Friday, July 18, 2008

Christians at the Border

Christians at the Border: Immigation, the Church, and the Bible

This book is a double entendre. In a very real sense everyone in the US has to take a political position about what is going on at the physical boundry with Mexico. Consciously or unconsciously, we all take a stand at the literal border, a stand that reflects our social, economic, and racial attitudes and situation. But for christians there is an additional border. It is a metaphorical decision point. We must determine whether the place we choose to stand in the national debate will be based on the Word of God or wether we will ignore its teaching and defend our opinions on other grounds. This border, in other words, confronts us as a crosroads of faith and conviction.

M. Daniel Carrol R. is the author of the book. He is a distinquished Professor of OT at Denver Seminary and adjunct professor at El Seminario Teologico Centroameicano in Guatemala city, Guatemala. He received his PhD from the University of Sheffield. He is the author or editor of several books and a contributing editor to Prism.

This book was challenging and very good. To be honest, this book was a "deep" book that was on a very easily readible level. The book also challenged some of my thoughts and my position on immigration. Immigration is not an easy issue. Here are some of the quotes and thoughts that stood out to me.

Christian faith is fibrant among the immigrant population, which now numbers in the millions.

What is your community doing to reach out to the immigrant population. I don't think that we do a good job at it.

hospitality to the stranger is a virtue.

We are not that hospitable; are we ?

Israel's stance toward the foreigner was part of the larger fabric of its ethical life. It was part of the ethos of what it meant to be the people of God.

There are examples that we can gleam from the Bible, if we are willing to dive into the Scripture, take a look and see what the implications for them/us are.

Jesus modeled a new and different way of looking at persons who are outside the circle of the known and beyond acceptability.

I think that the greatest example of this is how he interated with the Samaritan story. We also need to remember that everyone is our neighbor.

Jesus' actions and attitudes transcends cultural identity; they also help us define what it means to be his follower.

What do you think our action should be in welcoming those who cross the border ?

In the book, he deals with scriptures and addresses the legal and "illegal" issue that often comes into the debate and sometimes clouds the issue.

If you have any interest in immigration in the US and especially as it deals with the border to the south of this; I strongly suggest that you pick up this book.

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