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The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the…

The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt… (original 1990; edition 2005)

by Brennan Manning

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2,572242,334 (4.19)13
Title:The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out
Authors:Brennan Manning
Info:Multnomah Books (2005), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:faith, grace

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The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (1990)



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Apparently this book was first published in 1990 and is now considered a classic, but I had never previously heard of Brennan Manning. I started to read the book because I was given it... and continued because I was so impressed by the writing, and encouraged by the content.

The book is, as the final chapter says, 'unbalanced'. It focuses on God's unconditional love for mankind, and the saving power of Jesus. It tries to help Christians to understand what they mean when they use the oft-quoted phrase about 'saved by grace'. It points out that we're all 'ragamuffins' - he deliberately doesn't use the word 'sinners', perhaps because that flows all too easily off the tongue. Instead, the picture of a ragamuffin is used throughout. Someone like Oliver Twist, perhaps: with nothing of beauty, no reason for anyone to care for us, nothing in ourselves that merits attention. Yet God loves us anyway, with the deep and passionate love of a father. We don't have to do anything to merit his grace. As Philip Yancey says in his book on the same subject: there's nothing we can do that will make God love us more, and nothing we can do that will make God love us less.

Does that mean we can do whatever we like, that our lifestyle doesn't matter? Of course not. Manning doesn't focus on our response, or Christian living, but there are many books which do. Of course God has standards, and we're called to holiness. But we don't have to strive for it, or struggle in our own strength. We accept God's love, take hold of his hand, and then find ourselves motivated to follow his commands and guidance. Will we ever succeed? Of course not, but every little step in the right direction is worth taking.

All in all, I thought this an excellent book. Well-written with an interesting style, including relevant anecdotes now and again, and often inspiring. There weren't any brand new insights, to be sure, but for those struggling with the concept of works vs grace, or caught up in legalistic forms of Christianity, I recommend it most highly.

Re-read 2012; I found it inspiring and encouraging all over again. Definitely recommended. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
I had read this book back in the early 1990's when it first was published. I sped read it though back then, but this book is to be slowly chewed and digested so it can get into a person's spirit. It has the ability to change twisted thinking about God and addresses why He did what He did to save mankind. I was in a legalistic church for many years that preached and taught "holy" living. I always believed I never could measure up to God to be able to please Him with who I am or what I do or don't do, because I was always "screwing up". Always having a sense God was watching and waiting for me to mess up and not live the Christian life like I should. This book written by a man who was tormented by these feelings for years, knows what he is talking about. It is refreshing, a book to definitely keep in one's library to reference just in case these thoughts and feelings try to worm their way back in. I would definitely recommend this book for those who struggle to embrace God's love, mercy and grace for them. ( )
  lmerritt | Nov 20, 2015 |
Fantastic is all I can say. Cuts to the heart. Restores the Good News for what it is. Ignore Manning's occasional pluralist slip. ( )
  ted_newell | Jun 20, 2015 |
A great reminder of what our faith is really all about. And what it is not about. To many people running around trying to be good when they should be trying to know Christ. And God loves us anyway. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
"The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all."
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out ( )
  Carolfoasia | Jul 14, 2014 |
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emprestei para Mirian em maio 2014

added by juliocutrim | editsao paulo

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brennan Manningprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brock, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brock, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Michael W.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Home is that sacred space--external or internal--where we don't have to be afraid, where we are confident of hospitality and love.
Compassion for others is not a simple virtue because it avoids snap judgments--right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain: it seeks truth in all its complexity.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0880706317, Paperback)

Brennan Manning wrote The Ragamuffin Gospel "for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out," the marginalized folks to whom Jesus ministered: the children, the ill, the tax collectors, the women. In other words, the ragamuffins. Manning understands better than most that behind our facades of order and self-assurance are inadequacies that can find healing only in Jesus. While the powerful and religious elite challenged him, Jesus embraced and healed and fed the needs of the ragamuffins. Jesus delivered love, healing, and, most of all, grace.

Grace is defined as "the freely given and unmerited favor and love of God." But, as Manning points out, we have "twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper." In reality, God offers us grace immeasurable. Brennan Manning gently encourages us to embrace that grace in the face of our greatest needs. And Manning certainly knows whereof he speaks, having taken a journey from priesthood and academic achievement through a collapse into alcoholism. Manning came face to face with his need, finally abandoning himself to grace. And he invites us now to join him in a life of grace.

Manning is without doubt one of the most eloquent writers on the subject of grace because he openly shares his own pain and struggle to help readers deal with failure and inadequacy. And he sweetly challenges them to do the same. --Patricia Klein

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:43 -0400)

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Discusses Christianity and God's unconditional love and grace.

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