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Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes: Unmasking the Real You (TH1NK)
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you have even a passing interest in Christianity, but struggle to know what to do with the often conflicting behaviors exhibited by many who claim to all be following the same basic belief system, then this book is an excellent look at what it could and should be. How is it that the message of the Gospel is often acted out on a stage for the benefit of our own ego?
Brennan Manning has an uncanny ability to sift through the surface, and dive straight into the places we often do not want to acknowledge exist within all of us. In this book he tackles the "image conscious" Christian, more concerned with how they look, than what they are doing. In it he exposes just how far off the message of love and peace we have often gone. With all of our masks, pettiness, vanity and ego we consume ourselves with, where is our focus on our true cause; to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves?
Of particular interest is how he manages to be blunt and direct in many very personal ways, yet all in his usual self effacing style which leaves one motivated not judged. When reading Manning, one is left with the overwhelming sense that they are simply in a conversation with someone who is speaking on their level. While I know a few too distracted with dogma and doctrine to understand his perspective, he writes about the very real struggle to let go of ego and image, and focus on what is really important. His looks into the problems of racism, homophobia, and neglect of the poor among Christians are especially powerful considering they contrast so much with loving and reaching out to others as Jesus did.
Although the editing and copy itself is at times a bit distracting with its multi-type fonts on every page, it does allow you to take bite sized bits of information and ponder the meaning behind it. Rarely have I stopped so many times while reading to reflect on my own issues. An excellent read and good insights!
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
This wonderful book reinforces the notion (absurd to many) that "God loves us exactly the way we are - but that he loves us too much to let us stay like this." A true shot in the arm for anyone seeking the truth about God and self, and wondering what's next in life.

Despite the disarming title, Manning has not written a "self-help" book, he's written about divine help, found through surrender and brokenness before God. Every page drips with trenchant observations, amusing anecdotes, quotes from notable thinkers and philosophers (Carl Jung among them) and quotes from the Bible (using the wonderfully direct and earthy translation from "The Message").

"Posers, Fakes & Wannabes" is so full of wisdom, humor, and "Big Ideas", I found myself savoring the opportunity to spend time with this book, reading, and rereading many passages, thinking about my own life and about God.

And, no, this book is not "heady stuff" for academics. Written in plain spoken prose, this book is appropriate for anyone, from teenagers to geezers.

A must-have for "the seekers" among us.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Abba's Child" is, in my opinion, the quintessential Brennan Manning. Though I have thoroughly enjoyed all that he has written. I have read and reread the book many times over as there is too much to process at first pass.

"Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes" is a student adaptation of "Abba's Child." While, in general, I am not a fan of audience adapted works, I had heard good things and purchased a copy to give away to a younger friend of mine. Of course I wanted to peruse it before giving it away and found myself reading it through, enthralled by the original content with new language. I found it to be equally as powerful-- not the least watered or dumbed down.

If you have read any other Manning, or if you are an avid reader and contemplative thinker, go ahead and buy "Abba's Child." But, regardless of who you are, "Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes" is a well done adaptation of a great book. I don't believe you will be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
the Living Room Couch (blogspot)
Book Reviews You Want to Read

Story behind the story:
NavPress provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am under no compulsion to provide a favorable review. But I wonder, is it bad that I brought my free book and free coffee into Panera to claim my free pastry and free internet? Panera gets a positive review!!

Story Line:
This recasting of "Abba's Child" for an emerging generation of readers focuses primarily on the first label in the title - "The Poser." The idea is to realize who we are in Christ and how to live honestly with our struggles. Brennan Manning, author of The Ragamuffin Gospel, speaks from personal experience about the danger of acting like we have it all together in front of others. Some of his first declarations are opening up about the reality of sin in his life. He no longer is going to hide behind the "Christian smile" and the "everything is good with God" mindset. He shows us the better (and freeing) alternative of honesty to the world, myself, and God. He reveals that our identity is Christ is a much greater realization in my life than self-deception.

The Real Story:
I heard a pastor say recently that if you want to grow in your Christian walk, camp out on what God's love for me really looks like. This refreshing look at the love of God and brutal honesty about myself really gave me some great things to dwell on.

I do have a word of caution. This book's target audience is the teen generation. This message is essential for any teen generation, but there are some more mature themes and even at least one instance of mild language. We also have some theological disagreements. If a teen is encouraged to read this book, it would be important for a parent to travel this road with them and read the book (maybe even in advance).

If I were to title this book, I would leave out the "Fakers and Wannabes" as I believe this may be the only time these words are used within the pages. Keep it simple... "Posers: unmasking the real you"

However, with all that said, these authors have gained my respect as fellow believers. They have struggled, but are willing to openly share their struggles. My favorite passage is in the closing pages - the story of the dog's dilemma. Excellent.

Check out:
"My Identity in Christ" Bible Study; The Preacher's "Ecclesiastes" - "Soap Bubbles, Soap Bubbles...all is Soap Bubbles."

Rating:
3 smiling masquerade masks out of 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
From the reality of a Poser, faker, and wannabe I was unmasked. Brennan writes with the authority of the hurting, downtrodden addict, and crawls into your heart with insight only achieved by being there! I have read, and given away more Brennan Manning books to men behind bars than any books beside the Bible. Brennan knows the men I minister to. He writes as one of them. He writes as if my Lord and Savior were dictating his manuscript; (which would not surprise me)!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
In an effort to get his grandkids to pay attention to him grandpa decides to get an earring, a tattoo, spikes up his 4 hairs, and trades in his Harry Carey glasses for some square-rimmed Pomo glasses. He also decides to spend a week watching MTV and consuming everything youth culture so that he can pick up a few buzzwords here and there to go with his flashy new ensemble.

