Good Morning America Interviews Chapman Family

Steven Curtis Chapman and family were interviewed on Good Morning America today about the death of Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman. Watch the interview here (Note: Interview begins with a short clip of the interview, moves into a commercial, and then shows the full seven minute interview).

Interview with Pastor Greg Whiting: a beautiful adoption story

Today’s interview is with Greg Whiting, a husband, father, pastor, and one of my closest friends in college.  God has given Greg and his wife, Teresa, a beautiful adoption story. When the two of us were in college together, neither one of us had any idea that God would one day grow our future families through adoption.  I have always enjoyed hearing Greg and Teresa’s adoption story. It is not difficult to see God at work within it.

Greg is pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Westlake, Ohio.

(1) Tell us a little about your family.

Teresa and I will have been married for 14 years in June of 2008. We have 5 awesome children: Isabella, age 12, her twin brother Alex; Breanna, age 8; Caleb, age 7, and his twin sister, Gabrielle. Although I am a pastor, we try not to put any extra expectations on our children, and teach them that we are greatly blessed by God to serve Him in ministry. There is a lot of laughter in our home, and crying, and arguing and complaining. We tried to order the perfect kid package from God, but I guess the other pastors got lucky. We have enjoyed seeing how God put our family together and watching each of them go through these beginning growing stages of life. We are truly blessed.

(2) What initially motivated you to adopt?

I would like to say that we have always had a heart for adoption, and just couldn’t wait to see whom God had for us. But, that is not how this came about. Before we were married, Teresa and I made our plan. We wanted to have several children, but wait about a year before getting pregnant. Since Teresa’s sisters and family heritage made it seem like pregnancies came easily, we thought that when we were ready (in our estimation), she would get pregnant and our plan would be under way. However, once we started “trying”, we were not able to get pregnant. As we neared 3 years of marriage, we took some tests and were told by doctors that we might not be able to get pregnant. At that time, we decided not to pursue other tests or procedures in trying to get pregnant. Continue reading

Interview with Connie Dugas: on international and older child adoption

DugasFamilyJohn and Connie met each other at church during their college days at Oklahoma State University. What started out as a very casual and comfortable friendship steadily grew into much more as they spent more and more time together in church/ministry, and hanging out with friends–less than 14 months after they met, they were married!

They soon moved to Dallas where John finished up his undergraduate work and then earned his ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary. It was during those days, months and years that the Lord taught them much about His sovereignty in ways that neither of them would ever trade! One of the ‘refining’ fires He used was infertility.

They have always enjoyed each other’s company and kept busy pursuing mutual interests such as reading, hiking, traveling, camping, Bible conferences, concerts, scouring new & used bookstores, gardening, home improvement projects, etc. But, life definitely went into ‘warp speed’ the fall of 2002–after 19 years of being childless–when they brought home their two precious Russian-born daughters (Olga 12 1/2 yrs., and Nina 9 yrs. at the time)!

The past five years of this a new family has been a testimony of God’s faithfulness, mercy and grace through blessings and through trials! John and Connie have been amazed as God has brought Olga and Nina from those early days of home schooling when the language barrier restricted them to elementary English grammar, basic math, beginner piano, and P.E. to today when Olga and Nina have matured into young ladies with their own interests and abilities! During those early years John and Connie were humbled to see how God in His mercy and grace drew Olga to Himself and adopted her into His eternal family in January 2004–prayers that began long before the girls ever came home continue today for Nina’s salvation as well.

Amidst the blessings and trials of building their family through adoption, they continue to be active in their local church where John is an elder serving through counseling, discipleship, preaching, and teaching. Connie continues to home school Olga and Nina, while serving in their church through discipleship and counseling. Olga is currently a concurrent college and high school student studying music performance and Russian language. Nina is preparing for high school work and continues to grow in her interest of caring for animals, young children, and/or elder people.

Here is Connie’s adoption blog.

1. Tell us a little about your family. Continue reading

The Louks: an interview about caring for Romanian orphans (part 2)

This is the second and concluding portion of my interview with Joshua Louk. The first part can be read here. Joshua and Laurel’s personal ministry blog is http://thegospelinaction.com.

You have a particular interest in ministry to orphans. What motivates that?

The Lord used a CNN documentary called “Easy Prey” to plant a burden in my heart for Romania’s abandoned children. Seeing the hopelessness in the eyes of the street children, I longed for them to know the hope and love of Christ. As I and my wife searched the Scriptures, God used His Word, prayer, and a survey trip to Romania to confirm and to amplify our desire to take the gospel to these children. Some specific passages the Lord used include Proverbs 31:8-9, which says,”Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy”; James 1:27 which says,”Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and keep oneself unstained from the world”; and James 2:16 which says, “and [if] one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” God also used a study of Matthew in our hearts. The value that Jesus places on children and their nurture and training is astounding. Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Timothy Trumper (Part 5)

TrumperAs part of our blog’s adoption interview series, I’m interviewing several theologians and New Testament scholars about the doctrine of spiritual adoption and its implications for earthly adoption. I believe that the practice of earthly adoption will be significantly enriched as we grow in our understanding of what it means to be adopted by God.

