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

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Immigration is one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda. This accessible book provides biblical and ethical guidance for readers who are looking for a Christian perspective on the immigration issue. As both a Guatemalan and an American, the author has immersed himself in this issue and is uniquely qualified to write about it. Drawing on key biblical ideas, he Immigration is one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda. This accessible book provides biblical and ethical guidance for readers who are looking for a Christian perspective on the immigration issue. As both a Guatemalan and an American, the author has immersed himself in this issue and is uniquely qualified to write about it. Drawing on key biblical ideas, he speaks to both the immigrant culture and the host culture, arguing that both sides have much to learn about the debate. This timely, clear, and compassionate resource will benefit all Christians who are thinking through the immigration issue.


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Immigration is one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda. This accessible book provides biblical and ethical guidance for readers who are looking for a Christian perspective on the immigration issue. As both a Guatemalan and an American, the author has immersed himself in this issue and is uniquely qualified to write about it. Drawing on key biblical ideas, he Immigration is one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda. This accessible book provides biblical and ethical guidance for readers who are looking for a Christian perspective on the immigration issue. As both a Guatemalan and an American, the author has immersed himself in this issue and is uniquely qualified to write about it. Drawing on key biblical ideas, he speaks to both the immigrant culture and the host culture, arguing that both sides have much to learn about the debate. This timely, clear, and compassionate resource will benefit all Christians who are thinking through the immigration issue.

30 review for Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible

  1. 5 out of 5

    Derrick Jeter

    M. Daniel Carroll R.'s "Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible" is fine introduction to the thorny question of immigration and to the Church's response and responsibilities. A native of Guatemala, Carroll's focus is on Hispanic immigration, through much of what he says can be applied to an immigrant people. I very much wanted to like this book -- and the two chapters on the Old Testament were instructive -- but the chapter on the New Testament's view of how we should tre M. Daniel Carroll R.'s "Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible" is fine introduction to the thorny question of immigration and to the Church's response and responsibilities. A native of Guatemala, Carroll's focus is on Hispanic immigration, through much of what he says can be applied to an immigrant people. I very much wanted to like this book -- and the two chapters on the Old Testament were instructive -- but the chapter on the New Testament's view of how we should treat the sojourner or alien in our midst was poorly argued. Carroll takes pains to remind us that Jesus was a refugee (when Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt during the reign of Herod) and that He accepted outsiders, especially Samaritans. Fair enough, but he mishandles Jesus's teaching in Matthew 25:31-46, particularly the notion of caring for "the least of these." "This passage . . ." Carroll writes, "speaks of the hardships of disciples, the messengers of the gospel, and their treatment by the nations" (p. 123). The passage is "relevant to the immigration dissuasion because of the use of the word 'stranger' (or 'foreigner' . . .) in Matthew 25:35, 38, 43, and 44." But this passage deals with judgment at the end of the tribulation in which Jesus separates the sheep (righteous individual Gentiles -- followers of Christ) from goats (unrighteous individual Gentiles -- followers of the antichrist), based on their treatment of His "brethren," the Jews. And while we can argue that we should care for those who are considered "the least," this passage is not teaching that truth. However, it is Carroll's treatment of Romans 13 that is the most egregious, simply because he doesn't deal with the passage at all. He dismisses those who would argue from Romans 13 that crossing the border is an illegal act and thereby have few claims in the United States, while failing to offer a compelling interpretation of the passage and how it might apply to immigrants who enter the country illegally. Nor does he offer any principles that could be applied from Romans 13 as to the purpose and responsibility of government (as opposed to the purpose and responsibility of individual Christians and/or the Church). It's true that "many Christians read Romans 13 with the assumption that all the nation's laws are inherently good and just," when many laws aren't inherently good and just (p. 132). But he doesn't help the reader understand how current immigration policy is either inherently evil and unjust, or how Romans 13 should be applied. He does leave open the possibility that some might interpret immigration laws as "confused, contradictory, and in some ways unfair to the various affected parties," which might then "affect the perspective on the legality question" (p. 132). How exactly that happens I don't know, Carroll doesn't say. Law very well may be confused, contradictory, and unfair, but that doesn't necessarily make them illegal. But Carroll goes on: "If one believers that these laws do not fit the teaching of the Bible and the ethical demands of the heart of God, some Christians . . . might declare with the apostles Peter and John: 'Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God' (Acts 4:19" (p. 132). Carroll is quick to say: "I am not advocating civil disobedience on a large scale. . . . It is a narrow understanding of the nature of law and the Christian's relationship to human government that I question" (p. 132). Okay. But no where do we get a clear answer to the question. What is the nature of law and what is the Christian's relationship to human government? And how can Romans 13 help us answer these questions? In this instance the reader must look elsewhere for the answers, for Carroll punts -- leaving us no closer to the real question about immigration, the Church, and the Bible: what does a biblically based (Christianly) law passed and administered by the United States government look like? You won't find the answer in Carroll's book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Walt Walkowski

