The Gospel Comes With a House Key is a very welcoming book into the subject of Evangelism and Missions. In The Gospel Comes With a House Key, author Rosaria Butterfield illustrates New Testament hospitality, artfully illuminating each chapter with stories of her conversion, life, family, and her ministry. The skillful manner in which Rosaria communicates these things and weaves them into the overall message of the book kept me turning pages. I felt as if I were at the table in the Butterfield home, receiving their graceful hospitality and learning firsthand!
Radically Ordinary Hospitality
This is the term the author uses to communicate her main message. Radically Ordinary Hospitality, as Butterfield explains it, is to use your home in a way every day that “seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God.” It’s discipleship at the table where those present probably don’t look, think, or behave the same way that you do. The guests at the table frequently don’t pray like you, don’t vote like you, and they certainly don’t always believe like you.
But as the author teaches, and more importantly exemplifies, is the truth that this is Christian fellowship. This isn’t having a friend over for dinner, this is Radically Ordinary Hospitality, and it gets quite messy!
One example of that is the extent at which the Butterfields went to with love, kindness, grace, and patience to befriend a reclusive neighbor. Trust was finally earned when the Butterfield family stepped up and helped this man find the closest friend or family that he had: his missing dog. While they were finally making great progress into the life of this reclusive neighbor by genuinely loving him, he was arrested for operating a meth lab in his home.
As Rosaria explains in the chapter The Jesus Paradox though, Radically Ordinary Hospitality requires us to “make sacrifices that hurt so that others can be served and maybe even saved.”
Reading The Gospel Comes With a House Key
This book will surprise a lot of readers and will appeal to many Christians who are thinking about life in the world we find ourselves in today. The Gospel Comes With a House Key will also cause those who are not thinking about people to start considering them as God’s children.
There are places in this book that will move you, like the deathbed conversion of Rosaria’s mother. Page after page will challenge you to a new way of thinking about the word hospitality, and more importantly, discovering your part in it. Rosaria writes with an application of sound doctrine towards many challenging areas of life including sin, repentance, restoration, discipline, and gender inequality.
Admittedly, there were times when I thought to myself that I could never practice Radically Ordinary Hospitality like the Butterfield family does. And it’s true that not everyone can. However, The Gospel Comes With a House Key will most certainly expand your thinking and hopefully your own actions in practicing New Testament Christian hospitality.
About Rosaria Butterfield
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.
Visit her website, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.