The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

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9780880706315: The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out
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In the course of life it often seems as if little or no progress is ever made in our spiritual journey. We constantly beat ourselves up over our failures and in the process drive ourselves away from God, who we subconsciously believe tallies our failures and hangs His head in disappointment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even as ragamuffins, the Father beckons us to Him with a "furious love" that burns brightly for His children. It is a gift like no other. It is only when we truly realize God's grace that we can forever bask in the unbridled joy of a gospel that enfolds the most needy of His ragamuffins.

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Review:

Brennan Manning wrote The Ragamuffin Gospel "for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out," the marginalized folks to whom Jesus ministered: the children, the ill, the tax collectors, the women. In other words, the ragamuffins. Manning understands better than most that behind our facades of order and self-assurance are inadequacies that can find healing only in Jesus. While the powerful and religious elite challenged him, Jesus embraced and healed and fed the needs of the ragamuffins. Jesus delivered love, healing, and, most of all, grace.

Grace is defined as "the freely given and unmerited favor and love of God." But, as Manning points out, we have "twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper." In reality, God offers us grace immeasurable. Brennan Manning gently encourages us to embrace that grace in the face of our greatest needs. And Manning certainly knows whereof he speaks, having taken a journey from priesthood and academic achievement through a collapse into alcoholism. Manning came face to face with his need, finally abandoning himself to grace. And he invites us now to join him in a life of grace.

Manning is without doubt one of the most eloquent writers on the subject of grace because he openly shares his own pain and struggle to help readers deal with failure and inadequacy. And he sweetly challenges them to do the same. --Patricia Klein

About the Author:

Brennan Manning is a Korean War veteran and former Franciscan priest who lives in New Orleans , Louisiana . A native of Brooklyn , Manning earned degrees in philosophy from St. Francis College and in theology from St. Francis Seminary. His books include The Signature of Jesus and Abba’s Child. Still traveling widely, Manning continues to write and preach, encouraging men and women everywhere to accept and embrace the good news of God’s unconditional love in Jesus Christ.

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