Brennan Manning on the Central Affirmation of the Reformation

For some reason (i.e. the Holy Spirit) I felt like re-reading Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin […]

Sean Norris / 11.7.10

For some reason (i.e. the Holy Spirit) I felt like re-reading Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel this weekend. I guess I’ve been a little desperate and needy, and as is always said on this blog, “We need to hear the gospel again every day.” Few people have been able to write about the gospel like Manning, and I figured I’d share a paragraph that stood out. Enjoy!

“Justification by grace through faith” is the theologian’s learned phrase for what Chesterton once called “the furious longing of God.” He is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us. He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods–the gods of human manufacturing–despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace.

By the way, I highly recommend Manning’s newest book The Furious Longing of God.

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10 responses to “Brennan Manning on the Central Affirmation of the Reformation”

  1. Bryan J. says:

    Ragamuffin Gospel is the only book in the genre of "Christian Bookstore Books" that I would recommend to anybody- Christian or non. Anybody have any suggestions for MBird friendly "Christian Bookstore Books?" Just wonderin'

  2. Margaret E says:

    I don't think I've ever set foot in a Christian Bookstore. Do they carry C.S. Lewis?

  3. StampDawg says:

    Hey Margaret. Christian bookstores vary, and it also depends on how you define the term. If you include "bookstores that are part of a large parish" (e.g. at an Episcopal cathedral) they might have all kinds of stuff, including lots of stuff by apostate clergy and bishops (Borg, Spong, etc.). Likewise the bookstores at fringe megachurches might have equally flaky stuff (in a different way).

    Most independently run Christian bookstores like CSL (a few think he is the spawn of the devil), but you are still typically only going to find the mainstream CSL stuff, as opposed to his more obscure stuff that is among his best (Till We Have Faces, essay collections, etc.).

    Amazon is your best bet for CSL.

    Great question by Bryan, btw!

  4. Jeff Hual says:

    I've never actually managed to finish this book, and for a good reason: every time I buy a copy of it I end up giving it to someone!

  5. Fisherman says:

    Margaret, the Bookstore at The Parish Church of St. Helen's in Beaufort is excellent. Plenty of Lewis, including his lesser known works. No sales tax or shipping either. In case you are wondering, "yes" I am a fellow Beaufortonian. Keep reading and writing as I am a fan of your columns.

  6. StampDawg says:

    Thanks Fisherman… great tip about Beaufort. I also approve of the fabulous coinage Beaufortonian.

    One of the things DZ is working on for the new web site is an expanded and structured Resource section, which will have easy ways to look for cool books, videos, movies, etc. There's also a vast amount of FREE stuff out on the web — wonderful short stories and videos and even whole novels that we talk about here at MB, and I think the plan is to have the resource section include that as well.

  7. Margaret E says:

    Fisherman… wow. How mysterious. I WILL find out who you are, sir, make no mistake. I didn't run my own neighborhood detective agency at age 11 for nothin'! (And thanks for the kind words about my column). Actually, I misspoke, above. I have definitely been in the St. Helena's bookstore. I guess I didn't think about it in terms of a "Christian Bookstore," per se, since it's part of the church… I know we have another one in town, somewhere – on Boundary Street, maybe?

    Hi, StampDawg… hope you're doing well!

  8. Fisherman says:

    Margaret– Bread of Life Bookstore used to be on Ribaut Road. You are right about St. Helena's being "connected" to a church so it is not a bookstore, per se. Maybe you and I can inspire Mockingbird to have a conference in our unique town. I am mailing a copy of your column "The Hippie and The Cheerleader" to my best friend from Beaufort. He and I met when we were about 8 years old (a few decades ago). He now lives in Virginia has two daughters (12 and 8) while I have two sons (yes, the contrast between our childrend is profound). Your columns are oftentimes right on point for today's parents. Thanks.

  9. Margaret E says:

    Fisherman, thank you. Hearing that about my work makes me very happy.

    And I LOVE the idea of having a Mockingbird Conference in Beaufort! Sounds like you're a member of St. Helena's. Maybe you should talk to M'bird contributor Andrew Pearson about that…. (Unless, of course, you ARE Andrew Pearson in disguise! Bwahahahaha….)

  10. […] maybe Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel, this is the one-stop shop for stories about grace, especially as it surfaces into the small, […]

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