    This is a difficult review. The nature of the book--more of an overview than attempting to necessarily make a point--means that the reader is really left with more questions than answers. Dr. Carroll's initial assessment of the situation also seems to be lacking some of the issues I think might be pertinent, and his focus on the Hispanic people seemingly leaves out all other nationalities that might emigrate to this country. It would be interesting to read what Dr. Carroll might propose as a Bib This is a difficult review. The nature of the book--more of an overview than attempting to necessarily make a point--means that the reader is really left with more questions than answers. Dr. Carroll's initial assessment of the situation also seems to be lacking some of the issues I think might be pertinent, and his focus on the Hispanic people seemingly leaves out all other nationalities that might emigrate to this country. It would be interesting to read what Dr. Carroll might propose as a Biblically-informed response to undocumented immigrants in this country.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The first section, on the history of immigration in the US, was excellent. The rest was not as good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wallace

    This short book helps to ground the discussion of immigration on the Christian faith and the Bible rather than partisan politics. Carroll R. doesn't offer any new policies, but instead suggests that we all need to reevaluate our laws and our policies to determine if they line up with the faith that we confess. He starts off by discussing the history of immigration in the United States and then moves into an exploration of both the Old and New Testaments, emphasizing the radical nature of hospita This short book helps to ground the discussion of immigration on the Christian faith and the Bible rather than partisan politics. Carroll R. doesn't offer any new policies, but instead suggests that we all need to reevaluate our laws and our policies to determine if they line up with the faith that we confess. He starts off by discussing the history of immigration in the United States and then moves into an exploration of both the Old and New Testaments, emphasizing the radical nature of hospitality that is fundamental to the Gospel. "Immigration should not be argued in the abstract because it is fundamentally about immigrants. Immigrants are humans, and as such they are made in God's image." (67) "...the arrival and presence of sojourners were not a threat to Israel's national identity; rather, their presence was fundamental to its very meaning. The people of Israel could not be who they were supposed to be before God and the world if they forgot who they had been and from where they had come." (109-110) "Resident aliens [those who find their citizenship in heaven] will embrace resident aliens [sojourners]: respectful and mindful of differences, open to grow and change, reciprocal and mutual, personal and communal, assured yet with great risk, while confident in the light of the Word, the empowerment of the Spirit, the example of Jesus, and the blessings of the Father. Let the journey to reconciliation begin. May the church lead the way." (140)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kalli N

    This book was a waste of my time and life. It is extremely bias and boring. I have learned nothing whatsoever, and feel as though the man who wrote this is very uneducated. He states, in the first or second chapter, that we should refer to illegal immigrants as "undocumented," due to illegal meaning someone committed a crime, although they did commit a crime, hence why they are called illegal immigrants. If I weren't already Christian and knew the true meaning, I would have hated Christianity du This book was a waste of my time and life. It is extremely bias and boring. I have learned nothing whatsoever, and feel as though the man who wrote this is very uneducated. He states, in the first or second chapter, that we should refer to illegal immigrants as "undocumented," due to illegal meaning someone committed a crime, although they did commit a crime, hence why they are called illegal immigrants. If I weren't already Christian and knew the true meaning, I would have hated Christianity due to this book. The word "christian" in this book is used as an adjective multiple times, although it is a noun. I despise it when people refer to tasks as the "christian thing to do." Yes, it may be a good thing to do, but generalizing it as a "christian" thing to do is simply impulsive. Never before have I read such a book as painful as this. I received multiple headaches and had to take long breaks to make it through anything. There are a few good things in this book, but I feel as though those things are common sense. I do not like how the author jumps around with some topics and leaves loose ends. I believe it should be expanded on more on both sides of this issue of (illegal) immigration. The way I would describe this book would be bias facts put together terribly with common sense and a few somewhat interesting pieces of information.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Audra Spiven

