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3 Stars Out Of 5
October 8, 2009
It has been almost a year now since one of the most high profile elections of recent history. With all the news in recent months about the economy and the debates over climate change, we forget that eleven months ago one of the hottest topics in the news was immigration reform. Many of us Midwesterners may have moved on to other debates, but I imagine that for many of our fellow Americans to the south immigration is still a daily concern. Concerned citizens have listened to the arguments from both the conservative and liberal points of view. But how should we who hold to a Biblical worldview look at this debate? Dr. James K. Hoffmeier, professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern archaeology at Trinity International University has recently added an under-represented perspective in his book The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible. In this very helpful book Hoffmeier surveys the practices of Ancient Near Eastern peoples as well as relevant Old Testament texts as a guide to how 'immigration' was handled in those days. One of the themes that recurs throughout Hoffmeier's discussion is the distinction that is made between legal and illegal immigrants in the Bible. The laws and traditions of the Ancient Israelites and their neighbors reveal that immigration was as a complex issue then as it remains to be today. Not only does Hoffmeier offer a comprehensive overview from both ancient texts and archaeology, he also presents his conclusions with great wisdom in how they might be applied today. Obviously nations such as our own would be unwise to adopt every law and practice of these ancient theocratic systems. Yet it is hard not to see how adopting some of these principles might move this country forward in finding a solution for the current crisis. Pick up a copy of The Immigration Crisis at your local Christian bookstore or order it from your favorite online retailer.
Hoffmeier carefully treads were few have ventured. Dr Hoffmeier has provided the careful exegetical basis for an informed decision on the Immigration crisis that is seen in the United States and mirrored, though in various forms, in most nations in the world. He is not afraid to challenge, graciously, the apparent non-biblical positions that pervade the current dialog on the matter.Hoffmeier use of ancient texts, maps, archaeological and anthropological data, in support of his biblical exegesis, makes this work not only useful, but an enjoyable trek through time.I commend this work to anyone who has engaged in the debate over a biblical approach to contemporary immigration policies and to those who are in positions to teach a biblical viewpoint.Excellent work, enjoyable read!!