The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World
What did God use to draw a radical, committed unbeliever to himself? Did God take her to an evangelistic rally? Or, since she had her doctorate in literature, did he use something in print? No, God used an invitation to dinner in a modest home, from a humble couple who lived out the gospel daily, simply, and authentically.
With this story of her conversion as a backdrop, Rosaria Butterfield invites us into her home to show us how God can use this same “radical, ordinary hospitality” to bring the gospel to our lost friends and neighbors. Such hospitality sees our homes as not our own, but as God’s tools for the furtherance of his kingdom as we welcome those who look, think, believe, and act differently from us into our everyday, sometimes messy lives—helping them see what true Christian faith really looks like.
“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, Editor, The Gospel Coalition; author, Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood and In All Things
“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, Apologist, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; Editor, The Gospel Coalition; author, Is God Anti-Gay? and Why Bother with Church?
“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, William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life, Princeton University
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.