Monday, May 11, 2009

Adopted for Life -- Review

Adopted for Life is a compelling, thought provoking book that looks at a theology of adoption. Moore is the dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This is a very readable book that links adoption and the gospel in persuasive way. Moore has thought deeply about the doctrine of adoption and its intrinsic relationship to the gospel. He has also thought very deeply about adoption as a reality in today’s world. He and his wife have adopted two boys and are walking through the process of raising their family. His insights are moving; his style is gripping. As a pastor with families that have adopted, it has given me a fresh understanding of how to apply the gospel in that context.

The first part of the book is densely packed with parallels between the gospel message and adoption. The final chapters deal with some of the issues that adoptive parents face during the adoption process and after, as they raise their families.

Dr. Moore is passionate about this topic and he is very thoughtful of his exposition of pertinent Scriptures. That makes for a credible read. My eyes filled with tears more than once as I considered this vital topic.

I highly recommend this book for potential adoptive parents, for grandparents, for pastors, and for thoughtful Christians who want to be biblically informed regarding this topic.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Case for Life -- Review

In The Case for Life Scott Klusendorf has written a very readable guide to what is truly at stake in the debate regarding the lives of the unborn. The subtitle is Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. This should be required reading for all church leaders. It should be on the recommended list in church libraries and every believer should be familiar with the approach to the abortion debate that is recommended.

His book is divided into four parts that address different needs for Christians: clarifying the debate, establishing a foundation for the debate, answering questions persuasively, and teaching and equipping.

In his preface and throughout the book Klusendorf strongly advocates graciousness in any debate regarding life issues. When pro-life people answer questions regarding abortion policies they should do it in a “winsome and attractive matter.” We must remember that as Christians we are ambassadors for Christ, we are his representatives in this world. That lays a deep responsibility on us to be gracious and polite even as we refute deadly arguments.

In part one, Klusendorf urges pro-lifers to clarify what is being debated. While often the popular debate centers on choice or privacy issues, Klusendorf persuasively makes the point that the rhetoric needs be stripped away and the debate focused on the issue of whether a human being is killed or not. He marshals the scientific and medical communities testimonies concerning the fact that at conception a human embryo is distinctly a human being. Once that is established he advocates some strategies to demonstrate what is truly at stake in the abortion discussion.

He suggests a very simple yet powerful strategy that he calls “trot out the toddler.” That is substitute a toddler for the unborn in any argument that advocates abortion. This puts the debate on the different plane than most abortion advocates want to be. Throughout the book Klusendorf gives examples of using these strategies in a gracious, kind, yet determined way.

The second part is devoted to deciphering what is truly being said in the debate, cutting through obscuring language. He deals with many relativistic presuppositions, subjecting them to logical analysis to see haw valid they truly are.

In part three he answers many of the objections that are raised about involvement in the Pro-life movement. Most of the answers go right back to the clarified debate, the issue is the taking of a human life. When that is clearly seen as the issue at stake it keeps the debate on moral grounds.

The final part of the book deals with broader strategies to equip churches and believers to deal wisely and persuasively with abortion advocates. He urges a strong biblical foundation on how life is viewed. He also advocates compassionate care for those that have had abortions.

I highly recommend this book for all Christians to read and evaluate so that they can understand and engage the culture

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Gospel and Idolatry

I just listened to Tim Keller's message from the Gospel Coalition again. What an important reminder for us to be identifying idols and then exposing and destroying them. I highly recommend listening to this.
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