Providing gospel-centered resources to mobilize the church for global orphan care.

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10 Minutes to Shape the World

by Dan Cruver Published Aug 27, 2014

*See the image at the bottom of this post.

We may not usually be consciously aware of the power of our words or the words others speak, but if we stop to think about it, we know that our words can change the way others think and live. Our words have the power to create new situations. Just think of the power of “I love you”, or “I hate you”, or “I’m so very proud of you”, or “I couldn’t be more disappointed with you”. Words shape the world and how we relate to and live within it.

This recognition of the power of our words to shape the world we live in is why we are putting more speakers in front of everyone than we ever have before. Not counting our emcee (Johnny Carr) and this year’s worship leader (Randall Goodgame), you will hear from 18 different people in our main sessions this year. Six of them will speak for 30 minutes while 12 of them will speak for 10 world-shaping minutes (if you are familiar with TED Talks, you are already familiar with the format we will use). You likely will not agree with everyone, but you will feel the power of their words and the vision they cast for how we can better care for at-risk children everywhere on the globe.

And if a talk or three particularly affects you in significant ways, you’ll have the opportunity to hear each of them expand upon his or her talk in a workshop. These workshops will also provide you with the opportunity to discuss those ideas and their implications. This is one reason we are absolutely convinced that this will be the best Together for Adoption conference yet. Learn more about our 10 minute talks to shape the world.

10-Minutes-to-Shape-the-World

Special Video Invite from Haiti

by Dan Cruver Published Aug 16, 2014

Michael Robison (who is in Haiti right now finalizing the adoption of their daughter) sent this special video inviting you to join him at our October 17-18 national conference in Greenville, SC. Thanks, Michael!

Learn more about this year’s conference

or

Register now.

Cutting Through All the Noise…

by Dan Cruver Published Aug 13, 2014

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We are cutting through all the noise to give you the best voices out there on the issues that matter most… Main session speakers for our October 17-18 national conference include:

Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet (Harvard Law), Dr. John Sowers (The Mentoring Project), Jedd Medefind (Christian Alliance for Orphans), and Brandon Hatmaker (author of Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture)

Dr. Susan Hillis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Dr. Toney Parks (Served as consultant to Senator Ralph Anderson’s “Organized Gang Task Force”), Elizabeth Styffe, Chris Marlow (Help One Now), Mike Rusch (Pure Charity), Johnston Moore (Home Forever), Rick Morton (KnowOrphans), Daniel Bennett (A Passion for the Fatherless), Scott Vair (World Orphans), Phil Darke (In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence), and Alex Krutov (The Harbor St. Petersburg, Russia)

Join us as we think deeply and biblically about

Adoption ethics and practice

Family preservation and reunification

Indigenous, international, and domestic adoption

Foster care and orphan care practices

Our primary objective for this year’s gathering is to maximize our time together by providing important conversations with people who are key leaders, thinkers, and practitioners in the global orphan movement. We want to facilitate extended conversations that matter — conversations that uniquely address the complex spectrum of care needed for orphans globally.

Every main session talk will be followed a 20 minute onstage conversation in which leaders within the evangelical orphan care and adoption movement discuss the topic and its implication for orphan care and adoption.

Learn more.

Are you interested in adoption?

by Dan Cruver Published Aug 12, 2014

If you are on the path to adoption or are considering the possibility of adopting a child, join us October 17-18 in Greenville, South Carolina for our 2014 national conference. You’ll have the opportunity to sit down with the agencies/organizations listed below (as well as others) and attend workshops that will expertly answer the questions you are asking. If you want to better equip yourself to adopt, join us in Greenville and know that these adoption agencies will bring a generosity of knowledge and wisdom.

Learn more.


America World - adoption page
Pathways - blog post logo
Nightlight Christian Black

Early-Bird Rate Ends Friday!

by Dan Cruver Published Aug 11, 2014

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Early-bird registration ($89 per person) for our October 17-18 national conference in the Upstate of South Carolina ends this Friday, August 15th. If you are planning on joining us, you will save $10 by registering this week.

Join John Sowers, Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet (Harvard Law), Jedd Medefind, Brandon Hatmaker, Johnny Carr, Elizabeth Styffe, Rick Morton, and many others as we consider this year’s conference theme: Urgency & Complexity: Biblical and Ethical Approaches to the Orphan Crisis. Register now!

Learn more about this year’s conference.

