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 an intellectual, the impatience ...1