This is a great giveaway and really helpful review. Our family is making some decisions about adoption right now and Dr. Moore has really helped me see that adoption is a theological issue.

  2. May 22nd, 2009 at 10:19 | #2

    This is a good offer. Adoption always intrigued me, given how it’s so crucial to our understanding of the atonement–God adopts us through the sacrifice of His Son, and therefore when we are in Him we have all the rights and privileges of sonship (John 1:12-13). It staggers the mind–and causes worship!

  3. May 22nd, 2009 at 10:21 | #3

    I have a sister-in-law who was adopted. She has left the family, had two children out of wedlock, and struggles with addiction. She claims all this is because she feels that no one cares about her, starting with her biological mother. This work would help me gain some critical insight into this doctrine so that I can better minister to her on spiritual adoption and how it can heal her damage psyche.

  4. May 22nd, 2009 at 10:36 | #4

    Sounds like a great book! I’ve read a lot about adoption, but never from this angle, bringing in the theological foundation. Spiritually, adoption is a great picture for how we enter into God’s family. Physically, I’m an amazingly blessed father of four adopted kids, and they’re changed my life and grown my faith like nothing else.

  5. Aaron Montgomery
    May 22nd, 2009 at 10:49 | #5

    Kind offer. I’m interested in adoption for two reasons. First, I was adopted when I turned 18. Second, adoption is excellent kingdom imagery,as it depicts the reality that Christians are true sons of God, with all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges thereof.

  6. May 22nd, 2009 at 11:12 | #6

    Spiritual adoption has always been of great comfort to me. The first sermon I ever preached was on the Fatherhood of God.

    I think it may stem from coming from a family where my father was distance, but how glorious it is to come to family with a heavenly father.

  7. Travis Krick
    May 22nd, 2009 at 11:57 | #7

    My wife and I have addopted a son of a different race. He is now 4 and we have had him from birth. Needless to say he has changed our lives in more way than one. He is a wonderful young man with a great personality. We adopted our son so we can share our lives with him. We had an excellent teacher in God. Being adopted into His family ourselves I believe helped us without hesitation make a decision to adopt. Also knowing the trials of being a Christian in this world helped to prepare us for the looks and endless questions of raising a child of a different race.

  8. May 22nd, 2009 at 12:11 | #8

    Much ado has been made concerning this book and given Dr. Moore’s passion for Christ and his kingdom, this is sure to be a great read. We have friends who are in the throes of adopting a sibling group from Russia. Though the process has been long and having faced many setbacks, they have persevered and are now very near bringing home their boys. Adoption in our world is a wonderful reflection of the love and grace of God and our adoption into his family.

    Αυτω η δοξα,

    Jason

  9. May 22nd, 2009 at 12:57 | #9

    Great idea for a giveaway. I’m interested in the book for a number of reasons. (1) I like Dr. Moore. (2) I have an adopted brother. (3) Our church just went prayed for and went through the adoption process with our pastor and his wife–their first child. (4) I’m adopted (by God!)

  10. Bob Schembre
    May 22nd, 2009 at 13:25 | #10

    Faith and I have been in the process of preparing for adoptions for about 6 months now. The changes in our home, the classes and learning process, have all been extremely taxing. We have not reached our goal of taking in someone by the beginning of summer, but still have adoption as our goal and in our sights. We are amazed at how many children need homes just in our county, how many Christians there are in our county, and that all of these children are not taken in yet. All amazing. Also amazing is our adoption in Christ. Can’t wait to read the book.

  11. Brian Dellinger
    May 22nd, 2009 at 13:47 | #11

    My wife and I just finished our last foster-care class this past week. While we’re open to simply fostering, our hope is that we’ll have an opportunity to adopt through the system.

    The church where I serve as an elder recently started an adoption and fostering support group. I’m helping plan the devotionals for that group and want to consider Dr. Moore’s book!

  12. Heather
    May 22nd, 2009 at 13:47 | #12

    My husband and I will be moving to South Africa to work with local churches to promote adoption in order to be a testimony to God’s great love for us and for orphans in a country where there are around 2000 new orphans a week. We will be adopting as many orphans as we can. This is an excellent book and we would love to be able to win a free copy to give to parents who are wanting to adopt. What a huge blessing that would be!

