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Gospel Comes with a House Key Paperback – April 30, 2018
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- Publisher : Crossway Books (April 30, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 242 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1433577178
- ISBN-13 : 978-1433577178
- Item Weight : 14.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.59 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,882 in Ethics in Christian Theology
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2021
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Top reviews from the United States
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The Lord has used this book to soften my heart to those around me and consider how to be a better neighbor. I don't feel condemned or guilty by how much inferior we are to the vision in this book, but rather greatly encouraged.
I appreciated how biblically grounded the material was, and how she was willing to call out sin on all sides.
Rosaria Butterfield, former lesbian and English professor, converted to Christ in 1999. She is now a pastor’s wife, a homeschool mom, and a writer and speaker.
In The Gospel Comes With a House Key, Rosaria addresses the topic of hospitality. For so many, the word “hospitality” is scary. We start picturing beautiful homes and Instagram-worthy charcuterie boards. But Rosaria says that biblical hospitality is a call to something different. It’s a call to so much more.
Rosaria illustrates what ordinary hospitality looks like. She uses personal stories and life experiences to show how hospitality can be a lifeline for lost friends and neighbors. Her testimony becomes her ministry. Rosaria makes room at the table for all kinds of people: young or old, wealthy or poor. She talks to people who think differently and act differently than her.
While reading through the book, the one question I had was about the abundance of personal stories. Yes, they added a personal touch and were quite powerful. But the sheer number of them overshadowed any biblical exposition of the theme of hospitality. A balance of story and exposition would have placed the spotlight directly on the work of Christ and opened up more possibilities for the reader to practice hospitality, even when it looks quite different from Rosaria.
This mild quip aside, this book will be a breath of fresh air for Christians as they realize that their everyday messy lives can be shared with others. Hospitality isn’t about entertaining people. It is about using the gifts God has given us: our homes, tables, and lives to show an unbelieving world who Jesus really is. Hospitality shows a skeptical world what faith really looks like.
Both of Rosaria’s books have expanded my thinking on hospitality, and I am so grateful she had the courage to share her story.
By the time I read to the very last word of the Acknowledgements, I had been assured of the hope that nothing we do for our neighbors is wasted in the grand story God has for each of person involved, particularly if we don't give up praying, serving as opportunity arises, surrendering our reputations of association, and keeping our children in God's hands, not our own. Some reviewers said they didn't know what was so extraordinary about such a simple plan. This hospitality is extraordinary in two ways. First, the fact that she actually lives a lifestyle of hospitality to a wide variety of people is extraordinary in comparison to most of the rest of us. Second, such hospitality invites God to show up and what God does is always extraordinary.
As much as I appreciate the book for showing me how to love my neighbor, what I love most about Rosaria is her repentant heart. One reviewer mistakenly said this book is about "Love the sinner; hate the sin." Rosaria specifically says, "...love the sinner and hate your own sin." (32) She is painfully aware of her own sin, repenting of it daily, as we all should be. Therefore, she does not see any distance between herself and any other image bearer of a holy God who also needs Jesus as much as she did. This fundamental biblical perspective allows her to draw near to all with the message of Jesus. He is all she has to offer. This is true for all of us, but Rosaria knows it.
Rosaria is gutsy, brave, repentant and honest, and she practices radical hospitality with her neighbors daily. If you stare at verses like, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mark 12:31) and don't know how to live that verse out on a practical level, or if you stare at this incredibly changed world and no longer have the skill set to engage with it, this is the next book to read.
© 2018 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
Top reviews from other countries
As Christians we have a tendency to think of hospitality as having our fellow believers home for a cup of coffee and a chat. While this is good, there is certainly much more to hospitality.
The author of this book was won to Christ through hospitality and has sought to practice it in her married life in many ways.
I felt the book was a necessary wake up call, and included some helpful practical advice for a ministry of hospitality to our neighbours.
My one caveat is that I find the author comes across as quite judgmental of others. She speaks against this, and yet demonstrates it at times. This meant that the audiobook grated once or twice on me. However, the central thesis of the book is certainly Biblical, and Butterfield has a wonderful ability to tell a story. I was certainly spiritually enriched by this book. Recommended.
Every Christian can do this. You don't need to have done a course of apologetics, have a masters in Theology or know everything about other religions or worldviews. Every Christian has the love of God as part of their DNA and they can open their lives and homes and share that with those around them. Rosaria Butterfield shows us how this can be done and the wonderful, world changing impact that can have.
Thankyou for writing this book and I pray that this gets into the hands of as many Christians as possible.