The Gospel Comes with a House Key

The Gospel Comes with a House Key

The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian WorldAbout The Gospel Comes with a House KeyThe word hospitality often invokes a scene of a gracious, impeccably fashioned host welcoming guests into a beautifully appointed home prepared with perfectly-presented meals. However, when the Bible calls Christians to be hospitabl...

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Title:The Gospel Comes with a House Key
Author:Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
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Edition Language:English

The Gospel Comes with a House Key Reviews

  • Nicole

    Christians are called to be “given to hospitality.” In college and the years before marriage, hospitality was always fun and easy... My roommates along the way and I always had people in our house. We had a lot of energy and plenty of time. Now as a mom of two little boys and with a husband getting his PhD, this has become much more difficult to live out. I was recently talking with my friend on this subject and she challenged me in this area, shared some verses and a quote from a lady of whom I

    Christians are called to be “given to hospitality.” In college and the years before marriage, hospitality was always fun and easy... My roommates along the way and I always had people in our house. We had a lot of energy and plenty of time. Now as a mom of two little boys and with a husband getting his PhD, this has become much more difficult to live out. I was recently talking with my friend on this subject and she challenged me in this area, shared some verses and a quote from a lady of whom I had never heard, Rosaria Butterfield. The next day, I was picking out my next book and saw this one so it was a no brainer! This book was so challenging, convicting and encouraging. This lady is GIVEN to hospitality and she’s an excellent example. Rosaria describes her preconverted self as “an out-lesbian feminist, a leader in LGBTQ rights, the recent coauthor of the first domestic partnership policy at Syracuse University, and a soon-to-be tenured radical.” The Lord saved her in 1999 using the hospitality of a couple who chose to love her despite the seemingly insurmountable differences that separated them. This book is a call to Christians to “radically ordinary hospitality” and it really pushes you to consider hospitality as more than having people over for dinner. She encourages getting your hands dirty, getting to know people deeply, sharing Christ, and using this time to pray, seek the Lord together and sing to Him. True Christian hospitality has to look different than worldly hospitality. It’s more than food and hanging out. It’s deep, it’s hard, it’s DAILY, it’s costly. What a big topic and a big book. Thankful for this one. I received a free copy of this book from Crossway for an honest review.

  • Jessi

    This is a hard review to write. First, in college I was welcomed by the author into the very type of hospitality she describes in this book. I know that she practices what she preaches, and practices it very well. I was an unchurched Christian and she brought me, and many other college students, to church followed by lunch in her modest apartment with delicious and modest meals. The wisdom, love, and conversation she shared at these lunches were delightful. Many of us would stay the whole day an

    This is a hard review to write. First, in college I was welcomed by the author into the very type of hospitality she describes in this book. I know that she practices what she preaches, and practices it very well. I was an unchurched Christian and she brought me, and many other college students, to church followed by lunch in her modest apartment with delicious and modest meals. The wisdom, love, and conversation she shared at these lunches were delightful. Many of us would stay the whole day and return with her for evening worship, in the small church's basement.

    Still, after I began this book, I was nervous. At first, I really did worry it was going to be a new law, and I think it was the description of how the Butterfields practice hospitality and the insistence that

    must practice "daily" or "nightly" table fellowship. It is embarrassing to say, because it shows how unlike Rosaria I am, but I scoffed at this! You mean to say God

    that every day or night I need to open my home to people and if I don't, I am sinning? Can that truly be a biblical command that I have been ignoring for my whole Christian life? This made me both nervous and skeptical. Oh no! I can't even handle all of the things I already feel obligated to try to do well! Should I even finish reading this book? Am I just going to feel guilty? But I know how lovely Rosaria's Lord's Days were! How lovely she is! Keep reading! And I was also aware, thankfully, that even if I can't do it the Butterfield way, I should be involved in hospitality

    more than I am now. So I read it with part skepticism (sorry!) and part trepidation--I know I need to do this better. Keep reading!

