Immigration continues to be one of the most divisive issues, both in the culture at large and in the church. Migration was one of the central concerns of the Bible since the people of God were a people on the move for much of biblical history. Join Sean and Scott for this stimulating discussion with Dr. Daniel Carroll Rodas, on what the Bible has to say about immigration.

More About Our Guest

Portrait of Daniel Carroll Rodas

Dr. M. Daniel Carroll, R.(Rodas), is Blanchard Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He is the author of several books, including Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church and the Bible, and The Bible and Borders: Hearing God’s Word on Immigration. Dr. Carroll is half-Guatemalan and was raised bilingual and bicultural. In his youth, he spent many summers in Guatemala and later taught at El Seminario Teológico Centroamericano in Guatemala City for thirteen years. Dr. Carroll has been involved in Hispanic churches and teaching on the Bible and immigration for many years.

Episode Transcript

Scott Rae: Welcome to the podcast. Think biblically conversations on faith and culture. I'm your host, Scott Rae, dean of faculty and professor of Christian ethics at Talbot School of Theology here at Biola University.

Sean McDowell: And I'm your cohost Sean McDowell, professor of apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Scott Rae: We're here today with a long time friend of mine, won't say my old friend, my longtime friend.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Your senior friend.

Scott Rae: Well, something like that. He's Dr. Danny Carroll who holds an endowed chair in Old Testament at Wheaton College. Danny and I go way back. We've been friends for a very long time, and I think what he's most well known for, he's a wonderful Old Testament scholar. I think he's best known for his work on immigration, his book, Christians at the Border, and your new book, which will be coming out soon entitled-

Daniel Carroll Rodas: The Bible and Borders, will be out mid-May.

Scott Rae: Okay, great. So Danny, really good to have you with us. Thanks for coming and hanging out with us and talking about some of the issues around the Bible and immigration. First of all, tell us a little bit about how you got interested in this subject?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Well, if I were to give you my full name, it'd be Danny Carroll Rodas. I'm half Guatemalan. My mother was from Guatemala and in Latin America you have two surnames. If you're a man, your second surname is your mother's maiden name, so of course, that will change then every generation. Like my sons would not have Rodas at the end of their name. They'd have Carney, which is my wife's maiden name. So it's been very much a part of who I am. I was raised bilingual, bi-cultural in Houston, and we would go to Guatemala about every year.

We'd have family come up and then I worked as a professor there for 13 years and go back about every year. But anyway, when we moved back to the US eventually I got involved with Hispanics, Latinos and Latinas, and that's where the immigration thing came in. I started going to a Latino church and probably 95% of the people there were undocumented. And what got me into this was just wondering what would Christians have to say about this. And at that time, I'm going back now maybe 2007. If you were talking about this with Christians, it was basically the same conversation you'd have with people who didn't believe except maybe they'd have a verse or two tagged on at the end.

So that's what got me into thinking, what does the Bible say? And I had no idea at the time and what I've learned over the years, it's just a massive amount of material in the Bible, and that's how I got into it. I mean, part of it was my cultural and linguistic background and now that's one of the things that I've been doing for over a decade. Working on immigration reform and traveling and speaking on this both to majority culture Anglos, and also to Latinos and others.

Scott Rae: So you've been involved both at biblical and theological level. And also at the public policy?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: I've been in conferences and things, but I've been doing this with universities and colleges and seminaries and local churches, denominational meetings, whether regional or national. I've been with some policy stuff but that was more before I came to Chicago. Because Colorado is a different world. In Chicago, it's a monster. So, it's been mostly now on the Christian side of it, where before it was a little bit broader.

Scott Rae: Okay. So, why don't we start out biblically and theologically.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Okay.

Scott Rae: How would you summarize the Bible's teaching on the responsibility of the people of God toward immigrants?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: I think what I would do if I were speaking in a church or with your audience, I would say the Bible begins with migration. I mean, we're told that we were [inaudible] of God. We're supposed to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. Well, how do humans do this? We migrate. And you see the first people moving in Genesis chapter four. And so, what you begin to see then is that the story in the Bible is the story of migration of all these different peoples, whether usually because of war or famine or things like this.

