The Gospel Comes With a House Key | Book Review

Rosaria Butterfield shared her story of conversion in her memoir The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. It impacted me so deeply. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her second book, The Gospel Comes With A House Key

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.  

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