    This was required reading for grad school. Unfortunately, even though this is the second edition, it's outdated already, just 6 years from the date of publication. Even so, Carroll has some good thoughts in here, and does some excellent critical thinking about immigration, and presents "the other side" of the argument quite fairly (a little too fairly for my taste; he presents racists and xenophobes as if they have valid points, when they absolutely do not). I'd be really interested to hear Carr This was required reading for grad school. Unfortunately, even though this is the second edition, it's outdated already, just 6 years from the date of publication. Even so, Carroll has some good thoughts in here, and does some excellent critical thinking about immigration, and presents "the other side" of the argument quite fairly (a little too fairly for my taste; he presents racists and xenophobes as if they have valid points, when they absolutely do not). I'd be really interested to hear Carroll speak today or even to read a third edition of this book in response to the Trump era. In 2013 Carroll had a LOT of optimism about the possibilities for immigration reform in the United States. I imagine much of that optimism has been lost since the 2016 election.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ben Vance

    Was looking more for a book on how Latinx immigration is effecting US religious make up and how Christianity influences border policy. This isn’t that, it’s fine. This book covers the history of US immigration in the first chapter but then moves more to a breakdown of Biblical passages covering immigration issues. It’s useful, and could potentially be helpful in convincing conservatives to change their opinion. But it never gets at the core issue: many white Christians view non Americans as less Was looking more for a book on how Latinx immigration is effecting US religious make up and how Christianity influences border policy. This isn’t that, it’s fine. This book covers the history of US immigration in the first chapter but then moves more to a breakdown of Biblical passages covering immigration issues. It’s useful, and could potentially be helpful in convincing conservatives to change their opinion. But it never gets at the core issue: many white Christians view non Americans as less human. Without dealing with that issue, it rings a little hollow.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carlo Sosa-Ortiz

    I wanted to love this book more, but it did leave much lacking. Carroll's book provided a brief overview of the issue of immigration, which is probably why I was left with more questions than answers. His argument on the New Testament's stance toward immigration wasn't argued as well as I would have liked. I loved his history of U.S. immigration policy, but the rest was a little disappointing. "Christians at the Border" is a decent introduction to the discussion, but more reading is necessary. I wanted to love this book more, but it did leave much lacking. Carroll's book provided a brief overview of the issue of immigration, which is probably why I was left with more questions than answers. His argument on the New Testament's stance toward immigration wasn't argued as well as I would have liked. I loved his history of U.S. immigration policy, but the rest was a little disappointing. "Christians at the Border" is a decent introduction to the discussion, but more reading is necessary.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David Pham

    My reflection This is a wonderful on immigration topic. Most of us we have been thinking about immigration with the worldly or politically lenses. We need to put on the biblical lenses on the issue. If you think that we need to love everyone then read this book. Only when you equip yourself with knowledge it is difficult for you to hell other

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

    Half way through realized how academic the writing was. Don't know if that changed my outlook on it. Could be a textbook, felt like it overstated a lot. But it was good material, think of immigration (as with all of life) through a specifically theological lens. God's kingdom transcends mans' law. Half way through realized how academic the writing was. Don't know if that changed my outlook on it. Could be a textbook, felt like it overstated a lot. But it was good material, think of immigration (as with all of life) through a specifically theological lens. God's kingdom transcends mans' law.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Renee Bergin

    Loved It I thoroughly enjoyed the Christian insight toward the diverse topic of illegal immigration. The biblical history that was utilized to describe immigration and Jesus' own refugee status puts a deeper meaning to God's plans today. Loved It I thoroughly enjoyed the Christian insight toward the diverse topic of illegal immigration. The biblical history that was utilized to describe immigration and Jesus' own refugee status puts a deeper meaning to God's plans today.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kati Higginbotham

    Some of the grammar is problematic, but this is a must read for Christians. Biblically informed and even handed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Wood

    I had to give this 3 stars because of readability. I agreed with everything it said and there was so much good information, but it also felt very dry.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Skjam!