    The weirdest part was that the crazy radical hospitality that she describes is probably my dream life! I would love to see neighbors everyday and be in and out of people's lives in such a constant way. But reading it when I was wondering if this was a command, scared me still! I don't live this way and I don't see that coming any time soon. I have five kids that I am homeschooling. I know she homeschools, too, but we are different people with different gifts (she is brilliant, for instance) and have different numbers and ages of children and probably different levels of hands-on-edness required, etc. The fact that I even had to wrestle with these things (and make excuses for myself!) is what made me nervous! Should I be defending myself--to myself--because I don't see making my house look exactly like hers? Again, the conviction that I was guilty of practicing hospitality less than I should be, regardless if it should be daily or weekly or what, told me to keep reading.

    So I did! Finishing the whole book, I do not think that this book is saying that we must look like the Butterfields in order to be living right, because she does share how other people practice hospitality and they don't all look like hers (chapter eight). Also, she describes a period of time (in chapter seven--my very favorite chapter for its sweetness and evidence of God's beautiful grace in an otherwise sad story) where she could not practice this daily hospitality. She sorrowfully missed practicing this way, but she doesn't say she was sinning.

    I think my knee-jerk reaction to the earliest chapters were probably me reading the book critically out of a guilty conscience. I know I

    practice regular or even frequent hospitality. I know that I could do some things differently in order to love my neighbors (which

    God's command for us) better and more frequently or even at all. I don't know many of my neighbors. I don't invite all the people from my church, even, to my home regularly. This book really gives a vision for an incredible, and hard, people-filled life--and it shows how this life brings people to the Lord himself! In the end, it has been a great encouragement! I fully recommend it.

    As a memoir sharing how living a life of radical hospitality has turned strangers into friends into family members, this book is incredible. Five stars.

  • Blake

    An absolutely excellent book, by Rosaria Butterfield. I've never met Rosaria, but through her writings, I almost feel like we are neighbors. If you've read her book, "The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert," you've read her amazing testimony of how Christ saved her from a life of radical feminism and the lesbian lifestyle, using the hospitality of a pastor and his wife, while Rosaria taught at Syracuse University. Even in the pages of the first book of hers, the reader begins to get a glimps

    An absolutely excellent book, by Rosaria Butterfield. I've never met Rosaria, but through her writings, I almost feel like we are neighbors. If you've read her book, "The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert," you've read her amazing testimony of how Christ saved her from a life of radical feminism and the lesbian lifestyle, using the hospitality of a pastor and his wife, while Rosaria taught at Syracuse University. Even in the pages of the first book of hers, the reader begins to get a glimpse of the importance of hospitality and the role it can play in glorifying God and bringing people to salvation. In this newest book about the gospel and the house key, Rosaria builds upon the theme and talks about how critical hospitality has been within her family and the ministry they have on their block, in their subdivision, in their community. She speaks to the lessons learned, the challenges faced, and the tremendous joys that come from opening one's door to all neighbors, whether that neighbor is a follower of Christ or of a whole different religious bent. The book will challenge you greatly in how you treat strangers, so be warned. Yet it will also point you to the joy that can be yours when you love others and welcome them into your life. This book is an easy read and the author is a very gifted writer, pulling you in to the pages of the book, leading the reader to almost feel like they are right there in the midst of the action. The book will ruffle some proverbial feathers of those who have grown comfortable with simply going to a church service, singing the songs, dropping some money in the offering plate, listening to a sermon, and then exiting quickly to get on with "the important things" in life. It will challenge you to think differently about your neighbors and about the life you have been given. Though Rosaria and I might not agree on every jot and tittle of church ministry philosophy (not in major issues), I highly, highly recommend this world-view shattering book.

  • Wes Smith

    Amazing book about hospitality. Rosaria gives a vision of what biblical hospitality looks like in real world and its importance in our post-Christian culture. The book is full of biblical truths and personal stories of how Rosaria and her family have lived out hospitality. Throughout the book she gives helpful practical advice to what hospitality can look like as far as meal planning, budgeting, and scheduling.

    A few helpful thoughts about hospitality from the book:

    - it is messy. It doesn't alway

    Amazing book about hospitality. Rosaria gives a vision of what biblical hospitality looks like in real world and its importance in our post-Christian culture. The book is full of biblical truths and personal stories of how Rosaria and her family have lived out hospitality. Throughout the book she gives helpful practical advice to what hospitality can look like as far as meal planning, budgeting, and scheduling.

