Brennan Manning has written a masterpiece on grace with The Ragamuffin Gospel. In Manning's own words, the book was written for "the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out". In fact, those were the very types that Jesus ministered to most frequently.
Ragamuffins are simply marginalized, ordinary, overlooked, common people. People like the woman at the well, beggars, thieves, tax-collectors, little children, and fishermen were the ones Christ most often associated with. Why? Simply because these were often the ones, not only with the greatest needs, but the ones who realized they had no means of receiving grace on their own. They needed help, they needed love, and they were rewarded for the faith in the person of Jesus Christ. Humility and brokenness, coupled with desperate pleas are heard by God.
I believe Brennan Manning is an eloquent writer. The Ragamuffin Gospel helped me in my faith journey. It encouraged me to abandon myself to grace - that unmerited, undeserved, freely given love of God. I have read this book multiple times, wearing it out with a highlighter and writing in the margins. Manning has been a major influencer in reminding me of the depths of Christ's love during some difficult days. I want to love more like Christ did as a result of reading this book! I would gladly recommend this to anyone wanting to challenge their perceptions of God as a small-minded, cold-hearted, distant "man". That God does not exist except in the errant person's warped mind. The God I know and serve consumes my life and loves me unashamedly. He loves us all and desires a personal relationship with anyone who will come to Him by faith in His precious Son.
If you want to finally understand how much God loves you then you MUST read this book. It truly changed my life and taught me how to trust the God we can not see but feel so strong in our hearts. I am reading the sequel "Ruthless Trust" and I have to tell you to just go ahead and get that one also. Amazing !!!
The Lord Jesus Christ warned His followers, "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep�s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15). The warning was important because Jesus later said to them: "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves" (Matt. 10:16). The apostle Paul, with a deeply troubled spirit and in tears, penned a similar warning: "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock" (Acts 20:29).This is a major theme of The Ragamuffin Gospel, "trusting the love of God," because God loves you no matter what you do. There is no call to sanctification or holiness. Instead Manning excuses sin as human weakness that God will tolerate regardless of whether the sinner is repentant or not. In saying this, Manning has turned "the grace of our God into licentiousness" (Jude 4). He writes: "False gods" the gods of human understanding" despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept."2 Yes, too incredible because it violates God's word: "Thou dost hate all who do iniquity" (Psalm 5:5).
This is truely an excellent book about God's saving grace. It was written, I think, for those of us who sometimes don't feel worthy of receiving God's gift. I felt so much peace after reading it. I felt closer to God.