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The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out [Paperback]

Brennan Manning
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 28 2005
A Furious Love Is Hot on Your Trail!

Many believers feel stunted in their Christian growth. We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe He tallies our defects and hangs His head in disappointment. In this newly repackaged edition—now with full appendix, study questions, and the author’s own epilogue, “Ragamuffin Ten Years Later,” Brennan Manning reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth. The Father beckons us to Himself with a “furious love” that burns brightly and constantly. Only when we truly embrace God’s grace can we bask in the joy of a gospel that enfolds the most needy of His flock—the “ragamuffins.”

Are you bedraggled, beat-up, burnt-out?

Most of us believe in God’s grace—in theory. But somehow we can’t seem to apply it in our daily lives. We continue to see Him as a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheet.

Yet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we’ve done. We come to Him as ragamuffins—dirty, bedraggled, and beat-up. And when we sit at His feet, He smiles upon us, the chosen objects of His “furious love.”

Brennan Manning’s now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it—simple honesty—has changed thousands of lives. Now with a Ragamuffin’s thirty-day spiritual journey guide, it will change yours, too.

Includes a 30-Day Spiritual Journey Guide!

“Brennan Manning does a masterful job of blowing the dust off of shop-worn theology and allowing God’s grace to do what only God’s grace can do—amaze.”
-Max Lucado, Bestselling author of The Gift for All People

“I found deep comfort in realizing that Jesus loves even me, a ragamuffin, just as I am.”
-Michael Card, Musician, recording artist, and author of A Violent Grace

“This is a zestful and accurate portrayal that tells us unmistakably that the gospel is good, dazzlingly good.”
-Eugene Peterson, Author of The Message

Story Behind the Book

The world assigns value to people using measurable standards. Someone is a successful student if she receives As. Someone is a strong athlete if he runs five miles a day. The Lord, however, knows nothing of standards. The Ragamuffin Gospel was inspired by Brennan Manning after he discovered firsthand what it means to live by grace instead of performance. His words bring new life and sweet refreshment to Christians who are tired of never measuring up.

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Product Description

About the Author

Brennan Manning is a Korean War veteran and former Franciscan priest who lives in New Orleans , Louisiana . A native of Brooklyn , Manning earned degrees in philosophy from St. Francis College and in theology from St. Francis Seminary. His books include The Signature of Jesus and Abba’s Child. Still traveling widely, Manning continues to write and preach, encouraging men and women everywhere to accept and embrace the good news of God’s unconditional love in Jesus Christ.

