“The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all.”
The sixth book I have read this summer is a book called The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. It, like my first summer read, is not a work of fiction, but of faith. It is a real, raw, honest look at Christian life and what the gospel, and consequently what faith, really is. The book is full of confrontation, as it attacks many of the misunderstandings and misappropriations of church and Christian culture and reveals them in light of the Gospel that Christ preached and that the apostle Paul was a witness to.
This book may be the best book I have read all year. That is saying a lot, considering I read C. S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy back in March. The Ragamuffin Gospel is a life-changing book for anyone who has ever been daunted by Christianity and church religion. I remember when I first began listening to the audiobook, I literally screamed with excitement. Here was someone who saw the same issues with church culture that I have been seeing and blogging about for the past year! Before I read this book, I wrote “A Graceless Gospel,” “Getting Saved vs Meeting Jesus,” and half a dozen other blogs on the subject of God’s grace. And here was a book that proved to me beyond my own convictions that I wasn’t alone in my thoughts! Brennan Manning’s explanation of the gospel of grace is a beautiful testimony of the goodness of a loving God who draws us to himself in love, not in legalism or torment.
It is my opinion that every sincere believer or seeker of the truth about God should read this book. It is bold and uncouth, reckless and ridiculous, and absolutely true. Christianity is not a religion for people who have it all together. It’s the faith of ragamuffins, of sinners, saved by grace through faith, of the sick who need a doctor. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…”