Original Research

Fostering inclusion, embracing and integration of migrants: A migration biblical-theological understanding with a particular focus on Ezra-Nehemiah and migrants practical ministry guidelines

Vhumani Magezi, Christopher Magezi
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 1 | a2591 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i1.2591 | © 2020 Vhumani Magezi, Christopher Magezi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2019 | Published: 06 July 2020

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Christopher Magezi, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Migration is posing a huge challenge globally. Within this context, one of the challenges of theology is to develop theological approaches that respond to the situation in meaningful ways. There is increasing scepticism about some theological frameworks that attempt to consider the Bible and theology as a unified whole to provide coherence. In the midst of vexatious life challenges, people require coherence, logic and guidance in their existential situations. Notably, the notion of logic and coherence could be pathological in chaotic global situations where cause and effect seems not to hold. In such situations, the article argues that a responsive theological approach, which draws from the Bible, should engage a panoramic and systemic schema that take into account the various dynamics of people’s situations. In consideration of the subject of migration, a biblical redemptive historical theological schema is applied to Ezra-Nehemiah to discern a constructive and coherent understanding on texts that appear to encourage xenophobia in order to guide practical ministry. Implied in the article is a contention for maintaining diverse theological frameworks based on their utility, but subjecting such frameworks to academic and critical rigour to avoid the danger of fundamentalism. The article locates and problematises migration as a theological issue and then discusses the rationale for a redemptive historical framework. The framework is then applied to Ezra-Nehemiah, resulting in concrete lessons that guide practical ministry.

Keywords

migrants integration; Ezra-Nehemiah; migration biblical-theological understanding; redemptive historical approach; migrants ministry; migrant inclusion.

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