A Furious Love Is Hot on Your Trail Many believers feel stunted in their Christian growth We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe He tallies our defects and hangs His head in disappointment In this newly repackaged edition now with full appendix, study questions, and the author s own epilogue, Ragamuffin Ten Years Later, Brennan Manning reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth The Father beckons us to Himself with a furious love that burns brightly and constantly Only when we truly embrace God s grace can we bask in the joy of a gospel that enfolds the most needy of His flock the ragamuffins Are you bedraggled, beat up, burnt out Most of us believe in God s grace in theory But somehow we can t seem to apply it in our daily lives We continue to see Him as a small minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheetYet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we ve done We come to Him as ragamuffins dirty, bedraggled, and beat up And when we sit at His feet, He smiles upon us, the chosen objects of His furious love Brennan Manning s now classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it simple honesty has changed thousands of lives Now with a Ragamuffin s thirty day spiritual journey guide, it will change yours, too This book did not pass my 100 page test I desperately wanted to love it, and it started out seeming so promising I was worried about the gimmicky 19 step program addendum tacked onto the end, true And I was worried when I looked onand saw that the author seems to have made something of a cottage industry of spin off volumes and workbooks and so forth The profile of the author, too, seemed a little cheesy and weirdly evasive Still I tried to put all of that aside and keep an open min This book did not pass my 100 page test I desperately wanted to love it, and it started out seeming so promising I was worried about the gimmicky 19 step program addendum tacked onto the end, true And I was worried when I looked onand saw that the author seems to have made something of a cottage industry of spin off volumes and workbooks and so forth The profile of the author, too, seemed a little cheesy and weirdly evasive Still I tried to put all of that aside and keep an open mind, as I m always eager to hear about grace, and that seemed to be what this was about.Well alas, everything good he had to say about the topic seemed to be said in the first 25 pages, and then periodically reiterated And aside from that, everything there is to say of this nature about grace has already been said better andeloquently and withhumbleness by Martin Luther or one of his disciples.Manning, on the other hand, set to work right away on alienating me and creeping me out I was already starting to get a nasty Oprah Book Club vibe off of him, and then on page 48 in my edition he dropped in a massive, massive overshare that may have made me throw up in my mouth just a little I ve read fardisgusting things in books not to mention online but the random way he just tossed this anecdote in there creeped me out I felt, honestly, a bit violated to have this TMI thrown at me out of nowhere, for no particular reason other than shock effect At that point, I began skimming, then speed skimming, to see if it was going to get any better, any less gimmicky ordeep and interesting It didn t.At some point I caught him using the term inner child and the book was officially dead to me.Mannning is definitely of the Jesus was a closet socialist Jesus was a hippie misfit school of thought He beats you over the head over and over again that Jesus likes dropouts like himself, an ex Franciscan and addicts like himself, a recovering alcoholic and prostitutes, and lepers All of this is neatly decontextualized of the actual Gospel context, so unless you know a decent amount about the New Testament you are helpless to refute his various assertations and are likely to just go with them, even when he is seriously erroneous Manning seems to really have it in for educated people, theologians, people who aren t poor, and especially for the archetypical upstanding matronly woman As an educated and decidedly matronly woman I got the impression that he felt Jesus love and acceptance extended to me, but only grudgingly Twould be better were I a reformed hooker or some other kind of leper As they say, when you have re created God in your own imageyou have committed blasphemy.Dude even shares an anecdote meant to demonstrate we are to loosen up Yes, he told me to loosen up This is so junior high school, where being the smart, good kid is bad and being the smartaleck, underachiever is good I expectfrom my Christianity than this upside down world contrarianism, thank you very much The best way I can describe this book is to quote from it When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty I am trusting and suspicious I am honest and I still play games Aristotle said I am a rational animal I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer To live by grace m The best way I can describe this book is to quote from it When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty I am trusting and suspicious I am honest and I still play games Aristotle said I am a rational animal I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark In admitting my shadow side, I learn who I am and what God s grace means The gentleness of Jesus with sinners flowed from his ability to read their hearts Behind people s grumpiest poses and most puzzling defense mechanisms, behind their arrogance and airs, behind their silence, sneers and causes, Jesus saw little children who hadn t been loved enough and who had ceased growing because someone had ceased believing in them His extraordinary sensitivity caused Jesus to speak of the faithful as children, no matter how tall, rich, clever and successful they might be Whatever our failings may be, we need not lower our eyes in the presence of Jesuswe need not hide all that is ugly and repulsive in us Jesus comes not for the super spiritual but for the wobbly and weak kneed who know they don t have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazing graceThere they are There we are the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life s tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith.My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace This book changed my life Some people may have trouble getting through it because it really challenged a lot of things that you may have held onto tightly for so long But even if you don t agree with everything there are a few things here and there , there is a tremendous amount of wisdom that can be gleaned from the author s insight Upon reading this wonderful book, my eyes were open to a whole new world that I wasn t even aware that they were previously closed to It knocked me around emot This book changed my life Some people may have trouble getting through it because it really challenged a lot of things that you may have held onto tightly for so long But even if you don t agree with everything there are a few things here and there , there is a tremendous amount of wisdom that can be gleaned from the author s insight Upon reading this wonderful book, my eyes were open to a whole new world that I wasn t even aware that they were previously closed to It knocked me around emotionally and spiritually in ways that I really needed Now, I find myself less judgmental of others andopen to compassion to those that might be struggling with whatever trials they are facing We see a lot of people and we make assumptions We listen as their actions and lives speak but do we truly hear and understand what they are going through Am i really listening or am I just assuming I know and tell em to suck it up Paul WrightThis book teaches about grace Most people think they know what that means, but it really doesn t show in their lives I love this book and I hope every one, especially Christians, read it I went into this book written in 1990 thinking, Okay, author, what are you going to tell me that I haven t read in the authors pumping out books after you I had planned to zip through it as quick as possible to check it off the list and put it on the shelf.It didn t take too many pages for me to realize that this was not that kind of book This is the kind of book you put on your I need to reread this every few years so I don t forget how important the message is shelf.Brennan Manning s m I went into this book written in 1990 thinking, Okay, author, what are you going to tell me that I haven t read in the authors pumping out books after you I had planned to zip through it as quick as possible to check it off the list and put it on the shelf.It didn t take too many pages for me to realize that this was not that kind of book This is the kind of book you put on your I need to reread this every few years so I don t forget how important the message is shelf.Brennan Manning s message could be summed up in three words God is gracious But don t let that sound cliche The book teaches that we do not need to think about God as judge, God as condemner, God as needing to be appeased God is happy just to have our company God expects us to mess upthan we think we will That s okay God loves us anyway And God knows that love is better motivation than fear anyway And stop trying to be so self righteous, because that only takes away from your trust in God You re just a ragamuffin Admit it and move on.The story that will stick with me is the author s commentary on the parable of the prodigal son The father, waiting for the wayward son to return, does not wait for the son to apologize and say he ll never mess up again before he is smothering him with kisses All the son needs to do is show up No eye contact, no speech, just two feet on the road home