“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

John 1:12




 Historic Reformed quotes on the Fatherhood of God over All People, a six paragraph introduction with 55+ historic, reformed quotes

The majority of historic, reformed theology has consistently maintained that though fallen man is spiritually of his father the Devil (John 8:44), yet God remains his natural Father by creation (Acts 17:28-29, Lk. 3:38; 15:14; Heb. 12:9; Mal. 2:10; Isa. 64:8; etc.).  This article briefly introduces the subject, gives further reading, and documents this doctrine in the best of our historic reformed theologians.     



Buchanan, James – The Spirit’s Work as the Spirit of Adoption, p. 454, 34 pages, from his The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit

Fentiman, Travis – John L. Girardeau’s Doctrine of Adoption: a Systematic and Biblical Defense, 2014, 20 pages

This is a systematic exposition and Biblical defense of Girardeau’s doctrine of Adoption.  It argues that Adoption is both distinct from Regeneration and Justification, that Adam was by creation naturally a son of God (Luke 3:38), and that unbelievers are as well (though not spiritually), as God is the Father of all people by creation (Heb. 12:9, Eph. 3:15).

Girardeau, John – The Doctrine of Adoption, the last chapter of his Discussions of Theological Questions  Buy  see the Buy link for the table of contents of the whole book.

Girardeau’s contribution to the discussion throughout church history regarding the Doctrine of Adoption is worth the price of the book.  Girardeau is persuasive in arguing that Adoption is a distinct act from Justification and that Adam was naturally a son of God by creation (as well as unbelievers), following Thomas Crawford in his prominent Scottish debate with Robert Candlish over the Fatherhood of God.  For a systematic exposition and Biblical defense of Girardeau’s doctrine of Adoption, see this article by Travis Fentiman.



Crawford, Thomas – The Fatherhood of God: Considered in its General and Special Aspects And Particularly in Relation to the Atonement, 1868, 392 pages

Kennedy, John – Man’s Relations to God,  Buy  1869, 175 pages, four chapters

Kennedy here discusses whether Adam was by creation a son or not in the Garden in chapter one and whether this relation remains under the fall or not in chapter two.  In chapter four Kennedy expounds the grounds of our Adoption in Christ, its relation to justification and its relation to Christ’s unique Sonship.