Congrational Coalition on Adoption Institute- Angels in Adoption

From U.S. Senator Tim Scott’s website:

Charleston, SC—U.S. Senator Tim Scott will honor South Carolina native Dan Cruver as a 2014 Angel in Adoption at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institutes’s 2014 Ceremony for the tremendous work he has done in helping to mobilize churches for the care of vulnerable and orphaned children.

Dan Cruver, who lives with his wife Melissa and three children (two of whom are adopted) in Travelers Rest, SC, has worked tirelessly to help people open their hearts and homes to children in need.  Cruver is the founder and director of Together for Adoption (T4A), which provides teaching, training, and other resources to local churches as well as globally through national and international conferences.   T4A works to equip individuals, churches, and organizations theologically with the proper foundation and motivation of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in our communities.

The Angels in Adoption program, through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, provides a way for members of Congress to honor and thank those in their communities that work hard every day to help this very vulnerable population of young people.

About Angels in Adoption from the Congressional Coalition of Adoption’ (CCIA) website:

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Angels in Adoption™ Program honors individuals, couples, and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions on behalf of children in need of families.

As the name implies, these are individuals whose contributions in the fields of adoption or foster care have had a national impact. Past recipients of this award include Korie and Willie Robertson, Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley, Ne-Yo, PEOPLE Magazine, Nia Vardalos, Scott Fujita, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, First Lady Laura Bush, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Kristin Chenoweth, Rhea Perlman, Deborra-lee Furness, Bruce Willis, Al Roker, Muhammad Ali, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, Henry Winkler, and CBS Studios.

In addition to giving Members of Congress a firsthand look at the foster care and adoption related work taking place throughout the country, the Angels in Adoption™ program seeks to draw media attention to raise public awareness about the positive difference adoption makes in the life of a child. Last year’s event alone resulted in 140 human interest stories being published in newspapers throughout the nation. These stories serve as inspiration for others to step forward to consider fostering or adopting. The Angels in Adoption™ travel to Washington D.C. to participate in three days of events all designed to train them in using their personal experience to affect change on behalf of children in need of homes and to celebrate their hard work and dedication to the issue.

Angels in Adoption

Join the Conversation: T4A NatCon 2014

by Dan Cruver Published Jul 28, 2014

NatCon Speakers 1

We are very passionate about our primary objective for this year’s conference gathering: to maximize our time together by providing important conversations with people who are key leaders, thinkers, and practitioners in the global orphan movement. We want to facilitate extended conversations that matter — conversations that uniquely address the complex spectrum of care needed for orphans globally.

This year’s conference theme is Urgency & Complexity: Biblical & Ethical Approaches to the Orphan Crisis. If you join us, you’ll leave Greenville having thought deeply and biblically about family preservation and reunification, indigenous and international adoption, foster care, and domestic adoption. Every main session talk will be followed a 20 minute onstage conversation in which leaders within the evangelical orphan care and adoption movement discuss the topic and its implication for orphan care and adoption. We can make a difference for the sake of orphaned and vulnerable children…

Our main session speakers who serve as our conversation leaders this year include John Sowers, Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet (Harvard Law), Brandon Hatmaker, Jedd Medefind, Elizabeth Styffe, Mike Rusch, Dr. Susan Hillis, Johnny Carr, Chris Marlow, Dr. Toney Parks, Alex Krutov, Johnston Moore, Rick Morton, Daniel Bennett, Scott Vair, Phil Darke, and many others. We’re also excited to have Randall Goodgame lead worship this year.

We hope to see you October 17-18 in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina! Join the conversation!

Learn more about this year’s conference.
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Note: Because of the amazing generosity of our host church, we are providing free childcare this year. Space is limited, so register your children soon!

Scripture pages

1. Distinguishing the Filial and Familial Language of Scripture (continued)

Having outlined the three basic facts of adoption ~ the uniqueness of the biblical term huiothesia, Paul’s exclusive use of it (Rom. 8:15, 23, 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5), and his utilization of the term to cover the whole scope of redemptive history (Eph. 1:5; Rom. 9:4; Gal. 4:5 [Rom. 8:15]; Rom. 8:23) ~ we now come to the unscrambling of the New Testament’s language of adoption and new birth.

