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The Ragamuffin Gospel
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on July 29, 2016
Absolutely inspiring. This is the type of book that combats the misunderstanding that churches are full of self-righteous perfect people. It shatters the model that so many Christians and Non-Christians hold in their mind as to what a Christian looks like. Guess what? It looks just like YOU, with all of your beautiful strengths and challenging flaws and benevolent acts and selfish, malevolent acts, love and weakness, dark secretive sin and bright transparent bits alike. It's a powerful reminder that Christ does not call us to "clean up our act first, then come to the Throne." Indeed, we cannot do that on our own or with merely the help of other people. I am a recovering alcoholic who struggled with the shame of falling under the pressure of my disease and my poor choices that fostered the disease (instead of fighting it). "I knew better and it still happened to me," was my thought process. This book reminded me of Christ's REAL unadulterated message and helped to fully restore me to right-relationship with my Father in Heaven to beat this thing, to maintain the strength to continue doing so, and to see my situation as it Truly is: There is no darkness in which He cannot find me and restore me. He doesn't care how nicely I dress on Sundays. He wants all of me, right now, this moment and every moment following. This was a book recommended to me from a pastor and addiction counselor. I bought 7 copies and gave them to family and friends who, both, struggle with addiction or not. Anyone who wants to know more about what Christ said on the church being only an institution of control, full of rule-following goody-goods, where people learn to build and wear masks of false joy to hide their inner bankruptcy ... here it is!
16 people found this helpful
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on June 14, 2016
This is the second book by the late Brennan Manning that I have read, Signature of Jesus being the first. This is, without doubt, the one generally regarded as his magnum opus and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Written in a style that is easily and readily digested by those of us in the ragamuffin nation, he consistently makes his points in a lucid and, to use Os Guinness' phrase, heart cracking manner, tugging on our emotions with real situations as well as challenging us with clear, orthodox doctrine that is neither boring nor preachy. His raw honesty and deep humility are incredibly refreshing in a coarse time when even much of Christian teaching is filled with either graceless tomes or else increasingly abandon the essentials to curry favor with cultured despisers of the Gospel. Thankfully Brennan left us a legacy that fits well with those of Philip Yancey, Steve Brown and a number of others who are convinced (as I am) that the only thing we can truly do to honor Christ is to believe, trust and obey His Gospel with our utmost devotion. I heartily recommend this timeless book.
11 people found this helpful
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on October 19, 2016
One of my favorite books of all time. I think many Christians may even be uncomfortable with the message of grace found in this book. I mean, what do you think you can learn from a defrocked Jesuit priest who smokes, is alcoholic, and divorced? Not a likely person to write a religious book ... but oh what a treasure you'll miss if you judge it that way. Manning is gone now but his message of the beauty of grace lives on through this treasure.
7 people found this helpful
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on February 21, 2017
This book has been one of the single biggest influences in my life. My mom encouraged me to read it years and years ago, but I didn't. It has been on my family's book case for most of my life. Then a good friend of mine recommended it as well and I finally read it in 2015. It rocked my world. About ten years ago, God opened my eyes to this radical concept of grace, "Christ plus nothing else", from the teachings of Rankin Wilbourne at First Presbyterian in Chattanooga, TN. But it's funny how we all fall back into the trap of believing that somehow, some way, we are responsible for proving to God that he should love us, that we can somehow earn our salvation. I think it's just human nature for this works-based theology to creep back into our "wiring". This book should be read over and over again. It will change your life. It changed mine. Furthermore, this is the message that the world needs to hear. Please buy this book and give it to people who need to hear the life-altering news of the gospel.
3 people found this helpful
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on May 13, 2014
I read The Ragamuffin Gospel during a time of burnout and fatigue; it was food for my soul. Basking in the knowledge of God's unfathomable love enabled even my body to relax.

And yet, there are a few troublesome details. I've been a member of mainline churches and Charismatic/Pentecostal churches. Manning identifies the problems of churches as a whole--but picks on the Charismatic/Pentecostal side when identifying specific issues (gifts, visions, ecstasy, etc.). A serious study of gifts from the Holy Spirit reveals they cannot be used as sources of pride but as tools to humbly share God's love--because they also stem from grace. But we're all people, and we'll use whatever is available in attempts to elevate self. The theological bent isn't the issue.

Another issue was Manning's emphasis on grace as in grace to offer forgiveness for sin--the starting point, for sure. But how about grace to overcome? He does touch on this in Chapter 10 titled "The Victorious Limp" when he deals with Peter's denial of Jesus. Yes, Peter received forgiveness--but that reality became the springboard for the overcoming power to become a powerful tool. This type of grace is also available for all Christians. Perhaps he should think about another book on that topic?

Nevertheless, I appreciated The Ragamuffin Gospel enormously. There is power in repeatedly emphasizing the message of God's unconditional love. We can never hear too much about grace
5 people found this helpful
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on March 4, 2017
Well, all the recommendations I received for this over the years were correct with a bullet. What a magnificent book. Some books teach. Some books inspire. Some books reveal. This did all that, but what it really did was help me love Jesus more and know the love of Jesus more. I loved Manning's bluntness and ability to incisively get to the heart of grace and God's love.
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on January 28, 2016
Church members, let alone clergy, often feel compelled to wear a mask of "holiness." Brennan Manning's greatest gift is his willingness to acknowledge his human weaknesses. He befriends readers who are willing to be honest about their own struggles, failures and conversion. He has met the Creator who so passionately, joyfully, loves each broken journeyer, and through his suffering, he has found his Peace.
4 people found this helpful
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on March 10, 2017
This is one of my favorite books. I have to keep buying new copies as I give them away. Brennan Manning succeeds in communicating the fact that God loves us. Many of us know this in theory, but have trouble truly believing it. Read this book if you need encouragement that you are loved, in spite of your flaws and mistakes. You are loved. really. believe it.
2 people found this helpful
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on July 27, 2017
This is a book I have been wanting to read for a long time, and it has not disappointed. For anyone who has been beat up in life and is needing to reconnect with the grace of the Almighty God, I highly recommend Brennan Manning's book. I began reading it on a retreat I was recently on, and this is helping to rejuvenate me in body and spirit. Brennen Manning had his own struggles in life so he understands those of us who are struggling and writes directly into our hearts.
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on January 25, 2018
This is a great classic on the universal and inclusive love of God for all of us. It was the book that moved me to consider and convert to the doctrine of universal reconciliation. It is nice to read a book on religion that is life affirming without any harsh judgmentalism. You really feel like you are in a teaching session by Brennan Manning himself. I have bought several copies of this book for friends and family. I did notice a revision change and kinda wished I had kept the older copy as it has a marvelous testimony near the end that was quite moving.
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