Finding Similarities Between Rosaria Butterfield and Ron Sider – A Review

by Mr. Sheehy

I was first intimidated by Ron Sider as a freshman in college when I read Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. Sider crafts his assessment of the economic world so uncompromisingly I felt trapped. I was rich, clearly, with a standard of living far above most of the world, and, though only a student, I was headed toward a life of great income. Would I use it to gratify myself, stockpiling goods in what would surely be a massive house? Or would I give it away and be satisfied with second-hand blazers and minimal square footage? I appreciated Sider’s heart, but how was I going to achieve such an ideal?

I wasn’t able to resolve the question to my satisfaction during school and ignored it by pursuing unlucrative jobs. If I qualified for government support, I could avoid conundrums about faith and finances.

But Sider had shifted the continuum I used to consider wealth. Before Sider, the generosity-pole was populated by those who tithed and donated to charity. After Sider, I understood that if you were not sharing your lawnmower with your neighbors, you weren’t that serious about generosity.

I say all this because I think I’ve spotted the Ron Sider dynamic in Rosaria Butterfield. Her book The Gospel Comes with a House Key is to hospitality what Sider’s book is to generosity—a bold demand that Christians obey Scripture, paired with an intimidating image of what that obedience should look like.

From my review of Rosaria Butterfield’s The Gospel Comes with a House Key, published at The Curator. Read the rest there.