And even the New Testament, you're seeing the same. The church begins on the move. We're actually told to go out and make disciples of all the nations. He's actually calling us to migrate for mission. And book of Acts begins with all these diaspora communities. So what I would say is that the storyline of the Bible is the story of people on the move. Then the next question is, how does God respond to this? And is he only interested in his own people moving? Or is he interested more broadly? And that's some of the discussion we'll probably get into. But that's what I would begin to say, is that God loves humans, and humans migrate, thus the history of the world. And so God's been involved in this from the very beginning. And so this is our call now too, is to begin to ask ourselves, how do we engage now those who are migrating worldwide?

Sean McDowell: So, let's explore that question that you hinted at.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Okay.

Sean McDowell: Is God just interested in his people, such as the great commission migrating for all people?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah, I'd say both. Because we're told to kind of migrate, if I can use that word for the great commission, with a missional purpose. Okay? But what you find in the Bible, besides early on in Genesis, and I do a lot of work in the prophets. So if you went to Amos chapter nine verse seven, he'll actually say that he was involved in moving people's. Right? And so you can see that God's actually been involved in the movement of peoples in the history of the world. And now it's very interesting because now, and you probably all know this, but there's something called diaspora missiology, because now it's not only that we are to go to the world, the world has come to every other part of the world.

So in this country, you've got Africans, you've got Russians, you've got Latin Americans, you've got people from all over the world who are believers that have come into this country. And now there's a global conversation on mission from diaspora into the host countries. So, if you're in the UK, you'll find large African populations. The largest Anglican church in the world is in Nigeria. So now they're sending out missionaries. And so what you're seeing now is, diaspora communities, like African communities in London, starting churches and evangelizing, and now you're seeing mission from the diaspora and not just us going. So, the divine involvement is multi-layered and multi-directional.

Scott Rae: Danny, let's be a little bit more specific on some of the biblical teaching on migration. I think a lot of the biblical texts that we use to set parameters around the discussion come from the mosaic law. And yet, the New Testament I think, is pretty clear that we're not under the civil law today as a rule of life. So, what's the relevance of the mosaic law, which has fairly sizable amount of material in it on migration. In fact, it's the admonition to treat immigrants as you would treat the native born, for example. So, what's the relevance of the mosaic law to this discussion?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: I think you've got to begin that conversation in the right place, and I would not begin it there. Where you begin it is, does God have a heart for people on the move? And his people are on the move from the very beginning, I mean, Abraham was a migrant. Was his whole life. The only property he bought was to bury his wife. So, if you believe that God loves humanity, and as Christians we believe that he does, and that humanity is a migrating creature or creatures, then the question is how do God's people respond to that even as they're migrating? And now the law becomes an expression of the heart of God. So, it's not a question of, "Oh, in the modern world, do we bring over the Old Testament law?" My answer would be, "No," that would make no sense.

Not only would it make no sense theologically, it would make no sense anthropologically, historically, politically. We're not 1000 BC peasant community. Right? So the question would be, the proper question is, how should we express concern for migrants today within the church, the people of God, but also in the broader society, if we believe it reflects the heart of God? Now you've changed the whole use of the law. The law becomes an instance of how to do it for that ancient time. Now the question is how do we do it for our time? It's a very different kind of question.

Scott Rae: Appreciate you sharpening my questions.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: That's why I'm here. No.

Scott Rae: But I think that's really helpful I think, because that frames it completely different.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah, yeah. Yep.

Scott Rae: So let me, at risk of having you reframe the question again for me-

Daniel Carroll Rodas: That's why I'm here.

Scott Rae: I know. That's why we're paying you the big dollars. But the Bible does use different terms for people on the move. Right?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Right.

Scott Rae: What's are the two to three main terms that are used and are there morally, meaningful differences between those two?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah. It's interesting because in the ancient world, they would know differences just like we do. So, there was a term or there is a term, and it's in English, we would say G-E-R, the Ger. Not all of them were foreigners, but a lot of that population were foreigners who'd come in and these were people who were coming in, and apparently they were coming in to stay, and there was a whole series of things about how to engage them. There are other terms, the Nokri is more of a negative term and we seem to get the idea that they're the ones who are coming in and they're not interested. We think some of them may have been merchants or people just for a time.

And it actually becomes a negative term beyond the migration debate. Because even if you go to the book of Proverbs, he uses the strange woman. Okay? That's the feminine form of that word. And so obviously there, that's not a good thing. And so, what you find in the Old Testament is different vocabulary to talk about different kinds of people who come in. Now we do that today as well. I mean we have different legal terms, and so if you say immigrant, legally that's not the same thing as a refugee. That's not the same thing as an asylee. So even we come up with different words to express different things, and so they did as well, which is fascinating.