    Disclosure: I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it. Christians at the Border Daniel Carroll is a professor of Old Testament at Denver, whose mother was Guatemalan, and who has divided his time between the U.S. and Guatemala since he was young. As such, he has ties to both mainstream American and Latino culture. In this updated edition (first version published in 2008) he speaks to the issue of immigration from a Biblical perspective. He covers the hi Disclosure: I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it. Christians at the Border Daniel Carroll is a professor of Old Testament at Denver, whose mother was Guatemalan, and who has divided his time between the U.S. and Guatemala since he was young. As such, he has ties to both mainstream American and Latino culture. In this updated edition (first version published in 2008) he speaks to the issue of immigration from a Biblical perspective. He covers the history of immigration, primarily Hispanic, into the U.S. starting in 1848, and its ebbs and flows. There’s a look at the question of cultural identity and the economic impact of illegal immigration. Unlike many articles on the subject, he also writes about the effect on the countries the immigrants are from. Then he really warms to the theme of the Christian dimension of Hispanic immigration, citing its invigorating effects on American religious life, and an understanding of the “sojourner” theme in the Bible. He refers to several different experiences in the Old Testament of immigration, including the stories of Ruth and Esther. The book also looks at the Old Testament laws regarding “the stranger and the foreigner in your midst.” Mr. Carroll claims this is different from similar law codes of the same time period in the Middle East because those others do not have laws to deal with immigration, and because they are influenced by the Hebrew people’s own experience in Egypt. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:34 Turning to the New Testament, Mr. Carroll admits Jesus didn’t say anything about the specific topic of immigration, but he did spend time reaching out to the despised and those outside Judean society. The parable of the Good Samaritan indicates that tribal identification is less important than a person’s behavior to determine who is a “neighbor” to be loved. !st Peter extends a metaphor of all Christians as sojourners in strange lands. And last, Mr. Carroll examines Romans 13, which is often used as a “clobber text” against undocumented immigrants. If they are here illegally, they are breaking the law, and we need give them no further consideration, end of discussion. But he feels this text should be examined in the context of Romans 12; discerning submission, rather than blind obedience. The book wraps up with a call to Christians to make their decisions on how to treat immigrants, legal or otherwise, with a view to what the Bible teaches and the example of Jesus. The text is clear and in understandable language, with a logical progression of thought. The introduction by Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is a bit more jargon-laden. There’s also an afterword by Ronald J Sider of Evangelicals for Social Action. For further study, there’s an appendix of resources including websites, both pro- and anti-immigration. There are extensive endnotes and a small index. This book will be of most interest to Christians, particularly of the evangelical persuasion, searching for perspective on the issue of immigration. People interested in the immigration issue who are not Christian might also find it helpful to understand the Biblical perspective. To quote again, May the Lord illumine us and grant us understanding.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacob O'connor

