(Below is a draft of an article published in the Journal of The American Society for Church Growth, Volume 20, Winter 2009)
How did evangelicals come to debate whether or not there is a connection between evangelism and social action in the first place? And why is this question so crucial regarding the ministry of evangelicals among immigrants? In this essay, I will address the character of this debate, call attention to the inadequacies of modernist theological responses, suggest ways in which post-modern evangelicals can provide a more adequate and biblically faithful approach, and explore its implications for ministry among immigrants.
Laura’s Parents Would Not Understand
Karisa, an innocent little Hispanic girl in our church, is crying on the floor in the corner until Laura gives her a gentle hug, assures her that it was just a little bump on the elbow, and then dries her tears with a Kleenex. As I watched them, I remembered Laura’s words to me the day before in my office at the university. “I don’t think I can talk with my family over the school break about what God has been teaching me here at Iglesia Amistad Cristiana. Even though they are good Christians, they just wouldn’t understand.”
Each semester several students from my evangelism class, including Laura, complete their ministry practicum at the Hispanic church to which my wife and I belong. Most of them come from middle class evangelical homes and are preparing for cross-cultural careers in North America or abroad.
When little Karisa’s sobbing had subsided, I overheard her say to Laura, “My daddy doesn’t have to go to work anymore.”
Later at the church dinner, I sat beside Karisa’s dad, Jaime, and asked him how things were going. After a brief pause, he poured out his heart. “My boss of ten years had to lay off most of his workers due to the economy,” he confided in me, “so a month ago I went to another company. But last Thursday they told me that my documentation wasn’t approved and that I couldn’t work for them anymore.”
God continues to speak to Laura and use her in ministry among these marginalized immigrants and their children. She knows deep in her heart that God has called her to serve here, even though she still struggles with how to explain it to her parents.
In recent years, many Hispanic pastors in the United States minister to significant numbers of undocumented immigrants in their churches and thus carry heavy burdens for families that are affected every day by the protracted immigration controversy. Meanwhile, most are feeling isolated from other Christian churches in their communities.
At the same time, other evangelical pastors and their congregations are generally unaware of the suffering in immigrant communities, and even if they are, many seem reluctant to get involved. Occasionally I will hear a pastor say, “Sure, I’m concerned, but I don’t want to break the law by helping illegals.” And that seems to settle the question in their minds about getting involved.
The Rationalistic Captivity of Evangelical Theology in Modernism
So how did evangelicals come to debate whether there is a connection between evangelism and social action? The answer to this question is related in large part to the rise of modernism and what I call “the rationalistic captivity of evangelical theology.” For a major part of the last century, evangelical theology was largely shaped by an immense confidence in human reason. This resulted in a “rather loose and disorganized collection of factual, propositional statements” drawn from the Scriptures and shaped by a rationalistic Western worldview. Theology was only to be known cognitively, with little or no consideration of other ways of knowing. This reductionist and simplistic approach impoverished evangelical theology, because “…the heart has its reasons which reason does not know… [and] we know truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart, and it is in this last way that we know first principles.”
These developments greatly influenced the way that the discussion about evangelism and social action was framed and the terms were defined. During the early part of the past century, liberal mainline theologians overemphasized social action while minimizing evangelism. In reaction, evangelicals went to the other extreme, emphasizing evangelism and distancing themselves from social action. In the heat of the controversy, the meanings of both terms were truncated.
On the one hand, the concept of “evangelism” or “ministries in Word” came to be defined predominantly as “soul winning.” This reductionist perspective often was expressed by the popular phrase “Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing.”
On the other hand, the concept of “faith in action” or “compassionate ministries” or “ministries in deed” was referred to as “social action” and considered unrelated intrinsically to one’s spiritual salvation. Thus in practical terms, the controlling rationalistic paradigm of twentieth-century evangelical theology separated “the ministry of reconciliation” from “the message of reconciliation.” Even many of those who considered social action important still did not see it related in any intrinsic way to evangelism. 
Three Modernist Models Regarding Evangelism and Compassionate Ministries
In order to resolve the modernist dilemma that arose regarding the relationship between evangelism and social action, at least three models have typically been offered. First, some considered compassionate ministry to be a means to evangelism, thus viewing compassionate ministries as “pre-evangelism.” With this approach, compassionate ministry serves as “the bait” or “the sugar on the pill.” In response to this model John Stott writes, “While in its best form it gives to the gospel a credibility it would otherwise lack…the smell of hypocrisy hangs round our philanthropy.”
