Squashing Religious Hindrances: The Ragamuffin Gospel (Book Review)

Far too often the truth of God’s grace has been polluted with legalism, rules and religion, hindering the children of God from the fullness of a life-giving, intimate relationship with their Creator-Father, from receiving the acceptance and love purchased for them by Christ on Calvary.

I recently read a book that helps fight against this battle which so often hinders one’s relationship with Christ and Father God. This book, The Ragamuffin Gospel by the late Brennan Manning, is a must read book that brings us back to this central truth of the Gospel of grace.

Filled with tangible examples from the Bible and our modern day world, the book propels us into a journey of encountering the Father’s passionate love for every person He has created, paralleling His desire that all come to Him through His Son Jesus.

Jesus’ immense suffering and sacrifice for us is the ultimate expression of that love and desire, shown in a way that could be called reckless and wasteful—giving His life in our place even though we fail to love Him day after day in so many ways, all of us continually facing the truth of our “ragamuffin” state.

I highlighted much throughout the book, especially in Chapter 8: Freedom from Fear. This chapter outlines various intricacies of fear’s poison in our lives, many we are often blind to.

The final section, a personal spiritual retreat, is a blessed addition to the book to help one enter more fully into the truth of God’s love and grace poured out upon us.

The only bothersome aspect of the book is the use of a few cuss words (which appeared not in the author’s writing but within quotations used for illustrations). Personally, I would rather the author paraphrased these additions without these words included.

Finally, the following quote from the spiritual retreat section perfectly summarizes the main premise and purpose of the book; furthermore, it clarifies the whole purpose every human being was made for by God:

“Is your relationship with Jesus marked by reckless love? Authentic Christianity, according to the Word, is this: It’s the thrill, the excitement, of falling in love with the risen, living Jesus Christ. He shows us the way to the Father, He pours out on us the Spirit of Pentecost—not so that we’ll be nicer people with better morals, but brand-new creations, human torches ignited with the flaming Spirit of the living God.”

– Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

All in all, I highly recommend this book!

** Disclosure: I received a free, review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. **

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