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Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate [Paperback]

Our Price $ 14.45  
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Item Number 391879  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.67"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2009
Publisher   IVP Books
ISBN  0830833595  
EAN  9780830833597  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
World Relief staffers Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang move beyond the rhetoric to offer a Christian response to immigration. With careful historical understanding and thoughtful policy analysis, they debunk myths about immigration, show the limits of the current immigration system and offer concrete ways for you to welcome and minister to your immigrant neighbors.

Publishers Description
Immigration is one of the most complicated issues of our time. Voices on all sides argue strongly for action and change. Christians find themselves torn between the desire to uphold laws and the call to minister to the vulnerable. In this book World Relief staffers Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang move beyond the rhetoric to offer a Christian response to immigration. They put a human face on the issue and tell stories of immigrants' experiences in and out of the system. With careful historical understanding and thoughtful policy analysis, they debunk myths and misconceptions about immigration and show the limitations of the current immigration system. Ultimately they point toward immigration reform that is compassionate, sensible and just, as they offer concrete ways for you and your church to welcome and minister to your immigrant neighbors.

Buy Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate by Matthew Soerens, Jenny Hwang, Leith Anderson, Scott Newman, Michael Stipe, Virginia Cox & Cory Doctorow from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780830833597 & 0830833595

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More About Matthew Soerens, Jenny Hwang, Leith Anderson, Scott Newman, Michael Stipe, Virginia Cox & Cory Doctorow

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Matthew Soerens serves as the US Church Training Specialist for World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. In that role, he helps local churches and denominations to address issues of immigration from a distinctly biblical perspective. Previously, Matthew served as a Board of Immigration Appeals-accredited legal counselor with World Relief's local office in Wheaton, Illinois.

Matthew Soerens was born in 1983.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Incomplete, unbalanced, and simplistic book on a complex issue  Mar 2, 2010
This book is narrow and simplistic in scope and, as such, can be 'manipulative' by delivering ½ truths and incomplete information. After reading both Welcoming the Stranger and Carol Swain's Debating Immigration, respectfully, Soerons and Hwang may need to rethink what they are delivering in their future seminars and writings.

This book may be well meaning, however, it may well do more harm than good to, and for, illegal immigrants, their families, their home countries, American churches, the American culture, and American families. Any church that is recommending this book as the only book resource on illegal immigration may well be contributing to this hurt.

As is well known, immigration is an enormously complex issue for every country in the world. As such, there are significant religious, as well as philosophical, legal, economic, and cultural aspects that require logical, respectful, and thorough 'all sides of the story' debate.

My suggestion is you not read this book if you want a logical, balanced, comprehensive, and a more complete Christian understanding of the current immigration crisis in the USA. The chapter on the 'Thinking Biblically About Immigrants' is the shortest chapter in the book and minimizes the importance of Roman's Chapter 13.
Vital and Timely Resource  Feb 24, 2010
This is an excellent book written by a pair of authors who posess both a deep knowledge of the facts of immigration and its history as well as deep convictions about the compassion and justice that God would have those who want to follow his Word administer to "the stranger." This book does not promote "amnesty" as many would call it, and explain how reform means making a way and a process for things to BECOME right, not just blind forgiveness without any consequences. Any Bible-believing Christian, whether they think immigrants are their neighbors whose welfare should concern them or not, NEEDS to care about immigration because of how much God talks about the poor, the stranger, and loving our neighbors in His Word- this book helped me understand this. As another reviewer mentioned, this book helps people in any place in the immigration thought process- whether you've never really known much about it, you are fighting for reform, or you are against it, this book is a treasure. It has been a blessing and an encouragement to me. As a white person growing up and living in an all-white community and only dealing with "white people" issues (AKA, nothing about immigration), I have to confess that I was rather judgemental and hateful when it came to thinking about immigrants, especially undocumented ones. This book helped me understand that there IS no line for people to stand in, and that those who come here illegally do not do it to be selfish or lazy, but rather as a matter of survival. So many people are living in nightmare situations because of the lack of reform in this country, and this book has helped me see the great need for reform because of immigration issues across SO many culture groups and countries. I HIGHLY recommend this book!!
Challenging reminder we are all aliens  Oct 26, 2009
Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang write a compelling analysis of our immigration dilemma. Not only do they address the history of immigration and current proposed solutions to the debate, but they provide the very heart of the issue through personal stories, and a well-presented review of Scripture. I have the privilege of working with many immigrants and appreciate Matthew and Jenny's dispelling common immigrant myths. I strongly recommend their book and hope it sheds light for many on this complex and important issue.

