How many of us live with guilt and shame over things we’ve done in the past? We may worry that God is disappointed in us. How much of religion concentrates more on shame, blame and penance, rather than stressing what the “good news” truly is? That God loves us. All of us, just as we are. That’s what’s at the heart of The Ragamuffin Gospel.
I originally chose this book because of the title. “Ragamuffin” happens to have been one of my favorite words to use with my kids when they were young. As in, “take off that shirt, you look like a ragamuffin.” Maybe I thought something they were wearing wasn’t suitable for going out in public, but did it alter them in my eyes? Of course not. And so it is with God. Regardless of what we’ve done – since we are all sinners – we’re still children of God and he still loves us. He chooses to bless us, rather than punish us. That’s God’s grace at work.
Brennan Manning’s writing is intelligent, persuasive and at times humorous. When he used the example of eating a ballpark hot dog on Friday to discuss Catholic guilt and sin I had to laugh out loud. I was raised Catholic and the hot dog story is hilariously familiar.
I began this book already convinced of what Mr. Manning stresses to us about God’s grace and love. I wanted to say, “You’re preaching to the choir here, buddy.” So it was a pleasant and encouraging book to read. The author uses plenty of scripture to make his point, which I won’t defend or examine in my review. I’ll leave that to the debaters who love to dispute all things spiritual – whether for or against. However, I’d suggest grabbing a copy of this book to find out for yourself. There’s a reason why this book is in its twenty-fifth year of publication. There is great comfort in knowing that God’s grace and love is ever present and generously given to everyone.
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton
eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.