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The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story Paperback – October 28, 2013

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The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story + The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out + Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310339006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310339007
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Cowritten by the late Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel) and Garrett (Free Bird), this novel is more than an updated version of a well-known Bible story. The authors take the essence of the prodigal son saga and put it in the context of a fresh fictional tale that is both relevant and realistic. The story's characters are human and given to failures, but also filled with compassion and a deep desire to do the right thing. Jack Chandler has been doing the right thing for a long time, but for all the wrong reasons. As senior pastor and founder of a Seattle megachurch, Jack's good deeds are headline-making news. When he flounders, his mistakes are equally visible. As he lands at the bottom of a bottle, the last person Jack expects to come to his rescue is his long-estranged father. Jack's road to recovery and restoration is not an easy, forgive-and-forget path, but a rollercoaster ride through others' misconceptions and trepidations. Many readers will relate to Jack's struggle to reconcile relationships and redeem himself. A wonderfully written story that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking. Agency: Alive Communications. (Nov.)

From Booklist

The Prodigal is the much anticipated novel by the late best-selling spiritual writer Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel, 2000) and theologian and author Garrett. Manning’s signature honesty, wit, and compassion are evident in this redemptive tale, a modern take on the prodigal son. Jack Chisolm knows what it’s like to live the good life. He’s one of America’s best-known pastors and has a beautiful family, wealth, and the conviction that God is on his side. After a fall from grace, however, Jack finds himself with nothing, dragged back to Texas by the father he hasn’t spoken to in a decade. As Jack gets back on his feet, he rediscovers what it means to live a life of faith. He also comes to recognize the power of a father’s love and the importance of community. Manning and Garrett do a wonderful job bringing to life the downfalls of a superficial form of contemporary Christianity, while dramatizing struggles readers can easily relate to. This story of love found and grace extended will bring hope to everyone who reads it. --Carolyn Richard

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 67 customer reviews
This is one of those books that leaves you pondering long after the last page has been read.
robin prater
The basic message of the book — that God loves us, extends his grace to us when we don't deserve it, and is forgiving — is a great theme and one that's necessary.
Bob Allen
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark B on November 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I like it when a book sounds worth reading, and when I read it, it does not disappoint. And that it didn't disappoint is an understatement.

For a long time, I have been a firm believer that God can use Christian fiction to speak to people, to move them, and even help change them. Not all Christian fiction is light fluff and romance. There is a lot that is not. Such as this book.

There have been a few times when I read a book and it hit home with me so much that I felt it was written for me. This book may fall into that category more than any I have read. Yes, the book is fiction, but man does it pack a powerful message. I was moved, convicted, felt hope, and gained some new insights into God and how He works. From reading a fictional novel.

I really liked and identified with the main character. No, I didn't go on a drunken rampage and cheat on my wife - I'm not even married. But like the main character, I have had such a performance based religion instilled in me that I missed the whole message about God loving me. That He would love me no matter what I did, no matter how far I could stray. There was a scene in the book that echoed my own thoughts and feelings that I have had, that I started crying. The main character had just been dealt a major blow and was ranting about God still punishing Him even though he had repented and was trying to do right, and his friend did a great rebuttal of that wrong thinking.

This is an excellent book. Anyone who struggles to believe God loves them, and feels they need to strive harder to please Him, needs to read this book. Its more than a fictional story. Its a powerful message a lot of people need to read and take to heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WRB on November 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Prodigal is a story that reveals to us that no matter how bad our sin, we are offered forgiveness.

From the book - "The gospel of grace announces: Forgiveness precedes repentence. The sinner is accepted before he pleads for mercy. It is already granted. He need only receive it. Total amnesty. Gratuitious pardon."

Jack Chisholm was the pastor of a mega church. He had been called "the people's pastor" and brought in 4,000 people to worship and even more watching TV. But now he was feeling completely lost. He had failed them all - his wife, daughter, and the church. He loses everything that is important in his life because he commits the sin of adultery with his personal assistant, Sally. She had been the pastor's downfall.

Tom Chisholm, Jack's father, is terminally ill, and wants to have a relationship with his son. He calls his son home. Jack hasn't talked to his father in a decade and thinking about him only provokes anger. His childhood memories are filled with misery because of his father. And the story unfolds ---

This is a wonderfully written book with a strong message of love, grace, and forgiveness - a story that could shape the hearts and minds of many. 4 star rating and I highly recommend.

I received a copy of this book from BookSneeze to read and review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By melissa on November 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
To be honest, when I began reading Brennan Manning's newest (and last) book to review, I was hesitant because it was written with another person. I was afraid the other writer's touch would be too strong and would take away from Manning's sensitive portrayal of humanity's pain. My fear was ungrounded. Greg Garrett is the perfect person to write alongside Manning, and keeps true to the Ragamuffin style.

The Prodigal is the story of a hugely popular pastor of a mega church who falls into temptation. Jack Chisholm loses everything and quickly. One day he's at the top of his game, and over the course of a few days, becomes an outcast.

The book covers Chisholm's journey in finding out who God really is, what He means to him---and how willing he is to turn away from everything he's thought was important. And as a true Prodigal, he returns to his childhood home and into the life of his seriously ill father. I loved how ordinary he seems, and how he accepts how messed up he is---but how forgiving both his earthly and Heavenly Father will be toward him.

This is a sweet story. Encouraging and very true to life. I'd enjoy reading more about Jack Chisholm, and believe Garrett can write one on his own now, and keep the flavor of Fr Manning.

(i received this book free to review from booksneeze/thomas nelson)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruby Red Slippers VINE VOICE on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The Prodigal by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett is the first book I've read of either of these authors. Truth be told, it's the first I've heard of either author. Yes, I read a lot--but a lot of fiction. It's where I go and I'm happy there.
This book quickly captured my attention and drew me in, I empathized with the pastor who had a very fast downfall and soon found himself without anything. The love shown to him by people he walked out on years before was a true picture of how we should treat each other, though often don't.
I didn't like that this book ended rather abruptly, as though it was set up for a sequel. There were many unanswered questions left after the final page.
It was a good story of the way a father loves his child. Though some of the language could have been done without.
Overall, this was an okay book. Not one I'm going to remember for long though.
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