The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World

The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World

by Rosaria Butterfield

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433557866
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 04/30/2018
Series: TGC (Women's Initiatives) Series
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 24,412
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rosaria Butterfield (PhD, Ohio State University) is an author, speaker, pastor’s wife, homeschool mom, and former professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University. She is the author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert and Openness Unhindered.

Table of Contents

Preface 11

1 Priceless: The Merit of Hospitality 15

2 The Jesus Paradox: The Vitality of Hospitality 21

3 Our Post-Christian World: The Kindness of Hospitality 47

4 God Never Gets the Address Wrong: The Providence of Hospitality 65

5 The Gospel Comes with a House Key: The Seal of Hospitality 89

6 Judas in the Church: The Borderland of Hospitality 119

7 Giving up the Ghosts: The Lamentation of Hospitality 143

8 The Daily Grind: The Basics of Hospitality 161

9 Blessed Are the Merciful: The Hope of Hospitality 179

10 Walking the Emmaus Road: The Future of Hospitality 199

Conclusion: Feeding the Five Thousand: The Nuts and Bolts and Beans and Rice 209

Acknowledgments 221

Notes 225

Recommended Reading 229

General Index 233

Scripture Index 239

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Artfully woven into the fabric of who we are, each of us possesses an urgency to be included, an ache to be known, and a longing to be welcomed. In this book, Rosaria describes how the good news of the gospel not only meets our deepest needs but transforms us into cohosts who invite others to meet Jesus. Rosaria Butterfield’s enthusiasm for the unparalleled expression of hospitality—the Son of God on the cross drawing all men to himself—is what energizes her to practice radically ordinary hospitality and invite us all to do the same. This book will stir your imagination to generate creative ways to incorporate radically ordinary hospitality into your own life as well.”
Gloria Furman, author, Missional Motherhood and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

“God strongly advances his cause by raising up prophetic voices of fresh insight, bold words, and powerful impact. Rosaria Butterfield is just such a voice for God in our time. The Gospel Comes with a House Key is Rosaria’s heart reaching out to our hearts, calling us to love our neighbors with sacrificial hospitality. This book is going to shake us all up in the most wonderfully destabilizing way.”
Ray Ortlund, Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“This book isn’t for those who want to live the comfortable Christian life. Rosaria proves there is no such thing. She has a unique way of blending personal story and theological teaching that challenges the reader to engage in areas of both agreement and disagreement. I was sharpened well in both cases.”
Aimee Byrd, author, Why Can’t We Be Friends? and No Little Women

“It’s easier than ever to live in communities with no real sense of community. Neighbors don’t know neighbors, and our lives are lived online rather than on the front porch. Rosaria Butterfield demonstrates how living a life of radically ordinary hospitality can allow strangers to become neighbors, and, by God’s power, those neighbors can become part of God’s family. I couldn’t put this book down—it’s compelling, challenging, and convicting.”
Melissa Kruger, author, In All Things and The Envy of Eve

“One cannot spend any time at all with Rosaria Butterfield without a renewed sense of how good the good news really is. This book is a needed call to the church to model the hospitality of our Lord. As our culture faces a crisis of loneliness, this is the book we need. The book will inspire you and leave you with a notebook filled with ideas for how to practically engage your neighbors with the welcome of the gospel.”
Russell D. Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

“The biblical call to show hospitality is one of the most overlooked or misunderstood commands in Scripture. We either ignore it or mistake it for what our culture calls ‘entertaining.’ Rosaria Butterfield gives us a vision of hospitality that pulses with the beating heart of the gospel itself. We know a God who sought us out, took us in, made us family, and seated us at his table. It’s a vision that is bracing and attractive. It daunts us, but it shouldn’t. I wonder how different our homes, churches, and culture would look if we took it to heart.”
Sam Allberry,Speaker, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; author, Is God Anti-Gay? and7 Myths about Singleness

“One of the hallmarks of the people of God is supposed to be hospitality. But in an age of commuter churches, towns disemboweled by shopping malls, and lives that are overscheduled and full of ceaseless activity, hospitality is something which, like true friendship, is at a premium. In this book, Rosaria Butterfield makes a bold case for putting hospitality back into the essential rhythm of the church’s daily life. She sets the bar very high—and there is plenty of room here for disagreement on some of the proposals and details—but the basic case, that church is to be a community marked by hospitality, is powerfully presented and persuasively argued.”
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Grove City College

