Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Review: The Ragamuffin Gospel (Anniversary Edition) by Brennan Manning

The Ragamuffin Gospel focuses on God's grace. It reaches out to people at all kinds of levels, whether they are seekers or whether they have been in the Christian lifestyle for many years. It is for people that have a different view of following Yeshua (Jesus) than the traditional church culture but that recognize there are areas they are not perfect in with a desire to grow and heal.  Ragamuffins are supposed to be different and not complain about things such as lifeless worship and feeble preaching but instead be happy to have a place where they can meet with other people at God's mercy door.  It also reaches out to people with addictions since it brings up the AA model at various points.

First of all, I have a hard time seeing the gospel as the Ragamuffin Gospel but I guess that can be some people's outlook on it. I felt that the book spoke to me on some levels, especially with some of the words in italics that seemed to be about my situation at times. One of the places in this book spoke to me to not to feel bad if I get rejected from some congregations because it sounded God may not be invited to some also (page 16). I also liked that it emphasized that congregations ("the church") cannot have any excuse for keeping any sinners at a distance (page 15). Since I believe we are all sinners anybody that wants to be included should be able to be.

One of the hardest parts about the book for me is when at times it was hard on people that want to follow God's Biblical laws. I had a hard time with that because I believe God writes his laws on people's hearts. I still don't really understand how God's grace can replace some of the laws in the Bible because even the first few of the Ten Commandments (Words) seem so very important to me, but this book has been a reminder that God's grace is important to have in my relationship with him. It was also hard to read about Easter in place of Pesach (Passover).

I liked the 25 years later section of the book the most, which goes into detail about who ragamuffins are. It explains what they do and don't do when they are following / trying to have a good spiritual relationship with God and his son Yeshua.

If I had read this book at a time I was at the same place in my spiritual walk I was at about 16-17 years ago I would probably give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. Since then I have learned about Biblical feasts and other things related to the Hebrew calendar, so I didn't follow it as well as I probably would have back then.

My review= 2.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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