Sunday, June 28, 2009

Book Review: Ragamuffin Gospel & Rede

For my mentorship group, we just finished reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. It actually took me reading the book 2 times to like it and to understand it. I am generally a pretty good, fast reader. However, with the way I read and Brennan writes I had a hard time following the first time (but everyone else in the group didn't have this trouble). The second time around I had caught onto his writing style and was able to get a lot more out of the book.

Here are some of the points that I pulled out and have really meditated over:
  • You are accepted. Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted. Trust in the God who loves consistently and faithfully nurtures confidence, free disciples. A loving God fosters a loving people. "The fact that our view of God shapes our lives to a great extent may be one of the reasons Scripture ascribes such importance to seeking to know him." (Peter Van Breemen, Certain As the Dawn)
  • Her spiritual poverty enables her to enter the world of the other even when she cannot identify with that world. The poor in spirit are the most nonjudgmental of peoples; they get along well with sinners.
  • The gospel of grace calls out: Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord. You must be convinced of this, trust it, and never forget to remember. Everything else will pass away, but the love of Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Faith will become vision, hope will become possession, but the love of Jesus Christ that is stronger than death endures forever. In the end, it is the one thing you can hang onto.
  • The dichotomy between what we say and what we do is so pervasive in the church and in society that we actually come to believe our illusions and rationalizations and clutch them to our hearts like favorite teddy bears.
  • The alternative to confronting the truth is always some form of self-destruction. In order to free the captive, one must name the captivity.
  • Freedom in Christ produces a health independence from peer pressure, people-pleasing, and the bondage of human respect.
  • Perhaps the simplest, though certainly not the easiest place to start, is with myself. Carl Jung, the great psychiatrist, once reflected that we are all familiar with the words of Jesus, "Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me." Then Jung asks a probing question: "What if you discovered that the least of the brethren of Jesus, the one who needs your love the most, the one you can help the most by loving, the one to whom your love will be most meaningful - what if you discovered that this least of the brethren of Jesus... is you?"
  • Perhaps we are all in the position of the man in Morton Kelsey's story who came to the edge of an abyss. As he stood there wondering what to do next, he was amazed to discover a tightrope stretched across the abyss. And slowly, surely, across the rope came an acrobat pushing before him a wheelbarrow with another performer in it. When they finally reached the safety of solid ground, the acrobat smiled at the man's amazement. "Don't you think I can do it again?" he asked. And the man replied, "Why yes, I certainly believe you can." The acrobat put his question again, and when the answer was the same, he pointed to the wheelbarrow and said, "Good! Then get in and I will take you across." - This is just the question we have to ask ourselves about Jesus Christ.
  • The fallacy in Peter's mind was this: he believed his relationship was dependent on his consistency in producing the qualities he thought had earned him the Lord's approval.
  • The mature Christians I have met along the way are those who have failed and have learned to live gracefully with their failure. Faithfulness requires the courage to risk everything on Jesus, the willingness to keep growing, and the readiness to risk failure throughout our lives.
Although I wrote out a lot, there is a lot more in the book! I would totally recommend reading it.

While I'm on the subject of books you need to read... if you haven't already done so, read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers!!!! I couldn't put it down... I read a 500 page book in a weekend... you will love, love, love it!!! She does an amazing job of story telling. I will be reading The Mark of the Lion series soon.

1 comment:

The Walkup's said...

I'd love to borrow Redeeming Love from you, if you have it :) I've been meanign to read it and keep forgetting!