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I owe Brennan Manning thirty dollars for lecture tapes I bought from him on an I.O.U. I'm not writing this foreword because of that debt. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I loved this book! It is written in an easy going, conversational style. While I love that type of writing because it captivates and draws me in, others expecting a more "academic" approach may not. Brennan writes as though he is writing just to ME, and the message he is sending has even more impact as a result. The message presented here is a simple, clear statement of love and grace given freely. The author makes references to AA meetings, a place where grace abounds due to the truthful honest reality of failure. The truth shall set you free. That truth is the reality of who we are, with all the posturing, image, and carefully crafted exteriors blown away, and the reality that it is that truth that God loves, accepts and embraces. In a particularly impactful segment, Brennan describes the heartbreaking and shocking process of a man's illusions being shattered, and the freedom and change that comes as a result of accepting God's love and grace from that place of true honesty. This book will shatter the illusions of many Christians guided by rituals, laws, and all the unfortunate illusions that keep us from seeing what is right in front of us - God's free gift of grace and acceptance, as we are, who we are. Many previous reviewers of this book have mentioned that it seemed that Brennan's continued message of grace might constitute some sort of absolvance of responsibility for behavior. I did not see this presented here. There is no one who has much trouble with behaving in ways they wish they didn't, however most of us have considerable trouble in accepting ourselves and loving ourselves as God does in spite of those lapses. We are who we are. And God loves and freely extends grace to us where we are, who we are. This is a great book! Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a Ragamuffin to a Ragamuffin Jan. 18 2004
My appreciation for the message in this book is overwhelming and resurges if I simply glance at its cover. The writing is intelligent, creative and engaging: Brennan paints a masterful picture of a loving God who reaches out for even (and especially) the worst of us.
To explain why this book spoke so beautifully to my heart, as the saying goes, "the taller you stand the farther you fall". I was for most of my young adult life a devoted and sincere Christian; I loved God and enjoyed His constant presence, was active in college Christian fellowship groups and mission trips and had intended on a life of mission work overseas. But during the year after I graduated from college, unforeseen circumstances - and weaknesses I didn't even know I had - cancelled my plans to "work for God".
Within the next year alone, my disappointment, feelings of being suddenly lost in world in which I'd previously thought to know my place and purpose, and a sudden sense of complete worthlessness left me reeling. I went from being what one might call a cookie-cutter Christian, admired as "shining with the light of Jesus", to struggling through severe depression, abusive drinking, eating disorders and unhealthy relationships. I contemplated suicide and often lied in bed crying with grief over what I thought must be God's deep, deep disappointment in me.
When I was introduced to The Ragamuffin Gospel by a dear friend "who knew me back when", I felt an inexplicable sense of relief after reading just a few pages. I felt I was engaging in a conversation with that rare type of person -- someone who understood how I felt, and better yet, had a sincere answer and hope to share.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I grew up in an abusive, legalistic church, who stressed a life of utmost holiness as most pleasing to God, therefore my ultimate goal in my walk with Christ is to overcome sin. Unfortunately the more I try, the more I see my failures and my peace and joy in God fluctuates with my personal performance.
The Ragamuffin Gospel seeks to destroy the worldview of God that Christendom has created: You are saved by immense and passionate grace and mercy, but once you accept it, God has a checklist of sanctification and service that you must repay. Why would a God of unsearchable riches suddenly do a 180 and expect us to deliver a checklist of personal effort? Our "spiritual leaders" reinforce these lists often comprised of: Do your daily devotions, or God won't speak to you / Pray longer and harder or God won't know your heart / Do more service for church, you're not doing enough for God, you're spending too much time on yourself / If you don't have it all together, God can't use you, etc. etc.
Brennan Manning vehemently believes that God absolutely hates sin (as the other reviewers here focus on as their primary view of God), BUT, God's grace and mercy abounds all the more. IT IS THIS UNFATHOMABLE AWE OF EXPERIENCING AND KNOWING JESUS' LOVE THAT INSPIRES AND STRENGTHENS US TO FLEE FROM SIN, NOT OUR OWN RESOLVE.
A MUST read for anyone who has been raised in the modern institutional church.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We Serve a Holy God Aug. 9 2003
God loves the sinner. God is gracious and longsuffering; He endures our transgressions. God loves us just the way we are. We are saved by grace, and not by our own merits. We are exempt from the law since we've received the Spirit of God by believing in the Name of Jesus Christ. Yes, yes, and yes. There is nothing you or I can do to make God love us more, accept us more, or win favor in His eyes. And subsequently, there is no evil we can commit that would cause Him to stop loving us, since anything we did, can or will do has been paid for on the cross. And nothing but the blood of Christ can wash away sins.
These are all truths, great Biblical truths, and I stand by them, and commend the author for expounding on the loving eternal grace that God is (I John 4:8).
But let us not forget that God is also a Holy God (Lev. 19:2), and He expects us to live Holy (Lev. 20:7, Matt. 5:48).
And please let us not forget that God is to be greatly feared (Ps. 111:10).
We should cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1). Jesus knew His disciples were imperfect, yet He urged them to strive for the perfection of God. He told the woman caught in adultery to "sin no more". But were they willing to do as Jesus commanded them? Never once in any of the gospels did the Lord tell people, "Hey, don't let your hearts be troubled over your repeated sins. Go on with your lives, and just be comforted knowing that My Father loves you."
There is a serious lack of uncompromised holiness in the church of Jesus today.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
Inspiring and challenging. Highly recommended.
Published 10 days ago by Dennis Driedger
5.0 out of 5 stars Ragamuffin
I found this book very helpful with the doubts I am facing on how to act within my faith everyday
Published 3 months ago by eric g budgell
5.0 out of 5 stars All christians should read
I have not even finished this book totally but so far it has been great reenforsing why and what I believe and showing us all as christians what undeserved love we have been given
Published on May 15 2010 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ragamuffin Gospel
Fresh, poignant and critical... liked the vantage point and suggest all Christians get a hold of it and read it !
Published on Jan. 18 2010 by Steve C. Wick
5.0 out of 5 stars Great content, gorgeous images
I was impressed by the powerful images that the publisher has paired with the powerful words of Brennan Manning. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2005 by Ellen Graf-Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Redeemed by God's Grace Alone
The Ragamuffin Gospel is the first Christian book to hit right where my heart needed it... For the majority of my life, I considered myself right in God's Grace without... Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by "cmcarr2002"
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this review
Dear readers,
I was browing the web looking for a page of brenning manning and his works, so I came to amazon hoping to find a link. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by "symon219"
5.0 out of 5 stars Approach with caution, but let into your heart
Although one must have a strong base in the Word to read this book, understanding that we are called to be born again or "new creatures" through putting faith in Christ... Read more
Published on March 28 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a ragamuffin fan...sorry
I had a good friend give me this book for Christmas, so I decided to read it based on his recommendation. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by E. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel of Grace Embraced
The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book for the faint of faith - to help them realize that their very weakness makes them strong in what matters most: God's grace. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by Evagrius Ponticus
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