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.

Back To Detail Page 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. 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? 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. 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. 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!) 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.