I was really excited to read this book after all of the great reviews and the outstanding endorsement written in the forward by Michael W. Smith.
I love this quote at the beginning of the book -- "The difference between faith as belief in something that may or may not exist and faith as trusting in God" is enormous. The first is a matter of the head, the second a matter of the heart."
The author talks about how something is radically wrong when the local church rejects a person that is accepted by Jesus when a harsh, judgmental and unforgiving sentence is passed on homosexuals; when a divorcee is denied communion; when the child of a prostitute is refused baptism; when an unlaicized priest is forbidden the sacraments. Jesus comes to the ungodly, even on Sunday morning. His coming ends ungodliness and makes us worthy. Otherwise, we are establishing at the heart of Christianity an utterly ungodly and unworthy preoccupation with works.
I thought I would really love this book with its realistic view of what it means to be a Christian and calling out the hypocrites and false doctrine. The God of the legalistic Christian is unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. When we view God this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease him.
Thank you to Brennan Manning for writing a book to overcome the myths of Christianity and show us what it truly means to be Christian.
I received a complimentary e-book of Ragamuffin Gospel Netgalley.com in exchange for this fair and unbiased review.
I've heard of Brennan Manning before. I've read some quotes, inspiring posts about him, and of course I have heard of his all famous book, The Ragamuffin Gospel.
When I first got it I thought it looked interesting. It's the special anniversary edition so it includes a few different things than the original book, but the book in it's entirety is untouched. They allowed a few people to write some special words at the beginning, but they decided to leave the rest of the book alone, to let it speak for itself. I find that respectful and beautiful.
With that said, on to my review. Brennan has a wonderful piece here. This is a beautiful book from what I've read in it. Brennan tells the story of the Creator of the Universe and His endless pursuit of sinners in need of grace. He does a wonderful job of showing how God saves us by grace through faith and though we may wander and fall away, He loves us regardless and offers us grace to continue on this journey to love God and become more like Christ.
This book is one I would use for a small group or Bible study and I would recommend taking a week at a time. It's easy to rush through something and miss the beauty, but with this book I say take it slow. Enjoy it. Savor it. You don't want to miss what God will show you while reading. Let Him speak through the words of a former Franciscan Priest.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. All views expressed are mine.
I had read this book back in the early 1990's when it first was published. I sped read it though back then, but this book is to be slowly chewed and digested so it can get into a person's spirit. It has the ability to change twisted thinking about God and addresses why He did what He did to save mankind. I was in a legalistic church for many years that preached and taught "holy" living. I always believed I never could measure up to God to be able to please Him with who I am or what I do or don't do, because I was always "screwing up". Always having a sense God was watching and waiting for me to mess up and not live the Christian life like I should. This book written by a man who was tormented by these feelings for years, knows what he is talking about. It is refreshing, a book to definitely keep in one's library to reference just in case these thoughts and feelings try to worm their way back in. I would definitely recommend this book for those who struggle to embrace God's love, mercy and grace for them.
If you have ever lost track of the Good News and the joy, acceptance and motivation it brings, then read the Ragamuffin Gospel. You will find yourself right back on your Heavenly Daddy's lap full of hope and strength to be one of His.