Ragamuffin
Brennan Manning

In honor of author Brennan Manning, who died on Friday, CT is reposting this 2004 profile of the former alcoholic priest whose reflections on grace captivated evangelicals.

The first time the late singer-songwriter Rich Mullins heard former Franciscan priest Brennan Manning on tape as he drove through the edge of the Flint Hills in Kansas, his eyes filled with tears. He steered the truck to the side of the road. There, as he later wrote, the message "broke the power of mere 'moralistic religiosity' in my life, and revived a deeper acceptance that had long ago withered in me."

Dallas Willard, who penned The Divine Conspiracy and Renovation of the Heart, once wrote that Manning's writing "throws firebrands into your soul."

Singer and writer Michael Card calls Manning when he's "in a bad place" and has named his oldest son after him. The priest's book Lion and Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus "healed my image of God," Card told Christianity Today.

Psychotherapist and spiritual director Larry Crabb turns to Manning for advice.

Eugene Peterson, who wrote The Message, describes Manning's Reflections for Ragamuffins as a "zestful and accurate portrayal that tells us unmistakably that the gospel is good, dazzlingly good."

Members of U2 read Manning's books.

Singer Michael W. Smith "can't even remember" how many copies of The Ragamuffin Gospel he has given away. Author Philip Yancey considers Manning a good friend.

What is it that the shapers of evangelical consciousness find so enchanting about the 70-year-old Catholic who confesses in his writings to "boasting, the inflating of the truth, the pretense of being ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Why the 'Lost Gospels' Lost Out Subscriber Access Only
Recent gadfly theories about church council conspiracies that manipulated the New Testament into existence are bad—really bad-history.
RecommendedHow God Rescued Me from the ‘Mormon Charles Manson’
How God Rescued Me from the ‘Mormon Charles Manson’Subscriber Access Only
My earthly father wrecked my life. Now my Heavenly Father is rebuilding it.
TrendingForgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
Editor's PickOn Immigration, Welcoming the Stranger Is Only One Piece of the Puzzle
On Immigration, Welcoming the Stranger Is Only One Piece of the Puzzle
Why Christians should support reforms that recognize both the dignity of immigrants and the rule of law.
Christianity Today
Ragamuffin
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.