    A few helpful thoughts about hospitality from the book:

    - it is messy. It doesn't always work out well and people don't always come to faith. Often times the house is dirty and things are crazy but we are called to love the stranger

    - it takes sacrifice. This means sacrifice of time, money, food, and preferences.

    - it is part of the church. Hospitality is one of the biblical qualifications for elders. And throughout the book this is not something done as lone ranger Christians but as a part of the local body working together.

    Very helpful and necessary book.

  • Justin Heck

    This is probably one of the best books I've ever read. Rosaria's story is compelling, and her writing has been used to open my eyes to what Scripture says about Christian hospitality. I recommend this book to anyone, Christian or not.

  • Matthew Mitchell

    In

    Rosaria Butterfield beckons the Church to practice what she calls, “radically ordinary hospitality,” and she and her husband Kent lead the way.

    The potency of Butterfield’s book comes from her storytelling. She obviously subscribes to the maxim, “Show, don’t tell,” and does a masterful job at it. Her true life stories of biblical hospitality brim with the raw grace and beautiful mess that is the gospel at work in up-close-and-personal ministry. This is hospita

    In

    Rosaria Butterfield beckons the Church to practice what she calls, “radically ordinary hospitality,” and she and her husband Kent lead the way.

    The potency of Butterfield’s book comes from her storytelling. She obviously subscribes to the maxim, “Show, don’t tell,” and does a masterful job at it. Her true life stories of biblical hospitality brim with the raw grace and beautiful mess that is the gospel at work in up-close-and-personal ministry. This is hospitality as generosity, not entertainment. Giving yourself, your resources, your time, your home.

    In between the showing, Butterfield does do some telling. She teaches how practicing hospitality has always been a biblical priority (Romans 12:13, 16:23, 1 Tim 5:10, 1 Peter 4:9, 3 John 1:8). But she also explains how important it is now in our “post-Christian” moment in American history, showing Christianity to real, or at least plausible. And she gives many practical suggestions of how to make it happen.

    But it’s mostly the stories that do the work. The hospitality that led to Butterfield’s own conversion to Christ. The hospitality they are attempting to show their neighbors. The (apparent) failures. The triumphs. The ongoing sagas. All of the cost and all of the drama. But also all of the (often quiet) glory. I got lost a few times in the early chapters, but regularly had tears from the midpoint to the end. Her writing is salty, in the best sense of the word, and she picks a few fights along the way–all in the name of getting us all going in the right direction.

    Butterfield is careful to repeat that her family is not the one-size-fits-all template of hospitality, but at the same time, she is definitely trying to be an example. And she does think that every Christian ought to be practicing hospitality in their own way. She concludes, “That is the nuts and bolts of it, yes? Starting with you and me and our open door and our dinner table and our house key poised for the giving. This is not complex. Radically ordinary, daily hospitality is not PhD Christianity. The gospel coming with a house key is ABC Christianity. Radically ordinary and daily hospitality is the basic building block for vital Christian living. Start anywhere. But do start.”

    Hint: Don’t read it if you want to stay the way you are.

  • Kim

    God did a big work in my heart regarding hospitality last year during Hurricane Harvey. We found ourselves, for one night and one day, in terrifying and desperate need of rescue and hospitality, and God used church friends and generous college-student strangers to provide that for us. He used that circumstance and humbling to prepare me to be eager to share my home with friends and strangers during the remainder of the storm. If I hadn’t needed to be a recipient of hospitality, I don’t know that

    God did a big work in my heart regarding hospitality last year during Hurricane Harvey. We found ourselves, for one night and one day, in terrifying and desperate need of rescue and hospitality, and God used church friends and generous college-student strangers to provide that for us. He used that circumstance and humbling to prepare me to be eager to share my home with friends and strangers during the remainder of the storm. If I hadn’t needed to be a recipient of hospitality, I don’t know that I would have been as ready to share it myself. Reading this book is a further work of His grace to me in changing my introverted heart to be more willing to open my home regularly. I’m grateful to have read it, and I finish it inspired.

    5 stars. It was convicting and so beautiful. I found myself hoping every woman in my church would read this. She sets a high bar, but I finished the book ready to, as she said, “Start anywhere. But do start.”

