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The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Captures the hardest part of Christianity to accept

The Raggamuffin Gospel grapples with the hardest part of the Gospel message to accept: the idea that we cannot earn our salvation, and that it is always a gift of grace by God. ...
The Raggamuffin Gospel grapples with the hardest part of the Gospel message to accept: the idea that we cannot earn our salvation, and that it is always a gift of grace by God. Brennan Manning addresses how this is counter cultural, how our human tendency to require earning our salvation makes it difficult to accept the Gospel and God's grace. Mike, the previous reviewer, discussed the difficulty of reconciling repentance with Brennan Manning's writing. Must we repent before God gives us his grace? Brennan Manning would say that God gives us his grace all the time. Our humanity has so many limits 'sinful tendencies' that we wouldn't be able to do anything worthwhile without it. The role of repentance as per Brennan Manning is to allow us to accept God's gift of grace, 'not to trigger God giving us the grace'. It is when we are living outside of God's grace 'and thus outside ofrelationship with God' that we are not living in God's will. The message of grace was attacked by the Pharisees as well when Jesus discussed what was necessary to please God. The Pharisees believed it was actions that pleased God. Brennan Manning addresses that when you find freedom in God's grace, then His grace frees you from the power of sin on your life. It is counterintuitive, it is supernatural. It is dependence on God. Therefore, it is faith in God that pleases God, not actions. Faith in God produces life changing actions, through God's power in one's life. Actions alone produce only self-dependence. If we could do it alone, we wouldn't need God. Even 'repentence' can be used as an action to try to earn God's favor. B

posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

A feel good Gospel

At the request of a friend whom I respect I delved into the Ragamuffin Gospel with my typical 'teacher's attitude' regarding a new author, movement or dogma. I found much that many will like about this book, especially those whose commitment to the teachings of The Chr...
At the request of a friend whom I respect I delved into the Ragamuffin Gospel with my typical 'teacher's attitude' regarding a new author, movement or dogma. I found much that many will like about this book, especially those whose commitment to the teachings of The Christ is superficial. There is much to make one feel good about themselves and little to encourage one to strive for a deeper relationship with our Lord. While reading I was taken with memories of one of my previous pastors who stated unequivocally that just because my Mom and Dad were saved, my salvation wasn¿t automatic that just because I attended church my salvation wasn¿t assumed that just because I read the Bible didn¿t mean I was ¿born again¿. I have difficulty with the concept that forgiveness and grace comes before repentance. I have even more difficulty with the concept that God is neither a disciplinarian nor a judge of man¿s actions. This is contrary to New and Old Testament scripture. When combined with Manning¿s clear lack of understanding of scripture (which must be taken in context as opposed to single verse examples) which is demonstrated on many occasions, I must reject the philosophy presented. This is another of those ¿feel good¿, Universalists manuscripts that attempts to convince us that if we accept ourselves as we are, God will also. Unfortunately for those who praise this book, the truth is that either the teaching is all true or it¿s false. Salvation is not composed of accepting the sacrifice of Jesus plus anything else. Repentance must come before forgiveness or salvation is a farce and we all have missed God.

posted by Anonymous on September 16, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2003

    'We are beggars...this is true!' -Martin Luther

    Martin Luther's dying words echo in this book. We are beggars, or 'ragamuffins' to use Manning's terminology. I literally stumbled on this book in much the same way I did Roland Bainton's Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. It caught my eye in a bookstore because I noticed that Rich Mullins, whose music I have listened to for many years, was on the cover. I associated the Ragamuffin motif with Mullins and his 'Ragamuffin Band' but did not know the origin of it. Mullins built many of his songs on Manning's concept of the sinner who comes to God as a ragamuffin, not only beaten by his\her own sins, but often by the church as well. Manning presents a well-written exposition that is both personal and perceptive. I think it is essential for Christians to realize the real basis of our acceptance, our 'right-standing' before God. It is not in us, or our works, good or bad. It is in Jesus Christ. I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this book, however, because Manning does not go far enough, failing to provide the reader with the rest of the 'truth as it is in Jesus,' namely that we not only are made right with God through Christ but also that as His life becomes manifest in our own lives, we become more like him. It is the age-old balance between 'justification' and 'sanctification' that again gets lost. There are also some parts of the book I found questionable and even inappropriate for a book that may be read by female as well as male readers. A better choice would be Billy Graham's Peace With God or How to Be Born Again. For more depth on the subject read John Piper's Counted Righteous In Christ.

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    Posted March 23, 2011

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    Posted July 17, 2009

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    Posted August 2, 2013

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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