How should the church respond to the large number of refugees around the world? In Refuge Reimagined, Mark and Luke Glanville show how a Biblical understanding of kinship calls Christians to welcome refugees in their communities and advocate for refugee rights nationally and internationally.
The book opens with a rich discussion of kinship in the Old Testament and Gospels. The authors reflect on how foreigners are treated and do not shy away from challenging Biblical passages. Of course, relations between community members and “outsiders” were different at that time: our modern world has defined nation-states, demarcated borders, passport control, migrant detention, and refugee camps. However, the authors argue the ethic of welcoming displaced persons as in the Bible should influence actions and politics today.
In later sections of the book, the authors explore how Christian theology should inform our response to refugees. They contrast the Biblical principle of inclusive kinship with the actions of politicians who exclude refugees. The authors call churches and nations to embrace a calling to public justice that celebrates diversity and is not afraid of refugees and migrants but rather welcomes, as kin, individuals who seek safety in a new land.
The book contains frequent examples that bring the scholarly analysis to life. This includes a focus on Kinbrace, a Vancouver organization that houses and supports refugee claimants as well as other examples of refugee advocacy in North America and Australia.
Overall, the book is a deeply researched account of how the Bible calls us to respond hospitably to individuals seeking a better, more secure, future.
By Mark R. Glanville and Luke Glanville
IVP Press, 2021