Original Research

Migration, instrumental to accomplishing God’s redemptive purpose to humankind: Perspectives from Ruth and Joshua

Christopher Magezi
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 53, No 1 | a2462 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v53i1.2462 | © 2019 Christopher Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2019 | Published: 14 November 2019

About the author(s)

Christopher Magezi, Department of Reformational Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark,, South Africa


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Abstract

This article identifies a lack of biblical theological foundation of migration driving the church to respond to migrants’ challenges effectively. This is problematic because the rise in migration and migrants’ challenges globally should challenge the church (as God’s community responsible of caring for the vulnerable) to respond to migration situations in a meaningful way. In view of the aforesaid problem, this article is a quest for a biblical theological foundational status of migration theology that drives the churches’ effective migrant ministries. To accomplish its objective, the article defines a biblical redemptive historical approach as a justified appropriate methodological approach in studying biblical migration, with specific focus on Joshua and Ruth. The article introduces the concepts of mission that emphasise God as the centre of the centrifugal and centripetal concepts of mission, using the books of Joshua and Ruth. The meaning of these concepts (in view of migration in redemptive history) in Joshua and Ruth configurates the notion that God migrates both sinners and his chosen people to advance his kingdom. In this way, migration is not an accident in God’s scheme. Next, the article concludes by challenging the church to develop effective migrant ministries for the physical and spiritual needs of migrants in both church and non-church spaces. God migrates people to fulfil his redemptive purposes and plans. However, in responding to the physical challenges of non-Christian migrants, the article challenges the church to also reach out to non-Christians with the gospel, in advancement of God’s kingdom in centripetal and centrifugal ways through migration.

Keywords

Migration; migrant ministries; Ruth; Joshua; centripetal concept of mission; centrifugal concept of mission; redemptive historical approach.

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Crossref Citations

1. Migration to South Africa: A missional reflection of a refugee using Jeremiah 29:4–12 as an interpretive framework
Kasebwe T.L. Kabongo
Theologia Viatorum  vol: 44  issue: 1  year: 2020  
doi: 10.4102/tv.v44i1.57