It’s true we are creatures who learn from story. As Butterfield recounts stories without end that demonstrate the messy, costly, rewarding ins-and-outs of what ‘Radically Ordinary Hospitality’ looks like, you will find yourself constantly convinced that hospitality is indeed the cornerstone of the Christian life. Sure, it means changing your budget to allow for extra meals for people, unexpected guests at your table, or taking care of a neighbour’s pet while they’re out of town. But it also serves to reveal Christ’s redeeming purpose in the world: making strangers into neighbours, and making neighbours into family.
This book will leave you thinking more deeply about what Christlike hospitality might look like in your home, and how you might consider making space in which hospitality can flourish.
Piper continually reminds me that I have no excuse for not taking the time that is necessary to read and understand the Bible. It is infintely worth my time to drop anything else in order to love God with my heart and mind in this way. I loved this book because it reminded me that the Bible is the only book in which I encounter the living God—and the primary means by which he speaks to me and answers me. If I want to hear him speak, I simply read. This book also served to remind me of my total dependance on God the Holy Spirit in order to understand what is written. While not a review, here’s a thought I posted before I had finished.
The story of Beren and Luthien is a heroic tale mixed with unquenchable romance, danger, and noble sacrifice. But this wonderful tale was diminished in its delivery (in this book) by the endless discussions and interjections by the author (Christopher Tolkien) offering sidenotes, thoughts, and lengthy retellings of conversations that he had with the publishers, editorial decisions about the book that he made, how he poured over the combining of multiple manuscripts from his father’s work into one coherent whole. This made the book very hard to read; authors, never do this. A wonderful story, but disjointed due to real-life discussions that no reader would be seeking.
We can all be greatly encouraged by learning more about great men of the faith. As Christians, persecution and hardship should not come as a surprise; and these men are no strangers to testing times. The faithfulness shown throughout these 12 testimonies not only points us to a God who is faithful in times of need, but also the reality of the dark times encourages us by recounting their failures right alongside their victories. We are not expected to be perfect in this life, but these 12 faithful men point with their lives to the one who is.
Mere does not mean “barely”, but rather “true” or “real”. The “thicker” hope that Duesing would have us see is that inextinguishable flicker that God ignites in our souls to keep us believing in the prevailing power of his light even when we are surrounded by utter darkness. Presenting a solid biblical theology of hope, Duesing demonstrates this in four key ways: “Look down” at the good news of the gospel as our foundation, “look in” to Jesus Christ as the hope within us, “look out” to see the flourishing of hope shared among the nations, and “look up” to the focus of our hope both now and in the age to come. This book was a great encouragement, but it also served to reinforce that gospel foundation on which we stand firm in these trying times. Recommended.
See what else I read in 2018: