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The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out Paperback – Jun 28 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books; Revised edition edition (June 28 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590525027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590525029
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Brennan Manning was a Korean War veteran and former Franciscan priest who became the best-selling author of more than twenty books, including The Signature of Jesus, Abba's Child, and All Is Grace. Prior to his death in 2013, Manning traveled widely, sharing the good news of God’s unconditional love in Jesus Christ.

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First Sentence
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

4.5 out of 5 stars

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Erisman on Nov. 9 2000
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Lyke on Dec 9 2003
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dale Pulliam on Nov. 4 2003
I've met Brennan several times and read his books. He's rough around the edges, but isn't that the point? We're all rough around the edges - ragamuffins, every one. And yet God loves us anyway.
Some people sin in public, some in private. If you don't believe in the concept of sin, you probably won't like this book. If you don't believe in God, you probably won't like this book. If you believe that you have to 'behave' in order for God to love you - well, I think that's why Brennan wrote this book.
It seems to me that Brennan isn't saying we shouldn't behave. Of course we should behave. But we don't have to behave in order for God to love us. If you have children, you know exactly what he means.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 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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