  13. Scott Van Neste
    May 22nd, 2009 at 14:25 | #13

    Great giveaway!
    Our family is in the middle of adopting from a CPC. We are having the opportunity to speak about adoption both from the spiritual and physical side. The book would be very helpful in this.

  14. May 22nd, 2009 at 14:49 | #14

    My wife and I are praying about adopting soon. Thanks for the offer.

    -Jesse

  15. May 22nd, 2009 at 15:59 | #15

    My wife and I plan to adopt eventually. Would love this resource, especially to help our family understand our decision better.

  16. May 22nd, 2009 at 15:59 | #16

    I am looking forward to reading this book and would love an autographed copy. Many of the families in our church, Grace Family Baptist Church, are in the process of adopting or have already adopted children.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  17. Richard Sugg
    May 22nd, 2009 at 16:27 | #17

    My wife and I are considering adoption so I would love to read Dr. Moore’s book.

  18. May 22nd, 2009 at 16:35 | #18

    I work at a Christian adoption agency where we are trying to raise awarenesss among believers of the tremendous need and remarkable opportunity of adoption. We have a desire to empty the foster care system in our state of adoptable children by encouraging and supporting Christian families to adopt. Is there a greater picture of God’s glorious gospel than the human relationship of adoption? I would love to make Dr. Moore’s book available to pastors and believers.

  19. May 22nd, 2009 at 19:01 | #19

    As a pastor committed to expository preaching, themes like adoption / covenant are consistent throughout the scriptures and are becoming more apparent to our people. As well, our church is a few blocks away from a major state university (University of Arkansas) and we want our students to have the mindset of adoption for themselves spiritually and the passion to reflect that spiritual image in the physical act of adopting children both from our state (which has dire needs) and across the world. We currently have several families in our church who have, or are in the process of adopting. Personally, we are expecting our 4th child, and are considering adoption beyond this point.

  20. Audrea Fuller
    May 22nd, 2009 at 19:39 | #20

    I’d love to read more about this beautiful picture of the gospel in families.

  21. May 23rd, 2009 at 00:22 | #21

    Adoption is the crowning blessing of redemption, according to J. I. Packer. So I want to know more about it! Sign me up.

  22. May 23rd, 2009 at 01:26 | #22

    I just preached Eph 1:1-14 this past Sunday and had to address biblical adoption, esp in terms of the two-purpose of God’s atoning work: redemption & adoption.

  23. May 23rd, 2009 at 11:43 | #23

    I have a sermon on Adoption. The whole idea is wonderful. Interestingly enough, I had two children who were members of the
    church where I first preached that sermon. they seem to appreciate
    it. It sounds like this book by Dr. Moore would be one a pastor would want to have in his libary, available for the preparation of a sermon on the subject. Having written book reviews over many yrs., I would welcome the opportunity to write a review of it.

  24. May 23rd, 2009 at 13:41 | #24

    I can’t wait to read it!

  25. May 23rd, 2009 at 14:07 | #25

    All three of our boys are adopted. That fact has added some “oomph” to how I think of my own spiritual adoption by my heavenly Father… through Christ.

  26. AWHall
    May 23rd, 2009 at 22:23 | #26

    My family of origin adopted a little girl when I was 13. It was an incredible experience – one from which I am still learning.

  27. Maribeth Uhlenhopp
    May 23rd, 2009 at 23:19 | #27

    As an adopted daughter, I hold a special place in my heart for children needing families. My husband & I hope that adoption is in our future. I look forward to checking out this book.

    Thanks!

  28. May 24th, 2009 at 01:15 | #28

    I keep reading great things about this book and I can’t wait to read it! This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. With 10 years of infertility, and with drawing closer to God through the word, my husband and I feel the call to adopt. We know we were drawn to adoption before infertility but now we know it’s our only way to grow our family. We hope this book will be a wonderful tool for all of us to bond together with each other and deeper with God.