This is necessary because, more often than not, theologians throughout church history have either not seen or chosen to override the specifics of the biblical language relative to each theme.  The effect of this two-way suffusion has been greatest on adoption. Firstly, because it is the more neglected of the two biblical themes, and, secondly, because its redemptive-historical contours have not been well understood. Generally, the conflation of the New Testament’s language of adoption and the new birth has required either the flattening out of Paul’s redemptive-historical unfolding of adoption, or the ignoring of it altogether in what is in effect a limiting of the scope of adoption to its application. These tendencies are very characteristic of Puritan treatments of adoption. They afford the neat inclusion of adoption in the order of salvation (ordo salutis), but they drop along the way something of the wealth of Paul’s redemptive-historical perspective and of Calvin’s exposition of it.

(ii) Basic Contrasts with the New Birth

The disentangling of conflated versions of adoption and the new birth is not as difficult as one might imagine. Consider that:

  • Whereas Paul uses filial or familial language chiefly in connection with adoption, John and others like Peter use it primarily in the context of the new birth. If John refers to adoption at all ~ and that is a big “if” ~ he does so but in passing in John 1:12 (“the right to become children of God”) and in Revelation  21:7  (an atypical use of “son” [see below]).
  • Whereas the adopted are said to have been slaves prior to their adoption (implicitly in Eph. 2:1-2; explicitly in Gal. 3:23-4:7), the new born are said to have been children of the devil (1 John 3:10).
  • Whereas the adopted become sons of God (hence huiothesia or “the placing of a son”), those born again are described alternatively by John as children of God (tekna theou).  The contrast is one of degree rather than of kind, for sometimes Paul refers to the adopted as children (e.g., Rom. 8: 16, 17, 21; 9:8), while John can refer to the new born as sons (Rev. 21:7).
  • Whereas there is at the heart of adoption a union of the Son (huios) and the sons (huioi), John distinguishes between Christ as Son (huios) and the new born as children (tekna). That said, those born anew as children of God are gradually conformed to the image of the Son. This likely explains why John eventually labels the born again as sons of God when anticipating the new earth (Rev. 21:7).
  • Whereas the adopted enter the household of God (e.g., Eph. 2:19), those born from above enter the kingdom of God (e.g., John 3:3).
  • Whereas the adoption motif is a graphic expression of the concept of divine acceptance, the new birth motif expresses the concept of regeneration or new life.
  • Whereas the motifs of adoption and the new birth have their distinctive features, the concepts they represent contribute harmoniously and coherently to the one gospel found in Scripture. The explanation of this gospel is summed up by the doctrine of salvation (soteriology).

In summary, I am not saying that the mantra “Adoption gives us the status of sons, the new birth the nature of sons” is wrong, but that the manner by which theologians have arrived at this equation has typically allowed the divineness of Scripture to absorb its humanness. To state things alternatively, the demands of a neat system of theology have led to the playing down of the history of redemption and the authorial diversity of the New Testament. These two features of Scripture are the sine qua non of a clear and accurate understanding of adoption.
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[A more extensive consideration of the biblical data is found in Tim (J. R.) Trumper, "The Metaphorical Import of Adoption: A Plea for Realisation.I: The Adoption Metaphor in Biblical Usage," Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 14:2 (Autumn 1996), 129-45.]
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For more from the ministry of Tim J.R. Trumper, go to:

www.fromhisfullness.com (personal); www.7thref.org (church)

Orphans on a Bridge to Nowhere…

by Dan Cruver Published Jul 2, 2014

A must read. Bridge to Nowhere blog

Read More. It’s a must read..

Learn more about ChriStory

by Dan Cruver Published Jun 30, 2014

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Lesson 1: Audio for “Jesus, The True Eden for Us”
Lesson 2: Audio for “Jesus, The New Creation for Us (Part 1)”
Lesson 3: Teacher Notes for “Jesus, The New Creation for Us (Part 2)”
Lesson 4: Audio & Teacher Notes for “Jesus is Eden” (John 9)
Lesson 5: Jesus is the New Creation (Part 3)

This class on Christology is one of the adult Sunday School classes at Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Travelers Rest, SC taught by Dan Cruver. This blog is for one of the Sunday school classes for June, July, and August at Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Travelers Rest, SC. Each blog post will relate directly to the weekly lessons.

Class Title: “ChriStory: The Epic Tale of Man’s Stunning Union with Christ”

Class Description: In Luke 24:13-35, Jesus teaches us to make sense of our stories and lives just as Jesus did of his: by reading our own lives in light of his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as witnessed to in the Scriptures. This Christological practice is exactly what the apostle Paul did when he wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). For the Christian, the study of Christology is learning to read and understand our own lives in light of Christ’s Story for his glory and our joy.

Dan is the director of Together for Adoption and the editor and primary author of <Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovery of Abba, Father.

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