    I'm a real left-wing nut when it comes to immigration. If were king, I'd grant a general and comprehensive amnesty to all who apply (with the hope that an application period would help scan out the weirdos). Given the reading proximity with James Hoffmeier's book, "The Immigration Crisis", I can't help but compare. "Christians at the Border" begins closer to my own convictions. I appreciate the authors' heart, but I found the book somewhat less focused than Hoffmeier's. Nevertheless, CatB inspir I'm a real left-wing nut when it comes to immigration. If were king, I'd grant a general and comprehensive amnesty to all who apply (with the hope that an application period would help scan out the weirdos). Given the reading proximity with James Hoffmeier's book, "The Immigration Crisis", I can't help but compare. "Christians at the Border" begins closer to my own convictions. I appreciate the authors' heart, but I found the book somewhat less focused than Hoffmeier's. Nevertheless, CatB inspires me to pursue immigration-friendly policies at the polls. Notes: (1) A human being can't be illegal (1) (2) Is God bringing an influx of Spanish Christian immigrants to bolster a fledgling American church? (39) (3) First principle when examining immigration is that they're bearers of the image of God (43) (4) Biblical pattern of migration (60) (5) Model of hospitality in Genesis 18, Abraham welcomes the three strangers (64) (6) And again, the poor widow who sacrifices for Elijah (1Kings 17) (64) (7) Personal note: While I agree with what's been said so far, I didn't exactly buy this book so they could tell me to be nice. (8) Challenges James K. Hoffmeier that "sojourner" pertains only to legal immigrants. Caroll's rational is that the distinction between legal and illegal aliens is not found in the text but must be presupposed. (75) This is the crucial disagreement, so I reread Hoffmeier's chapter. I'm no Hebrew scholar, but CatB may be correct. Hoffmeier parses terms (alien "ger", foriegner, stranger, "Nekhar" and "zar"), but I don’t find a clear correspondence with our ideas of legal and illegal aliens. Rather, he gives examples of what the patriarchs/Isreal/Egypt, etc. did with the strangers among them. This commits the is/ought fallacy, so his contention that the sojourner passages in the Old Testament don't apply to illegal immigrations loses force. (9) "Jesus lays aside his culture's exclusivistic mores and negative feelings toward Samaritans for more important things: their value as persons and potential of their faith" (88) (10) Christians called sojourners in Peter (90) (11) Author leaves the legal question (Rom 13) until after a thorough discussion of compassion. (93) I appreciate this approach. (12) Author's thoughts about legality are mixed. I agree that glibly expecting immigrants to obey the law is insufficient It's the very rightness of these laws in question. Nevertheless, showing how the law is unequally applied or setting it against another injustice is the wrong approach. Two wrongs don't make a right (96) (13) Personal note: interesting that neither book discusses the expulsion of the Canaanites or God's ongoing command not to intermingle with the local pagans (14) Perhaps the appropriate middle ground between CatB and TIC is to acknowledge that (i) governments have the right and prerogative to set the terms of immigrations (ii) immigrants have an obligation to obey those terms (iii) citizens have an obligation to receive all immigrants, irrespective of legal standing, with the compassion of Christ. This applies even under perceived threat of "stealing our jobs, etc".

  16. 5 out of 5

    James Korsmo

    Christians at the Border is a thorough and timely study of the issue of immigration in America. Written by an Old Testament scholar who is a Guatemalan-American, and who lives and teaches on both sides of our Southern border, the perspectives Carroll R. brings are essential. He carefully looks at the situation today, showing the great complexity which must be comprehended as we look at immigration (including things like where people come from and why the come, the economic pressures on both side Christians at the Border is a thorough and timely study of the issue of immigration in America. Written by an Old Testament scholar who is a Guatemalan-American, and who lives and teaches on both sides of our Southern border, the perspectives Carroll R. brings are essential. He carefully looks at the situation today, showing the great complexity which must be comprehended as we look at immigration (including things like where people come from and why the come, the economic pressures on both sides of the borders, and the broader history of immigration in America). He then looks back into the Old and New Testaments to see how their witness can be brought to bear. In both of these areas, carefully looking at today's context and exploring the biblical context and teaching, the book shines. The fundamental insight that Carroll R. uses to reframe the debate, and one that I think is essential as we move forward, is to recognize that the debate today must be shifted from one about "immigration" as a concept to a debate and discussion about immigrants, human beings made in God's image who deserve our respect, care, and concern. Especially as Christians, we must come to grips with the sojourners among us (who are often, incidentally, fellow Christians), and must seek both temporary and long-term solutions that create and maintain justice as well as express and embody our identity as God's agents on earth. The discussion in America today about immigration is a great opportunity for the body of Christ to exemplify what it means to love God and neighbor. There is no doubt that we must get beyond entrenched political positions and party alignments, as well as beyond oversimplifications and false dichotomies and seek new ways of of living and acting as Christians in the world. As Carrol R. concludes, "The decisions that are made and courses of action that are recommended [in a Christian approach to immigration] should be commensurate with the life of Jesus—his actions, his teaching, his cross." I highly and unreservedly recommend this book. It is very readable, just as it is also thorough and careful. First-hand experience is melded nicely with research, and careful biblical reasoning is brought to bear with wisdom on a divisive issue with an always irenic yet prophetic tone. Read this book and be challenged!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Scott Cox