A second model for relating compassionate ministries and evangelism saw compassionate ministry essentially as an outgrowth of evangelism. People are saved first, spiritually speaking, and then outward changes take place as a result of this spiritual transformation. While this understanding is sounder biblically and theologically, seeing evangelism only as the cause and compassionate ministry as the effect doesn’t accurately and completely reflect the all-encompassing way that God works in and through us.
A third and more adequate model for relating compassionate ministry and evangelism considers both to be mutual partners. As such, we are charged with both the ministry and the message of reconciliation, thus proclaiming Christ in both deed and Word.  Note, however, that evangelism and compassionate ministries are still considered to be two separate, essentially unrelated activities, brought together into a partnership only for a pragmatic outcome, which is effective ministry. Thus, this model still belongs to the modernist perspective, which is oriented to dichotomistic ways of thinking and knowing in contrast with more connected, integrated, holistic approaches.
In response to all these modernist models taken together, several observations are appropriate. First, the motive of each was generally to promote greater understanding, faithfulness and effectiveness in fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord. Second, each represented a serious theological attempt to engage the rationalistic modernist world in a contextually relevant way. Notwithstanding the inadequacies of these modernist approaches, the scriptures give clear guidance to all believers regarding evangelism, social action, and compassionate ministry among immigrants, as can be seen in the following section.
Scriptural Principles for Ministry among Immigrants
Throughout the Bible, we are called to love and reach out to the marginalized in our midst, with particular attention to sojourners and pilgrims regardless of their legal status. It is particularly ironic for evangelicals to turn their backs on their immigrant brothers and sisters in need, considering that their name itself—Evangelical—comes from the biblical phrase “Good News.” Christ used this word at the beginning of His ministry, when He announced His purpose for coming to earth:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Then later in His ministry, our Lord made a clear connection between the way we respond to those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, and prisoners, and how we will be judged in that final day when we stand before the throne of God.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we cannot turn our backs on the sojourners and immigrants among us, even though some of them may be undocumented. No Christian, least of all a pastor, ought to say, “Sure, I’m concerned, but I don’t want to break the law by helping illegals.” First, the Bible sets forth a number of important kingdom principles that provide guidance regarding how believers ought to relate to immigrants, of which an important one is “…respect [for and submission] to the laws of the land, except when they are in contradiction to biblical principles [The italics and emphasis are by the author].” Second, we must not overlook the innocent dependents of all immigrants, including millions of vulnerable children. Third, our Lord Himself admonished us not to judge others. Rather, our citizenship in God’s eternal kingdom calls us to witness visibly to all its eternal realities today, even as we envision our mutual celebration someday with that “great multitude that no one [will be able to] count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb… [and crying out]…’Salvation belong to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”
Thus, while a modernist lens may cause believers to lose sight of the intrinsic connections between both Word and deed in the proclamation of our Lord’s “Good News,” even then, to hold back from responding to those who are in need would be to disobey the clear teachings of Scripture and our Lord’s commands.
Modernist Approaches are Found Wanting
For a growing number of believers including many younger evangelicals, the modernist approaches to evangelism and social action have been weighed in the balances and found wanting in a variety of ways. “What’s the point of this conversation?” my students often ask as we discuss the relationship between evangelism and compassionate ministries. To them, it is clear from Scripture that they go together. According to author James Choung about the Good News, “…when we oversimplify it…then we only share one side of the story, even if we don’t mean to. We miss the big picture.”
These modernist approaches often raise serious questions from the perspectives of coherency and common sense when applied to a number of social problems such as “illegal immigration.” Something is amiss when a theological system takes one kingdom principle—submission to the law—and uses it without discretion to trump a host of other kingdom principles, as when a Christian pastor or believer can ask “But what if they’re illegals?” and then think that this possibility excuses one from responding compassionately to the sojourners and foreigners among us. How can only judgment and condemnation by evangelicals be offered as “Good News” to those who are hopelessly trapped in a political and economic quagmire?
The sad irony is that instead of proclaiming good news in today’s immigration crisis, our disorganized and divisive voices have been lost in the cacophony of sounds coming from the world. Our nation and churches have not heard a prophetic word from the Lord on this matter. As a result, evangelical Christians are missing a huge opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of millions of individuals who have chosen to come and live among us.
