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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  35 reviews
An internationally recognized immigration expert helps readers think biblically about this divisive issue, offering accessible and sympathetic guidance for the church. Now updated and revised.
ebook, 208 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Brazos Press (first published May 1st 2008)
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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
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 ...more
The first section, on the history of immigration in the US, was excellent. The rest was not as good.
Michael Wallace
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kalli N
Jan 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 ...more
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
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. ...more
David Pham
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Renee  Bergin
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kati Higginbotham
Some of the grammar is problematic, but this is a must read for Christians. Biblically informed and even handed.
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.
Rennae de Freitas
Jun 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phd
Excellent but needs to updated.
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians, those concerned with immigration issue
Recommended to Skjam! by: Goodreads
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
Jacob O'connor
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in immigration issues
Recommended to David by: Web search
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 ...more
Dec 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jun 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Chris Schutte
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Karl Mueller
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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. ...more
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.
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Daniel Carroll Rodas (PhD, University of Sheffield) is distinguished professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado, where he founded IDEAL, a Spanish language training program. He is also an adjunct professor at El Seminario Teológico Centroamericano in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He is the author or editor of several books, including Amos--The Prophet and His Oracles: Resear ...more

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“What all Christians should appreciate is that the more they can grasp about migration and the experiences of immigrants, the more they will understand their faith—that is, the truths of such convictions as the reality of having another (heavenly) citizenship and the rejection that can come from being different, as well as the vulnerability that surfaces with needing to be dependent on God. Sadly, it is not uncommon for Christians to not feel like “strangers in a strange land”; their place of residence has lost its strangeness, and now they join others in wanting to keep strangers out. The” 0 likes
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