The link between migration and global Christian expansion is as pivotal and profound as its neglect in the historical study of Christianity is perplexing (418).
The biblical story
The divine response is corrective because human intent (non-migration and universal cultural sameness) collided with divine purpose. The builders' self-preoccupation (v. 4, "for ourselves') constrasts sharply with the divine purview (vv. 8, 9, "the whole earth"). This clash of perspectives is embedded in the storyline: preservation versus propagation, tribalism versus pluralism, singularity versus multiplicity. From this perspective, the divine plan for humanity is not one language but a plurality of languages, not one location but global dispersion, not a single name or cultural identity but a multiplicity of cultures (87).
The people of God are redeemed through migration ... because the migrant (outsider, stranger, foreigner) status exemplified the experience of dispossession, vulnerability, and exclusion that gave potency to faith and sharpened consciousness of divine action and protection. The election of migrant-foreigners or outsiders was not only conducive to faith; it also made Yahweh's unconditional love and redemptive grace manifest (123).
... it instructed the displaced migrants to transfer their prayers and prospects from Jerusalem to the pagan city. They had become foreigners in a strange land, away from the land of their ancestors and the place of worship; but they were still enjoined to pray to Yahweh, call on his name, and "seek him with all their heart" (Jer 29:13). So, Yahweh was not a tribal or national god, confined to a particular territory (like other gods). He could be approached and could be found, indeed fully worshipped, anywhere—even (from a Jewish point of view) in a pagan land, the place of exile and captivity (121).