There are a number of buzzwords in evangelicalism.  Social justice, bridge-building, church planting movements.  But, perhaps the biggest and loudest buzzword is adoption.  Evangelicals have bought into adoption.  I recently understood how entrenched we are in the adoption movement.  I was reading an article in Time magazine speaking of international adoptions.  I was amazed that there were only 3,000 children adopted from China in 2009.  Why was I amazed at this number?  Because I know of a number of people who adopted from China.  I expected the number to five digits.

I am thrilled that Christians have taken the lead in adoption.  However, I am wondering if this is a fad.  Will the adoption movement go the way of The Purpose Driven Church, Promise Keepers, and the WWJD?  Or will it last?

Because of what adoption is, I am confident that the passion and zeal of Christ’s church will not wane.  I like what Russell D. Moore says concerning adoption in his book Adopted For Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches.

Adoption is, on the one hand, gospel.  In this, adoption tells us who we are as children of the Father.  Adoption as gospel tells us about our identity, our inheritance, and our mission as sons of God.  Adoption is also defined as mission.  In this, adoption tells us our purpose in this age as the people of Christ.  Missional adoption spurs us to join Christ in advocating for the helpless and the abandoned…Without the theological aspect (gospel), the emphasis on adoption too easily is seen as mere charity.  Without the missional aspect, the doctrine of adoption too easily is seen as mere metaphor.  (17-18)

So many things that evangelicals do are correct, but not thought through a theological grid.  Therefore, a time comes when we question why we are doing it and inevitably, we stop and move on to the next great cause.

Adoption isn’t charity, it is the gospel and the gospel in action.  The gospel-centeredness of adoption guarantees that it is not an evangelical fad.