Finding Jesus at the Border

Opening Our Hearts to the Stories of Our Immigrant Neighbors

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Immigration is an issue of major concern within the Christian community. As Christians, how should we respond to the current crisis?

Interweaving biblical narratives of border crossing and recent stories of immigrants at the US-Mexico border, this accessibly written book invites Christians to reconsider the plight of their neighbors and respond with compassion to the present immigration crisis. Julia Lambert Fogg, a pastor and New Testament scholar who is actively serving immigrant families in Southern California, interprets well-known biblical stories in a fresh way and puts a human face on the immigration debate.

Fogg argues that Christians must step out of their comfort zones and learn to cross social, ethnic, and religious borders--just as Jesus did--to become the body of Christ in the world. She encourages readers to welcome Christ by embracing DREAMers, the undocumented, asylum seekers, and immigrants, and she inspires Christians to advocate for immigrant justice in their communities.

1. Walk This Way: Approaching the Border
2. Fleeing without Papers: Matthew 2:1-23
3. Vantage Points and Borders--Where We Stand Affects How We See: Mark 12:41-44
4. Challenging Border Wall Mentalities: Ruth and Mark 7:24-30
5. Letters from Behind Prison Walls: Philippians 1:12-30
6. Seeking Asylum at the US Border: Philippians 2:5-11
7. Standing before ICE: John 11:1-34
8. Where Do We Go from Here? Border Crossing as Praxis: John 1:1-5, 14


"At a time when many Christians say that the US has no responsibility to house refugees fleeing war and violence in their home countries, Finding Jesus at the Border feels like a breath of fresh air. Regardless of your religious beliefs, Julia Lambert Fogg has done all of us a service by asking, 'What would Jesus do?' were he confronted with the inhumanity of our current immigration laws."

Reza Aslan, author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

"A beautifully written, well-researched, painfully moving book that invites all believers to read Scripture in a new way. Reading this book involves pain, hope, and challenge. Any church community that reads it prayerfully will never be the same again!"

Justo L. González, immigrant, church historian, and theologian

"Julia Fogg shows that the scriptural trajectory of refugees' border crossings--out of peril into safety, out of oppression into promise--does not end with Jesus and the Bible but continues into today in the living stories of migrants."

Barbara Rossing, professor of New Testament and environmental ministry coordinator, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

"Jesus's exhortation to love one's neighbor as oneself is the simplest and most profound spiritual teaching in human history. His story and teachings dovetail with the journeys of so many of our immigrant neighbors, as Julia Lambert Fogg explores with such compassion in her expert and moving book. Jesus came from a family of immigrants, after all, and as he famously said, 'I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.'"

Rainn Wilson, actor and writer

"This is a moving account of a personal journey into the immigrant world and how it led to a new understanding of Christian faith and Scripture. Fogg creatively interweaves immigrant stories with biblical passages, showing how those experiences can help us read the Bible with fresh eyes. But the goal is not just to inform her readers; she wants to motivate them into action. A challenging read indeed!"

M. Daniel Carroll R., Wheaton College; author of The Bible and Borders

"The issue of immigrant rights, like that of economic justice, requires little translation between the Bible and our time. Vulnerable people who are pushed and pulled by the tidal forces of powerful empires are central subjects of both Testaments. Fogg's work is an engaging addition to the literature that reads Word and world with attention to the displaced and dispossessed who are forced to cross borders."

Ched Myers, coauthor of Our God Is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice

The Author

  1. Julia Lambert Fogg
    Brian J. Stethem

    Julia Lambert Fogg

    Julia Lambert Fogg (PhD, Emory University) is professor of religion at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California, where she has taught for more than fifteen years. She specializes in the New Testament, first-century Christianity, theologies...

    Continue reading about Julia Lambert Fogg


"An especially timely and invaluable contribution to our ongoing national discussion over immigration reform. . . . Especially and unreservedly recommended for community, church, and academic library collections."

Midwest Book Review