Writing about the popular consensus among modernist Christians as to what evangelism is and is not, Bryan Stone states:
Christian evangelism, as it is commonly understood and practiced in North America today, neither lends itself to compassionate ministry nor, if it is consistent with itself, even coexists with compassionate ministry. On the contrary, it excludes and even undermines compassionate ministry.
He then sets forth the following six fundamental features of the prevailing consensus among evangelical modernists regarding the meaning of evangelism:
- It stands upon the pedestal of a fundamental dualism between an immortal soul and a perishable body that houses this soul during its relatively short journey on earth.
- It has a clear preference for personal salvation over corporate salvation.
- It views human existence as a test rather than a constructive project.
- It has a predominantly (if not exclusively) otherworldly or next-worldly understanding of salvation.
- It emphasizes the quantitative rather than the qualitative view of our salvation.
- It measures the normative Christian experience of salvation in terms of an instantaneous conversion experience, referred to by phrases such as “accepting Jesus as your personal Savior,” “allowing Jesus into your heart,” or “being born again.”
While each of these six features has roots in the scriptures, their overall effect taken together has been to reduce the entire experience of salvation to a single momentary decision and experience. Salvation itself is characterized basically as dualistic, individualistic, private, and otherworldly. As such, the broader message of God’s Word and Jesus’ example that calls for an authentic response to a compassionate God is greatly diminished or totally lost. Plainly stated, any conceptualization of the Gospel that does not consider evangelism and compassionate ministries to be thoroughly integrated is not biblical.
These questions and concerns regarding the inadequacies of modernists’ approaches to evangelism and social action ought to serve as prompters for all evangelicals to reexamine their theological approaches, explore other alternatives, and consider their implications in the light of the Word of God.
Shifts in Post-Modern Evangelical Theologies And Ministry among Immigrants
In recent years, a number of shifts of emphases are beginning to emerge among post-modern evangelicals, as they seek more authentic and faithful ways of understanding God’s Word and obeying Him. In fact, many of them really represent a return to earlier perspectives, values, and traditions from twenty centuries of our Christian heritage and teachings. Following are five of these shifts that have significant implications for ministry among immigrants, presented such that each flows from and builds upon the previous one.
Shift from Propositionalism to Story-oriented Theology
One key shift among post-modern evangelicals is from reading the scriptures primarily as a sourcebook of propositions to reading the Bible as narrative. On one hand, evangelical modernists developed systematic theologies based primarily upon rational analyses of the written Word. Typically, this involved taxonomies that were shaped by a western worldview.
On the other hand, post-modernists place their primary trust in the Sacred Story to communicate God’s multidimensional and transcendent Truth. To them, given that compassionate ministries and evangelism are intrinsically interwoven in the narrative, it does not seem appropriate to try to parse them out and analyze them. In fact, doing so seems to violate their spiritually nuanced and intrinsically interdependent relationship that is portrayed in the sacred text. Whereas modernists focused on precisely defining evangelism and compassionate ministries in rationalistic ways, post-modernists are more willing to allow the biblical narrative to bear witness holistically regarding the meanings of these terms.
This shift from reading the scriptures primarily as a sourcebook for theological propositions to reading them as sacred narrative has huge implications regarding ministry among immigrants and all marginalized peoples. The evangelical modernist, taking the perspective of a third party rationalistic analyst, is more predisposed toward a detached consideration of the sacred text and its meaning.
In contrast, post-modern evangelicals are more inclined to see themselves as participants in the sacred story of salvation history within which all believers find their identity. This change in perspective involves a radical shift from being a passive observer to becoming an active participant and thus comprehending a more holistic sense of the meaning of the text.
As believers and spiritual pilgrims ministering among immigrants in North America, our individual stories merge and become part of the sacred story of God’s people. We are first and foremost citizens of an eternal kingdom and are journeying together with them in this land that is not our permanent home.
Shift from Ahistorical to a New Appreciation of Tradition
A second shift among post-modern evangelicals is from the ahistorical attitude of the twentieth century to a new appreciation of Christian tradition. This refreshing change in perspective comes from reading the Scriptures as narrative, bringing us back to a key biblical truth, namely that all of God’s people are sojourners and pilgrims.
