The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning was originally published 15 years ago, but its message to us is just as needed—maybe even more needed—today! The subtitle nails the essence of this book: Good news for the bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out. Indeed it is.
Without realizing it, Manning’s ragamuffin message has impacted much of my thinking for the past decade. Ever since I started working in a church, I have been more acutely aware of how many people feel like their beat-up, burnt-out status somehow disqualifies them for God’s grace. The message they’ve heard is, “Get your act together, and then get yourself to God for help.” As a result our societies are filled with the de-churched, and our churches are only left with those who think they have their acts together.
Manning’s message is such a refreshing wake-up call! He speaks to those bedraggled de-churched people to assure them Jesus wants them just as they are. He came to meet with the messed-up and burnt-out, to show them Abba God’s love. Manning also confronts the pharisaical view of far too many Christians who truly think God only helps those who help themselves, and who want people to make themselves worthy of God’s grace.
This book was like a breath of fresh air. It clarified my frustrations with churchy people, and it renewed my passion for all the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out to know the amazing, unconditional, unmerited, awe-inspiring grace of a All-Loving God!
I am a Random House book reviewer.