Monday, December 28, 2015

Ragamuffin Gospel - A Review

Published - Anniversary edition - October 2015, Waterbrook Multnomah
Author - Brennan Manning
Title -  The Ragamuffin Gospel
Format - ebook, paper, hardcover, audio
Find on Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:
Many of us believe in grace, yet we live as if we still have to earn God’s love. We picture God hanging His head in disappointment, tallying our successes and failures on a score sheet. We assume we have to do more, or be a different person, for God to be pleased with us.
Brennan Manning shows us a different, truer image of our relationship with God: We come to God as ragamuffins. Bedraggled, dirty, exhausted. But as we sit at God’s feet, He smiles upon us. He embraces us. He treats us not as failures but as the chosen objects of His love.
In this twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Manning’s classic meditation on grace, Manning reminds us that we don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make ourselves presentable to God. We can recognize our poverty and powerlessness as what bring us closer to a God whose love embraces us no matter what.
“Brennan 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, pastor and bestselling author
“This is a zestful and accurate portrayal that tells us unmistakably that the gospel is good, dazzlingly good.”
—Eugene Peterson, translator of The Message 

“This book is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.”
—Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
The Bible tells us that by grace we are saved. So why does our spirituality often start with ourselves, not with God? Why are we likely to believe in grace in theory but deny it in practice?
In The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning explores the true meaning of the word grace in all its power. When we beat ourselves up over who we are or what we’ve done, we pull away from God. When we acknowledge that it is only grace that can save us, we draw near to a God who delights in who He created us to be.
The Ragamuffin Gospel has changed thousands of lives since it was first published twenty-five years ago. In this anniversary edition, we find the timeless wisdom of a man who came to God needy and desperate again and again and found a peace that defined his life, his relationships, and his career.
You are not a disappointment to God. God does not “put up” with you. He celebrates you. God not only loves you, He likes you.. This is the joy of the gospel.

My Thoughts:
I remember reading this when it first came out years ago. I was working in a bookstore at the time, and it was a good idea to read it so that I could talk to my customers about it. I was browsing the Blogging for Books list when I saw this anniversary edition as being able to review. Then I looked at my brother's Christmas list this year. And this book was on it. So needless to say, I happily requested the book to review it and give it to my brother for Christmas. 

This book is really good. It's simple to read, and for the girl who doesn't like reading nonfiction, that was a huge plus! True, I'd read it before - fifteen to twenty years ago, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't get something new out of it. 

I think I'm a different place in my life now than I was when I first read the book. Well, I don't think. I know so. Anyway, I loved how the author tells you that you're not a disappointment to God. In fact that thought parallels something that one of my pastors talked about in his sermon on Sunday - God doesn't make junk. Or mistakes. And I think that so often, the world's view causes us as Christians to miss the whole point of what the Gospel is. God loves us no matter what. 

I could go on and on but I think I'll stop there. After all, this review is already a lot longer than most of my nonfiction reviews, and even my fiction ones (unless I'm gushing or tearing it to shreds!). Because, truthfully, I'm still absorbing the book. 

I recommend it. It's been out for a while. You can find it at the library or just about any place.

I received the hardcover anniversary copy for free from Blogging for Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Recommended to fans of Brennan Manning, Rich Mullins, Timothy Keller, nonfiction

Rating - 4 stars

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