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Sons in the Son: The Riches and Reach of Adoption in Christ (Garner)

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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.


Table of Contents: 

Foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Part 1: Adoption: Hermeneutics, History, and Etymology

1. Adoption: Scope and Point of Entry 

2. Adoption in Historical Theology

3. What Informs Huiothesia

Part 2: Adoption: An Exegetical and Theological Survey of the Key Texts 

4. Adoption Purposed: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

5. Adoption Accomplished: The Incarnate Son of God

6. Adoption Applied: The Spirit and the Sons of God

Part 3: Adoption in Biblical and Systematic Theology

7. Jesus Christ, the Son of God Adopted

8. The Ordo Salutis: Fact of Fiction?

9. The Sons in the Son: Adoption and Union with Christ

10. The Sons in the Son: Adoption, Systematic Theology, and the Ordo Salutis 



David B. Garner (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.



“I’m convinced that Garner’s book will be considered a theological classic of the Christian faith. . . . To say I absolutely loved it would be an understatement.”  Dan Cruver, President, Together for Adoption

“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.” Nancy Guthrie, Author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament series

“Garner’s book may well reset the Reformed church’s thinking about the relationship of its doctrine of salvation and its doctrine of Christ.” Howard Griffith, Academic Dean, Reformed  Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

“All future work on this subject that is so precious to the minds and hearts of Christians should reckon with this masterful treatment.” Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids