Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to GodRuthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God
Brennan Manning
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His major work---The Ragamuffin Gospel---reminded us how furiously God loves us. Now Manning examines the major obstacle to living in that unconditional love and grace---our inability to trust God ruthlessly. A life-changing discussion of how the whole of Christian practice can be summed up in a single 5-letter word---trust. 190 pages, softcover from HarperSanFrancisco.
     

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Christianbook.com: This Easter we’re featuring a limited edition version of The Rabbi’s Heartbeat. Brennan, what is this book about?

Brennan Manning: The book is about moving from an intellectual cognition to an experiential awareness of the love of God.

Christianbook.com: Part of the draw of this limited edition version is the included original recording by Michael Card. Michael, why did you want to write a song for one of Brennan’s books?

Michael Card: The most direct answer is that I wrote the song because the opportunity was given to me to do so. I have been a devotee of Brennan’s for about twenty years now. My oldest son was named after Brennan. How much more devoted can someone be?

Christianbook.com: What does it mean to hear the Rabbi's heartbeat?

Manning: To hear the Rabbi’s heartbeat is the same experience of the apostle John when he laid his head on the breast of Jesus in the Upper Room. Card: To hear the Rabbi’s heart means to “get” Jesus, in any given situation to be able to discern what He would say and direct me to do.

Christianbook.com: Why is it important for us to understand what God thinks of us?

Manning: To know that God loves us in the state of grace or disgrace is the most powerful motivation to respond with the aid of grace to His loving call.

Card:It is important to understand what God thinks of us because what He thinks is what we truly are. Abraham Heschel says to become a thought of God’s is mans’ highest achievement.

Christianbook.com: What has God taught you over the years about what you mean to him?

Manning: To allow myself to be loved by God in my deepest brokenness is to experience a love that defies human comprehension.

Card: God has shown me that I mean everything to Him, more than I dare dream. He loves me so much He wants to be married to me. (I learned this answer from Brennan!)

Christianbook.com: What does it mean to be “rooted in love”?

Manning: To be rooted in love is to look beyond surface appearances to see the inner beauty in others often disfigured by sin.

Card: To be “rooted in love” means to become truly “radical.” The word radical means “rooted.” To be biblically radical demands that I love radically.

Christianbook.com: How will seeing ourselves through the eyes of grace impact our relationships with other people?

Card: Seeing ourselves through the eyes of grace frees us to be for others all we need to be. When I am free, most especially of the tyranny of my self-centeredness, then the door of my life can really open out to the otherness of my brothers and sisters.

Christianbook.com: What role does silence and solitude play in our hearing God?

Manning: The ancient spiritual tradition is that God gives himself fully to us in silence and solitude.

Card: Mother Teresa said, “God speaks in the silence of the heart.” The role of silence is to create the space where we encounter the silent Presence.

Christianbook.com: Jesus says that we should be child-like in our faith. How do we begin to adopt that attitude?

Manning: Childlike in faith means the daily acknowledgment of utter dependence and that I owe my life and being to another.

Card: I’m not so sure it’s a matter of adopting an attitude as much as it is simply asking for childlikeness as a gracious gift from the Father. The older I get the less I see spirituality as an accomplishment. It seems to me to be mostly a matter of letting go and being willing to receive the special gifts God desires to give to us in His timing.

Christianbook.com: What one thing would you want our customers to know this Easter?

Manning: That we are Easter men and Easter women; that “alleluia” is our song.

Card: One special thing I want my brothers to know this Easter is that lament needs to become a part of our observance. Good Friday needs to become a time to lament what had to have seemed a lost cause. Only then will Resurrection Sunday take on the joy it’s meant to have.