In contrast, many evangelical modernists in America lack an awareness and sense of connection with God’s people throughout Christian history and around the world. Many Christians have become enmeshed in the surrounding culture, such that today they are virtually indistinguishable from other North Americans. This definitely is not Good News, considering the numerous similarities between evangelicals and other Americans in areas including sexual disobedience, physical abuse in marriage, divorce, materialism, selfishness, and racism. The disconnect between one’s profession and witness is appalling.
Meanwhile, post-modern evangelicals are rediscovering what it means to live in but not be of this world. The Bible tells us that we are citizens first and foremost of God’s eternal kingdom that He is establishing on earth and in heaven rather than of worldly kingdoms. Younger evangelicals, in their spiritual pilgrimages, are drawing fresh inspiration and insights from the sacred narrative and bringing a wealth of resources from the Christian tradition into daily disciplines, worship, and life.
The scriptures tell the story of nations and peoples in continual movement and flux, often in search of a better home and life. We are repeatedly reminded that God is ultimately in charge. He is the one who “…made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out [our] appointed times in history and the boundaries of [our] lands…so that people would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him…For in him we live and move and have our being.”
As believers become active participants in the sacred narrative, they come to understand their true identity as part of God’s people and discover how they should live out their faith in relationship with their immigrant brothers and sisters. Paul, speaking of Christ, was explicit about the implications of this truth in his letter to the Ephesian believers:
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Shift from Rational Arguments to Truth Verified through Communal Embodiment
A third shift among post-modern evangelicals is from rational arguments to an appreciation for truth verified through communal embodiment. Robert Webber says:
The question “How do we know Christianity is true?” will continue in the postmodern world to be a matter for discussion. But… if reason and science are no longer able to bring us to truth, what will? ... The goal of postmodern apologetics is to recover the role of the church as the interpreter and the embodiment of truth. Thus faith is not born outside the church but within the church as individuals see themselves and their world through the eyes of God’s earthed community.
As believers today take seriously the sacred story of God’s people in the scriptures and throughout the centuries, a growing number are coming together into visible communities, characterized by (1) significant daily interactions, (2) socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, and generational diversity, (3) unconditional love and acceptance, (4) mutual care and generous sharing, and (5) joyous living and celebration. Their sense of identity and shared purpose inspires and empowers them to embody through community life the principles and realities of the kingdom of God as a testimony to their unity in Christ. They seek practical ways to show hospitality to strangers and respond to those in need in their community and beyond. In this way, strangers, immigrants and all who are marginalized are invited to become part of a living, affirming, caring body of believers, thus giving a cogent and visible witness of the truth that sets us free.
The purpose of involving Laura and my other students in ministry among immigrants is not merely to give them unique ministry opportunities. Rather their experiences in diverse Christian communities are crucial to their spiritual and professional formation for effective ministry in a hurting world. A key requirement is for each student to ask God to bring at least three new people into their lives with whom they can share their faith in deep and significant ways. Every semester my students report that they receive fresh new insights and perspectives and are deeply transformed through these relationships.
Shift from Theory to Action
A fourth shift among post-modern evangelicals is from theory to action. For decades, many evangelicals have seemed more predisposed to analyzing, debating and quibbling. However, younger followers of Jesus are no longer willing just to talk about how true Christians ought to live. Instead, they are eager to radically follow and obey Christ in both Word and deed.
The story of the Good Samaritan is particularly appealing to younger believers because the contrast between theory and action is clearly illustrated. To begin, Jesus’ response to the law expert’s question “And who is my neighbor?” is very instructive. Instead of getting drawn into an abstract debate, Jesus takes his inquisitor for a walk down a dusty pathway between Jerusalem and Jericho. Promptly they come upon a man abused by robbers and left by the wayside. Soon, a priest and a Levite had passed by and disappeared down the path, and only a Samaritan was available to help.
Interestingly, Jesus asks the question, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor?” in such a way that the scribe was compelled to imagined himself to be the one laying by the wayside, needing to accept a helping hand from a despised foreigner.
In responding, the scribe could not even bring himself to utter the despicable word “Samaritan.” Instead, he could only mumble, “The one who had mercy on him.”
