Our good friends at Together for Adoption are gearing up for their national conference, this year in Louisville, KY on October 4-5. (See more and register HERE.) We deeply value how T4A so consistently labors to root the Christian orphan care movement where all Christian action must begin: as always a response to the God who first loved us when we were destitute and alone.
At CAFO, we reject the false dichotomy between vibrant exploration of God’s true nature and love (theology) and the faithful reflection of that character in our lives (self-giving love). Jesus taught and lived both, utterly intertwined. His disciples must do the same. The T4A Conference strives to make this mutually nourishing vision for theology and action reality.
Read some great reflections on this theme from Dan Cruver, below, and then visit the conference website:
Why care about theology when orphans need our help now?
Occasionally, when people hear about Together for Adoption’s emphasis and stress upon theology, they sincerely ask, “Do we really have time to study theology when there is so much to be done for orphans now? Isn’t it enough that Scripture commands us to care for orphans? Shouldn’t we just do it?”
If we think of theology merely as information about God, as the mental collection of facts about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then this question is legitimate. But if by theology we mean a real knowing of God, an ongoing and growing relational engagement with God, the question loses its teeth. Yes, theology necessarily involves information about God. Scripture is full of it. But theology is never merely information.
In Matthew 11:27 Jesus says, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (emphasis mine). Believe it or not, Jesus is talking about theology here. If you think about it, theology did not begin with the creation of man. It has always existed in the eternal mutual knowing of the Father and Son. For all of eternity past the Father has known the Son and the Son the Father.
Understood like this, theology is a gracious gift to humanity. In reality, theology is actually a sharing in the mutual knowing of the Father and Son. It is a participation in the communion of love that the Holy Trinity is (“God is love”). There is no greater gift that can be given to man.
So, do we really have time for theology when orphans need our help now? Yes, we do. If theology is ultimately about our participation in the love between the Father and the Son, then nothing can better mobilize and energize us to care for orphans now than theology. Nothing.
Rightly understood and practiced, robust theology produces robust action. Just look at the life of Jesus. He enjoyed an infinitely robust theology and no one did more for the poor and marginalized than he did.