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The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus Paperback – June 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060834536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060834531
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. With his now classic book The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning set a standard for powerful writing and no-holds barred personal candor that even his own subsequent books (Ruthless Trust; The Wisdom of Tenderness), however excellent, have not quite matched. Here, Manning offers a fiercely provocative call to arms that exhorts Christians to stop pandering to the things of this world (wealth, power, influence, pleasure) and instead choose to be so "foolish" as to follow Jesus. This book is not for the easily offended, as Manning pulls no punches and does not attempt to soften the radical nature of Jesus' message. He decries superficial faith and hypocrisy, and points to the unfortunate prevalence of the shallow Christianity that Thomas Merton once called "convenient spirituality." In its place, Manning upholds a Christian faith that is simultaneously hard-line about the intransigent demands of the New Testament, yet wrapped in grace and mercy, not judgment and condemnation. Drawing on the Bible (particularly the gospels and the letters of Paul), his own experiences and thinkers like Paul Tillich, Edward Schillebeeckx, Søren Kierkegaard and other heavy hitters, Manning proposes an iconoclastic faith that calls Christians to the dangerous, wild and wonderful abyss of a fully surrendered life. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Being Foolish is a message of unsettling grace. It is the best kind of wisdom.” (John Ortberg, Teaching Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church)

“Manning offers a fiercly provacative call to arms...” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“This is a deeply felt and clearly expressed avowal of faith...” (Library Journal)

“[W]orth the read for all the insights--and encouragement--Manning offers on leading a Christ-centered life.” (Christian Retailing)

“Manning… writes poetically when sharing contemporary parables. His intimate knowledge of Scripture flows seamlessly throughout his narrative.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Manning invites the reader to move from self-delusion to embracing the truth about who we are.” (Christianity Today)

“A rich feast of food for thought...offering both challenge and comfort.” (National Catholic Reporter)

More About the Author

Brennan Manning is a writer and speaker who leads spiritual retreats for people of all ages and backgrounds. He is the author of more than ten books, including Abba's Child , Ruthless Trust , The Ragamuffin Gospel , and Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes. A resident of New Orleans, he travels extensively in the U.S. and abroad to share the good news of the unconditional love of God.

Customer Reviews

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Brennan Manning always makes me think.
Molly's mom
The radical demands of Jesus remind us that we can never earn salvation; it is God's free gift to us.
GRB
This man writes a good clear informative book.
PaPa's Brat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on August 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Many years ago author Brennan Manning spent two years living with a monastic community known as the Little Brothers of Jesus. The Little Brothers model their days on what they call the "hidden life" of Jesus, the many years he spent in obscurity devoted to manual labor and prayer before launching his public ministry. Manning spent his time shoveling manure, washing dishes, and mediating on Scriptures, among other things

The formative experience taught Manning that it's true transparency that we Christians must achieve in order to be a community of people who will live under the sway of the Spirit, "men and women who would be human torches aglow with the fire of love for Christ, prophets and lovers ignited with the flaming Spirit of the living God." But such transparency is foolish in the eyes of the world, as it involves reorienting our lives around the Gospel and ignoring the siren calls of pleasure, power, and security.

His latest book (a revision of one of his earliest books), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING FOOLISH, is a primer in just such foolishness, and in classic Manning form it doesn't pull any punches. It's prophecy in three parts: The Way We Live, The Mind of Christ, and The Power of the Cross. Throughout he preaches against superficial forms of the faith and rallies believers around Christ's love. He weaves together scripture and stories of the many people he's rubbed shoulders with throughout his life to great effect:

"I have often seen Jesus Christ's delight over repentant sinners brought to life in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. The birthday celebrations marking the anniversary of an alcoholic's first, third, eighth, or twentieth year of sobriety resound with the merriment of the prodigal's return.
Read more ›
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Terence Allen VINE VOICE on October 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brennan Manning forever secured his place as an important theologian with The Ragamuffin Gospel. If he never wrote another book, he has served Christianity well with one of the most important books ever written about the faith.

But in his book The Importance of Living Foolish, Manning continues his quest to promote a belief in Christ the recognizes the folly of the modern world and its preoccupation with foolish, fleeting things.

At the same time, as in The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning presents the unvarnished Jesus, who was loving, tender, kind, and gentle, but who spoke truth to power, was brutally honest, and was not dismissive of sin.

The Importance of Being Foolish stands on its own merits, and Brennan Manning continues to grow as one of this era's greatest standard bearers of Christianity.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By GRB on July 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Manning is an incredible writer. He is a poet, a storyteller and a preacher all at the same time. In this book, Manning calls on serious Christians to truly endeavor to put on the mind of Jesus. He calls us to walk in truth. Stop deceiving ourselves with the world of delusion and unreality. There is no cheap grace advocated here. We are to open ourselves up for the life Jesus lived - a life of prayer, unselfishness, forgiveness, creative goodness and purity of heart. The radical demands of Jesus remind us that we can never earn salvation; it is God's free gift to us.

Manning also calls on us to be transparent. We must avoid our preoccupation with three strong human desires: security, pleasure and power. To do this, we must not only accept Jesus as our Savior, but also shape our lives according to his teachings. Care only about God's judgment when you act. Become a new creation through union with Christ. Really love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. Obey God's commands. Develop an interior life of trust and surrender to God. Love our neighbors by forgiving and serving them. Put our minds and hearts on the path of Christ. Paul writes in Corinthians that the message of the Cross is foolishiness to those who are perishing. The world views us as fools. If you want to rearrange your lives around the mind of Christ, read this book. Become foolish.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James Wall on September 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've always thought the Christian message to be a radical rejection of worldy values. But what's generally preached is a watered down version of this message. Manning boldly and in his familiar style asserts that what the world views as foolish is the wisdom of God. It's a tough message but a wonderful one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By the Nickster on December 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
there isn't one chapter that does not leave the reader unchallenged. i truly admire the way the author makes sure that he does not cut corners or water down the gospel. the author makes sure, by the grace of GOD, that no human excuse or lie is left unexposed. it is essentially a book about repentance and Truth, because true repentance of sins and the heartfelt acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as LORD is the only way for us humans to think like Jesus. Without these two things, you can learn about Jesus in an intellectual way, but not the way we ought to, the way He desires us to and it will always be jampacked with untruth. this book, by GOD's grace, will exhort, encourage and convict.

and as I always say, read it with your Bible in hand.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bookaddict44 on October 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Brennan Mannings work.I am usually a very fast reader,but I purposely have been reading this one very slow.I am taking in every word and paragraph and really let it sink into my my heart and mind.Brennan reminds me just how special we all are to God.Thanks Brennan.
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