Meet Brennan Manning

Franciscan priest, theology professor, spiritual director are all titles are embodied in the remarkable person of Brennan Manning.

Brennan studied at St. Johnís, the University of Missouri, Columbia, and Catholic University of America. He was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1963. He later taught theology at the University of Stuebenville in Ohio, and served as spiritual director of St. Francis Seminary in Pennsylvania. Then, veering off the seemingly charted course of his life, he fell into the mire of alcoholism. Some would ask "How?" or "Why?" Perhaps the answer lies with the Lord, who may have allowed Brennan to walk through dark valleys so he could later lead others to the Light.

To be sure, the turmoil and strife Brennan experienced was not in vain, for out of it came a powerful ministry that testifies of Godís unlimited grace and mercy. When he isnít speaking at Christian colleges across the country or directing spiritual retreats, Brennan is writing spiritually healing books. Of the works heís delivered thus far, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Embracing the Unconditional Love of God is perhaps the most revered.

Ragamuffinóthe bestseller written "for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out"órings of an honesty and truth only a man of Brennanís life experience can convey. A passionate call to accept Godís grace not as theory, but as practical reality, Ragamuffin strikes a chord in the hearts of many believers, including musician Michael Card: "I found deep comfort in realizing that Jesus loves even me, a ragamuffin, just as I am and not as I should be, that he accepts me, though I am most unacceptable." Max Lucado, the best-selling author of Just Like Jesus, adds, "Brennan Manning does a masterful job of blowing the dust off of shop-worn theology and allowing Godís grace to do what only Godís grace can do--amaze." Eugene Peterson, who brought the world The Message, calls Ragamuffin "a zestful and accurate portrayal that tells us unmistakably that the gospel is good, dazzlingly good."

Brennan is also a prolific writer, releasing 9 books in 2002 and 2003, in addition to past writings. Above All is a meditation on Michael W. Smith's song of the same title; it is also an exploration of Jesus Christ. In Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes: Unmasking the Real You (written with Jim Hancock), Manning encourages young people come to terms with all aspects of their life and become who they really are through God's grace. Also recently or soon to be released are The Rabbi's Heartbeat, Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God, The Wisdom of Tenderness, Abba's Child, The Journey of the Prodigal, and A Glimpse of Jesus.

If you ever have any doubt about Godís love for you, read a book by Brennan Manning, a man who knows that the Lordís love is real, and who challenges you to believe it without reservation.

Brennan and his wife, Roslyn, live in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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