Sons in the Son: The Riches and Reach of Adoption in Christ
Garner, David B.
“Dr. Garner's writing overflows with a faith fueled pastoral passion...Adoption is not treated here as an abstract doctrine but as a personal reality. The flow of all redemptive history, exegesis, biblical theology, and pastoral application always derives from and leads to Jesus Christ. We have no sonship without him or apart from our union with him. We all need books that instruct us, cause us to meditate more deeply, and lead to the transformation of our lives into the likeness of Christ through the renewing of our minds. Sons in the Son belongs to this category.I am reminded of a sentence from my far–off days when young Scottish teenagers were expected to memorize parts of the elegant essay of Francis Bacon (15611626) Of Studies: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention." David Garner's Sons in the Son fits into this last category. Read "with diligence and attention," and this work will enhance your understanding of and appreciation for the riches of God's grace in our adoption as sons in his Son, Jesus Christ.”See All
“J. I. Packer and John Murray have told us that adoption is the apex of the Christian's privilege. All Reformed pastors agree that to pray 'Our Father' is holy delight. Yet what is adoption's place in the ordo salutis? Many students ask why we speak of justification and sanctification, but say little about adoption. With impressive scope and careful attention to exegetical detail, Professor David Garner explores adoption as the master benefit of faith union with the exalted Christ. To be a believing son of God is to be one with the eternal, now 'adopted' Son. Without reducing the importance of application, Garner patiently roots the ordo salutis in Jesus' once–for–all history. The eternal Son took on flesh, met the double demand of the broken covenant of works, was himself made 'Son of God in power' by his resurrection (Rom. 1:4), and gave his Spirit to the church. What Christ attained—adoption as Son—is what he confers by his Spirit on the church. This is the full flowering of the covenant. Unfortunately, the word adopted will not be easy to grasp as describing the resurrected Christ. It has too many associations with heresies old and new. But Garner's Nicene orthodoxy is impeccable. This book develops yet another important way in which Scripture proclaims that the acts of the triune God in redemptive history, 'for us and for our salvation,' express what is blessedly true of him eternally. Dr. Garner's book may well reset the Reformed church's thinking about the relationship of its doctrine of salvation and its doctrine of Christ. Garner firmly challenges the shortchangers: salvation cannot be reduced to justification, nor to sanctification, nor to ecclesiology. Instead, all these cohere in Christ himself. David has given a gift to the church, both for its doctrine and for its piety. It is a pleasure to recommend it.”See All
Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC
“The Scripture's teaching about adoption has enjoyed a renaissance in recent evangelical reflection. Long overdue is a work that not only synthesizes and analyzes recent studies of adoption but also exhaustively surveys the relevant biblical, theological, and historical materials. David B. Garner's Sons in the Son is just such a work. Far from merely restating what others have said about adoption, Sons in the Son sends readers back to the sources to think about the doctrine in fresh and challenging ways. Garner has performed a great service to the Reformed church; I expect that Sons in the Son will quickly establish itself as the standard treatment of adoption for years to come.”See All
Guy Prentiss Waters
Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson
“In this volume, Dave Garner has gathered up with biblical fidelity and captivating clarity the glorious doctrine of adoption, affirming both the privileges of believers as 'sons of God' in Christ and the experiential blessings enjoyed by the sealing presence and power of the Spirit of adoption—a must read.”See All
Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Chrurch, AL
“The jazzy–looking, though admirably apt, title of Dr. Garner's treatise proclaims him to be following, indeed reinstating, John Calvin's exact insight into Paul's account of adoption as a central category in both Trinitarian Christology and covenantal soteriology. This is something that post–Puritan Reformed teaching for three centuries, strangely, has not always made fully clear, and it is high time that the record be set straight. Though at times heavy sledding (after all, a doctoral thesis went into its making), this book is a gem: a precious mind–clearing, heartwarming achievement that I cannot commend too highly.”See All
Author, Knowing God
“Sons in the Son is a scholarly, faithful exposition of the doctrine of adoption that demonstrates adoption's crucial character in the drama of redemption. It's a valuable resource for any Christian wanting to exult in God's purpose in making us sons and daughters andjoint heirs with Christ.”See All
President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention
“Reading Sons in the Son is like putting on a new set of glasses that enable the reader to see the glistening beauty of God's grace of adoption throughout the entirety of his salvation plan. Garner clearly and convincingly traces the adoption of God anchored in his loving purposes from eternity past, enacted through the adoption of Israel, assured by the ascension of Jesus as the adopted Son of God in power, and anticipated by all sons who are joined to the Son. This book both challengedmy mind and melted my heart.”See All
Author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament
“Dr. Garner's Sons in the Son is a fascinating read on the traditionally minimized doctrine of the believer's adoption in Christ. One does not need to agree with Garner at every point to recommend this profoundly theological and practical work. In terms of exegetical, biblical, systematic, historical, and experiential theology, Sons in the Son is a ground–breaking book that thoroughly mines the field of adoption from Scripture itself all the way to twenty–first–century treatments of the subject. All future work on this subject, which is so precious to the minds and hearts of Christians, should reckon with this masterful treatment.”See All
President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
“David Garner's Sons in the Son is to the theology of adoption what John Murray's Redemption Accomplished and Applied is to an explanation of Christ's work for us and in us...My hope (and full expectation) is that Sons in the Son will be widely read by scholars and pastors for the great good of the church. Garner has served the church exceedingly well with this book. To say I absolutely loved it would be an understatement.”See All
President, Together For Adoption
Rarely addressed throughout church history, the doctrine of adoption has seen fresh attention in recent years. Although valuable, contemporary studies have focused primarily on etymological, cultural, and pastoral considerations, giving little to no attention to vital systematic theological concerns.
In this groundbreaking work, Professor David Garner examines the function of adoption in Pauline thought: its relationship to the doctrines of Christ, the Holy Spirit, eschatology, and union with Christ, as well as its primary place among the other benefits of salvation.
Adoption frames Pauline soteriology, Garner argues, and defines the Trinitarian, familial context of redemption in Christ, the Son of God. Properly understood, adoption’s paradigm-shifting implications extend deep and far.