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

Average Rating 4.5
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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 29, 2008

    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. &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 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. &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 Mike, the previous reviewer, discussed the difficulty of reconciling repentance with Brennan Manning's writing. Must we repent before God gives us his grace?&#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 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.&#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 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'. &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 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.&#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 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.&#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 &#13 &#10 Even 'repentence' can be used as an action to try to earn God's favor. B

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Should be required reading!

    There are very few books that I have read in my lifetime that have had such an impact upon me. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning is one of those books. The gospel of grace is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Christian faith. So many Christians say they believe in God’s love and grace but do not live under God’s love and grace. Brennan writes about this grace in his book. The thing that stands out to me the most is the sheer honesty and rawness with which he writes. Some Christian books sound like the author has it all together and is a complete expert on their subject (and maybe they are). Brennan writes as a man still on a journey of discovering God’s grace. The only thing that Brennan seems to be an expert on is being a ragamuffin. Within the pages of this book you will go on a journey of discovery. You will see humanity as God sees them….the very objects of His great love and affection. You will not read about perfect people, only real people on a journey. You will read about broken lives and the God who longs to fix them. You will discover grace and love in a down-to-earth style. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you struggle with feeling like you are on a treadmill of performance or like you just can’t please God, then read this book. If you feel like you are a failure and just can’t get it together, then read this book. If you feel that you have it all together and you understand God’s love and grace, then read this book. This book should be required reading for every pastor and seminary student. It should be on every “should-read” list. The Ragamuffin Gospel is one of those books that should be read once a year, or anytime someone begins to feel beat up by life. God loves ragamuffins and is in a furious pursuit of them. I have gotten plenty of material for sermons, blogs and articles from this book. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2006

    Telling It Like It Is!

    Do I like to read a book that has something to say, you bet I do! This book does not waste my time with wasted words and ideas and was hard to stop reading until finished. I give it a five star.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2008

    Truth, finally!!!

    Brennan Manning is one of the few Christians I have encountered who has a wealth of theological knowledge, evangelistic experience and also the body, heart and soul of a real human being. There is absolutely no show here. No preaching. Just a man telling it like the Gospel was meant to be told- with love, grace and simplicity. This book changed me and I will never stop giving it to everyone i meet!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    Grace changes lives

    I found this book to be so life changing that I have given copies to my best friends, grandparents, mother, sisters, and bible study leader. This is a MUST read and has a permanent place in my library. Brennan Manning has a wonderful grasp of Grace. This is a good book to use for a Bible Study as there will always be topics for discussion and debate.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect

    It wouldn't be an understandment to say how much this book changed my life. I had felt beaten up, bedraggled, and tired. The Brennan Manning writes makes you want to give the man a hug. I loved how comforting this book was to me. I would suggest this book to just about everyone! You'll understand grace in whole new ways!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2008

    The pure gospel¿

    The Ragamuffin Gospel<BR/>Brennan Manning<BR/>ISBN: 9781590525029<BR/>Multnomah, 2008<BR/>Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com, 12/08<BR/>5 stars<BR/>The pure gospel¿<BR/>No one is worthy of standing in the presence of God. We are all broken, tattered, and torn. It is only through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved. The Ragamuffin Gospel offers the gospel in a plain and simple manner. It is easy to understand and heartwarming. This is a book that just keeps on giving. The message of this book will shake your world. Brennan Manning tears down the legalistic teachings of so many churches and returns to the basics as taught by Jesus Christ.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2011

    Great read!

    Very encouraging in my relationship & journey with God. A "gotta read" especially if feeling doubt or guilt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    highly recommended

    Simply put, the best book of spirituality I've read in recent years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Life-Changing

    Brennan puts it all out there. I was finally able to see how perfectionism hurt instead of helped me. I understand the true meaning of grace, and how the message Jesus delivered was so different from anything before then. So many people still live by the old ways of thinking. They think that they have to follow the "rules" (usually thought to be the Ten Commandments and other regulations) perfectly in order to get into heaven, but that is just not the case. So many people think that God wants us to carry our burden of guilt - - so not true! The author makes a strong case for the reader to understand that God is a patient and loving parent who wants nothing more than to love us, and for us to love others of our own free will. One reviewer I read was upset because he felt cheated; he couldn't stand the idea of being in heaven with people who had "broken the rules." That's not what God is all about. Jesus pointed out to us that ALL of us are sinners, and that's part of what makes us who we are. So hang it all out there. God wants you just the way you are. If you choose to live a better life, it is because YOU want to NOT because you HAVE to for an E-ticket into Heaven. God loves you, no matter what.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2005