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The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Overview This book does not follow your average Christian living book format. Rosaria Butterfield skillfully brings you into her lifestyle of practicing daily, ordinary, radical hospitality through a journaling format. She uses captivating imagery and storytelling to keep her readers hanging on her every word. Butterfield beautifully ties together the commands to love thy neighbor and seek to show hospitality. These are two distinctive marks of a true Christian. This book is anything but boring! It will challenge you to consider how you can love your neighbor better through the practice of everyday hospitality. My Review I found this book deeply challenging. I finished feeling encouraged and equipped to live out what Rosaria has coined daily ordinary, radical hospitality. Rosaria's first-hand account of how she personally practices hospitality is encouraging. It left me feeling more inclined to open up my daily life to those in my neighborhood and my church. Life on life discipleship cannot happen if you are not experiencing life with your sister in Christ. I pray for opportunities for evangelism. However, I will miss them if I am not allowing my unbelieving neighbor close enough to hear the good news. Our homes are a gift from God, which can be used to bless others. Prior to reading, I had several questions regarding issues I've faced in my quest to become more hospitable. To my surprise, she adequately addressed every concern I had. I was confronted with the reality that, at times, my sin prevents my obedience to the command of biblical hospitality. The Gospel Comes with a House Key shows what true hospitality looks like. By recounting real examples and addressing possible pitfalls, Rosaria walks us through the mechanics. By reminding us of the biblical truths behind this service, Rosaria exhorts us to a deeper love for our neighbor. Final Thoughts This book functions as both an entertaining read and a reference resource for future use. It would be great for a book club discussion group. I typically do not promote reading the preface at the beginning of a book, but in this case, I will. The preface really provides a clear understanding of how the author is going to guide you through the book. Butterfield sets up what you can expect from her, what you will learn, and she specifically defines hospitality. You will not be disappointed! I received a review copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Overview This book does not follow your average Christian living book format. Rosaria Butterfield skillfully brings you into her lifestyle of practicing daily, ordinary, radical hospitality through a journaling format. She uses captivating imagery and storytelling to keep her readers hanging on her every word. Butterfield beautifully ties together the commands to love thy neighbor and seek to show hospitality. These are two distinctive marks of a true Christian. This book is anything but boring! It will challenge you to consider how you can love your neighbor better through the practice of everyday hospitality. My Review I found this book deeply challenging. I finished feeling encouraged and equipped to live out what Rosaria has coined daily ordinary, radical hospitality. Rosaria's first-hand account of how she personally practices hospitality is encouraging. It left me feeling more inclined to open up my daily life to those in my neighborhood and my church. Life on life discipleship cannot happen if you are not experiencing life with your sister in Christ. I pray for opportunities for evangelism. However, I will miss them if I am not allowing my unbelieving neighbor close enough to hear the good news. Our homes are a gift from God, which can be used to bless others. Prior to reading, I had several questions regarding issues I've faced in my quest to become more hospitable. To my surprise, she adequately addressed every concern I had. I was confronted with the reality that, at times, my sin prevents my obedience to the command of biblical hospitality. The Gospel Comes with a House Key shows what true hospitality looks like. By recounting real examples and addressing possible pitfalls, Rosaria walks us through the mechanics. By reminding us of the biblical truths behind this service, Rosaria exhorts us to a deeper love for our neighbor. Final Thoughts This book functions as both an entertaining read and a reference resource for future use. It would be great for a book club discussion group. I typically do not promote reading the preface at the beginning of a book, but in this case, I will. The preface really provides a clear understanding of how the author is going to guide you through the book. Butterfield sets up what you can expect from her, what you will learn, and she specifically defines hospitality. You will not be disappointed! I received a review copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
JournalOfABibliophile More than 1 year ago
I received a free e-book from Crossway in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you!) All thoughts are 100% my own. In this book, Butterfield writes stories from her life and turns them into biblical lessons of love, grace, mercy, repentance, and radically loving your neighbor. At the beginning of the book she says, “My prayer is that this book will help you let God use your home, apartment, dorm room, front yard, community gymnasium, or garden for the purpose of making strangers into neighbors and neighbors into family.” This is by far one of the most convicting and thought-provoking books I’ve read in a long time. Rosaria Butterfield has such a unique background, and a truly amazing gift at writing. She approaches Scripture in a way many Christian women (and even men) authors don’t know how to do. Her gift is very much-needed in the world today. I’m so incredibly thankful to have been given the opportunity to read this book. One of the parts that really stuck with me the entire time was this: “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.”
Joseph Knowles More than 1 year ago
In our “post-truth” society, living out the Gospel virtually requires Christians to form a sort of new “counter-culture.” Rosaria Butterfield shows how realizing that kind of culture looks not like street protests, but more like a pot of soup simmering in your kitchen. Who should read this? Judging by the full title of the book, The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World, one might think that this book is targeted at a narrow segment of the church. What Rosaria Butterfield shows, however, is that the kind of radical hospitality that her book describes is the calling of every Christian: men and women, young or old, married or single. This is not a book exclusively for stay-at-home moms, nor is it a book meant only for women (although it has much to say to Christian women). This book is for the church - the family to which all Christians belong. Lists of spiritual gifts often include “hospitality” as a gift or category of gifts. Undoubtedly there are those whose personalities are more inclined toward a certain kind of hospitality; we can even say with confidence that God made them that way. This book shows, however, that hospitality is not merely a gift for some Christians, but an essential part of life for all Christians. Butterfield’s former work as a university professor is evident in her style of writing, but even for all the skill with which she can turn a phrase, this book always seems to remain on the level of a heartfelt conversation in a friend’s living room. Each of the book’s ten chapters focuses on a different aspect of hospitality. Like turning a diamond to catch light from a different angle, Butterfield’s stories from her own life and the lives of her neighbors show the reader just how multi-faceted the topic of hospitality is. The preface makes clear the author’s motivation for writing the book. Her prayer is that the book will help the reader see how God can use his or her “home, apartment, dorm room, front yard, community gymnasium, or garden for the purpose of making strangers into neighbors and neighbors into family.” The kind of regular, intentional fellowship urged by this book will, she hopes, grow the reader in union with Christ so that he or she “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.” (p.14) For those who are already familiar with Rosaria Butterfield it probably comes as no surprise that she has written a book like this one. Table fellowship in a Christian home played an integral role in her conversion, the chronicles of which she documents more fully in her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. Parts of that story reappear here, and the book is full of stories of her life, family, friends, and neighbors. The theme that drives the book – the main idea connecting what otherwise would seem like unrelated anecdotes – radically ordinary hospitality “brings glory to God, serves others, and lives out the gospel in word and deed.” (p. 32) Butterfield goes on to show just some of the many different ways that the daily discipline of hospitality does those things. Perhaps American Christians are especially prone to diminishing (unconsciously or otherwise) the importance of the kind of hospitality described in this book. Fewer and fewer people seem to know their neighbors, let alone have meaningful conversations with t
BPenceofCoramDeotheBlog More than 1 year ago
This 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 author’s 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 key—and 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 Lord’s 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.