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The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out Paperback – June 28, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 770 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Brennan Manning wrote The Ragamuffin Gospel "for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out," the marginalized folks to whom Jesus ministered: the children, the ill, the tax collectors, the women. In other words, the ragamuffins. Manning understands better than most that behind our facades of order and self-assurance are inadequacies that can find healing only in Jesus. While the powerful and religious elite challenged him, Jesus embraced and healed and fed the needs of the ragamuffins. Jesus delivered love, healing, and, most of all, grace.

Grace is defined as "the freely given and unmerited favor and love of God." But, as Manning points out, we have "twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper." In reality, God offers us grace immeasurable. Brennan Manning gently encourages us to embrace that grace in the face of our greatest needs. And Manning certainly knows whereof he speaks, having taken a journey from priesthood and academic achievement through a collapse into alcoholism. Manning came face to face with his need, finally abandoning himself to grace. And he invites us now to join him in a life of grace.

Manning is without doubt one of the most eloquent writers on the subject of grace because he openly shares his own pain and struggle to help readers deal with failure and inadequacy. And he sweetly challenges them to do the same. --Patricia Klein --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Brennan Manning does a masterful job of blowing the dust off of shop-worn theology and allowing God’s grace to do what only God’s grace can do—amaze.” 
-Max Lucado, Bestselling author of The Gift for All People 

“I found deep comfort in realizing that Jesus loves even me, a ragamuffin, just as I am.” 
-Michael Card, Musician, recording artist, and author of A Violent Grace 

“This is a zestful and accurate portrayal that tells us unmistakably that the gospel is good, dazzlingly good.” 
-Eugene Peterson, Author of The Message


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590525027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590525029
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (770 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By A Customer on May 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
I opened the cover to this book, filled with a lot of skepticism. I was pretty certain that I was about to endure 200+ pages of hollow, feel good, Christian cheerleading. The title put me off more than anything else. 'Ragamuffin' is a word I associated with old ladies who had weathered the Great Depression -- the same old ladies (sweet though they were) who, with their toughness, scared me when I was a little kid in the 1960s. 'You look like a complete ragamuffin,' they would say as we stumbled in from a day playing in the woods. What?? I had NO idea what Raggedy-Ann dolls and muffins had to do with how I looked!
Even as a grown adult, I have kept a dislike for the term that Manning likes to use to describe so many of us. But, as I turned the pages of the book on a train ride from New York to Boston this winter, I found that sometimes the message is greater than the aesthetics of language.
This book is a wonderful reminder of God's Grace. Much more than cheerleading, this book highlights a mistake we often make in our understanding of God...and corrects it. Sometimes it is so easy to feel that we are not good enough, or that we must somehow 'earn' our place in the heart of God. But Brennan Manning reminds us that this is not the way of God. The One Who Loves Us accepts and Loves us just the way we are...as <cringe> ragamuffins. (If you don't know what that means -- read the book. You?ll be glad you did.)
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Format: Paperback
I read the original version of this book over 4 years ago and it changed my life. I am so excited to see this book reissued.
The message of Manning's book is The Gospel, pure and undefiled...God loves you, no strings attached. Not only does God love you but He is pleased with you and His saving grace is always there for you.
The book helped me out greatly because I was in a spiritually abusive situation at the time I read this it and it helped me to realize that there was nothing I could do to earn God's love. Many Christians accept God's Grace freely when they first dedicate their lives to Him. They then spend the rest of their spiritual walk trying earn that love and forgiveness (which we can never do).
Brother Manning's book is a refreshing Oasis in a Christian world full of works-oriented deserts.
Even if you think you completely understand what Grace and Love are all about there will be something for you in this book. This book will challenge the very way you look at God.
Included in this book is a foreward by Contemporary Christian Music giant, Michael W. Smith, plus a 10 year's after update by Manning, a study guide.
If you have yet to read this book, what are you waiting for? If you read this book a long time ago, now is the time to re-read it.
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By A Customer on January 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
My appreciation for the message in this book is overwhelming and resurges if I simply glance at its cover. The writing is intelligent, creative and engaging: Brennan paints a masterful picture of a loving God who reaches out for even (and especially) the worst of us.
To explain why this book spoke so beautifully to my heart, as the saying goes, "the taller you stand the farther you fall". I was for most of my young adult life a devoted and sincere Christian; I loved God and enjoyed His constant presence, was active in college Christian fellowship groups and mission trips and had intended on a life of mission work overseas. But during the year after I graduated from college, unforeseen circumstances - and weaknesses I didn't even know I had - cancelled my plans to "work for God".
Within the next year alone, my disappointment, feelings of being suddenly lost in world in which I'd previously thought to know my place and purpose, and a sudden sense of complete worthlessness left me reeling. I went from being what one might call a cookie-cutter Christian, admired as "shining with the light of Jesus", to struggling through severe depression, abusive drinking, eating disorders and unhealthy relationships. I contemplated suicide and often lied in bed crying with grief over what I thought must be God's deep, deep disappointment in me.
When I was introduced to The Ragamuffin Gospel by a dear friend "who knew me back when", I felt an inexplicable sense of relief after reading just a few pages. I felt I was engaging in a conversation with that rare type of person -- someone who understood how I felt, and better yet, had a sincere answer and hope to share.
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