Our God is Undocumented Book Review

Book Review

 Our God is Undocumented is a “bifocal approach” to the issue of immigrant justice and migrant ministry in North America.  Ched Myers’ odd-numbered chapters offer biblical reflections on immigration, while Matthew Colwell’s even-numbered chapters narrate profiles of women and men involved in the struggle for immigrant justice.  The authors contend that, in Christ’s body, all dividing walls of hostility have been broken down, denying all rationale for xenophobia and exclusion and promising the hope of a “church without borders” for God’s people.

Myers chooses passages from both the Old and New Testaments to speak to the meaning of justice, reconciliation and inclusion.  Issues include cultural diversity and social ecology (Chapter 1); the practices of sanctuary and hospitality (Chapter 3), inclusiveness (Chapter 5); Jesus’ embrace of “the other” (Chapter 7); and anti-immigrant nativism (Chapter 9).  These chapters challenge the reader to look beyond traditional interpretation s and focus on the social, economic and political contexts the biblical stories narrate, so that the needs of “the other” are taken into full consideration.

Colwell features the work of two white North American ministers (Chapters 2 and 8), two Salvadoran activists (Chapters 4 and 6), and a Chicano human rights organizer (Chapter 10) to illustrate the struggle for justice against intolerance, ignorance, nativism and discrimination.  Their witness demonstrates the fight for justice can be long and difficult, but it is the path God’s people are called to walk.

Readers may not always agree with every interpretation given nor every position taken by the activists portrayed, but this book will force them to think more carefully about the call to justice and peace upon their lives.