Sean McDowell: Were there different obligations toward the Ger as opposed to the Nokri in ancient Israel? And if so, what does that tell us?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Well, that's the point. I mean, there were different obligations. The obligations were to the Ger. And so, I think as we make our own distinctions, some of those distinctions will be about provision and legal status and things like that in modern terms. You're getting the same kind of idea where you have distinctions that will play themselves out in legal things in terms of law courts, in terms of economics, in terms of their religious life. And what you find is that there's mechanisms in place in the Old Testament to incorporate the Ger, see, and also to educate them. I mean, there's this periodic reading of the law in Deuteronomy 31, where the Ger was supposed to be present. Well, that makes sense. Because if you want them to integrate into the society, they need to hear the law. So, you begin to see that they would have to learn Hebrew for instance.

They would have to learn the laws. They'd have to learn their religion, and we get the idea that a number of them of course would have come to faith in the God of Israel.

Sean McDowell: So, we see God's heart for his people as immigrants and to be welcoming towards those who migrate?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Right.

Sean McDowell: Is there biblical precedent for nations being held accountable? Even in the Old Testament, not God's chosen people, for how they treat immigrants that come in. Will God hold other nations today accountable outside the nation of Israel for how they deal with immigration?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: If I were to reframe the question-

Sean McDowell: Please do.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: As an Old Testament person. Where you see how God deals with people and not Israel, is how they treat other people, especially in warfare and things like this. And so, if the mistreatment of humans is what is judged, and in the ancient world, a lot of the people who were taken away were captives in war and things like this. People running away from war. And there are actually some laws and the Old Testament actually has a law that's the exact opposite. We have laws in the ancient world that if someone ran away, like a runaway slave to a different land, the new land was under obligation to send that person back.

Things like this, you see, which is prohibited in the Old Testament law. So it's not, when you see God speaking about it in the Old Testament, it's not so much about the migrant question. It's more about how they treat humans. And so from our discussion, the human question becomes a subset of that. It's, how do nation states treat other humans? And so that becomes... And so if you were to think about today, for instance, if you've got this massive human rights problem because of literally millions of people fleeing Syria. So what do you do with Syrian refugees? People in need. Okay? That becomes the question before God. You see? How do you treat humans in need? That's the bigger question.

Sean McDowell: So, how does scripture then weigh into the public policy discussions today? Because we sit here and go, absolutely, this is God's heart for people. Nonbelievers would go, "Well, I don't believe in your God and your scriptures." How would you bring that into these discussions?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Well, that's really a bigger historical and theological question. How does the church engage government? And now you've got different, it depends if you're of a reform tradition, if you're a Roman Catholic, if you're from the Anabaptist tradition, or Lutheran tradition, you're going to answer that question differently. So, the bigger question is how do Christians engage the public square? And it depends on your tradition. So, if you're an Anabaptist, you don't engage very much. I mean, that's the point. You've backed away. But if you're a reformed person, for instance, the idea is you're under obligation to inject into the public square what we would say would be biblical and Christian values. With the Lutherans, the two kingdoms, right hand left hand, it's a bit different. So, it would depend on what group I'm talking to. You see?

So there's no easy answer to your question. It depends on people defining their particular tradition. What happens with many evangelicals, they don't even know that there are these traditions. They're just looking for Bible verses. Okay? And historically, for centuries, this has been the ongoing Christian question, you see. How do Christians engage the public square?

Scott Rae: Danny, seems to me that much of the discussion on immigration that takes place in the US and maybe even more so in Europe, is focused on the issues related to the host country that people on the move are coming into, and the issue issues facing the host country.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Right.

Scott Rae: But I think you've maintained that we ought to see the debate through maybe a different set of lenses, through the lenses of the people on the move themselves.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Right.

Scott Rae: How do you get at that shift in emphasis as you talk to people in churches in a majority culture, to get them to move away from those lenses a bit, and to see it more through the lenses of the people on the move?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: I think it's a both hand, because the host country is the one receiving and they have to be the ones that integrate. Right? So, it's not that you pit those two, but you add another dimension. So if you begin to go into, for instance, a lot of the narratives of the Old Testament, they're narratives of people who are migrating. And what I have seen is that a lot of these stories in the old Testament and the New, resonate and are very similar to stories for today. So, I think if people would listen to the stories of those who have come, which are the stories of everyone in the pew, maybe two generations ago or three generations ago, those were their stories too. And what we have in this country, I would say, is historical amnesia. So, we've forgotten the immigrant stories up to a point.

