Biblical hospitality

Joshua Jipp's book does something few biblical scholars attempt: it offers explicit proposals for the church.

Joshua W. Jipp has written a book with soul, an unusual book at multiple levels. He blends a fairly traditional thematic reading of scripture—he’s written about hospitality and the Bible—with explicit proposals for the church. Each chapter begins with reflection on a contemporary issue, works through scriptural material, and concludes with pointed suggestions for faithful living. Few biblical scholars address ecclesial concerns so directly.

Jipp makes two arguments that are daring within his context, that of conservative evangelical theology. The first is doctrinal. Evangelicals strongly embrace the Reformation doctrine of sola fides, sola gratia, or justification by grace through faith alone. But Jipp highlights biblical cases in which the giving and receiving of hospitality provide the means of salvation. These case studies extend far beyond isolated passages to include the structure of entire biblical books. Jipp argues for hospitality as a means of salvation.

Jipp is also somewhat daring in ad­dressing issues like caring for poor people, prisoners, and refugees. Often evangelicals have been the Christians most likely to extend direct aid to people in need, especially in global contexts. But the overwhelming majority of white evangelical Christians supported Donald Trump, and Trump’s policies markedly embrace “extreme vetting” and a “tough on crime” stance.