The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian WorldRosaria ButterfieldCrossway / 2018 / Hardcover$14.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 3 Reviews
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Reenie5 Stars Out Of 5a compelling book on the power of ordinary hospitality to change lives including your ownJune 11, 2018ReenieQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Radically ordinary hospitality is this: using your Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God" (location 294).
When I started this book, the author seemed too perfect. When she described opening up her home EVERY DAY for people to stop in for meals or to stay overnight, I pegged her for some mutant super-Christian woman. I thought to myself I can't ever imagine being at this point in our hospitality. I feel like we have opened our home quite a bit but this lady's home....wow...over the top. HOWEVER, I kept reading. I'm glad I did.
She started talking about her own history and her own very real struggles and trials and how her life was forever changed when a couple showed her regular, ordinary hospitality and the love of Jesus. She shared lots of stories of opening her home and her family's lives up to people in their neighborhood and how relationships grew deep over bowls of soup. It is very compelling in a world that is increasingly solitary as people have relationships over technology instead of in-person. She readily admits that it isn't always easy having people over. She recognizes the cost in terms of energy, emotions, time, and finances.
She also made it clear that hospitality in my home may not look like hospitality in her home. She told of a friend who didn't know where to start so she invited a few neighbors over to do something she enjoyed with her. She cautioned that in a husband-wife team, the pace of the hospitality needs to be set by the one who feels the most weak. I appreciated all these things. She encouraged me to just start somewhere...to take a step of faith and look for ways to deepen relationships with the people around us. I ended the book feeling encouraged to grow in my hospitality.
Here's another point she made that really made me think. "Not everyone can come to Christ in the fullness of life--while the world, the flesh, and the Devil are raging and strong. But anyone led by the Spirit can come to Christ on the deathbed, when the flesh is weak" (location 1944). While I believe God can save a soul at any point (and she does too), I get what she's saying. We are a fiercely independent people who don't like to recognize our need for help, much less our need for a Savior. However, when we're sick and in trouble, we're much more open. If we're going to reach people in these tough situations, we need to be there, going through these days with them. Again, it was very compelling to me.
I would highly recommend this book. It challenged me and encouraged me. It gave lots of practical ideas. It was full of faith-building stories and examples. It painted a picture of messy people getting involved with other messy people and it was beautiful.
Thank you to Crossway for providing me a free e-copy of this book. I was not required to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.
mattparks35Joplin, MOAge: 18-24Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5If you are serious about loving your neighbor, then you must readMay 27, 2018mattparks35Joplin, MOAge: 18-24Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Gospel Comes with a House Key will challenge you in practicing biblical hospitality. You might not agree with everything Rosaria Butterfield says or does, but you will not come away from this book unaffected. Drawing from her testimony of coming to the Lord through biblical hospitality, she appeals to all Christians to practice unconditionally loving our literal neighbors by inviting them into your life. Neighbors are not just evangelism projects or subjects for conversion, but they are real people with real problems. Butterfield refers to biblical hospitality as "radically ordinary hospitality" because it should be a natural part of the Christian communal life. It is not about entertaining people but "using your Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God. Butterfield admits, "The gospel comes with a house key, not because it is easy, but because it is hard." She candidly shares both the good as well as the bad experiences of radically ordinary hospitality. A word of caution, you may come away from this book discouraged that you aren't doing enough, even if you are doing something. Though it is probably unintended, Butterfield has strong convictions that a believer's home should be an oasis for those in need of community. I think she treads on thin ground by almost mandating inviting people into your home and noting that by not doing is indirectly causing people caught in habitual sin to fall more deeply into their sin patterns by not having a place to go away from temptation. Her language is too strong and not warranted by 1 Corinthians 10:13, which she uses as a basis (Kindle location 1671 and following). Even so, I highly recommend this book to anyone who seriously takes God's command to "love your neighbor" by starting in a small way by walking next door or across the street. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bill Pence of CoramDeotheBlog.com5 Stars Out Of 5A Must-Read on Christian Hospitality reviewed by Bill Pence of CoramDeotheBlog.comApril 28, 2018Bill Pence of CoramDeotheBlog.comQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This book, by a respected author and speaker, is about hospitality, a subject that I am not very good with, but have a sincere desire to grow in. The author tells us that offering radically ordinary hospitality is an everyday thing at her home. As she describes what that looks like, she tells interesting, and at times heart-breaking, stories that illustrate her points, including stories about Hank, her neighbor next door, and biographical stories about her growing up in Catholic schools, her relationship with her mother and about the kind pastor and his wife who showed her hospitality when she was hostile to the Christian faith. In this book, we are invited into the authors home, her childhood, her Bible reading, her repentance, and into her homeschool schedules, shopping lists, simple meals, and daily, messy table fellowship. Her hope with the book is that daily fellowship will grow our union with Christ and that we would no longer be that Christian with a pit of empty dreams competing madly with other reigning idols, wondering if this is all there is to the Christian life. After reading this book, you may find that hospitality is ordinary, but the manner in which Rosaria and her family practice it is radical.
First, we need to define what radical, ordinary hospitality is. It is not entertaining like Martha Stewart would describe. The author defines it as Using your Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God. It brings glory to God, serves others, and lives out the gospel in word and deed. Its purpose is To build, focus, deepen, and strengthen the family of God, pointing others to the Bible-believing local church, and being earthly and spiritual good to everyone we know. She tells us that we are to take the hand of a stranger and put it in the hand of the Savior, to bridge hostile worlds, and to add to the family of God. She writes that daily hospitality, gathering church and neighbors, is a daily grace.
But daily hospitality can be expensive and even inconvenient. It compels us to care more for our church family and neighbors than our personal status in this world. She tells us that the gospel comes with a house key, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. God makes the keyand the lock to fit it. She writes that the gospel coming with a house key is ABC Christianity. Radically ordinary and daily hospitality is the basic building block for vital Christian living.
I highlighted a number of passages as I read the book. Below are just a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
Radically ordinary hospitality is indeed spiritual warfare.
Radically ordinary hospitality creates an intimacy among people that allows for genuine differences to be discussed.
Radically ordinary hospitality begins when we remember that God uses us as living epistles and that the openness or inaccessibility of our homes and hearts stands between life and death, victory and defeat, and grace or shame for most people.
Christian hospitality cares for the things that our neighbors care about. Esteeming others more highly than ourselves means nothing less.
And that is what radically ordinary hospitality accomplishes in the Lords grace. It meets people as strangers and makes them neighbors; it meets neighbors and make them family.
Radically ordinary hospitality manifests confident trust that the Lord will care for us and that he will care for others through our obedience.
Knowing your personality and your sensitivities does not excuse you from ministry. It means that you need to prepare for it differently than others might.
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