The message was clear. True followers of Christ cannot allow themselves to get caught up in endless philosophical debates. Instead we are called to put our faith into action and reach out to all those in need, including strangers, foreigners, and immigrants too. The Samaritan’s role in this story was not a coincidence. Nor is it a coincidence today that God has brought immigrants from all over the world to our doorstep. Our role as true followers of Jesus is not to engage in endless debates, but rather to reach out with love and compassion to those who are in need and searching for Good News that will transform their empty lives.
Shift from Church Growth to Missional
A fifth shift among post-modern evangelicals is from Church Growth to Missional. Missiologist Gailyn Van Rheenen states
The Church Growth and Missional movements represent two very different emphases. The Missional perspective accentuates theological reflections and historical perspective and the Church Growth movement cultural analysis and strategy formation.
While recognizing our indebtedness to the Church Growth movement, Van Rheenen asserts
The seeds of syncretism were rooted in the very principles of cultural analysis and strategy formation employed by this movement. Practitioners succumbed unintentionally to the humanistic suppositions of the Modern Era. Assuming that they could chart their way to success by their ingenuity and creativity, Church Growth practitioners focused on what humans do in missions rather than on what God is doing.
For centuries, the Western church had allowed the cultural context to shape both her structures and practices in many subtle and pervasive ways. As a corrective to the modernist evangelicals of the previous century, there is a growing awareness in recent years among missiologists and younger evangelicals that churches ought to be Missional at their core.
The younger evangelicals, on the other hand, are recovering the church as a counterculture. The church, this view argues, should not seek to integrate itself with culture or to baptize culture. Instead, the church should see itself as a mission to culture.
This shift to seeing the church as Missional and North America as a mission field is providing fresh perspectives and opportunities regarding how to minister faithfully both at home and abroad.
The Missional church is not just another phase of church life but a full expression of who the church is and what it is called to be and do. The Missional church builds upon the ideas of church growth and church health but brings the lessons learned from each into a full-blown missions focus—within their local mission field as well as the ends of the earth. To be Missional means to move beyond our church preferences and make Missional decisions locally as well a globally.
What a great time to be a Missional church in North America today, where the world has come to our doorstep! The Hispanic church that my wife and I attend is a microcosm of the growing multiethnic and multicultural fabric of our nation. On a typical Sunday we worship with people from The Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, the United States, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, and a multitude of other nations both Hispanic and otherwise. Throughout each week North Americans join our immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ praying for and interacting with their family members from all over the world. Witnessing God’s Kingdom coming to pass on earth as it is in heaven in the lives of these new believers and their families brings genuine joy beyond description!
These five shifts in post-modern evangelical theologies, when taken together, provide fresh, new opportunities to witness to our faith and engage our world in more appropriate, relevant and transformational ways. As such, they also offer evangelicals more biblical approaches for relating to the immigrants among us as witnesses of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Getting Laura and Her Parents Back on Speaking Terms
Meanwhile, here is the advice that I am sharing with Laura as she prepares to head home for the school break. First, reconnect with your parents in your shared stories, as a family and as members of the Body of Christ. Talk again about how God so loved the world that He sent His only Son for us all and how this Good News has transformed your lives and family. Recall with them how we are part of this old, old story together with pilgrims and sojourners spanning nearly twenty centuries. They will be thrilled to hear how you are growing in your faith and in your walk with Jesus Christ.
Second, share the joys that you have experienced in reaching out to others in Jesus’ wonderful name—to friends and acquaintances nearby, to strangers across the street and downtown, and to peoples from around the world. Tell them about little Karisa and how fulfilling and thrilling it is to see God at work through you as you are investing in her life and family. If questions arise about her family’s legal situation, admit that you do not understand the whole situation and that you do not know the answers. Then tell them more about little Karisa, an innocent child growing up in a complicated and unwelcoming world. Assure your mom and dad that you know at least one thing for sure—that God brought you into this little girl’s life to hug her, to wipe her tears, and to be her friend.
Finally, ask the Lord to equip and empower you as you minister for Him in both Word and deed. Seek His guidance by examining the Scriptures and walking in obedience. He will speak to you through the gentle promptings of His Spirit and in communion with the body of believers in Christ. And as you pray, ask Him to allow His whole Truth to speak in fresh ways to your mom and dad, about His kingdom coming to pass on this earth, which is…
Good news [for] the poor…freedom for the prisoners…recovery of sight for the blind, [and release for] the oppressed… [proclaiming] the year of the Lord’s favor.