    "Hispanics have supplanted African-Americans as the largest minority group in the country . . . the sheer quantity of Hispanic immigrants dwarfs anything in history." Dr. Daniel Carroll's short work on the issue of undocumented immigrants is a good primer for Biblical discussion on this timely and controversial issue. Dr. Carroll, professor of Old Testament theology at Denver Seminary, is of both American and Guatemalan parentage, which is pertinent to the dialogue. He begins the discussion with "Hispanics have supplanted African-Americans as the largest minority group in the country . . . the sheer quantity of Hispanic immigrants dwarfs anything in history." Dr. Daniel Carroll's short work on the issue of undocumented immigrants is a good primer for Biblical discussion on this timely and controversial issue. Dr. Carroll, professor of Old Testament theology at Denver Seminary, is of both American and Guatemalan parentage, which is pertinent to the dialogue. He begins the discussion with a historical overview of American immigration policies, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which paradoxically fostered the first wave of Latino immigrants needed to fill jobs previously held by Chinese workers. The second half of the book analyzes Biblical references to the immigrant as both stranger and sojourner. Carroll also notes how migration and immigrants are a major focus in both the Old and New Testament given that the people of God were often in migration or seeking refuge. Therefore the Biblical mandate to protect the sojourner radically differed from the law codes of nations surrounding Israel (Laws of Eshnunna, Laws of Hammurabi) in terms of both the number of laws, as well as in specific protective clauses contained in the laws. The author notes how in the New Testament Jesus constantly challenged the "majority culture" of his day to show love and encourage the faith of those regarded as outsiders. He recognizes the need for lawful obedience to the law (Romans 13), but challenges Christians to ensure that the laws are fair, gracious, and hospitable to those who are seeking to find work or refuge. Lastly, I enjoyed perusing the Selected Resources in the appendices. I was somewhat surprised that the author did not include two pertinent works, one fiction (T.C. Boyle's "Tortilla Curtain) and the other non-fiction (Luis Alberto Urrea's "The Devil's Highway"). However I did find one new fiction read: "Carmelo" by Sandra Cisneros. Overall this work was challenging and provided some excellent insight into this topic for consideration by the Christian community.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    SUMMARY: Guatemalan-American Old Testament scholar, M. Daniel Carroll R., has written a very brief piece on how American Christians should respond to Hispanic immigration. Carroll provides the background of immigration in America, illustrates how the Old Testament is a collection of stories by/about "people on the move," discusses OT ethics in regard to foreigners, and briefly discusses issues relating to immigration in the New Testament. PROS: This is a quick, easy read and provides a nice overv SUMMARY: Guatemalan-American Old Testament scholar, M. Daniel Carroll R., has written a very brief piece on how American Christians should respond to Hispanic immigration. Carroll provides the background of immigration in America, illustrates how the Old Testament is a collection of stories by/about "people on the move," discusses OT ethics in regard to foreigners, and briefly discusses issues relating to immigration in the New Testament. PROS: This is a quick, easy read and provides a nice overview of the issues surrounding immigration and the Christian response. Particularly noteworthy are Carroll's discussions of the history of immigration policies in America and the discussion about "sojourners" and foreigners in the OT. As a Latino person, he offers a personal insight and points out things I would never have thought about (Like preference for "Latino" instead of "Hispanic," "undocumented" instead of "illegal," and "immigrant" instead of "alien"). CONS: This is a very brief, narrow treatment of immigration and theology. The title seems to imply that this book is about immigration, but Carroll makes it known very quickly that the book is largely about immigration from Latin America. What about other immigrants and refugees (an updated version of the book needs to address the Syrian crisis). It seemed that Carroll was apologizing throughout the book for not being more thorough in his treatment. There is nothing really new in the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David