  29. May 24th, 2009 at 06:33 | #29

    A really different aspect of being a Christ follower, I never really thought of myself that way.

  30. adoptee
    May 24th, 2009 at 16:13 | #30

    hopefully this book will encourage people to adopt special needs kids within the united states, rather than going for “perfectly healthy” foreign babies. there are SO many american children who are maybe a little older, or babies with maybe a physical imperfection, who need families. my brother and i were both special needs adoptions, and now have a better family than we could’ve ever hoped for.

  31. May 24th, 2009 at 20:44 | #31

    We’ve recently seen a great influx of families at church who have adopted. It’s a great opportunity to explain our adoption in God’s family.

  32. Debbie
    May 25th, 2009 at 10:54 | #32

    I am looking forward to reading this book. I think this would be a great book for friends of mine who are in the Philippines bringing home their adopted son this week.

  33. Hillary
    May 25th, 2009 at 12:12 | #33

    This sounds great. My husband is adopted. Thanks for the giveaway

  34. kim v
    May 25th, 2009 at 20:42 | #34

    I would be interested in this as I am interested in possibly adopting.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

  35. May 25th, 2009 at 23:36 | #35

    I think that the doctrine of adoption is the most beautiful gift for believers in Scripture. Having a knowledge that we are not only justified but counted as true members of Christ’s family is overwhelming. It is one thing to free someone, it is another altogether to make them your brother!

  36. Tony
    May 26th, 2009 at 10:10 | #36

    I would love to have this book. I have a son due in October (2nd child), but we have already begun the discussion for adoption. We love what the adoption shows us about the love of God. It is our sincere desire to offer that same love and teach the same lesson in our own lives!

  37. May 26th, 2009 at 13:11 | #37

    My wife and I adopted our first son (Isaiah) about a year ago, so adoption is obviously important and precious to us. Also, I am a graduate from Southern Seminary and have benefited greatly from Dr. Moore. Both of these ideas (among others) make me excited about this book. Thanks!!

  38. May 27th, 2009 at 09:57 | #38

    Just an FYI – Crossway heard about this giveaway and is sending two more books. Only one will be autographed, but you just tripled your chance to win. Keep the great comments coming. It’s really encouraging.

  39. May 27th, 2009 at 11:09 | #39

    Great review on a great book. I won’t say this book is a “must-have”, because obviously Christians have successfully adopted before its publication, but I will say it’s a “should-have” for all those contemplating adoption — either before, during, or after. And as far as the pro-life movement is concerned, Dr. Moore’s emphasis on adoption (or more precisely, the Bible’s emphasis on adoption) is imperative.

    ‘BH

  40. matthew Botsford
    May 27th, 2009 at 11:10 | #40

    Wow, yes it is all about adoption for that’s what our heavenly Daddy wants
    To get all His kids to home.

  41. May 27th, 2009 at 13:35 | #41

    I would love to have a copy! I am adopted, and my husband and I are currently in the process of adopting from India as well. Would love to read the book! Have not been able to pick it up at the store yet!

  42. Patty
    May 27th, 2009 at 15:00 | #42

    I would love to read this book! It seems as though I will not be able to have children naturally, so my husband and I are considering adoption.

  43. Virginia GRaves
    May 28th, 2009 at 12:35 | #43

    Sounds like a great read, I would love the opportunity to read this. Thank you for offering this!

  44. May 29th, 2009 at 00:34 | #44

    We are a large adoptive family – we have 3 bio children, 5 internationally adopted, and 2 more on the way from Haiti, and are really praying God isn’t done with us yet! We’ve been small parts of beginning discussions about adoption ministries at our home churches, and now are planting a church in our new hometown. I’ve been praying about how God would have us incorporate an adoption ministry in this church, even though it is primarily aimed at local college students…would love a copy of this book! If we don’t get chosen, I’ve added another “want to buy” book to my list!

  45. sdhines
    May 29th, 2009 at 06:27 | #45

    I would love to read this book and winning it would be fantastic. I am amazed at the spiritual and temporal aspects of adoption. The fact that God would adopt a rebel, like me, to His family is an amazing, amazing thing. The fact that He allows us to be a blessing in a like-manner by adopting children into our families is an amazing thing. My wife and I have 3 children and plan on fostering with the intent of adopting in the very near future.

