In response to the release of The Child Catchers, John Piper has posted 10 Disavowals and Affirmations on Christian adoption. These are all very good, and they ought to be seen as not so much an “answer” to criticisms as a helpful response and perhaps even reception of some of the sounder points of critique. While the Rev. Piper makes a number of very good statements, he should feel no need, and neither should we, to deny that the abuses, physical and ideological, did occur, nor should he or we feel any need to say that the critics were all malicious in intent. David Smolin, for example, is a conservative Reformed Evangelical Christian who has been involved in adoption cases both personally and professionally for many years. In his critique of the evangelical adoption movement, he explains the legal, philosophical, and theological problems that have currently existed, and he documents at least one leading Evangelical who has been involved in these.
One of the perennial dangers in the “culture war” is to approach these sort of complicated and emotional issues in an “us”-versus-“them” mentality. But the best Christian prophets have always been willing to hear a word of admonition, even at times from outsiders. And in this case that word is coming from both outsiders and insiders.
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