Friday, April 30, 2010

Adopted for Life - Dr. Russell Moore

The other weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Russell Moore speak at the 2010 Spring Conference, 'Adopted for Life', hosted by Grace Family Baptist church. We found out about this, providentially, through one of my wife's home school chat boards and, adoption being a topic we've both discussed many times over the years, we considered checking it out. But what really appealed to me was finding out that the sessions were being led by Dr. Moore, who's teachings I had (again providentially) just recently started listening to thanks to Monergism and some of his MP3 sermons listed there (the first message that I heard from Dr. Moore was a fascinating message on the life of T. T. Eaton. I enjoy opportunities to learn more about church history, so the Eaton message was a fascinating one.)

My wife and I took Friday as a date night, and after dinner we attended the first part of the Adopted for Life seminar. Meeting at Trinity Lutheran church on Spring-Cypress, the event was well-attended, largely with folks from Grace Family Baptist but also with a number of visitors (as an aside, Trinity Lutheran has a gorgeous, massive sanctuary with a beautiful pipe organ in the upper loft portion of the church. I'm sure that the worship music must sound fantastic - plus I was impressed to see ESV Bibles supplied in the pews. If only I didn't have problems with the Lutheran views of absolution and consubstantiation it would be worth visiting sometime... :)

Anyhow, notes about the conference: as we arrived, I had the chance to meet Dr. Moore at the door, and I told them that it was great to meet him and that I had enjoyed a number of his messages via Monergism's site. He was a very cordial individual, and his teaching throughout the duration of the weekend was immensely beneficial.

The first two sessions opened with an introduction by Voddie Baucham, followed by hymns, then Dr. Moore spoke two sessions (two more sessions followed on Saturday.)

The first Friday session addressed adoption as gospel and mission, with the second section covering adoption as spiritual warfare. In the first message, Dr. Moore presented the large picture of adoption as something God has put into the world as a depiction of the gospel. Specific to scripture he cited Romans 8 and Paul speaking of the "brotherhood" of the church in Rome of Jews and Gentiles together, and how monumental this was. In the church today, the term "brother" is frequently overused and simplified, but at the time of Paul, writing this about jews and gentiles together was a huge thing, comparing them as being part of the same family. Back then, "gentile" was a much more shocking thing to be, along the lines of individuals like Goliath and Jezebels. But here was the message of adoption into the church, beyond DNA, bloodlines, and genetics - now all part of the same family.

I find it noteworthy how through these lectures Dr. Moore challenged many views that I myself have always just been en grained to think, or taken for granted, such as notions of "I'd like to adopt someday, but first I'd like to have children of my own" - views like that (I'm sure I've thought this myself at some point) betray a false view and definition of a "normal" life, as if for those who cannot have their own biological children, that God is "cheating them out of something." But the fact of the matter is, this type of thinking stems from a darwinistic understanding of protecting your genetic material, and does not reflect a true brotherhood of the spirit, but rather just of the flesh.

Dr. Moore then went on to talk about individuals like Abraham who, even though he's the father of the nation of Israel, was in fact grafted in from the land of Ur, adopted by God. Abraham didn't possess a natural born right to be the father of many nations, but it was purely by the grace of God adopting him into this role.

There were more notes, but this is the majority of what I took. The emphasis of the seminar was adoption and foster care, and Dr. Moore's message was very inspiring. I've researched into adoption, both the steps required and the financial aspects, and its something we haven't eliminated as a possibility. At this point, its about getting our financial situation in order first (plus, with a very young one in the house who keeps us awake at night, it might be nice to let a little time pass for her to grow a little more first.) But it believe that caring for the orphans is Biblically a responsibility and an obligation that I think is important for believers to all give consideration to.

That's about the summary of notes. It was great to actually meet Dr. Moore and hear him speak, and I'd love to catch the opportunity to hear him again sometime.

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