"NOW, they will listen to my stories", thinks grandpa.

But here's the problem: If Grandpa's stories are still lame a few buzzwords and a new look isn't going to change anything after about 5 minutes. They'll notice but they won't remember any of grandpa's stories. Grandpa can't be rescued by buzzwords.

What is worse, though, is if grandpa actually does have really cool stories. What will happen is that rather than hearing grandpa's cool story all the kids will walk away with is the scarring-image of grandpa's four spiky hairs. The story gets lost by the distracting medium. Grandpa doesn't need to use buzzwords.

In Posers=Fakers=Wannabes Jim Hancock has attempted to give Brennan Manning's best-selling book Abba's Child a makeover youth edition. This book falls under the second scenario. I don't agree with everything Manning teaches but he is an apt and thought-provoking author. Brennan Manning is the grandpa that has good stories and doesn't need buzzwords.

The problem that I have with this book is that the message is lost because of the medium. How strange that this book is fundamentally about "being set free to be who you really are" and yet it's packaged as if Manning isn't able to be who he truly is. If he wants to engage the youth culture then he had better be a poser, a faker, or a wannabe; he had better spike his hair and use a few buzzwords. And that is a shame because the youth of today need to hear Manning's message.

Now don't get me wrong, there is plenty of Manning here to be recognizable. I may even be overstating my case a tad. Hancock does not abuse Manning's writing and make him indiscernible. The problem though is that today's teenagers see through the buzzwords and are often turned off by them. They long for "just grandpa" and not "grandpa trying to be a teenager".

The content of Abba's Child is really good and the central message is very helpful: stop faking it, be real, trust in Jesus. Every page oozes with that theme. Again, I'm not saying that this youth version is horrible. It can be very beneficial. The problem is that the philosophy that undergirds the change is dangerous. Rather than rewriting Abba's Child to make it appeal to teens, why not encourage mom's and dad's to go through the original with their children?

If the point to grandpa's story is something akin to, "son, be who God made you to be" but he tells it using buzzwords that are foreign to him doesn't it undercut his message? I'm all for adaptability and writing and speaking in a way that youth can relate to. But teens (all people) have a tendency to go to the level we set for them. Abba's Child doesn't need to be made cool...it just might need a little stretching and guidance to go along with it.

Buy Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging. Or if you think I need to buy some square-rimmed glasses and spike up my hair (in other words you disagree and want the hip-version) you can buy it here: Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes: Unmasking the Real You

I received this book free from NAVPress in exchange for a review.
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on January 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
After reading this I really have to get a copy of Abba's Child by Brennan Manning! I was interested in reviewing this book since I work with the youth at our church. I loved the very casual writing style of Brennan Manning. I appreciate how very open and candid both authors are about their flaws and short-comings and that they are very comfortable in God's love. They nailed it on the head when discussing our feelings of uncomfort when we are confronted with God's unconditional love.

The aim of this book is to bring into light what Christ spoke so plainly over 2000 years ago and what God has whispered across time and eternity: You are loved just the way you are!! God sees the individual as what he/she will become. It is vitally important to accept ourselves as we are in the light of God's love and the knowledge that we are a work in progress.

I can't wait to recommend this to others, especially teens. I wish someone had written this when I was a young person. So that I could have lived in the richness of God's blessings for a longer time. It has not been until recent years that I have become more at peace with my identity in Christ and like Manning, I too have to daily put to death "The Poser".

This is a powerful book. Parents read it for yourself then read it with your teens! Empower them for a life of success and peace - help them to become centered in Christ!

Thank you NavPress for this review copy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Authentic, raw, real. if you want candy coated christianity don't read this. If you want how it really is,,, read this NOW!
Refreshing real hope for the one who feels hopeless! love this author.
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on March 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Manning takes a topic that is pertinent to many people in leadership positions, particularly in religious settings, and breaks it apart in various ways/topics. Basically, being a poser is a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not. Well, OK, but so what? The so what is that this destroys any real genuineness, usefulness, peace and compassion. Sure, these things can be faked to some extent, for a while, but if they are not true, then the soul is crushed and becomes bitter. Definitely not a life of freedom. The book was marketed as primarily for teens, but I was just as challenged and engaged as an adult reader.

In other hands this book could have come across as preachy and self-serving, but not here. I will usually mark quotations and passages that I think are particularly relevant in books I read, but this would have been one continuous highlight if I had done that. It really is that insightful and that good. It is full of Scripture references, quotes from famous (as well as unknown) people, and relevant popular culture references. I came away not only with insight into how The Poser distorts and discourages real growth, but with the motivation and tools to identify and change areas that could easily remain suppressed.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes from NavPress. No other compensation was received.
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on March 28, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was recommended to me, as was the author who has written numerous books. Although the title and the "lingo" are adapted for the younger generation (I am fifty-something!), the message of God's grace, acceptance and forgiveness is so powerful is penetrates even indifferent hearts. I gave it to a friend who has lived his life trying to create an outward appearance that is worthy of acceptance by his family, friends and acquaintances in general; in fact not only acceptable, but a life to be respected and honored by others. Yet this life was a sham, he felt empty, unfufilled, unloved, and despertely unhappy. He was completely cynical and indifferent to ready this book but it grabbed his attention and heart immediately and began a process of change and desire to be real in his life.

This author, in his absolute transparency about his life, faults and all, has an amazing gift of making us see ourselves through new eyes, actually God's eyes, as the precious and beautiful creations he intended us to be, and that our sins and mistakes do not make him turn away from us in horror, but that God waits with arms wide open for us to run back to him and find forgiveness and restoration.
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