  46. dbro
    May 29th, 2009 at 08:26 | #46

    We are very interested in adoption and have been looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the review!

  47. Jeff Owens
    May 29th, 2009 at 09:35 | #47

    We’ve been working with orphans overseas for 5 years now. We’ve adopted once and are in the process of adopting 3 more kids that we are currently fostering. I’ve heard only good things about this book and would love to have the chance to read it. In fact, if it is as good as I’ve heard, I’d love to have it translated into the local language for those in the local church to read.

    Thanks for the review and the chance to enter the contest!

  48. May 29th, 2009 at 11:04 | #48

    My wife and I adopted a 10 yr. old 6 yrs. ago. She is from Russia and, as one might expect, had a really difficult life there. It has been one of the most difficult experiences of our life but we are beginning to see growth and change in our daughter and, most importantly, in ourselves. We are beginning to see God’s redemption work out in the life of our daughter and our entire family.

    We’d love to read this book and the authors connection of theological adoption with the adoption of children with physical needs.

  49. Greg Taylor
    May 29th, 2009 at 11:48 | #49

    Thanks for the review. I have heard much about this “phenomenal” book. I have friends who have adopted, friends who are in the process, and a wife who thinks that we will one day adopt too. I would love to understand more of what it means to be adopted by God and how that plays out in the adoption of children by us.

  50. Jon Gilbert
    May 29th, 2009 at 11:51 | #50

    I adopted my son. Adoption is a beautiful picture of how we are transferred from wandering homeless to being placed in a family, exactly as we have been transferred from the land of darkness into the family of God through Christ.

  51. Corey Mortimer
    May 29th, 2009 at 12:08 | #51

    I am so grateful for being adopted.

  52. Ryan
    May 29th, 2009 at 12:41 | #52

    I’m interested in this book and in adoption because I’ve had a lot of friends go through adoption and may go through the process in the future. I’d also like to see the insights Dr. Moore has into our adoption into God’s family.

  53. May 29th, 2009 at 15:38 | #53

    This is a subject I and the elders of our church have been discussing for at least a year. We have seen the importance — I would go so far as to say the necessity — of Christians being willing to adopt children. What a needed ministry! I am hoping to read this book sometime soon to see if it is indeed something that would be helpful to give our families by way of encouraging to consider taking on this important, life-saving task. Looking forward to it!

  54. May 29th, 2009 at 17:38 | #54

    My wife and I adopted four sisters two years ago. This brought our number of children in our family up to ten. We believe that it is very necessary for the church to look seriously at the need and respond to it. We also want to equip ourselves to be the best parent that we can be to our adopted girls and would welcome any advice we might find in this book. thanks for the opportunity.

  55. May 29th, 2009 at 18:29 | #55

    I appreciate Russel Moore’s ministry and am excited to read his book.

  56. Corey Martin
    May 29th, 2009 at 22:19 | #56

    I am excited about this book. I only hope the church becomes more involved in adoption support.

  57. Sue
    May 30th, 2009 at 23:26 | #57

    Hello! I would love to read this book. My husband and I have been blessed with 5 biological children first, and then we adopted 2 children from Africa. We would love to adopt again in the future!

  58. May 31st, 2009 at 13:35 | #58

    Dear brothers

    I want to win and read this book because I never before read a book in this topic. I know a lot of couples who can’t have childrens but they never think in adoption. I’m studing theology in order to be a pastor and I want to encourage families to think in adoption.

  59. Matthew Swain
    June 1st, 2009 at 10:01 | #59

    I would really love to win the drawing! Keep up the good work, brother. My wife is adopted and I would love to read Dr. Moore’s perspective on it especially as it relates to our relationship with Christ.

  60. June 1st, 2009 at 10:04 | #60

    The contest is over! All comments from here on are not eligible for the drawing. I have been humbled and blessed by the comments left, thank you.

    I will announce the winners in another post after I get in touch with them.

Comments are closed.