The Adopting God

Thank you, Christianity Today and Russell Moore, for shedding light on the responsibility—and opportunity—of adoption ["Abba Changes Everything," July]. When God chose adoption as the means by which he would save us, he knew fully what it would cost him: incarnation and crucifixion. Having made us his children, he left us in a world of orphans, exhorting us to imitate him (Eph. 5:1). What more obvious, explicit way could we do so than by rescuing forsaken children?

Ron Ogden
Winona Lake, Indiana

As the parent of two adopted children and the director of a poverty relief agency, I would tweak Moore's mandate that "every Christian is called to care for orphans." Every Christian is called to help the poor, of which orphans are but one subset. Depending on gifts and resources, all members of the body need to engage with the least of these: the hungry, the fatherless, and the imprisoned. To do so will push us past the "carnal sameness" that Moore rails against and let the church model unity in diversity.

Marianne Haver Hill
Pacoima, California

As the parent of eight kids between ages 10 and 15—five of whom were once orphans in another country—adoption is of course heavy on our hearts. It is so hard to explain to others why we do what we do. Many say that we are either saintly or crazy. Yet how could we not? Jesus loved us enough to bring us into his family. We are only following his commands.

When people ask if we are done adopting, our response is generally "no" or "we shall see," even though we have no idea how we would afford another adoption. But God provides, and this is his journey. We are just grateful to be on it.

Christy Oswald
Luxemburg, Wisconsin

Original Jew for Jesus

My wife and I spent ten rather fruitless years in Bangladesh. In 1972, as a furloughing missionary at Trinity Seminary, I was looking for an innovative methodology to help our team bring Muslims to Christ. Our textbooks, authored by Fuller professors, provided a theoretical basis for hope. But we lacked concrete examples where contextualization actually worked in reaching Muslims.

Enter Moishe Rosen ["An Evangelist with Chutzpah" (Online version)," July], who provided our team with the boldness to strike out into uncharted territory. Yes, Rosen had huge feet of clay. But I salute him as one whose footprints lie heavily on the worldwide harvesting of Muslims into the kingdom.

Phil Parshall, SIM Missionary at Large Charlotte, North Carolina

I knew Moishe Rosen for 50 years. As a new Gentile believer in Christ, I was drawn to him because he was a Hebrew Christian. He encouraged me to leave my secular career to become a missionary in East Africa for 32 years. I simply cannot imagine my life apart from the influence of this remarkable man.

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"An Evangelist with Chutzpah" includes the blanket statement that Moishe said "friendship evangelism is no evangelism at all." I recall Moisheɳaying that friendship evangelism didn't work for him, because most Jews reject friendship with Jewish Christian believers who always want to talk about Jesus as Messiah. He believed that Jews more readily accept Gentile Christian friendships and conversations.

Darwin Dunham
Minneola, Florida

Lying for Christ?

CT's July editorial ["Bearing True Witness"] was excellent. Embellishing conversion stories dismisses God's actual activity in our lives as inadequate and misrepresents him terribly. And many of the embellished stories similar to Ergun Caner's only play to our culture's anti-Muslim bias. An embellishing Western Christian knows he will have a sympathetic audience because so many listeners already believe the worst about non-Christians.

Dave Daubert
Chicago, Illinois

CT's editorial reminded me of a woman at a recent writers' workshop who wanted help turning a phrase into an exciting conversion narrative to submit in a writing contest. The phrase? After a near-accident, her husband muttered, "Thank God we weren't hurt." Surely a wordsmith could make the incident sound spectacular, indeed, prize-worthy.

Stories of miracle healings and escapes from abuse and addiction get the book contracts and movie scripts. Stories of God helping someone care for a long-term invalid, turn the other cheek when maligned, or continue to trust him when accidents happen don't make the front page. We no longer see God at work in the ordinary, looking only for the spectacular to assure ourselves that he is with us.

Katie Funk Wiebe
Wichita, Kansas

Real Conversion

I was surprised to see CT print a favorable review of Sara Miles's books ["Real Presence," July]. However, I wanted to learn more about her conversion, so I read Take This Bread and Jesus Freak. I came away with a great admiration for her as a person and a writer. Though John Wilson noted that an acknowledgment of sin was missing from Miles's conversion story, he negleced to add the weightier issue of repentance. Miles likes to focus on Scripture that suits her and disregard the rest. Of course, she is free to proclaim her message. But I can't understand why a Christian magazine would draw attention to such an unorthodox view. In the future, I'd like to see more editorial discernment.

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Annie Reynolds
North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Yes, Miles's conversion story leaves something to be desired. But I rebel against the idea that we can never learn anything from a person or book because it is imperfect. Is our faith so immature that we dare not expose ourselves to those who come down differently on certain issues? I'm no Greek philosopher, but I have learned much from Socrates. All truth is God's truth. Take what is good, leave the rest.

Charles Bogle

What got the most comments in July's CT

27%Real Presence Review of Sara Miles by John Wilson

20%Abba Changes Everything by Russell Moore

13% An Evangelist with Chutzpah (Online version) by Ruth A. Tucker

Readers' response to "Real Presence"

12% Yay

88% Nay

Worth Repeating

"We tend to fixate on 'getting it right' instead of risking, trusting, and making decisions that require faith in God's reckless goodness."
Jeff Stull, on the negative impact of the church's dating advice to singles.
Speaking Out: "The Good Christian Girl: A Fable," by Gina Dalfonzo

"We are not to be conformed to this world (or our first or adopted culture), but rather to be transformed into kingdom people. That is our destiny, when saints from 'every tribe, language, people, and nation' shall reign on earth."
Scott Herr, disagreeing with the author about the value of monocultural ministries.
Speaking Out: "Needed: More Monocultural Ministries," by Tom Steers

"If people saw the worst of me on the news 24/7, I would have a lot fewer friends. Shouldn't we as Christians just be praying for him?"
Amy, on whether Christians should boycott Mel Gibson's films in light of his offensive rants.
Women's Blog: "Why I Can't Boycott Mel Gibson," by Anna Broadway

"Christians who support current immigration laws are not trying to be unloving. Encouraging people to break the law is not showing love; it is justifying disobedience to God."
J. D., on the misperception some Christians have of those on the other side of the immigration reform debate.
Speaking Out: "Immigration Reform, Another Christian View," by Alan F.H. Wisdom

Related Elsewhere:

The July issue is available on our website.

Letters to the editor must include the writer's name and address if intended for publication. They may be edited for space or clarity.


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