Brennan Manning first wrote “The Ragamuffin Gospel” (Multnomah, 2005) 15 years ago and yet the message remains relevant and current. Mostly Manning is writing about grace, God’s wildly extravagant gift of grace to the undeserving, who he describes as “ragamuffins”. There is nothing really new here except that Manning has expressed truth in another way, a unique way, a personal way. He writes with compassion against a backdrop of his own struggle with alcoholism. He looks at our struggle to accept God’s love and grace; our unwillingness to acknowledge our inadequacies and our reluctance to extend grace to others. In the Gospels we find Jesus extending grace to those who have not even asked or repented, like the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery. Yet having received forgiveness, their gratitude is profound and their lives are forever changed.
Manning is very well read and quotes widely from numerous books and articles which adds conviction to his writing. I found this to be an easy book to read and though I have read much about grace and even written about it myself, I still found new ways of thinking about God’s amazing grace.
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