Carter, Craig A. 2006. Rethinking Christ and Culture: A post-Christendom perspective. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press.
Choung, James. 2008. True story: A Christianity worth believing in. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Grenz, Stanley J., and John R. Franke. 2001. Beyond foundationalism: Shaping theology in a postmodern context. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.
Guder, Darrell L. 1998. Missional church: A vision for the sending of the Church in North America. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
McIntosh, Gary L., ed. 2004. Evaluating the church growth movement: 5 views. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Pascal, Blaise. Trans. by W.F. Trotter. 1660. Pensées. (http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/pensees/pensees.html)
Sider, Ronald J. 2005. The scandal of the evangelical conscience: Why are Christians living just like the rest of the world? Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
Smith, David I. 2009. Learning from the stranger: Christian faith and cultural diversity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (not yet published at the time of this writing).
Stetzer, Ed, and David Putman. 2006. Breaking the missional code: Your church can become a missionary in your community. Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers.
Stone, Bryan P. 1996. Compassionate ministry: Theological foundations. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
Stott, John R.W. 1975. Christian mission in the modern world. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Van Rheenen, Gailyn. 2006. “Contrasting Missional and church growth perspectives.” http://www.missiology.org/mmr/mmr34.htm : Monthly Missiological Reflections #34 (downloadable PDF file).
Webber, Robert E. 2002. The younger evangelicals: Facing the challenges of the new world. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.
Wesleyan Church, The. 2008 (June). “Position statement on immigration.” http://www.wesleyan.org/gc/blog/positional_letters/?cat=5
Wilson, Norman G. 1997. “Pedagogical expectations of Hispanic Americans: Insights for leadership training,” in Christian Education Journal, 1 NS, 65-81.
________. 2005 (July). “Compassionate ministry and evangelism: Their relationship and expression” in Connections: Leadership Development Journey. Indianapolis: The Wesleyan Church.
________. 2006 (Fall). “Good News for the immigration problem,” in Wesleyan Life. Indianapolis: The Wesleyan Church.
 The persons in this story are real but their names have been changed.
 Grenz and Franke 2001, 13
 See Webber 2002, chapters 1 and 2, for a very helpful analysis of the modern history of evangelicals.
 Pascal. 1660. Section IV “Of the Means of Belief”, No. 277
 Ibid., No. 282.
 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19 NIV
 See McIntosh 2004, pp. 7 ff., for a helpful summary of the background of these ideas.
Cf. Wilson (2005) for a fuller discussion of these models and their implications. The author is influenced regarding these three views by John R.W. Stott (1975), in Christian Mission in the Modern World.
 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19 NIV
 See Wilson 1997, 70 ff, for a discussion regarding how cognitive and learning styles can shape theology in diverse cultural situations.
 E.g., Exodus 22:21, 23:9; Leviticus 19:34; Deuteronomy 10:19, 16:12, 24:18, 22 NIV
 Luke 4:18, 19 NIV
 Matthew 25:35-46 NIV
 E.g., The Wesleyan Church “Position Statement on Immigration” (June 2008) identifies eight biblical principles to guide the responses of believers regarding the immigration situation, including (1) the Creation Principle, (2) the Great Commandment principle, (3) the Sovereignty Principle, (4) The Submission Principle, (5) the Hospitality Principle, (6) the Great Commission Principle, (7) the Grace Principle, and (8) the Justice Principle. Cf. Wesleyan Church, The. 2008 (June).
 Ibid, 4-5
 E.g., Matthew 7:1-3; Luke 6:36-38
 Revelation 7:9, 10
 Choung 2008, 52.
 Cf. previous section and footnote regarding kingdom principles.
 Wilson 2006 (Fall)
 Stone 1996, 143
 Ibid, 143-7
 James 2:14-26
I am indebted to Robert E. Webber (2002) in his book The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World regarding my discussion of these shifts in post-modern evangelical theologies.
 Horton, in Sider 2005, 17.
 Acts 17:26-28 NIV
 Ephesians 2:18-20 NIV
 Webber 2002, 104
 Regarding the following discussion of The Good Samaritan, I am indebted to David I. Smith (2009), having drawn from ideas in an earlier draft of the fourth chapter of his forthcoming book entitled Learning from the stranger: Christian faith and cultural diversity.