• Engage

    A Time to Lament

    I look around and see rancor, ignorance, division, tribalism, nationalism, dishonesty, and sin in the midst of many crises—racial injustice and a pandemic that has sidelined the sick and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and economic loss leaving millions unemployed. Hurricane season is on top of us, and apparently the forecast suggests a busy year. And last year’s issues haven’t gone away—#metoo, #churchtoo, the future for Dreamers (DACA) and the treatment of asylum seekers at the southern border.  I believe that God wants our attention. You may be like me—troubled by groups of hurting people, appalled by the lack of moral leadership in government and even the church,…

  • Engage

    Immigration in 2019: An Unprecedented Opportunity for Believers

    God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us—Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2 (NASB) Today famine, war, gang violence, sectarianism, and political power wrench people from their homes. They flee to save their lives or to escape imprisonment or abuse. Hoards of people flood across borders and live among those they once feared or even fought. The U.N. Refugee Agency has documented 68.5 million people displaced worldwide. Embers of hope glow among the coals of tragedy, though. The love of Christ compels Jordanian churches to reach out in love to those who once threatened them.…

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    One White Woman’s Thoughts on Immigration

    Admittedly, I never used to think much about immigration. Middle-class, Caucasian, Midwest U.S. American, immigration did not have an impact on my daily life. My high school graduating class was 99% Caucasian. The other 1% was African American. Everyone I knew looked like me, talked like me, and was (more or less) of the same economic status as me. The sum of my “immigration experience” was that my great-grandparents had emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States in the early 1900s, back when Lady Liberty still had open arms. When I became an architect and moved from Illinois to Texas, my immigration experience expanded only slightly. I understood that…

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    Sitting at the Table: Connecting Christians and Muslims

    Today I share this space with Nita Thomason–friend, teacher and accomplished writer. We want to give you an account of the growing friendships we have been cultivating with a group of women both similar and different from ourselves, with the hope that you might connect with your neighbors, wherever in the world you live. Many Christians have negative attitudes toward Muslims. The violent actions of a few, as well as economic pressure, have led to these attitudes in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Americans have negative sentiments as well. Pew Research documented these in 2014*. The months of bitter dialogue in the U.S. during and after the 2016 presidential…

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    So many Christian leaders disagree on Trump’s travel ban: Where I’ve come down

    Recently I was asked to sign a Lutheran Ministry’s petition protesting President Trump’s executive order on refugees. Frankly I felt very conflicted, unsure of how to respond.     Rarely has a national conversation about social justice been so loaded with appeals to the Bible and a Christian worldview. And yet rarely have Christian leaders been so divided in their response. Even Christian ministries to refugees and foreigners. Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse, is defending the order and our need for national security, World Vision and World Relief are protesting it.   So I’ve been digging into the issue, both biblically and with Christian thought leaders, and here are…

  • Bock

    On Immigration, Amnesty and the Gospel

    I want to let people know about the Table podcast for the next two weeks. It covers immigration. Here is the URL: http://www.dts.edu/thetable/play/biblical-response-immigration-policy/ We have purposely asked 4 Hispanic evangelicals to help us see the issues from their side of the conversation. It is too easy to get near-sighted about this conversation. I have heard a lot of discussion about not giving amnesty, upholding the rule of law, and that there are two kinds of immigration- legal and illegal.  Much of this ignores what we all know. Where we are now does not work. It allows for an underground economy where people who get from the system do not pay into…

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    Where Are You on Immigration?

    How many times have you moved in your lifetime? Remember how it felt to be new? Ugh. Our “foremothers” knew how that felt. Eve got sent east of Eden. Sarai followed her husband out of Ur. Hagar was cast out into the desert. And Rachel and Leah eventually moved far from their father, Laban. That’s just in Genesis. Experts estimate that about one in every thirty-five persons, or three percent of the world’s population, live as immigrants. Imagine it. That’s 192 million people who know how it feels to talk funny or dress funny or in some way feel like an outsider.  For those of us living in North America,…