Been a while since I’ve updated much on The Ragamuffin Gospel – of course it would help if I’d read it over the last week or so.
I hope I’m not repeating anything here but some great stuff in this book so it’s worth repeating if I have.
Manning: Salvation is joy in God which expresses itself in joy in and with one’s neighbor.
Reminds me of one of the themes Rob Bell spoke on in Dallas recently. Part of accepting grace is giving grace to those around us as well. Loving our neighbor as ourselves. Oh how
we I miss this point so often.
Manning: We miss Jesus’ point entirely when we use His words as weapons against others. They are to be taken personally by each of us.
Manning: The deeper we grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the poorer we become – the more we realize that everything in life is a gift… The poor in spirit are the most nonjudgemental of peoples; they get along well with sinners.
Manning: Grace abounds in contemporary movies, books, novels, films and music. If God is not in the whirlwind, he may be in a Woody Allen film or a Bruce Springsteen concert (or a U2 concert). Most people understand imagery and symbol better than doctrine and dogma. (related post: Christian is a poor adjective)
Manning: while sin and war, disease and death are terribly real, God’s loving presence and power in our midst are even more real.
Manning: The gospel of grace is brutally devaluated when Christians maintain that the transcendent God can only properly be honored and respected by denying the goodness and truth and beauty of the things of this world. Amazement and rapture should be our reaction to God revealed as Love…. where justice ends, love begins and reveals that God is not interested merely in the dividends of the covenant.
referring to what Jesus told the Pharisees and others:
Manning: These sinners, these people you despise are nearer to God than you. It is not the hookers and thieves who find it most difficult to repent: it is you who are so secure in your piety and pretense that you have no need of conversion. They may have disobeyed God’s call, their professions have debased them, but they have shown sorrow and repentance. But more than any of that, these are the people who appreciate His goodness.
Manning: Grace tells us that we are accepted just as we are. We may not be the kind of people we want to be, we may be a long way from our goals, we may have more failures than achievements, we may not be wealthy or powerful or spiritual, we may not even be happy, but we are nonetheless accepted by God, held in His hands.
Manning: Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their since have not only been forgiven but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb.
Matthew 25:40.. “insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of min, you did it to me”
Manning: Quite simply, our deep gratitude to Jesus Christ is manifested neither in being chaste, honest, sober and respectable, nor in church-going, Bible toting and Psalm-singing, but in our deep and delicate respect for one another.
Manning: The ministry of evangelization is an extraordinary opportunity of showing gratitude to Jesus by passing on his gospel of grace to others. However, the ‘conversion by concussion’ method with one sledge hammer blow of the Bible after another betrays a basic respect for the dignity of the other and is utterly alien to the gospel imperative to bear witness. To evangelize a person is to say to him or her: you, too, are loved by God in the Lord Jesus. And not only to say that but to really think it and relate to it to the man or woman so they can sense it.
You may want to read that one again. I’ve read it several times. (related posts: And it was good, Quote(s) of the day,Everything Must Change: Chp 1 :: Hope Happens
A message purporting to be the best news in the world should be doing better than this.