  • NinaB

    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via #netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

    I have been looking forward to reading this book; first, because the author is one I’ve admired from afar ever since I read her first book, Confessions of an Unlikely Convert; second, because hospitality is a ministry dear to my heart. I had high expectations for this book; and sadly, it slightly disappoints. Perhaps I’m being nit picky and I apologize if I sound harsh, but I need to give my

    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via #netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

    I have been looking forward to reading this book; first, because the author is one I’ve admired from afar ever since I read her first book, Confessions of an Unlikely Convert; second, because hospitality is a ministry dear to my heart. I had high expectations for this book; and sadly, it slightly disappoints. Perhaps I’m being nit picky and I apologize if I sound harsh, but I need to give my honest review. It is perplexing because though I do not love the book, I do not have a problem recommending it to others. (I gave it a 4* on netgalley bec of this).

    I’m not sure if this is promoted as such, but it is part memoir, part theology lesson, part christian living kind of book. Interwoven are the theological basis, biblical illustrations and personal story about hospitality. Mrs. Butterfield is a good writer and could very well be the most qualified to talk about hospitality, but I still find issues in the book that I cannot give it a 5-Star rating.

    These issues are not theological in nature, so I can still in good conscience recommend the book. For sure, it is highly engaging, saturated with Scripture, and convicting to the core. I’ve had to stop several times to repent for past sins in the area of hospitality and pray for God’s grace to help me a better hostess.

    I cried reading about her tumultuous relationship with her mother. I especially love that she encourages us to not idolize safety and security, something American Christians are obsessed with. We need to live our ordinary lives radically and one way we do that is through hospitality. Here are some favorite quotes:

    I know I can’t save anyone. Jesus alone saves, and all I do is show up. Show up we must.

    Radically ordinary hospitality is this: 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.

    Christians must learn to practice radically ordinary hospitality not only as the hosts of this world but, perhaps more importantly, as its despised guests. Let’s face it: we have become unwelcome guests in this post-Christian world.

    God calls us to make sacrifices that hurt so that others can be served and maybe even saved. We are called to die. Nothing less.

    The job of an ally makes the cross lighter, not by erecting or supporting laws that oppose God’s law, but by being good company in the bearing of its weight.

    Now for the disappointing parts...here are just a few:

    Perhaps this is unavoidable when writing a memoir, and I have a sensitivity to humble-bragging because of my own pride problems, but I find her constant use of her own personal triumphs in hospitality as a little irksome. I don’t want to judge her motives, but it gets old when I read one hospitable act by the author after another. She did use other people’s examples, but it’s mostly about her and her family’s sacrifice and good works. This is especially interesting because she talks highly of her husband who would not “tarnish by bragging about it (one’s coming to faith through their hospitality) on a blog post or on Facebook. Kent is a Christian man. Christian men do not steal glory from God. This is the kind of news that moves mountains, something to be addressed in the sacred moment of table fellowship.”

    Her schedule seems unmaintainable. Doing intentional ministry every day could exhaust even the most devoted Christian. As a minister’s wife, I understand that being in full-time ministry is a 24/7 kind of job, and opportunities to serve could come at any moment. But her way is to have something planned every day. Maybe these are assumed, but I ask her, When does she devote time alone with her husband? When does she foster one on one time with her kids? It is hard to imagine she has time for them just by reading about her schedule.

    One of the characters she mentions in the book is Hank who starts as a grumpy neighbor and becomes a friend. Later on, it is found out he was leading a secret criminal life. I understand and admire the author’s compassion for her friend, but her intent focus on this made her question the fairness of his incarceration, made her forget his serious crimes that hurt a lot of people. His sins are somewhat downplayed. Yes, as a Christian, he has been forgiven, but he still has to face the consequences of his sins.

    She quotes and uses as a good example a Catholic priest who “regarded hospitality as a spiritual movement, one that is possible only when loneliness finds its spiritual refreshment in solitude, when hostility resolves itself in hospitality, and when illusion is manifested in prayer.” This sounds mystical and, as an ex-Catholic, I seriously have an issue promoting any of them.

    I found two typos: principal when she meant principle, tails instead of tales.

  • Jeremy

    Read 5 myths about hospitality

    . Hospitality is a

    .

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