Since its original 1990 publication, The Ragamuffin Gospel inspired at least a dozen songs. The late Rich Mullions formed the Ragamuffin Band. Several books, poems, and paintings, and even a few bookstores carry the ragamuffin tag. The twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of Brennan Manning’s classic meditation on grace, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out, is now available as an e-book. I took the chance to read it for the first time. English evangelical books weren’t on my to-read shelf in the 1990s.
The gospel of God’s grace for mankind is the key concept in this book, loaded with quotes and stories. The ragamuffins are the poor in spirit who, aware of their inner poverty and emptiness, threw themselves without hesitation on the mercy of God. They come undone, as they are. Manning would like to see us all becoming ragamuffins. These Christians do not complain about the feeble preaching and the lifeless worship of their local church. They are happy to have a place to go where they can mingle with other beggars at the door of God’s mercy. Long prayers and big words do not suit ragamuffins. Ragamuffins know that they are the tax collectors and that refusing to admit would make them Pharisees.
Manning uses many examples from the gospels, Jesus’ parables, authors like Bonhoeffer, Merton, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Dostoyevsky, and Henri Nouwen. Devotionals are added to the main part of the book to help you along your spiritual journey.
About the author
Brennan Manning (1934-2013) was a Korean War veteran and former Franciscan priest who became the best-selling author of more than twenty books, including The Signature of Jesus, Abba’s Child, and All Is Grace. Prior to his death in 2013, Manning traveled widely, sharing the good news of God’s unconditional love in Jesus Christ.
I received a free review copy from the publisher through Netgalley and Bloggingforbooks in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.