Table Grace: The Role of Hospitality in the Christian Life

Douglas Webster, Author
Douglas Webster. Christian Focus (STL North America, dist.), $14.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-84550-752-7
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In this exploration of Christian hospitality, Beeson Divinity School professor Webster (Second Thoughts for Skeptics) discusses sharing meals as an important component of living the Christian life. For Webster, hospitality includes expectant waiting; openness to possibility; willingness to be interrupted; trust; eager attentiveness to the guest; and the inclusion of marginalized people at the table. True to the adage that the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach, the book moves from physical hospitality to the centrality of Jesus Christ, “the Bread of Life,” who is “far more important than food.” Webster does a good job of focusing on Bible stories that depict eating together and at offering discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Some may be made uneasy by his caricatures of Pharisees. Some may be motivated to change by a message that attempts to prod people—especially consumer-oriented suburbanites—out of their complacency. Others will relish Webster’s meat and potatoes fare of traditional evangelical theology. (Jan.)
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