Published: October 31, 2019
New book by AMBS professor written to help congregations engage the topic of migration
Drawing on his vast scholarly and practical knowledge, Safwat Marzouk, Ph.D., AMBS Associate Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, offers a biblical vision of an intercultural church — one that fosters justice and diversity, integrates different cultural articulations of faith and worship, and embodies an alternative to the politics of assimilation and segregation. In a time of political polarization around global migration, this biblical vision affirms cultural, linguistic, racial, and ethnic differences as gifts from God that can enrich the church’s worship, deepen its sense of fellowship, and broaden its witness to God’s reconciling mission in the world.
Today's church faces the challenge of what it means to be church in the light of the ever-growing diversity of the population. This may entail advocacy work on behalf of the undocumented, asylum seekers, and refugees, but the church also faces the question of how to welcome the stranger, the migrant, and the refugee into the heart of the worshipping community. This may mean changing worship, leadership, or ministry styles to embrace diverse communities in the church's neighborhood. Marzouk surveys numerous biblical texts from the early ancestor stories of Israel to the Prophets, to the Gospels and Acts, the letters of Paul, and Revelation. The stories introduce themes of welcoming strangers, living as aliens, playing host to outsiders, discovering true worship, and seeking common language for expressing faith.
Discussion questions are provided to encourage group conversation on this complex and important topic.
“Whether you sit in the pews or stand in the pulpit of your church, Safwat Marzouk introduces you to all the sojourners and settlers who inhabit the Bible. He creates a compelling proposal for the intercultural church — profound, provocative, and practical: a must-read in our politically polarized times.”
—Ulrich Schmiedel, University of Edinburgh
“Immigrants and refugees bring fresh ideas and new ways of living that enrich our communities. Still, challenges arise as ethnicities, languages, and cultures collide. In such times, how do churches flourish in their witness to Jesus Christ? In Intercultural Church, Safwat Marzouk points toward intercultural ministry as the answer. This is an important book for those who love the church and wish to engage in a living ministry.”
—Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Earlham School of Religion
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