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Customer Review

296 of 301 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing in grace does _not_ meen embracing sin, November 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out (Paperback)
To the disappointed reader in Boston: I'm sorry you finished this book with the notion that Brennan is condoning sin. I disagree completely; I believe that Brennan challenges us to move past regret and shame, and to move forward to seeking God's love again, eschewing sin in the process.
The more you love God, the more you will _want_ to be free from sin to please Him. The important part of that statement is that love comes first. The goal of a Christian should NOT be to eliminate sin from one's life. Rather, it is to learn to love Christ more and more, and seek out his transforming power in your life. In doing so, sin becomes less desirable as your desires begin to match His; and your strength to resist sin becomes greater, as He lends you more and more of His own.
If you focus on your sin, you succeed neither in eliminating it nor truly feeling God's love. If you focus on the love, you will succeed in both with abundance. Yes, there are times when we must take active steps to change our lifestyle, our habits, our actions, our words, our thoughts---but again, the question you must ask is, "where is my focus? Is it on God or on my performance?"
For everyone who was raised in a performance-oriented household or church, I dare you to read this book, and then tell me: would you _want_ to sin if you could really believe in your heart that God loves you _that_ much, _that_ unconditionally?
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2007 12:20:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 24, 2007 12:21:24 PM PDT
A concise yet brilliantly written review. Now I definitely want to read this book. Most of the people giving poor reviews to this book seem to have a narrow view of sin, splitting people into two categories, i.e. the sinners and those who (like the negative reviewers) have turned their backs on sin (as if it doesn't ever rear its head again, and we're the godly ones). Such a smug, anti-spiritual vision of humanity and human nature! Here's me thinking that we're supposedly all sinners, all falling short and yet all receiving grace!

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 7:58:48 PM PST
J. Beauford says:
I have several friends who LOVE Brennan and they go to an emergent church whose mission statement contains the following sentence: "We embrace our imperfection." Well, isn't imperfection just a soft word for sin? So my friends don't seem to separate Brennan's books from their church's philosophy which includes embracing sin. Maybe "embracing sin" is not the message Brennan meant to send, but that's the message my friends have received, nevertheless.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2011 9:54:05 AM PST
Your comment on the "smug, anti-spiritual" people is a very negative and judgemental thing to say and frankly, that's the same attitude that I got out of his book. The only "good" people were the ones in engaging in sin as opposed to all the "evil church goers".
God does love us but he also says that if we love him we'll keep his commandments. To believe in this Biblical truth doesn't make someone smug and anti-spiritual.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2011 9:54:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2011 9:55:27 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2011 6:43:01 PM PDT
'Maybe "embracing sin" is not the message Brennan meant to send, but that's the message my friends have received, nevertheless.'

So they should read the book more carefully. It's not the author's fault. He says explicitly that Christians and the church can't condone sin and that message is implicit in much of the rest of what he says. Brennan Manning didn't write that mission statement. It sounds like your friends are interpreting what he says in light of that statement.

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 4:31:41 PM PDT
MLip says:
@sharsharbear - I understand where you're coming from. I encourage you to look up the Greek word "tereo", and the Hebrew word "shamar" - both translated "keep" in the KJV or "obey" in the NIV.

Once you grasp the significance, you'll see why knowing God (rather than obeying the commandments) should be the goal of every Christian.

Posted on Jan 17, 2012 12:57:13 AM PST
Those who know Manning's life story know he does NOT condone sin, nor does he deny the transformation that necessarily takes place as we move closer to God. Manning was an alcoholic for several years, a homeless bum who drank to intoxication and beyond on a daily basis. How could a man like him ever believe that God doesn't want to see us transformed? In one of his sermons posted on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY7c6XPagmA he explicitly says that we must change.

What Manning rejects is the incessant drumbeat of perfectionism evangelical churches so often drive into their congregations' brains. It's a curse, this mentality that we have to clean ourselves up before God will accept us. News flash, says Manning: He already does! Embrace that! Rejoice in that! Be free from the perpetual worry that you aren't good enough, perfect enough, holy enough. As Manning says, "Let Christ be who He is, your Savior."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:21:49 PM PDT
Embracing imperfection realizes that we still reside in our bodies of flesh and that sin, even when we are trying not, to is going to happen. No human being is going to stay 100% sin free at all times. Imperfection isn't a soft word for sin. It is the crushing realization that we are all reformed sinners that laspe from time to time. We are just copying Jesus when we offer grace to our triping brethren instead of hating them out of the church. Someone condoning sin says party it up God don't care 'bout nothing.

Posted on Jan 19, 2013 9:17:31 AM PST
Katie O. says:
Thank you for this good response. You have captured the core of what being a Christian is. Something I always have to be reminded of since my natural way of seeing things is more legal. I love that there is a ministry happening here on Amazon. What a blessing.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2014 3:18:26 PM PDT
I have several friends who LOVE the Bible and they go to an emergent church whose mission statement contains the following sentence: "We embrace our imperfection." Well, isn't imperfection just a soft word for sin? So my friends don't seem to separate the Bible from their church's philosophy which includes embracing sin. Maybe "embracing sin" is not the message the Bible meant to send, but that's the message my friends have received, nevertheless.
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