Arthur Sutherland places before us our fear of meeting the “other” and the “stranger” in an increasingly global, and frequently dangerous, village. Various social, political, and historical factors have conspired to leave us in a veritable crisis: the decline of hospitality.
Why is this a crisis? Why should we practice hospitality? What is it about Christian theology that compels us to think about hospitality in the first place? Sutherland offers a passionate plea to recover and rediscover hospitality, and to respond to the divine appeal to welcome the stranger.
Therein lies the central concern of the book: that hospitality is not simply the practice of a virtue but is integral to the very nature of Christianity’s position toward God, self, and the world—it is at the very center of what it means to be a Christian and to think theologically. He offers a challenging definition of hospitality and calls us to a practice that is the virtue by which the church stands or falls.
Drawing on modern theologians (including Howard Thurman, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Martin Luther King Jr., and Letty Russell) and considering American slavery, the Holocaust, feminism, and prisons, Sutherland eloquently presents a Christian theology of hospitality.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A thoroughly pleasant read, short and thought-provoking. Sutherland offers some new thoughts on old themes, challenging some common perceptions. It is well worth the time, and I often refer back to it, which for me, is the best characteristic of any book.
This is a wonderful book that could be read in an hour or two (just 100 pages including a valuable introduction) but it is one that will keep you thinking for much longer. How does "Christian hospitality" differ from the entertainment focused, reciprocity-driven concept that so often defines our secular impression of what hospitality entails? What do Bonhoffer, Martin Luther King, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kim Dae Jung have to say to us about the practice of hospitality as individuals and congregations? These and other meaty topics are covered in a thought-provoking book that draws us deeply into the narrative of Lydia in Acts 16, that favorably looks upon the work of missionaries called to reach out to their neighbors across borders and cultures, that even brings in a discussion of the Trinity in antebellum spirituals and in the end draws all these threads into a cohesive argument for bringing the ministry of hospitality into the center of living out the Christian faith...
My daughter is going to love this. Great price on Prime Day!
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