    Brief and quick-to-read but comprehensive review of Biblical scriptures about treatment of aliens, sojourners, immigrants, etc. When speaking of modern applications, the book's focus is solely on Hispanics -- it was published in 2008, before the Syrian refugee/immigrant "crisis," but could have dealt with similar earlier Asian or African issues but does not, primarily because of the author's own interests and specialty, Latin America. In any event, much of what the author has to say can be appli Brief and quick-to-read but comprehensive review of Biblical scriptures about treatment of aliens, sojourners, immigrants, etc. When speaking of modern applications, the book's focus is solely on Hispanics -- it was published in 2008, before the Syrian refugee/immigrant "crisis," but could have dealt with similar earlier Asian or African issues but does not, primarily because of the author's own interests and specialty, Latin America. In any event, much of what the author has to say can be applied broadly, not just to Hispanics. Came to this book because my wife and I and another person were researching Biblical teachings on refugees and immigration. Because it took a while to get the book from a university library, we already had thoroughly researched the topic and already had uncovered most of the material in this book. But I can report that the book would be an excellent starting place for anyone on a similar quest, and I would say it's highly recommended. The review of scripture is unbiased and complete -- he starts with the Biblical material and looks for direction, rather than starting with the conclusion he wants, then "proof-texting" with only cherry-picked scriptures to prove a point. You'll find this latter biased technique in much of the writings on immigration/refugees by left-wing persons or groups, on the one hand, and right-wingers on the other.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    A helpful introduction to the contemporary issue of human migration, Christians at the Border is composed of two main sections: an overview of American immigration policy and a study of migration (and related themes) in the Bible. Section one is a brief, but helpful, outline of historic shifts in American immigration policy and current perspectives on the contemporary Hispanic immigration. The second section, consisting of three chapters, is the heart of the book: a study of migration-related th A helpful introduction to the contemporary issue of human migration, Christians at the Border is composed of two main sections: an overview of American immigration policy and a study of migration (and related themes) in the Bible. Section one is a brief, but helpful, outline of historic shifts in American immigration policy and current perspectives on the contemporary Hispanic immigration. The second section, consisting of three chapters, is the heart of the book: a study of migration-related themes in the Bible (two chapters drawn from the OT, one from the NT). While not an exhaustive study, Carroll, a professor of OT at Denver Seminary, exhibits a deep understanding not only of the biblical material, but also the theological implications and practical applications draw from these texts. B

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

    The book did a good job of mentioning the historical aspects of immigration that are raised in the bible. It was a quick reminder of how many stories exist in the bible about people who moved from one land to another and ended up being key to the history of religion in the world. Examples are Ruth, Joseph, Moses, and even Jesus who was taken into Eqypt when he was a baby. One thing that bothers me about a book that's an "introduction" to a topic. When an author says repeatedly that "this is just The book did a good job of mentioning the historical aspects of immigration that are raised in the bible. It was a quick reminder of how many stories exist in the bible about people who moved from one land to another and ended up being key to the history of religion in the world. Examples are Ruth, Joseph, Moses, and even Jesus who was taken into Eqypt when he was a baby. One thing that bothers me about a book that's an "introduction" to a topic. When an author says repeatedly that "this is just an introduction, I won't go into more detail," I can't help but wonder how much better the book would be if the author would just go ahead an add the detail. It may have taken up about the same amount of space, or added another hundred pages to the book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adam Ross

    This was a decent book on the immigration challenges we face today. The bulk of the book is concerned with what the Bible says about immigrants (the "aliens" and "sojourners" in Scripture terms), and anyone who is familiar with the OT laws will feel that not much new ground is covered. What is nice about it, however, is that all of the laws and stories are covered in a way that highlights their relevant portions for the discussion of immigration. The first chapter or so also covers the concerns This was a decent book on the immigration challenges we face today. The bulk of the book is concerned with what the Bible says about immigrants (the "aliens" and "sojourners" in Scripture terms), and anyone who is familiar with the OT laws will feel that not much new ground is covered. What is nice about it, however, is that all of the laws and stories are covered in a way that highlights their relevant portions for the discussion of immigration. The first chapter or so also covers the concerns of those who want the borders closed off, dealing with questions like "Who are we?" Who are Americans, anyway. He walks that fine line of avoiding the ideologies of both right and left, and tries to present genuine, Scriptural answers to this hot-topic issue.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris Schutte