So, for instance, if you were to go to the end of the 19th century into the early part of the 20th century, we had a massive influx of very poor Irish farmers, uneducated, and they were marginalized and they were ghettoized in Boston and New York. And there was a lot of discrimination against the Irish. But now we have St. Patrick's Day, which is totally ironic. So this people that we despised, now we celebrate and everyone wears green or something. Right? So, but what you're seeing is historic amnesia of those immigrant stories, which were the immigrant stories of the people who are now the host country.

So I think getting back to those stories, what I do when I talk to people, I show them political slides, cartoons, from about 1880, 1890, and it's the Chinese back then. And it's the Irish. And I say this is what we were doing 130-40 years ago. And the only thing that changes is the color of the skin and the country of origin. But we keep forgetting our stories. And so, the people who come in have their stories, which were the stories of everybody's ancestors at some point. And if we begin to appreciate the human face of migration and not just the legal setup for migration, it makes for a more Christian conversation.

Sean McDowell: One of the things I appreciate about your book is the way you started it off. You tell stories of people, say for example, migrants coming over who died on their journey and that tragedy. And then you told the story of people who were killed by undocumented immigrants and said, "This also cries out for justice."

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Right.

Sean McDowell: It seems to me that you're trying to find a middle ground and kind of push on both sides. So, speak to the people, and you can use whatever terms you want to say, the left or the right. How would you push back on those two and try to find a middle ground?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah, I think as Christians, and you guys teach at Talbot and Biola also, I know you would agree with this. Every human is a sinner, and so in any population, whatever color of skin, whatever country of origin, there is going to be a percentage of bad people. All right? So, what you find in the media, of certain kinds, if there's an immigrant to kill somebody or rape somebody or something like this, what that can happen... I call it the Haman effect. It's like the book of Esther where Haman gets angry at one, and his whole plan is to eliminate all of them. I mean, so you get that kind of thing. So, you'll find the one or two bad ones and go, "See, they're all like this." Okay? And as a Christian I would say, "No, I don't have to defend all immigrants, because there are going to be some bad ones." Just like there's bad white people and black people who are native born. That would be something you would expect as a Christian.

So that's what I would push back on, if you use your term, the left. Don't idealize the immigrant. They're sinners. They're needy, but they're sinners. And then on the other, on the right, if I were to use your, don't stereotype. Don't go from the few examples to stereotype the whole group. And we know for a fact statistically that immigrants tend to be more law abiding because they're frightened about breaking the law. So, you meet your bad ones, but the general immigrant population tends to be very law abiding. The church I attended when I was in Denver, I remember hearing a sermon, and part of what he was talking about was telling his people from the pulpit to don't go over the speed limit. Okay? Now you would never hear that in a native born church, but why do you think he's telling his people? So they don't get pulled over. You see? So what you're seeing is they keep their head down. They want to be invisible because they're scared. And so, they'll be pretty law abiding. So, both sides have something to learn in this discussion.

Scott Rae: Danny, I know most of your experience has been in the American scene with Hispanic immigration, but I know you know some things about what's going on in Europe, too.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Scott Rae: How is the situation different in Europe than it is in the US?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: It's different in multiple levels. So, let me just focus on one that may be the one you're getting at. What helps the US in this whole global phenomenon of... The United Nations tells us over 270 million people are moving right now. And over 70 million would be classified as refugees. What helps the US is its geography. So we have an ocean on both sides. We have Canada to the north and we actually have undocumented Canadians in this country, for instance. People don't think about that, but we have the southern border. Right? But if you're in Europe, you don't have the luxuries of these oceans and all these kinds of things. So part of it, we have a simpler problem in a sense. But the other thing that I think people in this country need to be appreciative of, so when you're talking about immigrants coming from Latin America, what you're talking about are people from a Catholic worldview.

So at the very least, they have some kind of Christian sense about them. And a lot of them that come up are actually believers of whatever kind. And so in a sense, and I've been with Hispanic pastors that believe this, that the Lord is bringing Christians by the millions into this country. So when people say, "Oh, the church is dying," my response is, "The Anglo church is dying, but every major denomination is holding it's numbers or growing when they start counting immigrant churches." And so, in many ways we need to begin to think too that in his grace, God has brought us millions of Christians. Many of whom we don't want, because of the politics, but ironically, they can actually help revitalize the church here in this country.