Because of the length and richness of Dr. Timothy Trumper’s answers, his interview is being posted in six parts. If you are interested in deepening your understanding of the doctrine of adoption significantly, you will want to take the necessary time to carefully read his answers.

5. What difference should the doctrine of adoption make in a Christian’s spiritual life on a daily basis? Continue reading

Interview with Professor Trevor Burke

burkeOur next interview is with New Testament scholar Dr. Trevor J. Burke. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Trevor earned his Ph.D. from University of Glasgow, Scotland. He has taught New Testament in seminaries in Nigeria, Wales, and the Fiji Islands and is currently professor of Bible in Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. One of his research interests is in the family expressions in the letters of the apostle Paul. He is author of the recent title Adopted into God’s Family: Exploring a Pauline Metaphor. Here is D. A. Carson’s endorsement for Trevor’s book on adoption:

  • “Not only the importance of God’s family, but also the enormous privilege of belonging to it, are powerfully underscored by Paul’s understanding of what it means to be the adopted sons of God. With such themes in view, a wide array of pastoral implications soon springs to light. In other words, this volume not only probes a neglected theme – it also edifies” (D. A. Carson).

1. Dr. Burke, why did you write this book about theological adoption? Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Timothy Trumper (Part 4)

TrumperAs part of our blog’s adoption interview series, I’m interviewing several theologians about the doctrine of spiritual adoption and its implications for earthly adoption. I believe that the practice of earthly adoption will be significantly enriched as we grow in our understanding of what it means to be adopted by God.

Because of the length and richness of Dr. Timothy Trumper’s answers, his interview is being posted in six parts. If you are interested in deepening your understanding of the doctrine of adoption significantly, you will want to take the necessary time to carefully read his answers.

In part 4 Tim addresses what I believe is a very important issue. Many who preach, teach, or write about theological adoption combine John’s new birth model of entrance into God’s family with Paul’s adoption model. This is unfortunate for a number of reasons, one being that it prevents us from recognizing the full significance of Paul’s doctrine of adoption.  So let me encourage you to take a few minutes to read this part of my interview with Dr. Trumper.

4. What is the difference between the apostle John’s model of entrance into God’s family and Paul’s? Why do you believe it is important to distinguish them?

Good question! The first thing to say is that these differences are not absolute. Both authors have in mind the same Father. Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Robert Peterson

PetersonOur next interview of a theologian is with Dr. Robert Peterson, professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to teaching on the seminary level, Dr. Peterson has extensive experience as a pastor, including church planting efforts, and has preached in Uganda and Peru on short-term mission trips. His pastoral experience is reflected in the practical emphases in his systematic theology classes.

Dr. Peterson is the author of Adopted by God: From Wayward Sinners to Cherished Children. In it he considers the beauty of God’s grace through the lens of the wonderful doctrine of adoption. His treatment of this great doctrine is accompanied by moving personal stories of father-child relationships. You can listen to him lecture in seminary on union with Christ and adoption here.

1. Dr. Peterson, why did you write this book about theological adoption?

I wrote Adopted By God because the Bible’s teaching on adoption was so neglected. In 1688, an important theology book by Francis Turretin was published in which he subordinated adoption to justification. This book became a standard theology text, whose example other writers of influential theology books followed, including Charles Hodge, Louis Berkhof, and Millard Erickson. These books are partially responsible for adoption’s neglect by teachers and preachers who studied them. Justification is vitally important, but adoption deserves more attention than it has received.

2. What do you cherish most about the doctrine of adoption?

I cherish the fact that it powerfully communicates the grace of God to believers, as powerfully as any biblical teaching. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1). Adoption intimately communicates the Trinity’s love for each individual believer as well as for the people of God as a whole. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Galatians 4:4-6).

3. What’s your favorite biblical text on adoption and why? Continue reading

Interview with theologian Dr. Timothy Trumper (Part 3)

TrumperAs part of our blog’s adoption interview series, I’m interviewing several theologians about the doctrine of spiritual adoption and its implications for earthly adoption. I believe that the practice of earthly adoption will be significantly enriched as we grow in our understanding of what it means to be adopted by God.

Because of the length and richness of Dr. Timothy Trumper’s answers, his interview is being posted in six parts. If you are interested in deepening your understanding of the doctrine of adoption significantly, you will want to take the necessary time to carefully read his answers.

3. Why is it important to consider Paul’s use of adoption within the larger story of redemption? What role does it play? Continue reading