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Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible Paperback – May 1, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"With a foot in both cultures and a sensitivity to the arguments of all sides, Carroll presents Christians at the Border to sort through the complicated and confusing immigration debate with nuance. Read and learn."--Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Immigration issues grip American politics and opinions. But what does the Bible say? What is at the heart of the Christian view on immigration? Danny Carroll's voice on this issue is like no other."--Leith Anderson, National Association of Evangelicals

"Danny Carroll's goal of providing Christians with a biblical and theological framework to participate in the US immigration debate as Christians is met brilliantly in Christians at the Border. It provides Christians of various political perspectives a framework from which to begin a conversation together."--Juan Francisco Martínez, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Carroll's grasp of the problems presented by immigration--political, economic, and familial--is balanced, restrained, and profound. Protestants and Catholics of all political leanings need to pay attention to this book."--William M. Shea, College of the Holy Cross

"A timely, must-read book for the church in the United States. This book helps us think through this complex issue clearly and soberly by presenting a well-documented historical and biblical perspective on immigration and people movements."--Dennis J. Rivera, Central Latin American District Council of the Assemblies of God, Denver, Colorado

"Combining prophetic zeal with a tender, pastoral tone, Carroll calls on Christians to adopt a distinctively Christian disposition to the issue of undocumented immigrants."--Daniel I. Block, Wheaton College

"With the skill of a biblical scholar, the heart of a prophet, and the rich background of a Guatemalan-American, Carroll speaks Solomonesque wisdom that will help us all."--Don Sweeting, Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church, Greenwood Village, Colorado

About the Author

M. Daniel Carroll R. (Ph.D., University of Sheffield) is distinguished professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary and adjunct professor at El Seminario Teologico Centroamericano in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He is the author or editor of several books, including Amos The Prophet and His Oracles: Research on the Book of Amos and Theory and Practice in Old Testament Ethics, and is a contributing editor to Prism. Dr. Carroll R. also founded I.D.E.A.L, a Spanish language training program at Denver Seminary.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 4.1.2008 edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080103566X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801035661
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Just to preface this, my dad immigrated to the US as a refugee, so I'm a fan of immigration on the whole. I also minister in a Hispanic community and therefore have many friends who have entered the US illegally--and I care deeply for them. Furthermore, I would guess Danny Carroll is probably a really nice guy--I have friends who know him personally. But while I might enjoy getting to know him as a person, I cannot recommend his book. The book, unfortunately, is extremely unbalanced. The problem stems from the fact that Danny is so hesitant to admit that entering the country illegally is wrong. He uses the phrase "Hispanic immigration" throughout the book as his focus, but for the most part is unwilling to differentiate between illegal immigration and legal immigration of Hispanics. An easy way to demonstrate this is his bibliography. He has sub-sections including "Sympathetic to Hispanic Immigration" with sites such as LULAC and National Council of La Raza, and "OPPOSED to Hispanic Immigration" with organizations like: Americans for Legal Immigration, Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, Heritage Foundation, etc. So, in his mind, if you are opposed to people entering the country illegally, you are opposed to ALL Hispanic immigration. And that is the problem with the entire book. He cites the history of immigration in our country. He spends chapters telling stories about examples of immigration in the Bible. He points out that Jesus emigrated to Egypt as a child and later was kind to foreigners (Samaritans). But he misses the point overall. Basically, he spends a lot of time showing that immigration has occurred in America's history and immigration occurred in biblical times. (Which seems obvious.) In general, "immigration" itself is not what people are debating. The problem is ILLEGAL immigration.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Daniel Carroll's book provides much needed information and inspiration to motivate and impassion the American church to heed the Biblical mandates of the Father to love the exile, stranger, sojourner, alien and foreigner.

In the way of legitimate introduction to the subject of immigration, Daniel Carroll is short on divisive statistics (thankfully) and long on presenting scriptural precepts to love the foreigner among us. He moves us into the immigration debate as Christians first , then as Americans; into our neighborhoods and communities to love the foreigner, then to advocacy on their behalf.

Carroll's inspiration for Christians to affect immigration is a result of his attempt to deepen our understanding of Yahweh, not only as Creator of all human beings, but also as righteous, omniscient provider and defender of strangers and aliens throughout history. In Christians at the Border, we come to a place of hope as we recognize the omniscience of God's design through the movement of people in the Old and New Testament. In HIS hands are man-made borders as well as the people who cross them, often in obedience to His call.

This hope precedes illumination. As we permit the Holy Spirit to stir our hearts with truth, we are invited to move rhythmically with God's plans, operating above the confines of earthly law, to accomplish far more spiritually with the divine weapons of love, compassion and humility.

One of the many strengths of the book lies in the abundance of Biblical references cited. Don't skip reading the very words of divine God. In fact, read them aloud. Let them saturate your heart to bring about the mind of Christ regarding the foreigner.
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Format: Paperback
Though the issue of illegal immigration is no stranger to America's history, the perfect storm of 9/11, the war against terror, political parties struggling for identity, and an economy that is moving from recession to depression has brought the issue to the fore of not only American politics but also to the attention of the church. Though our country may struggle to identify the "ethical" answer to the political quagmire of "illegal immigration," the church claims that her ethical standard, the bible, is fixed for all times, peoples, and places. How does the church respond then to the issue of illegal immigration? Carroll seeks to answer that question in a winsome and compassionate manner in Christians at the Border.

Carroll is no stranger to the issue since every member of his family has immigrated or knows someone who has immigrated to the US. Recognizing that certain titles in the discussion can be politically and emotionally charged, he replaces "illegal alien" with "undocumented immigrant." Carroll is convinced that many, including Christians, either consciously or unconsciously approach the issue of illegal immigration from "passionate ideological arguments, economic wrangling, or racial sentiment" (19). Though by no means exhaustive, Carroll endeavors to re-orientate one's thoughts on the issue through a more biblical and theological lens.

Carroll sets the stage in chapter 1 by giving a brief history of Hispanic immigration focusing on two of the most hotly debated issue: national identity and economic impact. He successfully demonstrates that the issue is by no means simple. For example, many boldly speak out against illegal immigration while reaping the benefits of the cheap labor that such a reality brings.
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