Scott Rae: So, they're coming from a very similar worldview as the majority culture.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah, you don't have to-

Scott Rae: Which is not the case in Europe.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: So, we don't have to convince people who come from Catholic Latin America about God or the Bible or the Trinity or sin or the cross. That's just part of the cultural given, you see. But if you're in Europe, the pressure coming out of the Middle East, right, and North Africa, you see? They're getting different pressures that the US doesn't have. And I think we need to be appreciative of that. And some of those coming into Western Europe are needy and need to be taken. I'm thinking specifically of the Syrians.

Sean McDowell: I wonder if you could speak to the tension that I think some Christians feel in the sense of the call to love their neighbor and immigrants. And yet the biblical call, like Romans 13 to respect the law of the land. And I noticed you're really careful in the introduction to your book, Christians at the Border. You say, "Let's not use terms like they are not criminals for people who come across the border and immigrate." How would you encourage Christians in this dilemma to respect the law and yet love their neighbors the way scripture talks about it?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: It'd be several things I'd answer. One is, one of the nice things about this country is that when laws are bad, we can change them. And we do this all the time, whether at local school elections to city, state, whatever. And what most people assume is that, well this is US law, it must be good. And my answer would be, "Okay, you just told me you don't know US immigration law. You don't know how it's built. You don't know the quota systems. You don't know all these things or it's history and you don't know how bad it really is." And so what I would say in Romans 13 is, okay, first of all we need to realize that it's a bad law. It's inefficient and it's old and it doesn't work. Everyone realizes that we need to reform it. And the other thing that I would say is, Romans 12 is where I think the Christians need to begin. Because Roman 12 says, "Don't be molded," you see, "By the world, but renew your mind."

And what happens is, in these discussions, the church's mind has been molded by their political party, either one. And so we need to begin to renew our minds with what the scripture says. And then, I know we're kind of running out of time, so let me just make this real quick. But when I walk through people in this, I go, okay, but in Romans 12 after this idea about it not being molded, and then it says, "When your enemy is hungry, you give them food. And when your enemy is thirsty, you give them something to drink" I said, "So even if you think immigrants are your enemy, we are called to serve them." Now we get to Romans 13 and it says to submit to the government, but everybody knows that you don't agree with everything that government does. That's why we're having elections in a few months. Right?

Some people want to change the laws. I mean, we're doing this all the time. And so if we can begin just to step back and go, this is true in a very general sense, but there's some specific laws that need to be changed. Because they're, like I said, they're old, they don't work, and sometimes they're very cruel. And the administration has been lowering the number of refugees from up to a hundred thousand. It's now down I've heard to maybe, he's going to reduce it to 13,000. You're just seeing that this isn't just throw me a verse. This is a lot more complex with all kinds of political negotiations and compromises going on and prejudices. And so we need to just be a little more careful with the Romans 13 piece.

Sean McDowell: So here's the question I know other people ask. They'll say, "If we just open up and adopt immigrants, it's going to change our culture, and we'll lose the unity that binds us together as a nation." Speak to that concern a little bit.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah, I would say this. Our nation has changed all the time. So, I have this article that Benjamin Franklin wrote, and he was afraid of the Germans because there was German colonies in the US, and so he said they have their own churches and their own schools, their own newspapers and their own stores. And he was worried about that they could get Anglicized. And then he said two things that are just amazing. He goes, "And the men beat their mothers." And you go, "Where did that come from?" But what you're seeing is the prejudice. Right? And then he goes, "And they have a different pigment than we do."

And I'm going, "Really?" The Brits and the Germans look that different? But what you were seeing is, you see, the same kind of phenomenon 250 years ago. And so, all throughout our history, our country, and this is one of the beautiful things of the US, it absorbs. It absorbs and... Like the Irish example. People we rejected and hated and we put into ghettos, now we've mainstreamed St. Patrick's Day. And you're seeing with Hispanics, 40% of baseball are Hispanics. Major league soccer, the food, the music, you're seeing it being absorbed even as we push back at them. You see, this is the beautiful thing about the country, but this is why you need integration, because you need a national narrative. So, you need to integrate the foreigner, you see. Do it well as we've always done it and as we move forward.

