Theology of Adoption: Suggestions Welcome

For my theology of family class, we have to write a lengthy essay (25-30 pages) over a topic of our choice.  I have chosen to do my paper over the theological implications of God’s adoption of us for the contemporary family, particularly for those considering adoption.  I’m really excited about this idea, but i have to admit that i’m not sure where to look for resources.  Obviously many dogmatics include a section over adoption within their soteriological section, so i’ll start my hunt there.

However, I have a suspicion that will not be enough.  Does anyone have any suggestions of resources i could look at for a theology of adoption?

8 responses to “Theology of Adoption: Suggestions Welcome

  1. I know of one theological treatment by Robert Peterson (Adopted by God), who I happened to be taking his course while I was in the middle of adopting our first child. I cannot remember if it deals with one concern I have (theologically), which is the bilateral nature of adoption. In other words, God adopts us, but we must adopt Him as our legitimate father and both of those come together in a process, not an act.

    I was raised in a family with adopted siblings, but going through the process (twice) as a parent really opened my eyes to the nature of God’s adoption of us. Anyway, Bob Peterson is a very thoughtful and reliable fellow and also has some good books on Hell.

    -Dru Johnson

  2. dru,

    Thanks for your helpful suggestion. I was planning on checking Peterson out after looking around online a bit last night, and i’m glad to hear that someone thinks highly of him both personally and professionally.

    Thanks again dru!

  3. Mike Austin has written a good bit on family from a philosophical perspective. He is also a Christian. You can google him.

  4. Chris,

    Thanks for the tip. By the way, i was sad to see that you didn’t respond to my sarcastic crack at your affinity for Bill Craig 🙂

  5. Have you tried the man himself, Delort. Of all the people in the world who could inundate you with sources both secular and sacred, progressive and archaic, good and bad, he would be at the top of my list–given that this very topic is his life’s work and passion.

  6. Aaron,

    Yeah, you’re definitely right about Delort. I was planning on shooting him an email soon, but i was hoping the rest of the “mere mortals” might have some suggestions. Better to go straight to the mega though i suppose 🙂

  7. Yes…the “mere mortals” could have something to say. But honestly…there’s Jesus…and then Delort. Just kidding. I know you hesitate to uphold him as dearly as so many of the MCC’ers do/did. But he sure would be a great person to talk with on this subject.

  8. For a rather theological discussion, see JM Scott’s ADOPTION AS SONS OF GOD (Tuebingen: Mohr, 1992). For a more pastoral discussion of the theological implications, try Mark Stibbe’s FROM ORPHANS TO HEIRS (Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2005).

    Both of these resources look primarily at God’s adoption of his people, not family adoption (although there are lots of illustrations from real life adoption peppered in, including the fact that Stibbe was adopted).

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