    Healing for brokenness

    Brennan Manning writes from brokenness and humility. His writings bring me into the healing presence of the Holy Spirit. I heard him speak and he is a dear, caring soul, frank and open, not hiding himself, because Jesus is his all in all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2004

    Reflections of a College Freshman

    Brennan Manning has opened a can of worms, so to speak. He has profoundly uncovered the gospel in a way that I did not even know was possible. What some critics call a book with heretic views, I call a Christ-centered commentary on what the Christian life is really all about. Throughout this book Mr. Manning seemed to be challenging the reader to better know Christ through personal experiences and observations. He also challenges readers to give up mundane living and to live the life that Abba had originally meant for us. Although the entire entire book was fabulous one chapter in particular stuck out to me, I believe that the chapter was entitled, Grazie, Signore. In this chapter Mr. Manning addressed the issue of wanting physical assertions from others in order to know that the relationship is real. He also addressed through a quote how a Christian¿s need to have a relationship with Jesus should be different and how our view should be changed, in both circumstances. I believe that Mr. Manning knew what he was saying. He brought up many strong arguments over how we live our lives and how we should be living them. He brought up many evidences to back up his writings; not only did he use scriptures, but he also used his own personal experiences and that of others. He was very clear on his views and perceptions of the Christian Life. His view has not changed in the past ten years either. In the 2000 edition of this book he wrote a note in the back telling of how things have been since he originally wrote it. I read approximately ninety-nine percent of the Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning. The ninety-nine percent would have to be the actual text, and the one percent would be the footnotes, and prayer/reflection guidelines. Overall this book was an amazing help for me in my walk with Christ. It has helped me to pinpoint and begin to work on some of the issues that I didn¿t even know that I had. I believe that this book would be a very big help to anyone who has ever struggled or marveled with God¿s amazing love and grace. I emphatically recommend this book as a five star read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2013

    Highly Recommended - Good to distribute

    We like this book because he is talking to ordinary people who deal with struggles - not the super spiritual people. We hand a lot of them out and others appreciate it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2003

    One of the GREATEST books I have ever read.

    This is definately a book for the ages. This book makes the Grace and LOVE of God so crystal clear. I have been a Christian for about 13 years and I have NEVER felt so close to God as I have after reading this book. Please do yourself a favor and read this book and allow it to transform your life. PLEASE BELIEVE ME THIS IS A GREAT BOOK..........OH by the way, I am a pastor and I reccomend this book to the people at my church... GOD BLESS YOU Jason S.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2003

    Grace- who would've known

    This book will drastically change your life. The word "grace" is so overused in the American church that we often forget its true meaning. We often seem to try to earn brownie points with God- it's just useless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    required reading

    the most life transforming book I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2002

    Please read this book...

    Encouraging, refreshing, liberating... Full of grace... God loves even me, a true ragamuffin.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2002

    Grace --- WOW what a concept !

    Far too often Christians have been told about what they can and cannot do because of the expectations of God. This book shatters that perception of a 'book keeper God' who keeps track of your sins, and reveals the overwhelming, inconvievable, abundant grace and joy that comes in knowing the living and loving God. The same loving God who has a special heart for all ragamuffins. If you are questioning your faith, and are tierd of religion -- and seek God, this is the book for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2002

    Grace-mania is running wild!!!

    If you are looking for a unbelievable book on the joy of grace and the unconditional love of God, this is it!!!!! Don't let the phantoms of perdition get you down. God will forgive you. So many books on these subjects are just the same old song and dance; not so w/ this book. This book is intoxicatingly good @ describing the judgmental state that our churches are in. If someone in the church is caught committing a certain sin, the church wants to kick them out instead of helping them. What a flat denial of the gospel of grace. Let this book rehabilitate your feelings of guilt. Your life can be full of joy instead of guilt. The supremacy of God accommodates for our needs; He has blessed Brennan Manning w/ the gifts of deciphering this confusing world for us. Manning lets it be known that God is not a bookkeeper; He is a loving God. BUY THIS BOOK - USE THIS BOOK!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2001

    Christ through this man has changed me forever

    two years ago, before i knew who brennan manning was, i sat with him at a table at SBU in bolivar, MO. he challenged me to know the truth by reading it and living it through the bible, so i went up on his word and read the bible. then a friend gave me the Ragamuffin Gospel and i read it through...funny how things happen. God has changed me greatly through a man after his own heart. thank you Jesus for the truth of brennan and the love of our Father, God.

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