Because if you don't have some kind of national narrative, the thing collapses. And I would say... Can I go back to the Romans 13 thing real, real quick? When people give me that I go, "Okay," this is kind of a hardcore example. So I'll say, "Let's go to Birmingham, Alabama in 1950, and give me Romans 13 where racism was legal and sanctioned in very cruel ways." Do you want Romans 13... Let me even push it. Let's go to Alabama in 1850, and do Romans 13. It gets me a little uncomfortable. You see? Because now we're talking about legalized buying and selling of people and slaves. I mean Romans 13 gets very uncomfortable, you see. So this is why the Romans 13 thing needs to be little more complicated. But I appreciate the concern about the assimilation or integration piece.

And if we're talking the immigration reform, we're not talking open borders. No one actually talks that. Now, what happens is, you'll find somebody on YouTube who does. Right? Or somebody out there. So okay, there are people out there, but everyone who is of sound mind wants immigration reform, knows it's going to be a process, it's going to take compromise, it needs to be organized, the border needs to be organized well, all these different things need to be put into place for it to be done well. So, no one really is talking open borders, but that's where the politics comes into play sometimes.

Scott Rae: Okay. So let me ask you one last question.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: All right.

Scott Rae: And if you want to defer on the political part, be my guest.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Okay.

Scott Rae: But if you were king for a day, and could write immigration law, what's the maybe one or two things that would be at the top of the list of things that you would want to fix?

Daniel Carroll Rodas: I'd say current US laws about entry. The problem is that once they're inside, US law doesn't have anything to do with them except deport them. So, an example of that that everyone talks about is the DACA students. Under US law, there's nothing that can be done. So I think the first... And their parents. The first thing that would need to be done is to work with those who are inside because current US law doesn't even have anything except deportation, which makes no sense. That you have 11 and a half million people that are actually working and having families and contributing to the economy and to our communities, and there's no way legally at all for them to become, have their status made legal. Most people don't know that. They just assume they don't want to. No, there's nothing actually they can do.

The other thing that I would change that would be... Actually was part of a negotiation a number of years ago, but never made it out of the Senate, was to put the quota system, which is now in place and your audience may not know this, but US immigration numbers are dictated by quotas. But the quotas were established decades ago, but would be to link the quotas to US economic need. So, I'll give you one example. So, we need unskilled labor. So we're talking construction, farmers, all kinds of things like that. Landscaping, which we need a lot.

The current US quota, annually for the country, is between five and 10,000. Well, I bet you where your listeners are, in their town, there's more than that. But that tells you that is an unworkable number. So, if we... I was told, this was several years ago, that what we need was half a million a year. Okay? To meet labor needs. And if you can link quotas to actual labor and economic need, it makes perfect sense. You see? But in the political football, you see, people don't want to go there. But it's those kind of common sense things would really help. So, those would be two quick things. Who's inside and then just link it to economic need.

Scott Rae: Both of those I think make a ton of sense. And it would be nice if the people who are writing our laws could see that. But I get the emphasis on it will require negotiation or-

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Compromise.

Scott Rae: ... Compromise.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yep.

Scott Rae: Which probably means that the final products won't be perfect-

Daniel Carroll Rodas: For anybody.

Scott Rae: It's going to be flawed and we'll continue to work at correcting that in the years to come.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah.

Scott Rae: Danny, this has been really insightful.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Scott Rae: So appreciate this and appreciate how you framed this theologically so well. I want to commend to our listeners, your book Christians at the Border and your new book that will be out, called the Bible and the Border.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: No, Bible and Borders.

Scott Rae: Bible and Borders.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah.

Scott Rae: Yep.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: That'll be out in mid-May.

Scott Rae: Okay. Great. So I commend both. They're both terrific books theologically, really well grounded, tied to the text really nicely. But also, just a rich application coming out of your own experience, not only personally, but your own experience in working with people on the move.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Well, I appreciate that Scott.

Scott Rae: Much appreciate it for you being with us.

Daniel Carroll Rodas: Yeah, thanks. Been fun. Thanks.

Sean McDowell: This has been an episode of the podcast Think Biblically, conversations on faith and culture. To learn more about us and today's guest, Dr. Danny Carroll, and to find more episodes, go to It's If you enjoyed today's conversation, give us a rating on your podcast app and share it with a friend. Thanks so much for listening and remember, think biblically about everything.