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Inter-Varsity Press Adopted into God's Family: Exploring a Pauline Metaphor (New Studies in Biblical Theology)

The relationship between God and his people is understood in various ways by the biblical writers, and it is arguably the apostle Paul who uses the richest vocabulary. Unique to Paul's writings is the term huiothesia, the process or act of being "adopted as son(s)." It occurs five times in three of his letters, where it functions as a key theological metaphor.

Trevor Burke argues that huiothesia has been misunderstood, misrepresented or neglected through scholarly preoccupation with its cultural background. He redresses the balance in this comprehensive study, which discusses metaphor theory; explores the background to huiothesia; considers the roles of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; examines the moral implications of adoption, and its relationship with honor; and concludes with the consequences for Christian believers as they live in the tension between the "now" and the "not yet" of their adoption into God's new family.

"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

Trevor J. Burke (Ph.D., Glasgow) is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he has taught New Testament studies in seminaries in Nigeria, Wales and Fiji. He is the author of Family Matters and coeditor of Paul and the Corinthians.

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