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The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens When God's Fierce Mercy Transforms Our Lives Paperback – June 29, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This testament to God's tenderness is a modern-day epistle to churches, though its core message is sometimes obscured by the author's personal issues with the institution. Manning, a retreat leader and author who married after leaving a religious community in which he had been a priest, is openly critical of churches and leaders that have failed to reflect and transmit the tenderness of God. Because of this, his words can be harsh, perhaps by prophetic necessity, but this tone sometimes detracts from the tenderness of which he speaks. Manning came to write on the subject when, after an extended time of silence spent in the Allegheny Mountains in western Pennsylvania, he heard a single phrase in his head and heart: "Live in the wisdom of accepted tenderness." In elaborating on this inner directive, he draws on a wide range of sources, including Daniel Berrigan, Ken Keyes and C.S. Lewis, giving his work an ecumenical flavor. He is most effective, however, when he uses his own life as illustration, relating how alcoholism made him keenly aware of God's tenderness and mercy. Manning writes for the individual and the institution, and both will benefit from listening to his words. Especially those who long to hear more about divine mercy from the pulpit and see it reflected in their leaders and institutions will welcome his brief treatise.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The author of ten books, including The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning examines the transformative possibilities of sin and pain and how they compel us through suffering to find our way to spiritual maturity and ultimately to the quality Manning calls tenderness. This book, like Daniel Lanahan's recent When God Says No: The Mystery of Suffering and the Dynamics of Prayer, is well suited to the present moment and should find a broad and appreciative audience. For most collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (June 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060724463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060724467
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Zossima on January 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Manning sometimes gets criticized as a "one trick pony". He is indeed a one-trick pony. I don't say it as a criticism, though, because his message is so consistently powerful. MANNING CONTINUES TO FIND KNEW PERSPECTIVES ON THE MIGHTY GRACE OF GOD TOWARD IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE. What could get old about that?
Manning has two core messages: 1) We are depraved people in need of rescue, and 2) God's grace is relentless in delivering that rescue. Since he first wrote "Ragamuffin Gospel", he has continued to explore these two themes from different angles. "Ruthless Trust" focused on the nature of true trust and our need to trust God. "The Signature of Jesus" focuses on what true discipleship looks like, the stamp of this loving God on the ragamuffin soul.
"The Wisdom of Tenderness" focuses on our need to "let go and let God", as John Wimber used to say. It is about living a life of letting God minister his love to us. The chapter titled "Fierce Mercy" is worth the price of the book alone. By the end of this chapter, when Manning wrote, "We're so poor that not even our poverty is our own," I felt as if I had *finally* grasped Manning's message (with my heart) to quit trying to earn God's grace and just let him give it to me.
I'm wired such that I'm trying to earn God's approval even when I think I'm not. Manning's message is such a breath of fresh air in our performance-based society. And its repetition in his various writings is a critical reminder of its importance. If we would be free, we must breathe this message frequently.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Brennan Manning writes: "Instead of a light volley of divine love followed by the heavy artillery of rule-keeping, Jesus' love for the unlovely must pierce the heart of every Christian."
In the "The Wisdom of Tenderness" Brennan Manning once again discusses the unfathomable love of God. By discussing the tender, pursuing love of Jesus, as well as the fierce mercy of our Abba, Manning seeks to point the way to how we should live as God's people in the twenty-first century.
Manning begins by giving the lie to the all too common, overly optimistic self-evaluation modern Christians have been giving themselves. In an era where many live by legalism instead of grace and love, it has become too easy to skew the holy "stat sheet" by moving the goal posts into a more favorable position.
Manning's main argument is that the Church at large has become so self-involved and inward, that we squabble while the world around us spiritually starves to death:
"When the primacy of love is subordinated to doctrinal correctness and orthodox exegesis, cool cordiality and polite indifference masquerade as love among theologians, biblical scholars, and faculties across the land. When absolute control and rigid obedience pose as love within the family and the local faith-community, we produce trained cowards rather than Christian persons."
What Manning suggests as solution to the horrid state of things is a return to Christians living as a people of tenderness.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jason Chua on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Passionately written, the words are aflame across the page.
His most searing and thought-provoking work to date.
Succinct statements that hits straight to the jugular and forces a reaction from the heart.
Yet, written and expressed with tenderness, compassion, not mawkishness, not soft love.
An unusual call upward to God.
An unusual revelation of what our God really is like.
A book to be read, pondered, meditated upon, reflected, and absorbed deeply.
It is a book for those who have been overfed with "Hollywood" Christianism and are now bloated with its false claims and retarded images of God and Jesus Christ.
It is a book that will warm your heart and draw you back to the flame of which you once were touched by, that of God's fiery and awesome love for you.
It is a book that will transform hearts that are ready and open for its message.
Brennan Manning fearlessly drives the stake into heartless religion, exposing its fraud and emptiness behind all its glitzy claims and glittering candy-trash.
This is a book written with courage.
A timely message for our generation.
It is not a "how-to" book emphasizing steps you have to take to experience change, but a book, that by exposing one's soul to its message without reserve, will cause a transformation.
It will shake your beliefs about a God you thought you knew.
It will rebuild a foundation of what God's love is like for you.
It will restoke, rekindle, and rebirth a fiery love for Jesus Christ.
It is not a message of Christianism and all its laws.
It is finally a message of Jesus Christ, Him and Him alone.
A must read...for all,
especially Christians.
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