    I recently read the second edition of this book, which was released in 2013. It was amazing to me how dated the discussion felt, as the American discussion of immigration has been consumed by talk of refugees and other immigrants from Asia and the Middle East. However, in the past year or two, with thousands fleeing Central America in hopes of claiming asylum, the issue of Hispanic immigration has resurfaced. Carroll's arguments are clear and deeply rooted in scripture. He also deals with common I recently read the second edition of this book, which was released in 2013. It was amazing to me how dated the discussion felt, as the American discussion of immigration has been consumed by talk of refugees and other immigrants from Asia and the Middle East. However, in the past year or two, with thousands fleeing Central America in hopes of claiming asylum, the issue of Hispanic immigration has resurfaced. Carroll's arguments are clear and deeply rooted in scripture. He also deals with common concerns raised about national identity and the economic impact of immigrants. As the current rhetoric from the White House and cable news seeks to dominate the discussion (?), it is incumbent on Christians to reason biblically, and Carroll's book is incredibly helpful in that regard.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karl Mueller

    Christians at the border is an excellent book on issues related to immigration. While it is somewhat focused on Hispanic immigration, the principles Dr. Carroll elucidates are applicable to the immigration issue at large. I found his overview of Hispanic immigration helpful and his discussion of the Biblical material related to the "foreigner" among us to be excellent. The last chapter chapter on on where to go from here is quite good as well. I especially appreciated his discussion of Romans 13 Christians at the border is an excellent book on issues related to immigration. While it is somewhat focused on Hispanic immigration, the principles Dr. Carroll elucidates are applicable to the immigration issue at large. I found his overview of Hispanic immigration helpful and his discussion of the Biblical material related to the "foreigner" among us to be excellent. The last chapter chapter on on where to go from here is quite good as well. I especially appreciated his discussion of Romans 13. If you are looking for a Biblical understanding of immigration largely divorced from political rhetoric, then this book is one of the ones you should read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    WARNING: What follows is a highly subjective review. This is the standard apply-Old-Testament-texts-dealing-with-foreigners approach to immigration. It begins with the assumption of American sovereignty. After reading several books on immigration, I've come to the conclusion that any view that doesn't address American beliefs in Manifest Destiny (and imperialism) and American Exceptionalism is short-sighted in this discussion. Also, any discussion of immigration that leaves out native Americans WARNING: What follows is a highly subjective review. This is the standard apply-Old-Testament-texts-dealing-with-foreigners approach to immigration. It begins with the assumption of American sovereignty. After reading several books on immigration, I've come to the conclusion that any view that doesn't address American beliefs in Manifest Destiny (and imperialism) and American Exceptionalism is short-sighted in this discussion. Also, any discussion of immigration that leaves out native Americans is missing the boat.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Great book covering the history of immigration, touching on both cultural and economic context. It also includes a biblical perspective concerning the issue from both the Old and New Testament. We should not be driven by partisan politics, but instead the guidance of the Bible. This book does a good job of providing a Biblical basis for our response as Christians to the immigration issue. Thought-provoking read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    The title pretty much says it. This book introduces a Biblical perspective on immigration and related issues, both in general in specifically applied to Hispanic/Latino immigration (both legal and otherwise) into the United States. A fairly quick read. I recommend it for any American who cares what the Bible has to say about anything, and especially for Christians who care about immigration policy or about how to relate to our Hispanic/Latino neighbors.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Good but brief look at the immigration issue from a Christian perspective. Does a good job of highlighting the numerous examples of immigrants in the bible and how important it is to be hospitable to strangers. I only gave it three stars because it really is short and just a very brief introduction to the issues to be considered. But we'd all be better off if Christians in this country took the approach the author advocates here rather than knee jerk partisan responses. Good but brief look at the immigration issue from a Christian perspective. Does a good job of highlighting the numerous examples of immigrants in the bible and how important it is to be hospitable to strangers. I only gave it three stars because it really is short and just a very brief introduction to the issues to be considered. But we'd all be better off if Christians in this country took the approach the author advocates here rather than knee jerk partisan responses.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    A challenge to all believers to take their faith seriously in regards to the issue of illegal immigration. Also a strong admonition to seek real truth instead of rhetoric and inflammatory false information.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Noemi Vega

    GREAT starting point for a Christian dialogue on this taboo topic!

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