Tony Merida and Rick Morton have written an excellent new book titled Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care (New Hope, 2011). You may have heard that Tony, formerly pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, will be joining the SEBTS faculty this summer as associate professor of preaching. He will also be the lead pastor of a new church plant launching this fall in Raleigh, Imago Dei Church.
New Hope Publishers have set up a great website for Orphanology. The website includes author information, Bible study aids, written endorsements and other publicity, and a video interview with Tony and Rick. Several contributors to Between the Times had a chance to read an advance copy of the book. Here’s what we had to say about it:
Orphan care and adoption are expressions of practical Christianity because they are expressions of the heart and love of God. Tony Merida and Rick Morton bring that message home loud and clear. This book is simple and straightforward. It is also convincing and convicting. God has reached out to us in Christ and adopted us into Him family. What a blessing for us to do for others what He has done for us! I am thrilled at the renewed interest in orphan care and adoption that is sweeping through the evangelical church. This book reflects this movement. This book will stoke the fires of it too! We bless you Lord for moving so powerfully among your adopted sons and daughters. — Danny Akin
Orphanology presents a gospel-centered theological and practical approach to an often-neglected sphere of ministry. Morton and Merida call Christians to reflect God’s image as redeemer, defender, provider, and father, and take up the cause for those who have no voice. It is engaging, thorough, accessible, and a convicting joy to read. — Ed Stetzer
Reader beware! The book you are holding in your hands has the potential to reveal a gospel-denigrating blind spot that has emerged among evangelicals in our generation. Too many have unwittingly fostered a spirit of apathy toward an issue that our Heavenly Father is overwhelmingly passionate about. The Father’s heart for the gospel message proclaimed must not be minimized . . . nor should his heart for the gospel message lived out. In this book the authors provide both a solid biblical theology for adoption and orphan care as well as many practical insights as to how to nurture a Christ-honoring “adoption culture” toward that end in your church. As I read, I could not help but see my own past complacency regarding this global issue for what it really is – selfishness. The gospel kills selfishness and cultivates Christ’s own compassion and love for the fatherless. And because Orphanology bleeds both gospel word and deed , my wife and I are finding that God’s heart for the fatherless is being formed in us leading us to begin praying toward and actively pursuing adoption. — George Robinson
God loves orphans, and one of the most encouraging trends among contemporary evangelicals is the growing emphasis upon adoption and orphan care. Many who have been spiritually adopted by their heavenly Father are now physically adopting or providing foster care to the world’s orphans, reflecting the very heart of God. Tony Merida and Rick Morton have contributed a wonderful addition to the growing literature devoted to gospel-driven orphan care. Orphanology combines a sound biblical-theological rationale for orphan care with godly and practical advice for both families and local churches. I hope this book will be widely read by pastors and other church leaders, couples considering adoption (may their tribe increase!), and any Christian who wants to be a part of what God is doing to lead His church to love all the little children of the world whom Jesus loves. — Nathan Finn
We hope you’ll pick up a copy of this great book as soon as you can. And we hope you’ll join us in praying that God will continue to lead Southern Baptists and other evangelicals to embrace adoption and orphan care as gospel priorities in their homes and local churches.