Bruce Strom
Administer Justice
My favorite book of the year!  Oct 14, 2009
The short story:

1. This is the clearest, most concise, and irenic book on a political issue that I have ever read. (And I don't say that about many books, feel free to peruse my other reviews).

2. All Christians should read this book. This is an issue about which we cannot remain ignorant and silent. In fact, read it and buy an extra copy for your pastor.

The long(er) story:

I still can't quite grasp what made a book about immigration so riveting and spiritual, and yet those are the two words I feel most accurately describe this book. While it's not a page turner a-la-John-Grisham, I found myself chewing on ideas the authors had expressed and longing to know more. Combining the basic Biblical value of care for one another with the need for Christian involvement in immigration support and reform, Matt Soerens and Jenny Hwang lay out a clear, well-documented, and compelling examination of the state of immigration in America.

While keeping the value of the individual at the forefront, they examine the complex dynamics of undocumented workers, the history of immigration in the US, and legal components of our modern day immigration policy. While addressing concerns regarding immigration, they also present the positive effects that immigration has on a society. Finally, they close the book with a call to the church to embrace the `stranger among us'. Spiritually, I appreciated most their commitment to integrate justice, compassion, and truth by presenting both individual stories and national responsibilities. Their ultimate perspective seems well summarized through what Intervarsity pastor Bill Nelson says, "Whenever there is opportunity for the church to reach out to people in our communities, we must consider what it will take to further the kingdom. If it means putting down the American flag and raising the kingdom flag, that is what we should do."

I've tried reading other books on immigration, but none of them have been so clear in connecting all the dots between history, policy, and Biblical mandates. Thank you, Matthew & Jenny. You've given us all a great gift. I'll be passing my copy along to as many people as possible!
Wellmeaning but weak  Jun 19, 2009
I don't doubt that the authors are earnest devoted evangelical Christians, but their argument is seriously flawed.

1. They insist on using the euphemism "undocumented" instead of "illegal" with the obvious purpose of playing down the illegality of illegal immigration. But using a nicer word doesn't negate illegality. They also try to blur the distinction between legal & illegal by reducing illegal status to merely lacking a piece of paper. One wonders if these earnest young evangelicals would accept the same argument regarding cohabiting versus marriage. "Oh, we're not shacking up; we just have an undocumented marriage." Somehow I don't think so. They also try to make illegal immigration analagous to breaking the speed limit -- "Well, we all do it." If I may use the above comparison again, I doubt they would accept the argument of "everybody does it" for unmarried couples living together. They admit that illegal aliens are, in fact, breaking the law, but they want to play that down, or justify it, as much as possible.

2. Much of their evidence for defending illegals is based on anecdotal evidence. They adhere to the "once you know them you'll love them" argument & back this up with personal stories of illegals with heart-rending tales. The cynical might call these "sob stories." But my problem with this form of argument is that it proves nothing. Those against illegal immigration can just as easily come up with horror stories of criminal behavior by illegals.

3. While the authors pay lip service to the notion of regulating immigration & having some limits on who can come in, the logic of their argument leads to the opposite conclusion. They give no rationale at all as to how such limits should be determined. In fact, they seem to suggest that (with the possible exception of terrorists & those with infactious diseases)every person in the world has a right to come to the US simply because they're poor & that we have no right to keep them out.

4. In Ch. 4 "Immigrating the Legal Way" they make the bizarre argument that because there are currently (in their opinion) such stringent limits on legal immigration a person who can't get in any other way is perfectly justified in entering illegally, & what's more, it's the US's fault! This is analagous to saying that a person is justified in robbing a bank because the bank won't just give him money when he asks, & then the robbery is the bank's fault because they wouldn't give him the money in the first place!

I do, however, give the authors credit for two things. They do not label their opponents as bigots & racists as so many pro-illegal activists do, & they do acknowledge that there are Christian authors (e.g. Carol Swain, James Edwards, Roberta Combs) who take a restrictionist position on illegal immigration. But I'm still not buying what they're selling.

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