When author Joshua Jipp set out to examine what Scripture teaches about hospitality to strangers, a resounding theme emerged, namely, “God’s hospitality to us necessarily results in and creates hospitality to others.”
Jipp maintains that salvation comes through faith alone in Jesus Christ, though the title of his book might give the impression that salvation is based on faith and works-righteousness. However, he repeatedly points out that if we obey and love God as revealed in the Old Testament and Jesus as he is made known in the New Testament, we must welcome and offer hospitality to strangers, faithfully seeking their well-being. In fact, he says, the church must be willing to be stigmatized by welcoming those whom society rejects.
Written with the present United States political climate in mind, Jipp boldly takes to task government policies and laws that espouse xenophobic views. At the same time, Jipp lauds Christian organizations that have “repudiated the popular xenophobic rhetoric that has often characterized the Religious Right through debunking many of the myths about immigrants that produce fear and suspicion, through actively settling refugees and providing tangible care for immigrants, and through advocating for immigration reform. Many of these denominations and organizations have acted so precisely because they have rediscovered the importance of the biblical tradition of hospitality toward the stranger.”
In several chapters offering practical, insightful suggestions, Jipp explores how living a life of hospitality involves overcoming tribalism, xenophobia, and greed in our own hearts and in the body of Christ.
Helpful questions provided at the end of each chapter make this book conducive to both individual and group devotional study. (Eerdmans)