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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (August 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802844316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802844316
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Sisters Today
"In her beautiful book Making Room, Christine Pohl . . . illustrates both in content and in format the profound meaning of hospitality in Christian life. . . Using her own pastoral experience and that of others, Pohl deals realistically with the fragility of hospitality in its limits, boundaries, and temptations. . . Pohl encourages readers to engage in thoughtful reflection on how important it is to adopt the attitude of the early Christians toward all people in our world."

Booklist
"Pohl elegantly, accessibly introduces the history of Christian hospitality and its potential for transforming contemporary Christian practice. . . The book appeals not only to readers interested in contemporary Christianity and its historical development but also to those interested more generally in the margins of society and the commercialization of hospitality and welfare."

Books & Culture
"Casual readers beware: Making Room is guaranteed to challenge even the most complacent Christian. You are not likely to walk away from this book unchanged."

CBA Marketplace
"[Pohl] effectively weaves biblical insight, historical precedent, and practical wisdom, exploring how concern for strangers has been normative from ancient times. To revitalize this 'moral dimension,' Pohl challenges readers to move beyond their safety of hosting people within their familiar social or economic world. While contemporary examples focus on intentional Christian communities -- such as L'Abri or the Catholic Worker -- the book has rich implications for house- or church-based ministry. Ultimately, readers from any church background will learn that as they make room for others in their homes, more room will become available to them to receive God's blessings."

Christian Retailing
"Making Room is a welcome reminder that as God's people we are all called to be hospitable to others, whether or not we have what some call 'the gift of hospitality.' The book would most appeal to those desiring to make a difference in the lives of others through hospitality."

Publishers Weekly
"Christine Pohl addresses a surprisingly undiscovered topic in Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition. Far from a Martha Stewart handbook for Christians, Pohl's work focuses on the nitty-gritty of forging community hospitality, as evidenced in such organizations as The Catholic Worker, L'Abri and The Open Door. Hospitality, she writes, should be more about welcoming strangers than friends and family."

About the Author

Christine D. Pohl is associate provost and professor of Christian social ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is a good read, but it requires more than one pass.
Amazon Customer
If you take this book seriously and try to live out this kind of hospitality in your life, I believe you will grow closer to the Kingdom of God.
Jonathan Hakkeem
In her book, Pohl makes an excellent case for the lost ministry of hospitality.
Amanda Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is hard to know where to start. The book is elegantly written, it is full of interesting history of the early church. But more importantly, it speaks to a deadness in the church today. Often members of the church have learned to live distant from problems of their "neighbors" be they down the block or down the street in the challenged neighborhoods in our cities.
In the early church, members were the challenged people, they reached out to each other, but now much of the church is isolated and distant from the needy stranger. Read Luke 14 - decide if you have responded to principles in those scenarios described by Jesus. If you come up short, then this book will help with a compassionate analysis of our dilemma in reaching out to "the least of these."
In addition to setting the stage for individuals to learn to reach out to needy strangers, the book creates a context for the faith-based social service discussion. While members of congregations may not exhibit the skills of professional social workers, they have an important role to play in being present and responding to neigbors in their communities who need the touch of grace in their lives.
The book is a good read, but it requires more than one pass. If you invest in the book deeply, you will be called to action.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Smith on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
In her book, Pohl makes an excellent case for the lost ministry of hospitality. She explores the tradition of welcoming stangers into our homes while discussing the ways in which Christians can offer practical hospitality to the poor, homeless, and refugees in our communities. I am impressed that Pohl is careful not to confuse the challenging ministry hospitality with entertaining.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Creegan on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Making Room is a narrative of the Christian story of hospitality, and is rich in historical and Biblical detail. Pohl convinces us that in recovering this lost Christian practice we will not only encounter the holiness and mystery of God, but entertain angels as well.
Making Room is a positive and a healing book. All is not right with Christendom, but throughout church history there have been a few persons who have recovered and continued the practice of entertaining strangers, and have promoted or formed redemptive welcoming communities. Making Room is thus a book that brings to life the holy underside of history. Included in the narrative are the stories of some contemporary communities of hospitality still functioning on the edges of church life today, bringing hospitality to workers, the condemned, the handicapped, or those seeking spiritual direction.
In spite of the persistent theme of encountering angels, however, Pohl does not gloss over the human toll involved in providing hospitality, and the enormous burden it often places on a few. She discusses openly the painful question of boundaries and limits in the practice of hospitality, and the need to maintain identity as well as openness to others.
Pohl's writing is remarkable in its ecumenical application. All traditions and communities are incorporated at some point in the history and in the contemporary application. This text will be invaluable for seminary students, pastors and priests, lay church groups, and anyone interested in social issues, spirituality or church history. Making Room will provide answers to those perplexed by the lack of depth in contemporary church life today, and those who are thinking through issues of boundaries and openness with regard to refugees and aliens in many contexts.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Margaret M. Hanrahan on September 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
In this day of declining membership in mainline Christian churches and the exponetially rising number of refugees and migrants worldwide, Christine Pohl makes a convincing case for the primacy of hospitality as a spiritual discipline for 21st century Christians. Fear and institutional distance has radically altered the practice of hospitality, making what was once common behavior, a radical devotion among only the bravest of souls. Simple hospitality will be the hallmark of sanctity in the modern world. Every minister should have this work in their pastoral library. It is a book to ponder and pray over.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Borchardt on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Few ideas would seem to be as obvious as the idea that churches need to be welcoming communities. This book does more than remind us of the obvious, it opens the whole idea of hospitality, its history, spirituality and practice to personal study and communal implementation. Pohl firmly grounds "Making Room" in Scripture and in the experience of various Christian communities. The depth of her scholarship and research will reward church ministers and those preparing for ministry. Her clear writing style makes her work accessible to any reader.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John I. Carney on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book in preparation to interviewing Dr. Pohl for a magazine. It's terrific -- a thoughtful examination of practices that used to be considered an essential component of the Christian faith but which have, over the years, been institutionalized and removed from our everyday lives. How do we recapture the Biblical imperative toward hospitality in the reality of a modern world? This book doesn't give pat answers, but it does give you a framework for asking the right questions, and some suggestions that might point you in the right direction.
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