On Easter night he appeared to the Eleven and said, “Why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself!” (Luke 24:38–39). Then he “opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). This is how much the Lord loves his people. Despite our doubts and fears, he continues to open our minds and hearts and teach us his truth.
He came as an infant. He will come again as an invincible warrior. For now, not only at Easter but in every season of the year, the Lord’s calling is clear: “Go, tell.”
So, let’s go, beloved. Let’s go and let’s tell. We’re called to be joyful, hopeful, faithful. The world is looking for answers, and because of Jesus, we have them. Now he wants us to share them. You and I can be Easter women every day of the year, living in the freedom of his resurrection and singing out with all our hearts, “He lives! He lives!”
It all depends on how you understand ‘safety.’
The obvious meaning of the title of Amy Peterson’s memoir, Dangerous Territory, is that she lived in a country where being a Christian was dangerous. Owning a Bible, watching the Jesus film, talking to friends and family about Jesus, going to religious conferences—all of it was dangerous. So dangerous in fact, that Peterson won’t mention the name of the country (which is somewhere in Southeast Asia).
But the under-the-surface meaning is that faith is dangerous, that following God is dangerous. Perhaps, even, that God himself is dangerous. Like Mr. Beaver said about Aslan in C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, “Safe?...Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn't safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
This God—the good, unsafe God—is not the kind of God American Christians talk about often in their churches. But when Amy went abroad, she encountered him with the force of a head-on collision.
Experiencing a Dangerous God
It’s easy to hear Mr. Beaver’s words about Aslan, apply them to God, and quote them as true. Tingles run up and down my arms when I hear the sentence, and I’m inclined to worship this great, complex God. But being inspired and praising a dangerous God is a lot easier than experiencing him, or watching people we love experience him.
I have spent the last 14 years in three different countries in the Horn of Africa. One of the most common questions I get is: Are you safe? This is a hard question to answer. Do I feel safe? Yes. Am I actually, truly, really safe? Well…Yes. No. What do you mean by “safe?”
Do you mean, “Are there bombs going off and guns everywhere and high risk...
Why Christians should support reforms that recognize both the dignity of immigrants and the rule of law.
Early in his new book, Just Immigration: American Policy in Christian Perspective, Mark Amstutz recounts the story of a young man in California who had completed law school and was seeking admission to the state bar. But his aspiration was so controversial that he eventually found himself in front of the California Supreme Court.
The problem? This young man was not an American citizen. His parents had brought him from Mexico to the United States when he was just a boy, and he was undocumented. In a surprising decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that even though the man was not authorized to be in the United States, he nonetheless could be admitted to the state bar and practice law.
Amstutz, professor of political science at Wheaton College, cites this story as an example of the incoherence and double-mindedness of US immigration policy. It certainly is that. But in a way, it’s also symbolic. What could better epitomize our national immigration debate than the image of a young man, on the threshold of fulfilling his American dream, facing the reality that he was never an American? On one side, hope for a better life. On the other, demands of justice and the rule of law. What should we make of this?
It’s this moral and political knot that Amstutz, who has researched and taught for nearly 30 years on the intersection of Christian ethics and public policy, wants to help untangle. Just Immigration is an admirably thorough, well-researched overview of the United States’ immigration policy. It’s also an explicitly Christian look at the ethical dimensions of national immigration laws and practice. Amstutz aims to reshape how American believers approach these intertwined issues.
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