Trevor J. Burke, Adopted into God’s Family: Exploring a Pauline Metaphor. New Studies in Biblical Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Pbk. ISBN: 0830826238.
From the back cover:
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 Burke tells me that the research for this book was completed under Margaret Thrall at University College of North Wales (Bangor) while he was teaching at Evangelical Theological College of Wales in South Wales. This book is a major revision of his M.Phil Thesis.